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Six senses Ibiza
Courtesy of Six Senses Ibiza

The Ibiza venue keeping the spirit of the Balearic Beat alive

With its bohemian sensibilities and impressive surroundings, Six Senses is attracting the attention of international musicians and supporting local talent

Despite being a small island, Ibiza has been a hub for the music and party scene for decades. In 1978, Bob Marley put on a historic concert at the now-gone bullring – the first and only time the musician would perform in Spain. Two years earlier, nightclub Amnesia opened and would go on to become the birthplace of Balearic Beat thanks to resident DJ Alfredo Fiorito who combined disco, chillout and house to create the ultimate dance music.

When Paul Oakenfold and his friends visited the island in 1987, they discovered Amnesia, ecstasy and the music that was providing the soundtrack to the scene. Their inspiration was sparked and upon returning to England, they set up fabled Acid House clubs Spectrum, Shoom and the Trip – kickstarting the second summer of love and the rave culture that would go on to dominate the 90s.

In the new millennium, superclubs like Space and Pacha championed techno, trance and EDM, making the names of resident DJs like Carl Cox, Pete Tong and David Guetta. Now, as the island begins to open up again post-lockdown, the focus turns to cultivating local talent and bringing the hottest musical talent from around the world back to its shores.

Hoping to do both is Six Senses, a luxury hotel and entertainment venue located in the north point of the island, overlooking the tranquil Xarraca Bay. Opened last summer, Six Senses made an immediate impact on the scene, quickly becoming the destination for the jet set fashion crowd thanks to its impressive views and bohemian sensibility.

Last month, ahead of its second summer season, Six Senses opened the doors of its newly minted Beach Caves with a grand weekend of partying. They invited a group of journalists, fashion types – such as designer Harris Reed and model Arizona Muse – and locals along to experience and explore all the Caves have to offer. 

The four-day trip began with a very luxe journey courtesy of Aero, the semi-private jet service which would already have been incredibly chic, but was made even more so by offering onboard skincare kits by Dr Barbara Sturm, ensuring our skin stayed hydrated mid-air. Once landed, we arrived at the hotel and were treated to a moment of meditation and smudging to allow us to connect to our surroundings. Then it was time to find out more about the Caves and the cultural programming that it will be rolling out throughout the year, including live performances, art installations and an artist-in-residence scheme. 

As well as a restaurant, nightlife venue and speakeasy-style cocktail bar which will host local musicians, the Caves are home to a brand new state-of-the-art recording studio that was being occupied by Benji B for the duration of our stay. “We definitely have a balanced amount of time for both local and international musicians. We already have offered and booked in many local musicians that are living on the island, as well as internationals passing through,” said head of culture Talana Bestall. “We want to support the local artists that are here year around to focus on creating a community.”   

From sitar players to Duran Duran, the musical offerings run the gamut – an eclectic mix that is curated by music director and international DJ Taryn Picket who oversees the live music programming and manages the recording studio schedule. It was important to Picket to support local talent, which she sought out by reaching out to agents, friends and longtime locals for recommendations.

“One of our musicians Fernando who is a weekly resident on a Sunday we actually found in our canteen at the hotel,” Picket said. “He was already working at the hotel under a different position but he overheard us talking about musicians and came to tell us he was also a guitarist and wanted to pursue a career in music. We heard him play and he was brilliant so we offered him a weekly residency.”   

As well as music, Six Senses supports artists through its artist-in-residence program and gallery spaces. “We like to provide the opportunity to artists to create art on the island and to use Ibiza as a source of creative inspiration,” said Bestall. Upcoming artists to join the programme include Eyal Gever, who will present a piece exploring the relationships between man, nature and technology; Gucci illustrator Jayde Fish; and Kelsey Brookes, a former scientist who uses his background in biological and empirical methodology to create a new genre of art.

Throughout the resort, 17 galleries showcase a collection of 250 prints from a collaboration with Magnum Photos. Curated by Elaine Groenestein, the exhibitions include Christopher Anderson, Trent Parke and Elliott Erwitt. “It’s a dialogue between the photographers and the world we live in, filled with sound and fury, with silence and poetry, peacefulness and beauty, mystery and expectation,” said Bestall.    

As Oakenfold and his friends, and countless generations of people before and after them discovered, when you go to Ibiza, when you experience its enchanted energy and hot creativity, you will leave inspired. As Ben Pundole, the creative director of the Beach Caves said, “The spirit of Ibiza is unlike anywhere else in the world. It’s really the people who have decided to live here since the 50s and 60s from all parts of the globe, bringing with them creative spirit and sense of celebration that makes Ibiza what it is today.”