A fresh take on wellness: Oranja escapes add zest to Ibiza’s retreat scene

Oranja Retreat Ibiza

What’s in a name? In the case of Oranja, it’s a distinctively fun and effervescent approach to life, fitness and wellbeing. You can almost taste the freshness as it rolls off your tongue. 

A new addition to the White Isle’s vast and varied retreat offering for 2023, Oranja escapes are making their Ibiza debut with plenty of zeal and good vibes.

Founded by longtime island lovers Naomi and Will, the young and dynamic team’s mission is to share the very best the Balearics have to offer while striking the right balance between fitness, relaxation and fun in the sun.

The friendly and enthusiastic couple admit they initially used to visit Ibiza “for the music and superclubs”, but discovered the island’s laid-back charm, breathtaking nature and majestic quiet on a visit during the rollercoaster ride of the pandemic years.

They say, “When we visited the island in September 2021, there were still travel restrictions in place and most venues such as hotels, restaurants and clubs were shut. But the island was the most beautiful we’d ever seen it!”

The trip hugely inspired Oranja’s philosophy to combine the best of Ibiza’s many facets. And with a keen interest in travel and a long-established passion for an active lifestyle, the dynamic duo is perfectly equipped to add their zest to the island’s melting pot of wellness influences.

Known for her energy, positive spirit and naughty laugh, Naomi discovered her passion for fitness while managing a boutique exercise studio in Surrey, England. Over the past ten years, she has gained qualifications as a spin instructor and community run leader.

Meanwhile, Will’s love of travelling, sense of adventure and knack for creating a good time were firing on all cylinders when it came to creating Oranja. Inspired by his powerhouse wife, he regularly hits the running trails and recently completed no less than three marathons, as well as an incredible 100k ultra marathon in Ibiza. 

Completing the core team is Ruby, Oranja’s island chef. With a passion for colourful, vibrant and flavoursome meals – freshly made with Ibiza’s fantastic local produce –  curating unique dining experiences and whizzing up fusion-style dishes that nourish mind, body and soul is not only Ruby’s talent, but her calling.

Throughout the retreat experience, guests have access to a roster of island-based trainers specialising in yoga, HIIT, ride sessions, running and hiking. With the mission to create fun and inspiring workouts using state-of-the-art equipment, they are motivating guests to find their inner fire!

Ahead of their sold-out first Original Oranja escape, we spoke to Naomi and Will about creating a different kind of wellness experience and what participants present and future can expect!

Oranja is such a fresh, fun name. How did you come up with it? 

The name was born in Ibiza and it’s a fusion of the word ‘orange’ in English and Spanish, putting together ‘orange’ and ‘naranja’. It’s pronounced ‘or-ang-ha’!

Why orange?

Firstly, it’s our favourite colour. And secondly, the colour orange represents warmth, positivity, excitement, happiness and vibrant energy – all of which you can expect on an Oranja escape!

What sparked the idea for the retreat? 

With so many businesses closed, we were encouraged to explore and visit areas we had never been to. We were staying in Cala Vadella and one evening, whilst sitting with a couple of cañas and a bowl of olives, the discussion came up about moving to the island…

The next question was, what will we do for work? We thought what better life than to be exploring Ibiza by land and sea, out in nature and under the sun, with a bunch of like-minded trailblazers! From that moment, the idea for Oranja was born with the desire to create and cultivate experiences and moments through fitness, exploration and relaxation… with a cheeky Aperol or two…the perfect balance!

What is your history with the island?

We’ve been coming to Ibiza for over 10 years and have always had a deep love for the island – we even had our honeymoon here in 2019! We used to come mainly for the music, super clubs and party scene, but we realised on our trip two years ago that the island is not just a clubbers’ paradise.

Ibiza is also the perfect destination for a balanced lifestyle, and the ideal location for fitness and wellness escapes powered by sunshine, music, workouts, nourishing food and great people!

Where are your favourite places to work out on the island? 

Naomi: I love running anywhere on the island but one of my favourite spots is Ses Salinas. Running around the salt flats and through the sandy pine forests to the beaches of Salinas and Es Cavallet is pretty lovely, with the stunning views of Formentera. And I’m really hoping that Barry’s Bootcamp pop-up returns to Destino Pacha Ibiza Resort again this year; the workout was brutal but so much fun… and the post-workout breakfast buffet was the absolute one!

Will: Last summer I started using the outdoor gyms the island has to offer, they’re perfect for calisthenic training and it feels great to be working out under the Mediterranean sun with epic beach views. I also love getting out on the island trails, in particular up to the eye of Es Vedrà – that rock is the rock that just keeps on giving!

You sound like you love your food… What are your favourite places to refuel or indulge?

Oh this is hard, so we have  to go with our three favourite spots to eat. 

The Fish Shack at the far end of Talamanca bay on the cliffs, with its fresh fish and seafood menu, is a great spot for an authentic Ibiza lunch.

Sunset Ashram in Cala Comte, is one of the best sunset dinner spots,  with a delicious Asian fusion menu, live music and Balearic DJs – just perfect for having a post-dinner party!

