How a 17th-century monastery was reimagined using island influences.
There’s something comforting and uplifting about island living. Wide open spaces can feel vast and unknowable but, cocooned on all sides by the shoreline, an island landscape feels finite and personal. One is at home even in the wilderness.
Nowhere is this truer than Ibiza’s rugged north. Never far from civilisation, it nonetheless retains an unspoiled and intimate feel. Majestic vistas and leafy sanctums are private, to claim as your own. It’s here that you’ll find Finca Encanto.
Nestled into the pine-tufted hillside, this rural rental finca has a tropical atmosphere. Palm trees envelop the six-bedroom home, pairing wide-reaching views with quiet corners. As a 17th-century monastery, the building has experienced a number of rebirths. Previously a luxury Balinese estate, it was recently reconceived into a home more in keeping with its island setting.
“One of our objectives was to transform the villa into something more organic, earthy and cosy,” explains Marie who, along with her partner Jason and designers Diego Alonso and Alexeja Pozzoni, restored the finca’s character. Natural materials proved key to achieving this, including the curved Sabina wood used for the balcony balustrades. “It was an important feature to break the more square, Balinese style and achieve a more organic look,” Marie reveals. It’s a material that’s repeated inside in the home’s bannisters – a design decision that helps forge a connection with nature.
“One of our objectives was to transform it into something more organic, earthy and cosy.”
There is a sense of significance that comes from the building’s 400 years of history. “The main house especially has a very powerful energy,” Marie says. As well as retaining its monastery and finca roots, she worked with, not against, the existing Balinese influences. “The house is now multicultural in its essence,” she muses.
A meeting of both styles and minds, Marie and Jason collaborated with interior designers Diego and Alexeja. “They totally understood the vision and brought many creative and unique ideas to the project that we would never have thought of ourselves,” Marie says. “They were extremely passionate and responsive. It was a beautiful co-creation.”
“Our first goal was to respect the past of the building, bring it back to its original shape, removing ornamental add-ons that had accumulated from several past owners, as well as ‘rounding’ some edges to make it more rustic,” explains Diego. “We focused on texture and natural materials to give Marie and Jason the vibe and cosiness they were looking for.”
“Our first goal was to respect the past of the building.”
- Diego & Alexeja
Inside, many of the bedrooms have been updated with a deep brown feature wall behind the bed. Whitewashed walls are a common thread in many Ibicencan homes so adding a dark colour to any room could be seen as a bold move. In this case, it works. The interiors are rich and indulgent without being overproduced. It’s on this fine line between decadence and rustic charm that Finca Encanto plots its course.
At its core, the home promotes health and mindfulness. It features a sauna, a yoga studio, outdoor bathtubs and a massage room. There’s also both a saltwater pool and a bio pool, reflecting Marie’s commitment to sustainability. “We have a library in the finca with around 400 collector books on spirituality and consciousness available,” she explains.
There’s a certain honesty to Finca Encanto. On some corners, the external plasterwork is peeled back to reveal the brick underneath. This transparency is reflected in the interior design too. Each piece of furniture, for instance, is a vintage find procured from the island, bringing more character to the space it occupies.
“We usually practice a combination of upcycling with sourcing energetic charged objects to conceptualise into Magic Totalism – where the combination of disconnected items is what gives the space a ‘feeling’ and a unique narrative,” Diego explains. “For textiles, it was important for us to work with natural materials and earthy colours inspired by nature,” Marie adds.
Certainly, nature is never far away here. The outside spaces are where Finca Encanto melds with the landscape. “One of my favourite areas is definitely the Bali bed facing the pool across from the main house,” Marie reveals. “It’s been described by many as a portal.” As with the inside spaces, the finca’s surrounding landscape was the defining influence in the renovation. “We’ve added more traditional plants from Ibiza like lavender, rosemary, ivy and bougainvillaea,” she adds.
Increasingly, we’re being urged to renovate and refurbish rather than raze and rebuild. After all, the most sustainable building is usually the one that has already been built. Of course, in the case of Finca Encanto, dismantling the history of the home was out of the question. It’s not just the finca’s fabric that has been restored, but its spirit and connection to the landscape.
Finca Encanto is available to rent from €26,650 p/w