Why Atzaro Hotel & Spa is the perfect Ibizian escape

Fashion Editor Lucia Debieux takes a early Spring break at Atzaro Hotel & Spa, escaping the hustle & bustle of the party island of Ibiza.

Atzaro Hotel & Spa pool
Atzaro Hotel & Spa
Atzaro Hotel & Spa

Atzaro Hotel & Spa

Why go?

As soon as you drive up the long winding road leading up to the five-star Atzaro Hotel & Spa, nestled in the heart of the Ibizan countryside, you feel your shoulders dropping. The family owned finca is known as an agroturismo, basically a working farm, (in this case a orange farm) which means that its ethos is rooted in farming and agriculture, plus the delicious smell of orange blossom fills the air everywhere you go. So far so good. With sustainability at its core, this place has been living and breathing the organic lifestyle way before it became fashionable. If like me, eating a homegrown menu fresh from the onsite vegetable patch, being surrounded by lush gardens full of flowering cactus and palm trees and feeling close to nature rocks your boat then look no further.

Plus it feels like its in the middle of nowhere when in reality you are not more than 15 minutes away from civilisation, hello Santa Eulària and every taxi driver knows Atzaro, so you’re still very much connected to Ibiza should you want to leave.

Atzaro Hotel & Spa, Ibiza: The Rooms

When a place has been in the same family for 7 years and is built around a 300 year old finca, you can feel that history. The original farmhouse is still part of the hotel with more rooms added on, finishing with 24 rooms including huge hidden villas which are set back and separate from the grounds across the road. Dreamy.

With most rooms coming with their own private plunge pools and terrace. Filled with bespoke handmade furniture, teak four poster beds, traditional terracotta tiles with white plaster walls, the vibe is spacious yet cosy meets pared back Ibizian luxury. Most mornings we found it hard pressed to actually leave the huge double walk in shower in the luxurious marble bathroom. But we did, mostly down to waking up craving the delicious scrambled eggs at breakfast. Possibly some of the best Ive ever tried and believe me, Ive sampled a lot!

Atzaro Hotel & Spa four poster bed

Atzaro Hotel & Spa with its four poster bed

Atzaro Hotel & Spa

Atzaro Hotel & Spa

Atzaro Hotel & Spa, Ibiza: The Spa

You can’t not pay a visit to the open-air spa with its 43 metre long fresh water pool, nestled in the lush gardens while you’re there. It would almost be a crime. The huge day beds quickly became a favourite morning hang out for us, the perfect place to while the morning away. With more than enough spots like this around the hotel, fear not this isn’t the kind of place you have to wake up early to secure a bed. Phew!

Whether you try the new Scandi-inspired sauna pod nestled between the vegetable patch, head to the hamman or go straight for a couples massage in the solid teak treatment cabins, you always have that feeling of being close with nature but in the most authentic way. Yoga and wellness classes are all included in your stay, with daily classes you can be sure to grab a mat and get your namaste on. The chance to restore your inner glow is more than possible here and quit frankly hard to resist, we had come to chill after all.

Atzaro Hotel & Spa

Atzaro Hotel & Spa, the freshwater pool in the open-air spa

Atzaro Hotel & Spa, Ibiza: The Food

With all the vegetables and herbs coming from the kitchen garden and the meat from local farms in the surrounding areas, the food is a big part of Atzaro Hotel & Spa.  Menus are based on a true farm to fork concept, with mediterranean flavours that are healthy and fresh, dining here is as delicious as you would imagine. Try the melt-in-your-mouth homemade Iberian ham and cheese croquettes to start, suckling pig or for the veggies the beetroot & avocado burger is too good not to try and finish with the praline sponge. Boom.

Atzaro Hotel & Spa

Atzaro Hotel & Spa, La Veranda restaurant

Don’t Miss

The newly launched ‘Vegetable Garden’ coming in the Summer, entirely organic, using water from the estates well and electricity from the on-site solar panels, this is a special place. Walk through colourful vegetable rows and fig laden trees to find water features, a tree shaded bar and the most dreamy spot lined with palm trees to enjoy picnics plus used as a open air cinema in the evenings. We are sold.

Pop to a beach club, Atzaro Beach to be precise. Situated in the picturesque bay of Cala Nova in the North East of the island, its a unpretentious place to relax and unwind while the sun shines. Think rattan and wicker 1970s boho vibes, with palms a plenty and the turquoise sea twinkling in the distance. If you like a beach club with a chill atmosphere, that the crowds don’t know about yet this is the one for you.

When it comes to eating out you must try Aubergine, a restaurant spread across two buildings owned by the Atzaro group. Its a short cab ride away and like stepping into a little piece of authentic Ibizian heaven. With its super pretty gardens with twinkling lights, a small shop filled with local craft and pottery buys that will catch your eye and a rustic healthy menu full of vegan and veggie options, you wont want to leave. Everything on the menu is seasonal and local, either grown in the gardens or from the Atzaro estate and you can taste it.  You will also wonder what exactly is that paint colour that is over all the upcycled furniture, is it sage green or mint and how can you start renovating your house back home in it? FYI you cant, its bespoke to Aubergine, damn.

Aubergine Ibiza, the garden

Aubergine Ibiza

Aubergine Ibiza

Aubergine Ibiza, the delicious buddha bowl

 

The Need To Know:

Atzaro Hotel & Spa, Carretera Sant Joan KM15, 07840, Ibiza

Rooms: 24

Price:

Check-in: 14:00 pm

Check-out: 11:00 am

Pool: Yes

Gym: Yes

Spa: Yes

 

The post Why Atzaro Hotel & Spa is the perfect Ibizian escape appeared first on Marie Claire.

