Hacienda Na Xamena is one of Ibiza’s most romantic hotels, with fabulous sea views, and a buzzing restaurant. The showpiece of the hotel is the Cascades, a series of heated outdoor thalassotherapy pools linked by waterfalls on different levels. Simply spectacular.
Simply spectacular. The hotel is built into the side of a cliff, concealed by pine forests all around, with fabulous views of the Mediterranean in all its glory. In the north-west corner of the island, it is 10 minutes’ drive from the village of Sant Miquel and half an hour from the airport.
Style & character
There is a lot of boho-shabby-chic gorgeousness going on in this traditional Ibizan structure and there is no doubt that it is dead romantic, but at the same time it was nothing like as smart as I expected and felt a bit old-fashioned. To be fair, it has been open for more than 40 years and was the first five-star hotel on the island. Built by Belgian architect Daniel Lipszyc, it is now run by his son, Alvar, who is gradually refurbishing the property. There is a curving outdoor pool, a smaller one and a good-sized indoor pool too. The loungers are a bit crammed together but there is more privacy on an upper sun terrace. The showpiece of the hotel is the Cascades, a series of heated outdoor thalassotherapy pools linked by waterfalls on different levels, seeming to tumble down the hillside. Gazing at that view while your body is gently pummelled by jets of seawater is a blissful experience – but you do have to fork out an extra £30 for the strictly-timed, 45-minute privilege.
Service & facilities
All the staff I encountered were friendly and pleasant but the service wasn’t five-star standard by any means, particularly in the restaurant.
Nearly all the 77 rooms and suites have sea views. Those in the Eden category have large hot tubs in private gardens but some are overlooked. I stayed in 506, a superior double which was big and bright with an oval whirlpool bath by the window and a small terrace with that all-important view. Décor was all white with a silver sofa, lending a 1970s disco vibe. The rain shower had a glass wall so you could see across the room to the sea beyond. Toiletries were nothing special and I was dismayed to see a useless 1980s-vintage hairdryer – alongside an ultramodern Hansgrohe illuminated make-up/shaving mirror. I was really surprised to find detachable hangers in the wardrobe too.
Food & drink
Breakfast is served until 11 am in a pretty space by the pool with outdoor tables. There is an excellent buffet spread with lots of local produce and eggs cooked to order – although service was slow and there seemed to be quite a few mix-ups. The open-air lounge with its cushions shaped like giant lizards is a fabulous spot to sprawl while watching the sun go down with a cocktail or two before ambling into the Eden restaurant with its rustic tables on a series of terraces. The hotel has a small organic vegetable garden and is aiming to use more of its own and local produce. Guests can do cookery classes with the chef, choosing their ingredients from the garden to prepare their dinner. I liked the sound of several dishes on the menu, such as king crab with avocado and tomato tartare and the traditional bullet de peix fish stew. Unfortunately I only tried the ludicrously-named ‘ludic menu’ (£40), which changes daily and - according to the waiter - comprises all local produce. I wan’t overly thrilled with hummus and a few other bits and pieces to start, followed by a piece of salmon and a duck parcel served on the same plate with nothing else, with a rather school dinnerish bowl of mushy fruit and ice cream for dessert. Other diners were clearly enjoying their meals, however, and the place was full with a lovely buzzy atmosphere.