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Enjoy the ultimate wellness adventure at Our Retreat, Ibiza

Leading spa and beauty writer Lorelle Williams flew to Ibiza to attend Our Retreat for a week; a retreat that offers fitness, nutrition and wellness breaks in Ibiza, Sardinia, UK and Chaminox.

The villa

Located in the centre of the island, just a short drive from the San Antonio Bay, the 8 bedroom, 8 bathroom villa that is home to Our Retreat Ibiza, happens to belong to renowned hairdresser, John Frieda. The surrounding land – exotic flowers, brightly coloured pomegranate, orange and olive trees– is in stark contrast to the effective simplicity of the white washed walls and dark wood panelling of the villa itself.

The two swimming pools, floodlit tennis court, the yurt and yoga platform, mean that there is never a shortage of activities for anyone staying at the villa. Inside there are 8 light and airy bedrooms, 7 of which are en-suites, an open-plan lounge that leads into the gardens and a kitchen with a dining area that opens out onto the outdoor dining overlooking the pool.

The 8 bedroom villa has a relaxed and spacious atmosphere

The team

Lisa Carolan is the founder of Our Retreat. After her career in fashion ended, she was left feeling frustrated and unsure what to do with herself, so decided to get away. She discovered a retreat that was launching in Ibiza, got in touch and went to work for them for a few months. She loved everything about it; the lifestyle, meeting new guests each week, making new bonds and looking after her body and mind.

When she returned home, she knew she wanted to help people who were in a similar situation to herself – who needed some respite, to meet likeminded people, and want to look after their bodies, whether it be due to stress, after a break up, or simply that they need to get away for a while. And so, in 2015, with the help of some friends, Our Retreat was born.

Lottie Murphy is Our Retreat’s Pilates instructor who also happens to be a hugely successful lifestyle blogger. Before becoming a pilates instructor, Lottie was a ballerina at London’s Central School of Ballet, then, in 2012, she trained at the renowned Body Control Pilates and has been teaching pilates to groups and individuals since.

Emily Spriggs is Our Retreat’s Yoga teacher who, like Lottie, comes from a background in Ballet. She worked as a professional contemporary dancer as well as a ballet dancer, touring across Europe with the Danish Dance Theatre. After her career in Dance came to an end, Emily turned to yoga. She specialises in vinyasa yoga and, given her ballet background, also specialises in barre. When Emily isn’t teaching yoga or barre she is studying to become a Health coach at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

The villa’s amenities include two swimming pools

Our retreat’s third trainer, Richie Norton, specialises in strength and fitness conditioning. He has a background in rugby and athletics and has trained with sports professionals from around the world. Richie runs his own weeks with Our Retreat which are more fitness, mobility and breathe work based.

The food

Our Retreat’s Ibiza chef, Chris, who is from the UK but now lives in Ibiza, specialises in cooking for retreats. He managed to cater to every dietary need in our group of 12 in Ibiza – vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian and gluten free – three times a day, every day.

Breakfast, which Chris and his sous-chef would prepare in the villa’s kitchen while we were in our morning Yoga class, usually consisted of two courses: overnight oats with a non-dairy milk, coconut yoghurt, berries and figs and a nut butter, followed by a cooked breakfast such as shakshuka, avocado on toast with mushrooms and tomato or a gratin of courgettes, carrots, mint and sweet potato.

Lunch, which we ate at 2:30pm each day, would depend the afternoon’s activity. For example, on hike days lunch would be carb-heavy such as gluten free pasta with vegan cheese and homemade kale and walnut pesto. On other days, lunch would be more protein based; chickpea stew, for example. On the quieter days when we didn’t need as much fuel, lunch would be a salad followed by turmeric lattes.

Healthy and delicious meals are prepared in the villa’s kitchen

Dinner was at 7:30pm each evening and where we ate it – indoors or outdoors – depended on the weather that day. Meals included rice noodles with vegetables followed by a smoothie and a raw, vegan brownie, or a red lentil dahl and a mushroom curry with rice, spinach, peppers and tomatoes. Again, on the more active days Dinner was carbohydrate focussed. For example, after our three hour hike, we had sweet potato with green beans, tomato and cabbage. After dinner each night we made a pot of tea and drank it in front of the open log fire in the lounge.

Yoga and Pilates

Both yoga and pilates appear on the itinerary daily for Emily and Lottie’s retreats. At 8:30am, after a cup of hot water with lemon, we made our way to the outdoor yurt for yoga flow with Emily. This was a wonderful introduction to yoga and Emily was mindful of the group’s differing abilities throughout. She would offer alternative poses to those who were less flexible and there was no pressure or pushing of us to our limits.

Pilates usually took place in the late afternoon at around 6:30pm on the outdoor yoga platform, surrounded by trees with nothing but the sky above us. Having never done pilates before this retreat, I was unsure what to expect. Lottie, like Emily, had a way of making the poses and exercises look a lot simpler than they were and, again, if we were struggling, she would demonstrate a simpler alternative.

Our Retreat offers plenty of space to relax and unwind

Other activities

In addition to daily yoga and pilates, Our Retreat includes a variety of other daily activities. Our group went on two coastal hikes, during one of which we caught the sunset from the highest point in Ibiza. We spent one morning out at sea being taught to paddle board, and on the third day we rented a private yacht to spend a full day out at sea.

One evening after dinner we had an outdoor cinema night in the villa’s garden where we sat on giant bean bags with blankets and ate homemade popcorn courtesy of Chef Chris. Nadia, also known on social media as The Health Junkie, attended the retreat and offered guests deep tissue massages to ease our muscles after a week of daily exercise.

The atmosphere

Both the mind and body are cleansed over the course of the week while making new friends and exploring a new country. Between classes there is plenty of downtime: grab a book, help yourself to tea and read in front of the lounge’s open fire or, if the sun is out, grab a deckchair and sunbathe alongside the pool.

Our Retreat was created with the aim of giving the mind and body some respite; to get away from the stresses of everyday life and to focus on yourself. Our Retreat is a form of escapism, a place where each day is planned for you and every meal is prepared for you meaning that the mental exhaustion that so many of us suffer in day to day life immediately dissipates upon arriving at the villa.

Our Retreat’s next retreats

Our Retreat operates in the UK, Ibiza, Sardinia and this winter sees Our Retreat launch its very first snow sport retreats in Chamonix on the following dates:

  • 10th-16th February 2019
  • 3rd-9th March 2019
  • 10th -16th March 2019