Trend forecaster Robbie Sinclair explores Ibiza on the hunt for hidden gems and all-important time out
I suppose my job is a little unusual. I am a trend forecaster, or if we are being pretentious a ‘Futurist’. To simplify, I do LOTS of research that combines data with gut instinct to figure out what fashion trends will be important for the coming months and even years ahead. Travel plays a huge part in my job so when Covid forced us into a global pause I had to rethink my strategy. For the past few months I have been working with global brands to help them figure out how to navigate through our current situation and help them survive this pretty challenging time.
The last time I travelled was March 2020, right before the pandemic put a stop to our plans.
It was now time to travel again and my much anticipated escape was a quick 30 minute flight from where I live in Barcelona to one of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve visited, Ibiza. For many, the White Isle is known for debauchery and dance music however I was seeking a different side. I’m on the hunt for fabrics, homewares and any gems my magpie eyes can find. The plan is to drive around the island documenting the best stores and places to visit that will be delivered back to my clients around the world. I’m travelling and researching so they don’t have to. This trip was also an opportunity to take some time out and reflect.
Following my arrival I took a 30-minute scenic drive to the 7 Pines Kempinski on the north east coast. As predicted the Island was very quiet. A friend who lives on the Island had told me that it would feel like having the place to ourselves and it did. Although it was quiet it didn’t lack atmosphere it just seemed much more relaxed than I had ever seen it before.
I was greeted by two hotel staff who, although wearing masks, presented me with smiles visible in their eyes. Walking into the ultra chic reception area I breathed a sigh of relief and I felt the last knots of work related tension in my neck ease. I was finally away from my desk. It felt like my first ever trip and I was beyond grateful. As I took a sip of my welcome cocktail and sat back on the sofa, I looked outside at the cluster of tiny islands in the Mediterranean Sea and asked myself a question; “What took me so long?”.
It’s safe to say that the travel industry has taken a catastrophic beating this year. With the flip flopping of the government’s rules and confusion around where we can and cannot travel to, I can see why many have chosen to stay at home. However, as I sit in the tranquil luxury of 7 Pines Kempinski I know I made a good decision in getting away.
My lovely first floor suite had stunning vistas and was light and airy with the feel of a private apartment. It boasted a bar area and living room that led out to a good sized, bright sea facing terrace. Perfect!
After unpacking, I walked an easy five minutes to Cala Codolar, a small rugged bay with lots of natural charm. I sat on the rocks in silence watching the waves roll in and out sloshing around the bay. I realised that whilst sitting at home waiting for the world to improve I’d forgotten what it felt like to relax, phone free, email free, worry free and just stop. I had finally switched off and it felt great.
It was time for dinner and I put on my favourite vintage shirt and headed to the Cone Club, one of the hotel’s bars. Its 6.45pm and 7 Pines just so happens to have THE best views for watching the sunset on the Island. As the DJ plays the island’s famed Balearic beats I noticed a huge gong situated behind her decks. 7 Pines is known for its sunset ritual and as the sun descends an air of excitement takes over. We have all seen many sunsets but things seem different here, maybe it’s the island’s historical hippy energy taking over but I find myself having a new appreciation for Mother Nature.
The sky begins to glow a deep orange and the surrounding voices hush, the sun bids farewell for another day and as the last slither of glow fades, the DJ bangs the bong. Once, twice, three times and the tables erupt with applause. It was a special moment that will stay with me forever.
I head upstairs to The View for dinner which offers elevated vistas of the resort and the Mediterranean Sea. The menu of Spanish/Asian fusion rediscovers old favourites whilst lighting up taste buds all night long. It was safe to say, my first night on the White Isle had really made me rediscover my love for travelling and the importance of escaping the everyday.
Well rested, I head down to breakfast which offers even more breathtaking views of distant bays and the nearby Isla de es Verdrá. The waiter explains that due to Covid the buffet is brought to the table which actually made the experience feel more exclusive. Fresh juice and pastries make their way over along with cold cuts, cheeses, breads and coffee. Small touches like this make me feel safer and I’m reminded that the tables and chairs have been disinfected which again helps me relax further into my new island life. Along with my many nibbles I opt for an egg white omelette then quickly change my mind and order pancakes because…why not?
