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Chilled Ibiza: Experience the Ultimate Sunset Mix

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Raising my eyes along the horizon, I saw a sweep of dull identikit rooftops – the coastal suburbs of ‘San An’ – and, through a gap between the buildings, an enticing slice of blue sea. Here, the reinvention effort was a labour of love, taking an Eighties, plain-Jane family hotel to the next level with a total overhaul, a fine, Italian-inflected restaurant in La Mesa Escondida, wonderful gardens and rooftop tables for soaking up the extraordinary panorama. Take Oku, which recently opened on the edge of San Antonio, a rebranding of the Casa Cook hotel that had its soft launch in 2019 and then closed.

I drove back west to a place that has lingered in a corner of my mind for a quarter of a century: Punta Galera, where the natural terraces of smooth rock act as shelves for sunbathing like a lizard. Today the space, renamed El Silencio by its new French owners, has morphed into a sand-on-the-floor seaside restaurant with gorgeous wabi-sabi-like styling, a pool out back and a menu by young-gun chef Jean Imbert, known as the Jamie Oliver of France. Moving from its party-hard peak, Ibiza has gone through an introspective shift, with a desire to slow life down so it can hit its rhythm again.Another example of this is Petunia, where I stopped one evening for dinner on a terrace with mesmeric views of the rocky islet Es Vedrà.

She also knows about the loveliest new hotels, especially those low-key ones that open their doors quietly. Finally, the island gets the avant-garde coctelería it’s been wanting for years, set in the foodie hub of Santa Gertrudis. A 300-year-old casa payesa in the classic ibicenco style, this gorgeous San Lorenzo property had stood abandoned for 80 years before its exemplary six-year restoration job.Which almost sums it up, except the rebooted San Lorenzo bar also does a great line in small plates such as Iberian pork loin with courgettes. And with Hilton’s Curio Collection no longer running the show, the Experimental Group has taken over, opening a recharged restaurant designed by Dorothée Meilichzon this summer and bedrooms next year. Though it looks fresh, Oku is in fact based on the footings of a former three-star stay, a humble bucket-and-spader dating from the package-tour boom of the 1970s.

Lying in bed the next morning with the dazzle of a flaming June day filtering through the shutters, I looked up at the ceiling of my bedroom at Can Domo.The original fixer for anything you want organised while in Ibiza, from villas to chefs, drivers to yoga teachers. The design ditches the all-white aesthetic traditionally synonymous with Ibiza in favour of earthy, neutral tones, stone, linen and acres of grey concrete. It reminded me that even as one generation moans about how much more magical and idyllic Ibiza was in their day, successive generations are already finding new sources of magic and idyll. Meanwhile, it’s drawn in more bohemian creatives such as Patricia Marañón, a floral designer working with organic and wild blooms, and her friend Laura de Grinyo, a ceramicist inspired by the forms of classic ibicenco pottery.

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