It Must Be Love, Love, Love | Casa Corazon, Cami de sa Fontasa, 89, 07814 Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera, Ibiza, Spain
It’s funny what the universe can sort out for you. Now I’m not really a believer in cosmic ordering or anything spiritual [Hmm, I think you are a little – Saff]. But I’m always open to persuasion.
So when we were invited to our good friend‘s (and believer in angel guardians) wedding in Ibiza, we were so disappointed not to have enough annual leave to attend. Then, when I got the call from the day job to come in and work on the May bank holiday (thanks to Princess Charlotte), I was given two days off in lieu – just enough time to attend Al‘s wedding. I said it was a coincidence, she said it was the angels.
Fast forward a month and Saff is Googling where to stay in Ibiza. We bookmarked some beautifully decadent hotels (including Atzaró – where we went for a spa day). But it was Casa Corazon – a little 8-bedroom finca, situated near the village of Santa Gertrudis right in the middle of nowhere and the heart of the island, that really caught our eye.
We were drawn to an article on how this centuries-old farmhouse was once a yoga retreat run by wise woman, Valerie Anne Smith. It wasn’t until we got to the end of the review that we realised it had been written by Al – the very person who’s wedding we were attending. Another coincidence/angel moment!
We took it at ‘a sign’ and booked our 3-night stay and the flights there and then. Our outward flight didn’t land until 11pm and by the time we picked up the hire car and made the 25 minute drive to Santa Gertrudis, it was past midnight. The journey was simple up to a point. We had brought Kate (our Sat Nav) and had printed out instructions, so what could go wrong? A lot actually!
Kate and the printouts got us within 1/2 km of Casa Corazon and to the start of what can only be described as an averagely maintained goat track. The instructions sounded easy enough. Left on to the track, left at the first fork, left at the white wall and there you are. But when it’s pitch black and you’re a little tired, stressed and grumpy, every little pathway in the forest could be ‘that’ left turn. I lost count of how many u-turns we made.
Those who know me know that I HATE a) being late, b) getting lost and c) being told to calm down. As all of these had happened, I pulled up outside our abode, a great big knot of anger and stress. But as soon as I walked through the front door and was greeted by housekeeper Davide, my stress simply untangled and was left with a strange feeling of calm.
Davide really is amazing, your go-to man for the duration of your stay, he’ll try to do anything to make your visit as enjoyable as humanly possible. It turned out the difficulty finding Casa Corazon at night has become a big talking point amongst guests of the house and added to the ‘charm’. That said, a few signs here and there wouldn’t go amiss.
Now it was late and we exhausted, straight to bed for us. To be honest we didn’t even take in where we were sleeping, all we knew was there was a comfy bed and a shared bathroom (more on that later). Morning came in the snap of a finger, time to properly take in our surroundings.
Casa Corazon has been operating for over ten years, Valerie Anne transformed the old farmhouse into a ‘home away from home’ introducing a living and sharing philosophy. And since her passing 18 months ago it has been under the guidance of Melchior. A lifelong resident of Ibiza, what Melchior does know about the White Isle really isn’t worth knowing. He’s in the process of writing personalised itineraries for his guests – what a brilliant idea.
Melchior is also in the process of updating the decor of the rooms whilst being mindful of the ‘living and sharing philosophy’ that he respects. A good job too as it’s this philosophy that makes staying here so special.
There are six bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms (including the pool house), two smaller basic rooms that share a new bathroom between them (where we stayed on the first two nights) a huge kitchen, spacious hippy-esque living room and a lovely little chlorine-free swimming pool. Filtered using a salt block system, so it’s like swimming in a lake, apparently (we didn’t have time for a dip).
Our room (Main Two, €150/£111 per night inc breakfast in high season) was basic but cosy and comfy. Decor was very traditional, very rustic. Whitewashed walls, high heavy wooden beamed ceilings and antique (well not modern) dark wood furniture.
As mentioned before, our room shared a bathroom with one other room – not a problem for me but more so for Saff as she is a frequent night-time visitor! This bathroom was lovely, a little like how I want to decorate our shower room at home (if I ever get round to it!). Cool stone walls, wrought ironwork and reclaimed wood – effortlessly modern. We’d never heard of the Hierbas de Ibiza brand before, our loss as this range of shower gels were amazing, not quite Molton Brown but close enough.
Breakfast, as with most things in the house, is a very communal occasion and is lovingly prepared by Davide and Marcia. Timings are very relaxed but it doesn’t really matter because if you’re up early, simply help yourself to coffee and juice – you can’t beat squeezing your own oranges first thing in the morning…
The food is simple, yet delicious – freshly baked bread and croissants from the village bakery, fruits (we had melon, strawberries, pineapple and blueberries) along with scrambled eggs, Spanish cheese and meats and the obligatory fat-free yoghurts and muesli.
This communal vibe was really refreshing, we normally spend our time avoiding fellow guests (no offence, people), but this time we are glad we didn’t. Whilst finishing off our third glass of orange juice, two little old Japanese ladies appeared from the pool-house, greeted us with a traditional bow and scurried of to the kitchen. It turned out they were the mother and aunt of the chef who works at Nagai – a restaurant that was on our to-do list.
We also bumped into a fellow guest of the wedding, the bride’s cousin*, who was sharing our bathroom and whom we formed an instant bond with. More coincidence? I’m starting to believe in those angels now.
The drunken evening with four Austrians made our time even more memorable, it was like a having friends over for a cheeky bottle or two of red wine. Talking of alcohol, they operate an honesty box for any drinks taken from the fridge – and at just one euro for a bottle of beer there is absolutely no reason to be dishonest.
Our last night was spent in the Fig Suite (€220/£163 per night in high season, it can sleep three). Named after the beautiful shady fig tree in its private courtyard. At last Saff had her own bathroom, thank the spirit world for that! The website says staying in this room is like travelling back in time, in reality that means it’s yet to be updated.
I liked the slightly less polished feel to the room, it wasn’t trying to be something it’s not. There are no mod cons, if you want a cup of tea you go to the kitchen inside the house and help yourself, but we quite liked that.
Our flying visit to Ibiza was almost at an end, we had our spa visit and time for a quick mooch around Old Ibiza town. But it was a real wrench leaving Casa Corazon and especially Davide and Marcia, they looked slightly taken aback when I gave them a massive hug goodbye.
Sure, it isn’t a trendy boutique hotel, it may not be in a cool resort and possibly isn’t for everyone, but what it does have is a heart. You simply feel so relaxed and at ease here, it really is a home away from home and that is something you can’t put a price on.
Ibiza is known for its all-night parties, boho-cool hippie types and those toned bodies on the beach (and some not so toned ones on the nudist beaches). For us it will be Casa Corazon and Al and Tony’s wedding that will always hold fond memories.
Cami de sa Fontasa, 89, 07814
Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera, Ibiza, Spain
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We stayed as guests of Casa Corazon, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty.
*Jason, it was great to meet you and really hope to catch up soon. Thanks for the lift back from the wedding, your invaluable Ibiza tips and for being a top bloke!