Ibiza Boutique Villa: Can Xuxu
A secluded paradise with a personalised service, boutique villa Can Xuxu is more than somewhere to stay.
AT an unassuming hillside guest house nestled in flourishing flora, a cordial host and his canine friends welcome visitors to their humble abode. Boutique villa Can Xuxu is quietly inconspicuous, located five minutes from Sant Josep village in the direction of Cala Tarida. But the real charm of Can Xuxu is not the secluded, verdant spot and its 19th-century finca – it is the unique hospitality and the lush tropical garden with its wilderness of treasures.
A paved pathway winds past the finca, through the Mediterranean garden, before the magic of Can Xuxu begins to reveal itself: antique Javanese pavilions, Balinese day beds, lavender, lemon, orange and olive trees surrounding an aquamarine swimming pool in a private tropical paradise.
Owner Alexandre Narakas has paid meticulous attention to every detail of this rustic rural hideaway. From the beautiful open spaces to the quiet nooks, Can Xuxu still carries the essence of the family holiday home it was for 15 years, and carefully merges the lifestyle of a private house with the service of a luxury hotel.
“I started pretty simply with the finca and a few rooms,” Narakas says. “At first, clients were friends of friends that knew. And frankly, what I gave to my clients at the time and what I’m still giving is what I gave my friends before – the same thing, same vibe. And this is what made Can Xuxu.”
The former fashion designer and sometime architecture student is clearly in his element as both host and designer. Fusing Asian ethnic with an Ibizencan style, each room is uniquely decorated with Narakas’s creative flair that extends from artwork to needlework. “I moved my creativity from fashion to decoration. It’s not just about giving back to people and having fun, it’s also about everything you see from the chair to the cushion to the pots to the lamps. Everything I designed myself.”
Can Xuxu is like a chronicle of Narakas’s travels. His eclectic collection of artefacts from around the globe includes a xylophone from Java that he’s fashioned into a table and 100-year-old Javanese huts imported from Indonesia. Chocolates in the rooms and toiletries by Hierbas de Ibiza enhance the venue’s welcoming spirit, alongside Narakas’s hospitable guidance and knowledge of all things Ibiza; he can tailor any island holiday to fit a visitor’s specific needs.
Can Xuxu is open from April until October and is a short drive from both Ibiza Town (20 minutes) and the airport (15 minutes). It is situated close to the beaches of Cala Jondal and Cala Molí. You can watch the sun set into the sea from the finca.
The Can Xuxu experience is not just a place to stay. It’s poetic and calming, invigorating and scenic, and Narakas’s hospitality immediately puts you at ease. “It’s very important for me that guests meet other nice people and it happens very often. I really love that, that you can see that people come here and rather than just having a really nice night or three in a really great place, they enter into something more.”
First published in Pacha Magazine, Ibiza, July 2011.
© Abbey Stirling