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The Other Side of Ibiza

La Granja Ibiza, Sant Mateu, Spain

The first thing that strikes me is the color. As our plane descends into Ibiza, the reddish brown of the coast vibrates against the greyish green of the island’s parched vegetation. As we drive inland, the city gives way to farmland, nightclub billboards to trees. Soon we are traversing an uneven path through thick forest blanketed in white dust, which clears to reveal a lush hilltop oasis, a rolling farmstead on a hill known by the simplest Spanish word for farm: "La Granja." As the sun sets, I head down to the terrace for a meal that mixes the estate’s produce with other local ingredients and doubles as a metaphor about bringing together visitors and locals. It is exactly what I wanted: I can taste the earth, the sunlight, the vast bounty of the sea. Here, among the heady scents of ficus and figs, is the real Ibiza. The one untouched by time and tourism, the one of rambling roads, brooding mountains, and peerless ocean vistas.

“The farmhouse is the golf course of the 21st century” – Claus Sendlinger

La Granja is a farmstead set among Ibiza’s pastoral inlands created in collaboration with Design Hotels™ for its community. Tucked into 10 hectares of secluded farmland, the estate includes a six-guestroom centuries-old stone farmhouse, a pool, and kitchen. A program of collective rituals—from communal farming and slow-food workshops to yoga, sunset rituals, meditation, and daily music sets—fosters an environment of organic togetherness. La Granja was launched in collaboration with Friends of a Farmer, an international association devoted to the cultivation of art, crops and inner gardens.

"Sustainable farming is our past and it’s our future." Andy Szymanowicz – La Granja’s master farmer

Andy Szymanowicz, La Granja’s master farmer, oversees 20 tiered acres of farmland where fertile soil is sown for the free-flowing exchange of energy and restorative growth. Trained in Northern California, Andy is an expert in biodynamic agriculture. He harvests around moon cycles and uses a probiotic spray on the plants or soil-drenches them, a process of lacto-fermentation that activates the plants to fight against disease and fungus by giving them a healthy microbiology. "We are building healthy soils on the farm that feed our plants,” said Andy. “This is the foundation of what we do."

La Granja Ibiza, Sant Mateu, Spain

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