Ibizazen Hostal is the latest boutique hotel to hit Ibiza. It can be hard to stand out on an island blessed with so many hip hotels, but not for the creators of Ibizazen – Jerry and Sophie Jean-Marius.
Their vision, good taste and relaxed approach to running a hotel has seen them transform an Ibicenco farmhouse into a singular design hotel. It’s an art infused retreat where Bali mixes with Balearic pebbles, the contemporary with the reclaimed, and the slick with the rustic.
Huge laughing Buddhas throw their hands in the air at the front door; the bar in reception is built from tonnes of brightly coloured cans, and mirrors are made from petrol drums. You eat breakfast in a dappled courtyard, set with battered furniture in a stripped down rainbow of colours, with lanterns hanging down from the trees, and a pond full of resident turtles. “We’re used to buying new things,” explains Sophie, “but it’s much more special to give another chance to things that have already lived before, and make something really unique.”
The place is so unique it’s quite a shock. Relax by the pool on your daybed, or under the shade of big black parasols embedded in elephants. You can wander to your heart’s content in the gardens, kick back in a gazebo with views of Santa Eularia’s church, or follow a weaving wooden walkway under the trees. Find a private spot to read or simply sit and be, as the hotel name suggests. Zazen is the Japanese form of a Chinese expression meaning ‘sitting meditation’, letting words, ideas, images and thoughts pass by without focusing on them. But before you let it all go, let the amazing visuals in.
Both bars are honesty bars and all rooms can be accessed from outside for more independence. The 13 individual rooms are cool and luxurious; white polished concrete with splashes of colours and accessories from around the world, including neon Buddhas, rock sinks and Balinese cushions. If you fall in love with the art you can buy it, likewise the custom-made Ibizazen Ganesh makes the perfect souvenir, with his Buddha like belly and huge smile.
Jerry was keen to escape the Dutch rat race, so told Sophie when he met her; “I really like you; I want you to be my wife and have my children. But I can’t stay here, so if you want to be with me you need to know that.” They scoured the globe for the right business but Sophie’s wish for them to get lucky in Santa Eularia came true. Now that the project is finished Jerry says, “When I see the pictures I see it through someone else’s eyes and I see what we have. Wow – this is nice. We are perfectionists and it’s been one of the hardest things we’ve done.”
“We put everything we had in this project; financially and emotionally,” says Sophie. “We’re really proud but it’s very surreal. When you’ve worked so intensely on a project, when it’s done it’s quite a funny feeling. This is our home; it’s our place. People will be eating at our table and we want them to feel at home.” With superior doubles starting from €180, the suites from €250 and family rooms from €400, it’s a great place to try some meditation.
Crta. Cala Llonga km 12, Pol. 17 nr. 20
Sta. Eulalia del Rio,
t: +34 971 33 00 16