“The Other Side” – Lifestyle Retail in Ibiza
Some genius decided to organise a work trip to Ibiza for another of my business interests and I am not a man who argues about a trip to Ibiza. Known globally for its decadent ways, nights that roll into days, and the kind of raving that could end up anywhere from a villa to a yacht, Ibiza is a parallel world. However, in order to avoid any nostalgic moonwalks down memory lane I decided that bringing my family along would be a great excuse to see “the other side” of Ibiza that’s often talked about. A step away from the mega clubs and all nighters, and towards the booming agrotourism “trend” (it was called farming for 10,000 years) and more mature pursuits.
I cannot recommend the hotel highly enough, Joan and his sidekick, Fanny, do an immense job of making sure you are amazingly well taken care of. They grow lots of fruit and vegetables on the site, including some astoundingly tasty avocados.
The breakfast sets you up for the entire day, which you’ll probably spend lounging around the huge pool. Long story short, if you get the chance, stay at Can Planells for a at least a few days on your next Ibiza trip.
Can Planells is located on the north of the island, very close to Benirras which is one of my favourite beaches on the island:
On the drive up to the hotel was where I noticed 3 interesting looking lifestyle shops. I’m always looking for product ideas for Bear & Bear, and wanted to understand more about what Ibiza might have to offer, so in order of visits:
Lifestyle Retail in Ibiza #1 – Sluiz
First stop was the homeware and clothing emporium Sluiz. This is an impressive building and set-up, with a herd of blue and white cows (not real) in the field as you enter. The sign as you enter has a list of brands such as Versace, Gucci, Dolce & Gabanna etc…. and at the bottom of the list is a note that says: “we sell none of these”.
This is the first taste of the characteristic tongue in cheek sense of humour that is present throughout the shopping experience. The parking has areas designated to certain Ibizan stereotypes, with some amusing signage: “blah blah blahs” (PR I’m guessing), VIPs etc…. These signs are available to purchase inside the emporium.
Along with a huge assortment of other treats. There is a huge homewares section which is mostly affordable, if throw-away, trinkets. There are some vintage pieces thrown in including some nice looking arm chairs and garden furniture. They seem to do quite a line of brightly coloured full size crocodiles. I’m sure people are snapping them up….sorry.
The place is enormous, it must be a couple of football pitches in size. But it’s not too daunting, if you were looking for some brightly coloured pieces to add to your villa, then this is the place to come. There are some more expensive and durable items among the assortment of colourful glassware and lights that may last a season in Ibiza if you’re lucky.
There’s also a café/ brasserie attached. What I really like about this place is that it’s clearly been put together by someone with vision. I may not 100% be in tune with the taste of that person, but I hugely respect what has been achieved here. The merchandising of the store is top notch and they have successfully captured the clubbing spirit of Ibiza in a shoppin emporium, no mean feat.
I note that they run a wholesale part of the business, so depending on what they’ve included, there could be a few bits from Sluiz popping up on Bear & Bear in the future.
Lifestyle Retail in Ibiza #2 – Elephantia Galeria
A few kilometres down the road I spotted another shop that looks a bit more relaxed and less kitsch than Sluiz. The pink elephant logo draws me in and what I find is a warren-like maze of rooms with some nice homewares in them. The website doesn’t really do the place justice but it gives you a sense of the vision and you can see some more of the products they sell. The range feels pretty consistent in a lot of ways, although there is quite a variation in styles, from colourful hippy cushions, to a stylised white Balearic mirror. There are nice touches all over the place, including a nice swivel hook which was the same as the one in my hotel room. There seems to be a café set-up but it doesn’t look open. There is a nice looking yoga room in the garden, and that’s where some of my favourite pieces reside. A huge comfy brightly covered cushion, a pair of interesting eagle themed chairs (not something I’d actually have in my garden, but cool), a tiki pagoda, and a range of solid-looking wooden tables.
This is nowhere near the size of Sluiz, but there are some really nice pieces, especially in the garden, and I get the feeling that the wares are generally a bit more durable than the Sluiz offering.
Lifestyle Retail in Ibiza #3 – Tanis
For me, this was by far the most inspiring shop out of the three I visited. Whilst generally more expensive that the other two shops, the quality is a world apart. You get what you pay for, and whilst I believe that you’ve always got to keep the price down, paying for workmanship and style is often worthwhile in the longterm.
Tanis displays both of these assets in abundance. Whilst it is packed to the brim with cushions, tables, lighting and masses of other homewares, everywhere you look is something you want. It’s like you mentally clear out your entire home to find space for what you’re looking at. The website is currently a single page but you can see some of their wares, and most importantly check out their Instagram: @tanisibiza
I got a chance to speak to one of the owners, Nick, who told me that they’d moved out to Ibiza last spring and set the shop up in something of a rush. But people had instantly taken to their product selection and they’d had a great first year. They spent the winter doing interior design gigs for people on the island, and were in the midst of expanding the shop when I paid them a visit.
Tanis is one of those retail rarities that houses a range of styles, but with a conscious undercurrent of consistency that’s hard to define. There’s definitely a big beach influence in there, but it’s miles away from the normal white minimalism that’s come to define Balearic style. The fabrics that adorn the walls and have been used for cushions have been selected from the vast range offered by Tatjana’s family business in Austria. It’s the ability to select the designs that work from the multitude out there that sets Tanis apart.
Both Sluiz and Elephant are worth a visit for different reasons, and both of them have the potential to deliver some interesting bits of décor. However, if you are looking to deck out your abode with a definitive and seemingly effortless beach style, then head to Tanis. It’s the best of Lifestyle Retail in Ibiza and full of inspiration. Tatjana and Nick are gracious hosts (it feels more like a home than a shop) and I wish them well on their Ibizan adventure – although I do hope they manage to get out on some boat trips this summer and enjoy the sun!
I had to make one stop on my way to the airport to experience another one of my lifestyle interests – beach bars! I’d heard of a magical place called Experimental Beach (http://www.eccbeach.com) and I had to go and see it for myself. My wife is somewhat resigned to these flights of fancy, but this one did push the boundaries, as getting there entailed navigating thin stretches of dirt track between the salt-lakes of Salinas. An experience in itself. The trek was worthwhile (in my opinion) as you can see from these shots I took.
Meanwhile, to end the trip off, we made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare, but still somehow managed to miss our flight due a monumental balls-up at the gate. After wondering how on earth we were going to survive stranded in Ibiza we booked new flights, a cab and hotel and realised there are a worse places in the world to spend an extra night!