The History of Ibiza's "Agroturismo" or Rural Farm Hotels

Preserving the Traditional Ibiza

It's a simple, but perfect idea, that has relatively transformed the high-end hotel business in the Balearic Islands, where 30 years ago the trend was to build as much and as fast as possible to accommodate the fast-growing tourist business, Mallorca, and Minorca to a degree often blighted what was previously a stunningly beautiful landscape, knocking down the old and replacing with the new, high rise apartments and hotels.

Thankfully Ibiza's planning and building laws were always stricter than the other islands and so you can count on one had the coastal bays that have been developed with unsightly tourist accommodation, but the last decade has seen renovation and restoration become the trend, and old, often dilapidated rural buildings have become beautiful rural "agroturismo" hotels all across the island, bringing back into focus the previously neglected,and utterly beautiful traditional architecture and culture of the island for the benefit of the island’s many visitors.

Over the past decade about 30 luxury boutique hotels have opened on the island, having been converted from run-down fincas (farmhouses) built in the traditional Ibicencan style to stunning luxury country hotels.

Working Farm or Hotel?

The idea originally began in Italy, called "Agriturismo" when real working farms came up with the idea of supplementing dwindling incomes by letting out rooms to tourists, to experience the real farm "vibe"

In Ibiza the agroturismo trend officially started 1997, when Ibicenco (islander) Vicente Mari, the came up with the idea of using his hotel - Can Curreau, to preserve and promote the traditions of the island. Vicentes family have been in Ibiza since long before tourism (in the form of Hippies) arrived, indeed his grandfather worked in the old mine which still visible from the hotel's beautiful gardens.

More fashion than farm...

These days although to get the Agroturismo license the hotel must continue to operate as a farm, usually growing fruit and vegetables throughout luscious gardens, there is not much chance of guests being asked to dig the grounds or muck out animal stables, some of the most prestigious hotels on the island are agroturismos, for example Atzaro Spa Hotel which has a full length catwalk installed in amongst the orange groves, behind the world class luxury spa.

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