Barefoot and blissed out at Cas Gasi in Ibiza
‘Surrounded by candles, Tom and I listened to opera whilst soaking in the snazzy jacuzzi’
I visited Cas Gasi late one summer with my husband and young daughter for a few nights and felt instantly at home. This is the kind of place I’d like to return to so I can finish my novel – when I do, I’ll stay in the green family suite in the main house with its own private reading room, enormous dressing room and blue and white Moroccan-themed bathroom.
Private, elegant, relaxed and family-run, this hotel doesn’t feel a hostage to passing trends or fashions like many on Ibiza do. It has a traditional, slightly old fashioned feel which feels safe, civilised and discreet – discreet enough for rather famous people who shall remain nameless to have enjoyed a private retreat here. Margaret, the owner, is easy to talk to but she likes quiet and tranquility too.
Our two rooms were in the main house – white washed, terracotta tiled and leading out to a courtyard – the smaller twin room was perfect for my three year old daughter Annoushka. We spent lots of time in the swimming pool, reading to each other on a giant day bed draped with candy floss-coloured muslin, swinging on a multicoloured hammock and running up and down the tunnel of vines infront of the hotel (well, Annoushka ran). We especially enjoyed the lack of passing drop-in visitors – the hotel keeps its main gates shut, and only guests have a key.
One evening after a sauna in the cute Moroccan spa Tom and I listened to opera whilst soaking in the snazzy olive-green tiled jacuzzi surrounded by candles. After, Tom rubbed my feet with Penhaligons body lotion and we listened to the soaring notes of an aria. Tom used the gym, while I booked up some treatments.
A highlight was an outdoor shala session with Anika Holting, the founder of spa concierge company Ibiza Balance and a talented physiotherapist and wellness expert . She has a background in osteopathy and offers all sorts of massage, and I loved how organised and efficient she was and that, though calming to be with, she is also physically very strong. Anika made a real difference to my stiff back and shoulders in just an hour using pressure point massage on my diaphragm, head and feet, some deep stretches and some clicks to my back. A day later I had an equally empowering shiatsu with Miriam De Santos, who was marvellous – very strong, again, just how I like it.
There was an American man staying here during the same time as us who my daughter befriended a little and who captured our imaginations. He was alone, always reading, and breakfasted at a private table he’d chosen to have infront of the hotel, sitting in elegant splendour… It turns out he returns here twice a year for weeks at a time, and as such he’s typical of the type of person Cas Gasi attracts who seek privacy, peace but friendliness too.
Long breakfasts were a feature of our stay (usually juices, good coffee, green tea, porridge and eggs cooked to order) and dinners divine – especially the exceptional gaspacho and the dorado and rice on the children’s menu which Annoushka ate with relish.
We felt the lack of a snack menu, but got into a rhythm of going out for lunches or early suppers when we wanted something light. We loved La Paloma, a laid back, fresh as a daisy garden café surrounded by orchards in the teeny village of San Lorenzo which serves healthy mediterranean and fusion food al fresco, and lots of the little restaurants in the nearby village of Santa Gertrudis, where we would dine off prawns and chilli with white wine and watch Annoushka playing in the brilliant little park or running across the village square semi naked in the evening darkness soaking up the carefree and happy Ibiza vibe.
Cas Gasi doesn’t feel too far from anywhere, so it was easy to take trips. We drove to Sallines beach one afternoon, down in the south of the island yet only 20 minutes away, and walked right to the end of the beach to set up camp, pausing to share a giant bowl of vanilla ice cream half way. We swam, enjoying the perfect temperature of the sea, and we took it in turns to run or power walk while the others watched fish or built sandcastles.
Wherever we went, Cas Gasi was always an elegant, cossetting place to return to. I imagine it will remain so for many more years to come – we will certainly be going back.
© Queen of Retreats