If you’ve come across some sun drenched photos on my Instagram, you might be curious to know more about my recent trip….
I decided to head out to the sunny Balearic Island of Ibiza. Yes, Ibiza. 🙂 Despite its hedonistic reputation, Ibiza has so much more to offer, especially in terms of Health & Wellness. Which is why a retreat experience at HolyMama was just what the doctor ordered. 👣
HolyMama is an alternative yoga retreat catered towards mothers and children founded by Claudia Spahr, the author of Right Time Baby. The whole ethos behind this type of retreat is to refresh both mother and child in a nourishing environment, with Yoga, meditation, childcare and freshly prepared meals by private chefs, all on a daily basis.
I won’t lie, the thought of travelling solo with a not so ‘baby’ baby did worry me somewhat and as I arrived at the airport, I had to fight with every part of me to get myself on that plane, but I am so glad that I overcame the anxiety and took the opportunity to unwind & recharge, meeting some amazing people in the process.
The retreat is set across grounds surrounded by trees nestled away in an idylic location about 2.5km from the village of Santa Gertudis and about 20km from Ibiza Aiport.
The accommodation is split over two houses; HolyMama Sanctuary and HolyMama Haven, both aesthetically pleasing, each with a swimming pool and an ample amount of outdoor space.
My cherub and I stayed at the HolyMama Sanctuary in a spacious ensuite double bedroom with a small balcony overlooking the garden, we were able to enjoy some nice sunrise views too. The rooms is equipped with necessities such as towels, soaps hairdryer and of course AC. Cots are available at an additional cost.
A key factor about this type of retreat is that it offers inclusive childcare. A team of Montessori trained carers were responsible for the children from around 9:15 – 12:30 daily, while us mums enjoyed our yoga followed by a child free brunch. The carers were of several different nationalities with various language fluency, this is something that I loved about Ibiza on the whole, the way that it brings a mixture of ethnicities together. The ratio was 1 carer per 2 children, which worked out quite well despite my munchkin wanting slight extra attention. The mornings were spent playing outdoors, doing crafts, taking a walk and also a nap if the little ones required.
The yoga takes place on an outdoor wooden deck in the middle of the trees, we were occasionally joined by the resident cat.
Not having done much yoga aside from pre-natal and beginner sessions, I was quite nervous about doing yoga daily for 5 days. However, our yoga teacher Opale was lovely, I really admired her style of teaching. Opale was very attentive to everyone’s needs and abilities. She offered a lot of contact with the group by demonstrations and corrections, making sure we were all well aligned and performing our Ujjayi (pronounced oo-jai) breath correctly. I have only good things to say about the yoga, if you’re reading this Opale, please move to the UK. 🙂
Food, glorious food! The food is a very important part of the retreat, cooked fresh by private chefs all from organic produce. It was by far the best vegetarian/vegan food that I’ve ever had. The kitchen staff were second to none, they had our juices/smoothies ready before yoga then worked hard for our brunch to be served just after yoga followed by children’s lunch, snacks and then dinner in the evening. The menu was so varied day to day, we were often wanting seconds. I even suggested a recipe book to the chefs, I would definitely buy one of all the dishes.
In terms of things to do, after lunch the days are free for you to do as you please, you can use the time to explore the rest of Ibiza or you can stay and lounge in the villa which to be fair is what we did on most days. Two evenings a week there are additional workshops and also some children’s entertainment which vary based on the retreat week.
My personal favourite of the week was a little sing song session we did with the lovely Laor, she had a very calming voice and created a nice atmosphere with her voice.
All in all it was a very pleasant and deep trip, I left with a new found purpose with bravery in my step.
Would I recommend it? Yes, I most definitely would. It might not be for everyone but there’s a certain need for it, by the end of my stay, I was genuinely sad to be leaving.
On a final note, if any of my readers decide to go, I hope the following tips help;
- Take a stroller as the nearest town is easily a 40 minute walk, it can get quite hot with the sling/carrier
- Pack enough baby-wear as there are no laundry facilities on site
- If you plan to branch out further to explore, then I would definitely recommend hiring a car
- If you have a light sleeper then avoid the Garden View room, as beautiful as the room was, it is above the kitchen and the sounds easily echo through. Luckily, there are plenty of other nice rooms to choose from
To find out more about the retreats offered by Holymama you can click here.
As always, all views are my own.