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White Isle Retreat Whatever The Season, Barceló Portinatx Ibiza
October 24, 2018
Barceló Portinatx is nestled just above Portinatx cove on the northernmost tip of Ibiza. The hotel is part of a successful Spanish hotel chain, and whilst it is large with some 134 rooms, it still feels secluded and peaceful. For starters it’s adults only, which means the majority of clientele are couples, and the ziggurat structure of the white building blocks makes each room to seem more like an private apartment.
At check-in we’re offered two large glasses of champagne and a fruit platter, which we sip in hanging wicker seats. The lobby is one of the most beautiful spaces in the hotel, encased in glass with stylish furniture and a soothing colour palette of natural hues. We’ve arrived early and our room isn’t quite ready, but it’s a calming place to wait and from where we’re sitting we can just about glimpse the sea.
Portinatx is one of the island’s most laid-back destinations. It’s a 40 minute scenic drive from the airport that winds through gorgeous countryside. We stop en-route for coffee in Santa Gertrudis, a tiny Bohemian village, nicknamed ‘Ibiza’s Notting Hill’. Hidden in corners off the cobbled streets are some of Ibiza’s best restaurants, artisan shops and clothes boutiques — it’s well worth making a dinner reservation here one evening since Portinatx’s offerings are limited (our top pick is Finca La Plaza for Med cuisine at its very best). Barceló does have its own restaurant which serves breakfast and dinner, but these are both causal dining buffets and whilst the food is good it’s not as refined or fresh as you can find elsewhere. Norway Beach Club sits right on the edge of the beach and is also part of the hotel; at sunset, it’s a beautiful spot for cocktails, but unfortunately it’s competing with a more rustic beach bar (directly opposite), which runs impromptu parties on the sand with excellent DJs (who we suspect take to decks before heading to bigger venues elsewhere on the island). If you’re keen to try out a more chilled out version of Ibiza’s nightlife this is the place to do it; think dancing barefoot with tropical cocktails.
We’re staying in a Deluxe Sea View Room with a hot tub, located on one of the top floors with stunning views of the hotel’s pools and across the bay. Whilst a hot tub on a balcony might be something you associate more with skiing rather than a beach holiday, the tub really comes into its own at night when the temperatures drop slightly and you can wallow under the stars (rather oddly, and alarmingly the tub drains water straight onto the balcony, before running into a gully so everything left drying outside tends to get a good soaking). The room itself is minimal, spacious and serene, with a large and extremely comfortable double bed, a flat screen television, shower and a sink standing behind a translucent curtain. There’s also a mini fridge, which you can ask the hotel to pre-stock with goodies or use to store your own drinks and snacks. Whilst most of the rooms have some sort of view, the top floors are by far superior and feel more private since no one is looking down onto your balcony. For more space and added luxury features, reserve a Junior Suite complete with its own living room.
The hotel has a lovely outdoor spa with cabanas for treatments, hydrotherapy showers and two swimming pools staggered on different levels. The lower pool is the more popular of the two for its views of the sea and the bar serving snacks and cocktails during the day. At night, staff throw luminous floating balls onto the water, which look eerily beautiful and provide subtle outdoor lighting. It’s those kinds of touches along with the complimentary yoga classes each morning and the genuine warmth of service which make the hotel feel more boutique than mass-produced.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the hotel does cater to package holidays, and whilst the common areas never seem that busy, the restaurant can get quite packed so pick the low season if you’re looking for pure relaxation — according to the locals, September and October are two of the most beautiful months on the island anyway.
For more information on Barceló Portinatx see here.
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