Hacienda Na Xamena
Na Xamena, Ibiza, Spain
In a private enclave on the quieter side of Ibiza, suspended on a coastal cliff high above the Mediterranean Sea, sits Hacienda Na Xamena – a family-run property and the island’s first 5-star hotel. With an authentic bohemian spirit and a story dating back almost half a century, this boutique hotel is one of the Balearic’s most prized destinations.
Hacienda Na Xamena is built into the side of a rock face on the northwest side of the island, 180 metres above the Mediterranean Sea. Hidden amongst cliff-side conifers and a preserved natural park, the area surrounding the property is considered to be one of the last truly unspoiled ecological environments in Europe. It’s about a 40 minute drive from Ibiza Town, but a little closer to home is the idyllic village of Saint Miquel, just 10 minutes away by car.
Opened in 1971, the property is a hark back to the Ibiza of old, a magical place that had not yet collected the notorious reputation that now precedes it. During those days, only the ferry boat linked island to the Spanish mainland, meaning that few people set out to discover the natural treasures of and the locals lived a quiet life. With pioneering vision, Polish/Belgian architect and founder Daniel Lipszyc had his sights set on creating something both homely and sophisticated with as little impact on the natural environment as possible. Not wanting to take the easy route, he picked a location that had no running water, electricity or viable transport links – which, 5 stars later, looks like a stroke of genius. Even more impressive is that it wasn’t joined by another property in that prestigious category for almost 2 decades, and remains one of the most stylish and discrete retreats available. Today Hacienda Na Xamena is being managed by the designer’s son and wife, who together have maintained the hotel’s impeccable reputation.
Ibiza’s iconic boho chic. The hotel is grand yet welcoming, with every feature intended to harmonise with the natural beauty of the nearby cliffs. Deep blue pools and twisting cascades flank the property, as do palm tree-littered gardens. In terms of the view, they’re only outdone by the vast, unearthly vistas as far as the eye can see.
My friend. The kind of girl you absolutely want by your side in Ibiza.
Rooms start from £353 per night in low season and from £528 in high season, with a 3-night minimum stay on weekends in July and August. A delicious buffet breakfast included. It ain’t cheap, but it doesn’t get much better.
Where You’ll Stay
Despite the name, the architecture is not 100% inspired by the ‘hacienda’ style and owes more to rustic, ibicenco finca tradition – think whitewashed walls, winding courtyards and exposed wooden beams in abundance. Once you step inside however, the look is more contemporary, with artefacts and sculptures from across the globe decorating the walls and halls. There is a traditional Andalusian courtyard, but with Moorish tiles it will feel like you’re strolling around in Morocco. Together with the Asian accents of stone Buddhas and Indonesian antiques, the décor gives the rooms an extravagant, exciting feel to them.
Almost all of the hotel’s 77 rooms, carved out of the cliff and accessed via tunnels, have fabulous sea views from their floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies which bring the outdoors in. Inside, the rooms are modern and minimalist, with white washed walls and subtle wooden interiors.
All rooms have panoramic balconies and jetted standalone tubs that are placed next to the huge windows, allowing guests to admire the breath-taking scenery. Eden Rooms also have private gardens and plunge pools with sun loungers, while the Junior Hammam Suite is equipped with its own Turkish steam sauna.
We stayed 3 nights in the stylishly appointed double superior room. Everything in the room seemed to slot together seamlessly, from the pearlescent leather sofas to the twisted wood tables. With the hot-tub balanced on a window ledge overlooking the ocean, you’d be clinically mad to need any other frills (oh, and sunset from the tub is an absolute must).
Still can’t get enough of the scenery? Marvel at it further from the glass-enclosed rain shower, or open the white linen curtains to step onto the panoramic balcony, where you can truly immerse yourself with nature with sweeping, far reaching views; the dramatic cliffs that drop sharply into the glistening sea; the pine tree woods and the unforgettable sunsets. Welcoming in the evening by sinking into the king-size bed dressed in crisp white linen is the cherry on top of a perfect day at Na Xamena.
The free-form pool, which is encircled by Na Xamena’s main terrace, is where you may end up spending most of your time. Herb gardens snake along its fringes and olive trees loom overhead, trying their best to provide guests with a slice of shade and some respite from the rays. Can’t get a space right by the pool? Take a trip up to the upper terrace, where there’s a little bit more space to catch the sun.
