Gran Expectations

Gran Expectations


The White Isle’s first and only hotel to celebrate art and gastronomy, Ibiza Gran, takes the guest pampering experience to a whole new level. Serena Templeton pays an indulgent visit

Sampling distinctive experiences on the White Isle is nothing new but offering them to an increasingly aspirational clientele brings a whole new meaning to exceeding expectations. Situated in the hip and exclusive waterfront area of Marina Botafoch with stunning views across the port to Dalt Vila, Ibiza Gran has this over-deliver mind-set all sewn up. The only resort on the island to come under the new ‘Five-Star Grand Luxe’ category, the hotel seamlessly fuses the creative concepts of art, gastronomy and high-level service into an indulgent environment you’ll never want to leave.

The synergy between art and architecture is evident throughout the property, as the elements of earth, air, water, sky and life make up each of the five diverse floors, with a curated collection of contemporary paintings and provocative sculpture bringing an avant-garde vibe to the luxe surroundings. Explains Javier Garcia, Director of Marketing and Communications for Ibiza Gran: “The hotel was designed with the aim of offering guests exclusivity, wellbeing, relaxation and comfort, creating an extraordinary atmosphere. Luxury here, is very much about transcending the merely material. It’s a byword for sophistication, for culture, for refi­nement – a cocoon from the everyday.”

By day, guests can breakfast at leisure until midday, before chilling on a Bali bed by one of the two pools and cabana bars while choosing a treatment from the extravagant Open Spa menu. The casual poolside serves up lunch, while the sumptuous La Gaia restaurant opens after dark, serving up a fine-dining extravaganza.

Adds Garcia: “Ibiza is a centre of excellence in luxury hospitality and tourism, aiming to lengthen its season and boost its identity as a luxury destination. We like to think that Ibiza Gran is leading by example in this respect. More than ever, the hotel is setting a precedence – creating bespoke experiences for each and every guest and celebrating the unique lifestyle the island offers.”

Indeed, the hotel is a very grown-up place that manages to be a cool, calm place of retreat, even though the location is very urban. The sloping building has an air of an ocean liner, an impression that is heightened by the view across the harbour to Ibiza old town on the hill opposite. The Casino de Ibiza, in the same complex, has been open for 35 years and is a real institution on the island. Staff are highly-trained and very attentive. Service and maintenance are clearly at the top of the agenda.

The large yet serene Open Spa is a bit of a magnet for high-profile visitors to the island, who are after the very best treatments and facilities. The After-Party Detox – with mineral mud treatment and an orange and mimosa oil massage – is unsurprisingly very popular. If it’s been a particularly long night, you might want to consider a rejuvenating eye treatment with diamond dust or even submit yourself to the Cinetic Lift Expert technique, which uses microcurrents to tone the skin

All hotel rooms are categorised as suites, each sporting original artwork and facing the pool or the harbour and Ibiza old town, with whirlpool baths and terraces with comfortable rattan armchairs. With bamboo walls, warm neutral colours, and wood floors, the décor isn’t over-designed, just chic and comfortable. Loewe toiletries also lend a suitably luxe touch.

The hotel takes breakfast to a new level with 20 different types of bread made in their artisan bakery; a yoghurt station where you can customise your yoghurt with fresh fruits and fruit syrups; freshly made sausages and waffles plus dedicated menus of wholefoods and super-foods. Every day has something special going on: maybe the chef will be carving Jabugo ham, or shucking oysters to serve with Champagne. Decadent? Oh yes. There are plenty of tables on the terrace, where a guitarist plays softly. The perfect start to the day.


Innovative and ever-evolving, Ibiza’s fine-dining hotspot, La Gaia, is Ibiza Gran Hotel’s destination restaurant. Over the years, acclaimed executive chef Óscar Molina has continued to expand a sensational gastronomic experience for hotel guests and visitors alike. The tasting menu is worthy of a trip to the island itself – think truffled tofu, chef’s choice nigiri, barbecued monkfish cheeks and Ibizan lamb belly.

Moving on from the restaurant’s Japeruvian concept, Molina has incorporated his extensive travels into a fine dining menu embracing Mediterranean produce and traditional Japanese Kaiseki methods. Dinner is a literal ceremony inspired by the delicate balance between flavour, texture, presentation and colour.

Guests can start their evening by sipping on Wasabi Martinis and Pisco Sours, while sharing light bites such as cerviche style oysters with ikura fish roe before moving onto locally caught ray fish in pillows of ravioli accompanied by razor clams or the pureed roasted aubergine served with a tsume foam – a shellfish-based glaze used in Edo style cooking. The Tuna belly usuzukuri with aji rocoto, tiger’s milk, yuyo and chichi morada juice is a culinary highlight, while the flamboyant range of desserts including the Santa Inés made with soft mou caramel and mint gel complete the taste sensation journey.

The sophisticated dining space also boasts an exclusive Gin and Vodka Club with an extensive menu of creative signature cocktails and exceptional wine list, surrounded by an edgy exhibition capturing the 1970s Ibiza hippy spirit by Mallorca-based Danish artist Katrin Kirk. Fusing cuisine, cocktails and culture, there is even a valet parking service for diners between 8pm and 1am so you can arrive and leave the restaurant in five-star grand luxe style.



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