And Sa Trinxa on Salinas beach will always have our heart! We love ordering jugs of cava sangria and settling into the late afternoon, having a little dance to the perfect soundtrack for sundowners and toe tappers!

In what part of the island is your retreat based?

Our lovely Casa Oranja is close to Santa Eulalia in the northeast of the island, and situated in the heart of the countryside. We chose an authentically Ibizan finca that fuses tradition with modern design elements. The house is nestled into 2.5 hectares of lush, peaceful nature, lined with stone walls and surrounded by juicy fruit groves. It’s the perfect environment to smash some fiery workouts, relax and create unforgettable moments.

What is the philosophy behind the Oranja retreats?

We encourage our guests to squeeze every damn juicy drop out of their experience with us! There are many great retreats here on the island, and most are yoga-based, so we wanted to bring something a little bit different to the island with our Original Oranja escapes.

Rather than just one discipline, our guests can enjoy a variety of workouts. All Oranja workouts are designed to fire up your feel-good endorphins and we welcome people of all ages and abilities, male and female. 

Along with relaxation, our stays accommodate time for exploration of the island by land and sea, from adventure hikes to sunset boat trips on our partnered sustainable, solar-powered catamarans. 

We also won’t say no to a few cheeky sundowners so our guests can enjoy a balanced stay with us. In summary, expect huge fun, relaxation, big smiles, sensational scenery and a healthy dose of sweat!

What does a typical day look like?

Here’s a little sneak preview of what a day with Oranja could be like:

07:30 We rise

08:00 Hybrid workout

08:45 Stretch

09:15 Fuel up

10:00 Chill

13:00 Feast

14:30 Yoga

17:30 Eco boat trip

21:00 Chef dinner and relax

How many trainers do you work with and what do they specialise in?

We work with a variety of island-based trainers and also lead some of the sessions ourselves.

Ride with Naomi is an energetic and sweat-inducing hybrid ride workout that is part bike- and part bodyweight focused, designed to help you ride faster and lift heavier. 

Will is leading guests through Ibiza’s stunning nature during hiking excursions that show off the hidden side of the island with the most breathtaking scenery, hidden bays, mystical caves and stunning ocean views.

Flow with Nadia are yoga classes designed to complement and aid recovery. The sessions are focussed on stretching and strengthening muscles to increase flexibility and improve balance, leaving our guests feeling energised, strong and restored.

These are just a few examples of our programme at Oranja.

And what does the menu look like?

Expertly created by our in-house chef, Ruby, each meal has been designed to fuel, nourish and energise. The dishes are made with fresh, local ingredients and mostly vegetarian, pescatarian, and plant-based – but if meat is preferred this can be organised.

Are there any pampering options available, too?

Our guests have plenty of free time during their stay at Casa Oranja,and can choose from a selection of treatments such as full body massages, sport massages and beauty treatments, all of which can be enjoyed from the comfort of the villa.

What do you hope your guests will take away from their time on the island and with Oranja?

We ask every guest this same question to ensure they get the most out of their time with us. Some book onto our escapes to meet new people and make lifelong friends whilst discovering the beauty of Ibiza. Others join us for their love of fitness and adventure, and some simply want to reset, recharge and reignite!

Whatever the reason, we’re here to please and take huge satisfaction in delivering unforgettable experiences here on the island.

In what other ways can wellness lovers get a taste of Oranja?

If someone is unable to join the full retreat experience we also offer individual ride, hike and run sessions that can be enjoyed anytime. These sessions allow people to get to know us and give them a taste of what to expect on a full Oranja escape!

With Oranja ride sessions, we can transport our Schwinn bikes, equipment and trainers to wherever you are on the island. You can ask for a ride-only session for up to 7 riders or choose a hybrid ride for a capacity of up to 14 participants. These one-hour ride sessions can be set up for private groups or individuals at their villa, business or chosen destination. And for an experience like no other, we can also set up a ride session outside, in and amongst the nature of Ibiza!

If you love running or hiking, you can combine your love of the island with your love of the trails with a tailor-made guided run or hike at your own pace. From 5k distances up to marathon and ultra distances, your wish is our command.

How many retreats are you planning for this year?

In 2023, we are running two Original Oranja escapes. If you missed the May escape, we have a handful of spaces left for September. Both escapes have an awesome mix of like-minded people, many are solo travellers excited to explore the island and meet new people.

We’re also hosting two stays for retreat leaders and their communities, along with a third stay for a sports clothing brand. They will be staying with us for a promotional content week to showcase their brand in the villa and around the island.

As September is nearly sold out, we may release another Original Oranja escape in October, so… keep your eyes peeled, people!

Wow! Congratulations on selling out so fast! What can people do who missed out on spaces this time?

There is already so much to look forward to for next year! We will be holding a selection of Original Oranja escapes along with hosting private stays for groups of friends, families, companies and brands.

And to keep things zesty, we’re always open to collaborations. Check out the partners’ page on our website for more details!

To stay up to date with all the latest Oranja news follow the team at @oranjaibiza. For further information visit www.oranja.com.

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