In 1987, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury hosted a birthday party in Ibiza so outrageous that much of what is believed to have happened is not appropriate to write here. Outside of the past year and a half, that level of revelry is par for the course in Ibiza. For years, celebrities, thrill-seekers, and those looking for a reprieve from daily life have traveled to the Spanish island with a singular goal in mind: to let loose as much as humanly possible. As travel and social restrictions begin to lift, pulsating DJ sets and hours-long dance parties will no doubt resume in this Mediterranean hotbed. But with the recent opening of Six Senses Ibiza, the island is now positioned to attract a more wellness-minded traveler in 2022; people who’d rather down shots of cold-pressed ginger than tequila.
And while wanderlusters know Ibiza for its party culture, locals know it for more than confetti and popping bottles. Linda Schneegass, Six Senses marketing manager of wellness says the island is actually home to a community of energy workers, healers, and yogis. (Fun fact: A tiny, crystal-rich island off the coast, Es Vedrà, is widely believed to be the third most magnetic place on the planet.) “For decades people have gathered [in Ibiza] for sharing and singing circles, cacao ceremonies, dance, yoga, meditation and all kinds of practices that help feelings of purpose, strength, and happiness,” says Schneegass to TZR. And with the collective increase in mindfulness surrounding wellbeing and living a conscious life, the recent opening of Six Senses is already enticing travelers with its wellness offerings.
Located on Ibiza’s Xarraca Bay northern tip and designed by owner and architect Jonathan Leitersdorf, the property blends the standard appeals of a luxury resort — spacious guest rooms, a stunning pool, direct access to the Mediterranean, and impeccable service — with a host of offerings designed to improve one’s physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
Have trouble sleeping? They’ll pencil you in for a session with the in-house sleep doctor who can discuss potential disruptors and assess your sleep throughout your stay. Can’t shake a running injury? A podiatrist will examine your feet and ankles and provide a treatment plan to increase your mobility. You can also get a vitamin-rich IV infusion, kick back in a pair of compression boots to enhance blood flow, enjoy a healing sound bath, and enjoy farm-to-table fare.
Oh, and then there are the spa treatments, of course, which incorporate everything from crystals and tuning forks to locally gathered herbs. Fully immersive wellness retreats ranging in length from one to seven days and designed to address everything from immunity to self-discovery are another popular draw.
“Some of our most popular classes are with sound healing goddesses Maria del Mar or yoga guru and former ballet dancer James de Maria,” Schneegass says, adding that IV treatments and deep tissue massages are among the most-booked services.” Retreat group capacity generally ranges from 15 to 40, and those that have taken place thus far this year — like Journey to Profound Transformation with Marisa Peer — have all sold out.
Ready to hear more about the resort that is sure to be the hottest wellness destination since Miraval? Ahead, a look at the popular Six Senses experiences that have health-minded travelers flocking to Ibiza.
The Spa & Rose Bar
Treatments at the Six Senses spa range from the expected (think hot stone massages and body scrubs) to the obscure — in the best way possible. Natural frequency facials employ music and tuning forks to emit 528 Hz frequency — a sound wave that has been reported to aid in DNA repair. Another spa menu highlight, hot and cold stone therapy, includes the placement of crystals along the body for harmonizing the spirit and uses hot stones to soothe muscles and cold ones to increase metabolism.
The spa’s most popular enclave, however, is arguably The Rose Bar, which “aims to give insights into [the] current state of health and rate of aging,” says Dr. Tamsin Lewis, a resident MD at Six Senses Ibiza. As part of a wellness screening, guests can get a comprehensive blood test that, in conjunction with an in-depth questionnaire, examines the function and health of the nervous and cardiovascular systems. “This allows us to get a holistic view of your health and highlight key areas to work on,” Dr. Lewis adds. (Diagnostics are done by biotech company Orgenisis, and The Rose Bar is actually named for founder and CEO Vered Kaplan as “vered” means rose in Hebrew.)
Post-wellness screening, Six Senses doctors and health experts build a tailor-made program for your stay and when you go home, provide lifestyle recommendations, supplement suggestions, and biohacking therapies (think: cryotherapy to stimulate muscle recovery and collagen production and intermittent hypoxy training, which entails breathing a mix of standard oxygen air and reduced-oxygen air, to improve athletic performance).
Fitness & Yoga
While not everyone is keen to exercise on vacation, Six Senses makes a strong case for daily movement. In addition to a fully equipped gym and an outdoor boxing ring where you can spar at your leisure, renowned yoga instructor James DeMaria heads a yoga program featuring several indoor and outdoor sessions a week. Classes are designed with both beginner and seasoned practitioners in mind, and include arial, ashtanga, hatha, kundalini and vinyasa flow practices. For something a bit more intense, cardio and strength classes are offered daily, and you can also book personal training sessions. In-house holistic trainer Carlos Rodrigo uses TRX, isometrics, Pilates and other modalities to help you get closer to your fitness goals and set the tone for your workouts after your vacation.
Programs & Retreats
When it comes to wellness and relaxation programs at Six Senses, the options truly abound. Yes, you can spend your entire stay drinking cocktails (or green juices) by the pool, but you can also dedicate time to boosting your brain function or commit to a week-long retreat, offered during both the hot season (May to October) and cool season (November to April).
For day-long offerings you have the popular Mind Your Brain program, which is designed to eradicate brain fog and decrease stress and mental fatigue. It begins with a 60-minute morning yoga session and is followed by a hike, meditation, and holistic massage. Other daily programs focus on detoxing the mind and body, boosting immunity, improving sleep, and addressing feelings of overwhelm and anxiety.
Then there are the “expert-led” retreats, offered periodically throughout the year. In September 2021, medical anthropologist and master shaman Dr. Alberto Villoldo was joined by functional medicine authority Dr. Mark Hyman to lead the Grow a New Body retreat. Over the course of a week, participants attended lectures with Dr. Villoldo, received vitamin/mineral infusions, had daily bodywork sessions, and partook in yoga, hikes, and meditation. The aim here, according to Six Senses, was to “lay the foundation for a healthy body that ages slowly and joyfully,” combining practices and therapies that address the mind, body and spirit. In October 2021, Six Senses hosted Yogaflow Signature Immersion, which aimed to, among other benefits, energize one’s Chakras and uplift the spirits. The Bodyflow Signature Detox Immersion, which is ideal for those looking to ease digestive imbalances and support their body’s natural healing mechanisms, will be held from March 23 to 27, 2022.
Last but not least, there’s the food, which is an experience in itself. Grilled seafood, plant-based dishes, and biodynamic wines are among standouts at eateries throughout the property. Six Senses tapped acclaimed Israeli chef Eyal Shani to conceive menus using ingredients grown both on-site and a dedicated nearby farm. The open-air HaSalon — marked by a chef’s table with room for 50 under 100-year-old olive trees — is an ode to new Mediterranean cuisine, while the Pharmacy Bar features a selection of smoothies, detox juices, and both traditional and non-alcoholic cocktails. You can expect some elevated classics, too. Fries and a mojito, enjoyed poolside, are the perfect way to end a day of complete self-care, right?