Hot to Cold: Experiencing the Open Spa, Ibiza Gran Hotel

Words by
Pippa Lowe

6th June 2024

Open Spa at Ibiza Gran Hotel is the embodiment of temperature contrast packed within one newly renovated state-of-the-art space. Join Pippa Lowe as she moves from hot to cold, experiencing the revistalising nature of each innovative facility.

Upon entering Ibiza Gran Hotel, you are stricken by the grand spacious entrance adorned with tastefully whimsy installations. Including nest-like structures floating from above, an alarmingly huge egg and (my favourite) a plush cloud seating area in the centre of the lobby. With such an entrance, it takes a second to collect your attention from the wonders around you and look ahead through the polished glass doors for what else the hotel beholds. Down a path and tucked behind the ever-moving veil of raindrops that is the poolside waterfall, sits the newly renovated Open Spa.

Open Spa Ibiza Gran Hotel
Up at the stunning adult-only swimming pool overlooking the hotel

I’ve always had passion for wellness, and no matter how much I hone that within my home through skincare-lined shelves and a gua sha in my fridge - the furthest I usually go is the odd facial or gym sauna. So, stepping foot into a spa with such varied and unique amenities was truly eye-opening to how intricate the ins-and-outs of wellness can be. The downstairs area was fully kitted out with lockers, rainfall showers and an abundance of Anne Semonin products to wash up and go. In our case, back up to the stunning adult-only pool for a final sit in the Balearic sun before returning on a flight to London. Inside the aqua spa were a series of pools known as the water circuit. I later found out that these differed from one another in many more ways than just their square dimensions…

Taking on the Water Circuit

When faced with the aqua spa it’s like a pick and mix of pools, you don’t know which to go for first! However, we started with a pleasantly warm C-shaped hydromassage pool. Jets came out in all directions and swan necks spurted strong water for targeted therapy on those hard-to-get-to upper back muscles. Leading us on to tackle the series of five small square pools, made for submerging your lower legs. Labelled as the contrast path, each alternated in temperature to help wake up your circulation. It was like a hopscotch of hot, cold, hot, cold... and it was suggested that we progress through the line of pools a few times to feel the full effects. Which, to me, resulted in very fizzy-feeling feet! A signifier that the blood did indeed get pumping.

Open Spa Ibiza Gran Hotel - water circuit
A view of the water circuit and loungers featuring the hydromassage pool, contrast path and one of two water beds

A stage to the right were two hot water beds that brimmed with bubbles at the push of a button. Sandwiched in between was a slim, but deep, pool with steps leading you to submerge yourself up to your neck in water. Freezing, cold, water. The idea was to switch from ‘attempting to’ submerge yourself in the cold pool before rushing back to the nice warm blanket of the water beds and doing it all again. It’s recommended to do so a few times, similarly to the contrast path - which I now see as a beginner’s warm-up for what was to come. For the cryotherapy crazed this would have been a walk in the park, me however, I couldn’t last more than twenty seconds shoulder-deep before rushing back to the warmth.

Open Spa Ibiza Gran Hotel - long pool
The long swimming pool within the aqua spa's water circuit

The final and largest pool stretches the length of the room, harbouring two incredibly strong jets on the left hand-side. Handles were provided to hang onto. A necessity if you didn’t want to be cast onto the other side of the pool! However, once you grabbed on and had gotten used to the pressure, this element provided deep-tissue therapy that could soothe even the sorest of backs. The opposing end of the long pool (without a current) was a serene area to go for a gentle swim before a series of sauna and steam.

Saunas and Reverse Saunas?

Every spa has a sauna, I see it as an entry level basic. But an ice lounge? Or what I liked to refer to as the ‘reverse sauna’ was something completely new to me. The fridge-like room stored a mountain of shaved ice, like a huge flavourless snow cone heaping high in the corner. Whilst the cold pools were something I found challenging; the ice lounge was one of my favourite facilities.

I went through a phase of sweeping an ice cube over my face every morning to reduce inflammation, puffiness and the appearance of pores. So when the opportunity arose to dissolve ice into my whole body like it was lotion, I went all-out. Both the salt-steam breathing room and sauna were exceptional and the aroma showers provided a palate-cleansing effect. Giving a fresh transition between the spa’s different areas.

Open Spa Ibiza Gran Hotel - steam room
The salt-steam breathing room

My treatment

The treatment list at Open Spa leaves you spoilt for choice (view in full here) with an array of sumptuous facials and body treatments. Thankfully I was put in the hands of the wonderful, Laura, who helped me come to a decision. As I was torn between a massage and a facial, we settled on a classic deep-tissue massage with the addition of a nourishing sheet mask. Landing me in the best of both worlds.

Open Spa Ibiza Gran Hotel - treatment room
Where the magic happens, an Open Spa treatment room

Funnily enough, this was my first time getting a full body massage, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. Laura, however, made it anything but an intimidating experience. She created a comfortable, communicative atmosphere with my relaxation as a priority above all else. After three deep breaths of aromatherapy oils, I was transported. Post-treatment my notoriously bad neck had never felt so fluid, my sun-drenched skin had regained moisture from the oil and my face glowed. All it left me thinking was: why haven’t I been getting massages all this time?

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