With my stomach satisfied I jump in the car in search of some inspiration. Ibiza island is small so you can see all of it’s splendours easily making plenty of time for beaching and pooling. As with all good researchers I had my “want to go” places arranged on my Google map.
First up was Marcadillo Sant Jordi, a classic hippy style market carrying a sumptuous mix of globe trotting wares from Tibetan woven slippers to palm leaf bags and Middle Eastern objects. I would imagine that this market is usually bursting with people bartering and pushing to get the best price but today it was chilled and you could meander around at a relaxed pace…my perfect kind of market.
Next on my list was Tanis, an ultra-chic homeware store boasting natural fabrics and neutral tones that promised to make your home morph into the most desirable beach inspired setting. Then, onto what would be my favourite store of the day; La Galeria Elefante, a modern bohemian store with some of the most beautiful objects and fashions from around the world. The store was built of room upon room of hand crafted textiles in rich jubilant bright tones along with delicate lace and quirky curiosities.
Finally I headed towards Sluiz; to call Sluiz a store would be an insult to its creators. Sitting in a giant red and white striped big top tent, you enter through a strange walkway of mock Greek statues with neon pink lips. I knew I was about to enter into something a little off kilter. This giant space houses wholesale home decoration, clothes and accessories. Aisle upon aisle of larger than life objects sit in mini themed stories.
Blown glass cacti in chirpy neon tones sit next to fluorescent green mock tribal masks and life size leopard statues that deliver a huge dose of kitsch. This is a bar designers paradise and the perfect place for inspiration. Zig zagging around the ‘store’, I stumbled across an incredible cafe that almost felt like stepping through the looking glass. The walls were littered with pictures and dolls that even continued onto the ceiling above in a remarkable vision of confusion. Deciding that it could get any better I decided to leave on a high and head for lunch. Sluiz is an attraction in itself and worth a visit on your drive around the island to gawp at the vast array of merchandise and colourful creations.
The following morning I decided on a well deserved lazy day at the hotel. I found the perfect spot at the pool area where the beds were situated so close to the water that you could almost roll right off into the pool when in need of a cool down. This area was possibly my favourite part of 7 Pines with its slim chill out zones that housed little seated areas that then moved out into a larger area for swimming. At the end there was a glass panel that looked out across the incredible views, it was perfect. This was mid-September and the temperatures hovered in the low 30s by day and low 20s by night.
After a few hours of rotating in the heat like a pig on a spit I gave my skin a break and went to the suite to freshen up. I had intended on heading out for dinner but decided to try the hotel’s dine in service. Room service was taxi’d around the hotel grounds on electric delivery bikes that gave an added charm and was re-named ‘Home Delivery’. I never usually order room service, I find that it’s always the same, mediocre burgers and basic pizza’s, but I was suitably impressed by tonight’s feast. Delicious thin and crispy pizzas packed with flavour along with THE best truffle fries i’ve ever tasted.
After eating long past my stomach told me to stop, I sat on the terrace looking up at the stars in my overindulged state, today was perfect. It had felt like so long since I felt that holiday feeling of reading a book and switching off. The past few months have been a series of hurdles for many of us and it felt good to allow my mind to shut down and reboot.
The following days were a series of drives around Ibiza’s beautiful picture postcard coves and beaches. The aqua blue waters looked like they’d been Instagram filtered and every view left me awestruck. I have visited Ibiza twice before this trip but this time I fell head over heels in love with the white isle. A friend who lives there told me the island has her own rhythm, a poetically accurate description.
On my final morning I headed down to Cala Codolar, the little rugged beach for one last moment of solace. I sat on the same rock as my first day and as I watched the island go about her routine; the waves sloshing, wind blowing through the trees and birds flying overhead, I made a vow. It’s true we are living through a difficult time, we are all doing our best to get through the current struggles but I made a silent promise; to never forget the importance of taking a break.
How to book
Book your visit to Ibiza for 2021 and stay at the 7 Pines Kempinski with RB Collection. Call them on 01543 258631 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speak to Nathan who has visited the hotel himself too. RB Collection will include their own Ibiza guide to beach clubs, restaurants and Robbie’s shopping guide too! Visit www.rbcollection.com/ibiza for more details.