Ibiza Uncovered… Kari Rosenberg eats herself silly on a relaxing mini-moon at Cas Gasi I knew I’d created a holiday monster when my husband Jerome -of just two days- turned around and shrieked, “Are you sure this is a five star?” as we pulled up to Cas Gasi. We’d been told it was “very, very rustic” by friends, but how it was also one of the most peaceful and charming spots on the island; a favorite with the likes of Kate Moss and Mario Testino, and bearing the branded stamps of approval from Tatler and The New York Times. And having spent a week celebrating our nuptials with almost 300 of our nearest and dearest just over the aqua-marine waters in Mallorca, three days of mini-moon peace (and carbohydrates) was the only box that needed ticking. “Keep an open mind,” I rolled my eyes. The Mandarin Oriental this is not, but what was he expecting? Clearly the emailed website link had gone unopened before the “yes dear” response found its way to my inbox. Our Superior Double Room was small but appealing, although I’d recommend opting for a Deluxe Suite if you can get it; there are only 12 rooms in this button-sized, family-run, agroturismo hotel, so they get snapped up quickly. The main thing I’d read about before we arrived was the food, and it was every bit as wonderful as I’d imagined. Every morning, the kitchen takes delivery of a huge quantity of produce directly from its organic plots. Fresh eggs are readily dispensed by the (very) free-wandering hens, while almond, carob, fig, orange, lemon, apricot, cherry, plum, pomegranate and quince trees all bear their fruit for the benefit of guests’ appetites. The 350 drip-watered Arbequina olive trees harvest a house cold-pressed olive oil, while peppers, leeks, courgettes, pumpkins, tomatoes, beetroot and strawberries flourish in the orchards, waiting to be sautéed, ‘jammed’ or dried. The local Monasrell grapes are even pressed for a country-style house wine.
Breakfast is a casual turn-up-when-you-please affair, ideal for honeymooners, clubbers or watchless hippies, and features a mixture of fresh breads, cereals, fruits and hams. There’s no menu, but just tell one of the handful of delightful, devastatingly good-looking staff what it is you fancy and they will whip it up for you, no problem. For lunch, we shared tuna tataki and a sticky rice dish, filled with red prawns, monkfish and cauliflower – a combination I am still salivating over- followed by a seafood spaghetti dinner. The family on the next table had just returned from the town for some desert and we vowed to taste each one before we left (newly weds’ prerogative). The kitchen can also prepare food to take on board your boat, but there’s no official room service, or anything so formal here; just wander over and perch at the bar. They won’t ask for your name, room number, or whether you want to sign for it; only what you desire ‘on this beautiful evening’. Having arrived by boat, we were just a 20-minute drive from Marina Botafoch; with three days at Cas Gasi, we spend the first by the simple pool, sipping on fresh lemonade; the second docked at Formentera; and the third re-donning our wedding outfits for an ‘after-shoot’. With such picturesque grounds, our photographer had a field day, click-clicking against the stunning natural flower wall, the towering ancient trees, and the white-washed archways with pastel-hued ladders and creeping ivy. We finished the day with a well-earned massage, performed inside a white tipi with a single bed, plonked in the middle of a stretch of grass. If you are looking to do absolutely nothing other than sit, eat, drink wine and enjoy Ibiza’s oft-overlooked stunning natural beauty, then Cas Gasi is ideal. Come with friends, kids, your other half, or by yourself, as many did while we were there. You can be left alone as much as you please, or join another lone traveler for a game of chess in one of the drawing rooms. The very antithesis of your high-rise, high-gloss hotel chain, it surpasses luxury retreat expectations; the kind with flowers in your hair, no shoes on your feet and a lot of starchy grains in your belly. Indeed, they can add the Vantage -and Jerome’s- seal of approval to the list.