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Chilled Ibiza: Experience the Ultimate Sunset Mix

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As an indication of just how far it is from blaring techno around the pool, there are plans to host a classical music event here next year. The design ditches the all-white aesthetic traditionally synonymous with Ibiza in favour of earthy, neutral tones, stone, linen and acres of grey concrete. Arriving at the sweeping bay of Cala Xarraca, on the far tip of the island close to Portinatx, I cast my mind back 25 years to a summer weekend’s camping beside a freshwater spring that dribbled out of the cliff.

Which almost sums it up, except the rebooted San Lorenzo bar also does a great line in small plates such as Iberian pork loin with courgettes. Take Oku, which recently opened on the edge of San Antonio, a rebranding of the Casa Cook hotel that had its soft launch in 2019 and then closed. For 10 whole years, I reflected, something very similar to this view of beams and rough-hewn plaster was what I gazed at. The organic produce at HaSalon at The Piazza restaurant – helmed by Eyal Shani, the founding father of new Israeli cuisine – is sourced from the company’s farm outside Santa Gertrudis.There was an atmosphere of elegant unflashiness, chastened chic, that seemed somehow attuned with the mood of the times. The building creeps up the crag, imitating the dun-coloured tones of the surrounding stone; the bamboo shades over the terraces are a visual reference to the boat sheds huddling in the rocky calas along the water’s edge. Though it looks fresh, Oku is in fact based on the footings of a former three-star stay, a humble bucket-and-spader dating from the package-tour boom of the 1970s. The dark-green hillsides dotted with farmhouses in the typical white- washed, cuboid style; the tiendas selling everything from sandals to sardines; the clouds of chalky dust that billowed up on the bumpy tracks among the pines.

Lying in bed the next morning with the dazzle of a flaming June day filtering through the shutters, I looked up at the ceiling of my bedroom at Can Domo.

My stomping ground was always the rural north: the hills and villages around Santa Inés, San Juan and Cala San Vicente. Of course, this is a high-end hideaway that pulls out all the stops, but we’re a long way from Ushuaïa. You might find a sparkly W hotel in a bustling little town never previously noted for its glamour (Santa Eulalia). The old north-south divide is also increasingly redundant: you’re as likely to discover a cool boho scene among the glitz of the south as a whopping heavyweight resort on a wild northern beach. Moving from its party-hard peak, Ibiza has gone through an introspective shift, with a desire to slow life down so it can hit its rhythm again.

On the walk down through the forest, balsamic scents of heat-baked pine and rosemary flung open the synapses of my memory. Though most of my friends here have moved away, a few stubbornly cling on, resisting the sky-high cost of living in a spot that’s become a magnet for the super-rich. It was Marañón who introduced me to the community of estate owners who are restoring and regenerating great swathes of abandoned land. It reminded me that even as one generation moans about how much more magical and idyllic Ibiza was in their day, successive generations are already finding new sources of magic and idyll.A 300-year-old casa payesa in the classic ibicenco style, this gorgeous San Lorenzo property had stood abandoned for 80 years before its exemplary six-year restoration job. Another example of this is Petunia, where I stopped one evening for dinner on a terrace with mesmeric views of the rocky islet Es Vedrà. Not to be missed are the multicoloured installation by artist Miranda Makaroff and chef Jean Imbert’s avocado dish – it’s oven-baked and delicious. The makeover by Dutch interior designer Carmen Straatsma is an exercise in balancing contemporary taste with an injection of personality.

And that was where I headed next, drawn by the single-track roads winding among almond fields and the secret calas (creeks) of the coast. The original fixer for anything you want organised while in Ibiza, from villas to chefs, drivers to yoga teachers. As such, it’s a perfect illustration of a tendency – one that has come to the fore as the island rakes over its recent past – to see what can be retrieved, reassessed, and if at all possible, recycled.

I cast myself off a rugged slab into water as intensely blue as turquoise ink and somehow viscous, so swimming in it felt languid and sensuous. Booked out well before it opened, this much-talked- about arrival is drawing hordes of wellness-focused travellers to the north of the island. Few places on the planet have undergone changes as sweeping, as transformative, both for good and ill, as Ibiza. Meanwhile, it’s drawn in more bohemian creatives such as Patricia Marañón, a floral designer working with organic and wild blooms, and her friend Laura de Grinyo, a ceramicist inspired by the forms of classic ibicenco pottery.

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