The Posidonia spa is the hotel’s highlight, and is as popular with day visitors as with guests who book in for sessions in the ‘Cascadas Suspendidas’ – a string of saltwater pools chiselled out of the rock face. Indulge in this thalassotherapy spa whilst overlooking the Northern hills and coastline of Ibiza – views that are unlike anywhere else on the island (yeah I said it). There are also treatment rooms which offer signature treatments, indoor relaxation areas with Bali beds, a sauna and hammam for further relaxation.
But it’s not all R&R here, there are plenty of options for those more actively inclined. You’ll have access to tennis courts, a gym, an outdoor sand pit for beach volleyball or boules, and mountain bikes to explore the surrounding hillside. In the games room, there is a small cinema, a foosball table, Ping-Pong table, giant chess, and pool tables. The hotel also offers 2 private boats (with one even coming with a glass floor) for day trips. From Na Xamena, guests can set sail to discover the mystical island of Es Vedrà, or the white sand beaches of Formentera and its lesser known sister island Espalmador.
The resort’s dining options showcase the culinary delicacies of the Balearics and Mediterranean with a helping hand from the hotel’s garden, where fresh, seasonal veg is grown. Breakfast is served at Las Cascadas restaurant next to the pool. The buffet has everything you’d expect, with a wide variety of international and local delicatessens, with extras including poached eggs cooked to order. The Eden Restaurant is split across multi-layered terraces, offering the most dazzling views of the hotel. Fran Lopez, who runs the kitchen, is testament to the quality of the food – he’s the fourth youngest chef in the world to be awarded 2 Michelin stars. Meanwhile, small bites and tapas can be enjoyed throughout the day at the poolside bar.
What I loved
Complimentary yoga classes are held twice a week in the magical outdoor amphitheatre – which is in itself an experience, down-dog or not. It is the perfect setting for a moment of serenity, so much so that many weddings are held here.
When the sun starts to go down, there’s a great, lively atmosphere that you won’t want to miss at Eden restaurant, especially over the weekends with the live music. As it’s become one of the island’s most popular dinner spots, be sure to make a reservation in advance.
Cala Benirrás is the closest beach from the hotel, around a 10 minutes’ drive away. Famous for its spectacular sunsets, crystal clear waters and drumming sessions on Sundays, this beach is a must-visit during your stay.
Things to Know
Hacienda Na Xamena really is off the beaten path and there’s nothing within walking distance. This is part of its charm of course but with Ibiza taxi prices, it is another expense on top of the room rates. Hiring a car is a good shout if you plan to explore the island.
Some of the balconies are overlooked by others, which does mean some rooms feel more ‘private’ than others.
Guests have to pay an additional 35 euros to access the cascading spa pools and the session is timed for 45 minutes. An expensive arrangement but when it comes to staying at the best hotel on the island, it’s about the experience over the expense. Trust me, this one’s worth it.
Eden restaurant’s menu wasn’t particularly vegan or vegetarian friendly – something worth considering if you’re an ethical foodie.
Sadly, the hotel uses plastic bottles for turn down service.
Those wishing to escape the wild nightlife in Ibiza’s south and take in the oft ignored Beauty of the Balearics. With the town being 40 minutes away, you’re still close enough for some revelry if you fancy it. But when it’s time to unwind, Hacienda Na Xamena is the perfect respite of relaxation. While the hotel can be enjoyed by all types of serenity-seekers, it is one of the island’s most romantic retreats; the perfect place for a honeymoon, or even get married.
Characterised by discreet and elegant luxury, an enchanting natural setting, and renowned restaurant and spa, it’s no wonder the property remains to be Ibiza’s most exclusive hotel to this day. The serene and secluded location will however, make you feel like you’re in the island’s best kept secret. For those who are wanting to experience the hippy chic meets high society vibe that attracted the Beau Monde to the Ibiza of yesteryear, Hacienda Na Xamena is the ultimate retreat.
about the author
Hi! I’m Maz, born and raised in London. After working in finance for 5 years, I was left craving a life with more meaning and less monotony - so I decided to set up my hotel reviewing business, something I'd always dreamt of doing. Now I am always in search of beautiful spaces which inspire people and create memorable experiences.