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I Fled Brazil to Escape Torture, Corruption, and My Family

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos from Getty

I was born and raised in a wealthy Brazilian/American family in São Paulo, Brazil and had lived a very privileged life there for the first 27 years of my life. But a few months after our marriage, my husband and I were pulled from our beds, imprisoned, raped and tortured for 45 days by the corrupt government under the premise of drug trafficking, released only when my family paid a $ 400,000 bribe. Not long after this traumatic experience, Brazil passed a law in 1979 that gave carte blanche indemnity from prosecution to any government officer who tortured. This new law was anathema to me. I had an infant son and my fledgling marriage had fallen apart.

Told through my sworn deposition to the Brazilian National Truth Commission in 2013, my memoir The Parrot’s Perch recounts our kidnapping, as well as the aftermath, and my eventual road to recovery. The excerpt below explores the pivotal moment I realized that in order to survive and continue living, I had to flee to the United States as I no longer had the support of my family, my marriage, or my country.

The time had come to ask my parents for help. I was 26 years old. I needed love and happiness in my life. I couldn’t live like this. I’d given my marriage my best shot, but felt I had to leave Brazil if I was ever going to be truly happy again.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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How to escape: Why a cabin break can refresh the soul

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A few years ago, I lived in a cabin for several months. It was in a glade at the bottom of a steep-sided cwm (valley) in the Black Mountains, south-east Wales. The single room was furnished with a bed, a table and a chair. Water came from a nearby spring, and I had a wood-burning stove, a gas ring for cooking and an outside, composting toilet. The front deck overlooked a brook, which provided the ambient soundtrack to my dreams.

I lived a pared-down life in a pared-down house. I woke at first light and went to bed at sunset. I cooked everything in one pot and chopped my own firewood. There was no electricity and no wifi. I couldn’t even tune the radio. I had to cross a fence and walk 200 metres up a bracken bank to get intermittent mobile reception. Quietly, I cut myself adrift from all forms of media – and who doesn’t feel like doing that these days? There was, correspondingly, a lot of time: time to read, observe the birds and watch the trees “dreaming out their old stories to the wind” as Thomas Gray wrote. There was time to listen to rain on the tin roof and, for me, time to write. I left with the first draft of a book.

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How to Save for Your First Apartment (and Escape Your Parents’ Basement)

Living on your own is blissful. Paying to live on your own? Not so much.

Renting your first place is a huge step on the path toward adulting, but if you don’t know how to save for an apartment, it can also drain your bank account and cause a bunch of headaches.

If you’re ready to make that leap to become a first-time renter, here are all the factors you need to consider so you’re financially prepared when you go apartment hunting.

What Can You Afford to Spend?

Your rent will very likely be your largest single expense each month. But you don’t want to spend more than your annual income can support.

A good rule of thumb is that your rent should be no more than a quarter to one-third of your take-home pay. For example, if you bring in $ 3,000 per month, you should be looking for apartments in the price range of $ 750 to $ 1,000.

If you find a great place for even less — awesome. But trying to get a place that exceeds that price threshold could put you in a financial crunch.

Potential landlords will want to verify you’re making enough money to afford rent, so you’ll typically be asked to provide pay stubs as proof of income. If you’re just starting a new job, you may be asked to provide the offer letter from your new employer that includes the salary you’ll be making.

Property managers may also look for renters who have good credit scores. A good credit score shows you have a history of paying bills on time and aren’t carrying a high debt load.  

Defaulting on your student loans, letting your cell phone bill go into collections or maxing out all your credit cards are actions that could cause a landlord to deny your rental application. Your apartment manager wants to see you’d be able to handle the financial responsibilities of renting a place on your own.

If your income isn’t high enough or your credit is less than stellar, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to rent an apartment.

Some property managers will allow you to get someone to co-sign your lease. This would be someone, like a parent, who wouldn’t live in the unit but would be able to meet the income or credit requirements and would be on the hook for paying your rent if you aren’t able to.

Alternatively, the rental owner might ask you to provide a larger security deposit, pay an extra month’s rent upfront or pay higher rent than someone with better financial standing.

The Upfront Costs of Renting an Apartment

A tall apartment building with many balconies is bathed in pretty sunlight.

Finding an apartment you can afford is only one step toward getting a place of your own. You’ll also need to save a significant sum of money upfront.

Make sure to consider these costs when searching for your new home:

Application Fee

This is the cost property managers charge you to have your rental application processed. You can expect to pay between $ 25 and $ 50, but it could be more depending on where you live.

This fee is usually nonrefundable, meaning you won’t get it back if you choose not to live there or if your rental application is denied. Make sure you tour the unit — or a model unit — before submitting an application.

Security Deposit

This is the money the landlord keeps in reserve in case you don’t pay rent or leave your apartment in an unsatisfactory condition at the end of your lease.

Your security deposit could be as low as a couple hundred dollars, or it could be the equivalent of one month’s rent. Generally, if your apartment is in good condition at the end of your lease, this deposit will be refunded back to you.

If the landlord has to fix significant damage, you might get a partial refund or none at all.

First Month’s Rent (and Possibly Last Month’s Rent)

You’ll need to have your first month’s rent upfront when you move in. Some rental property owners will also ask you to provide money to cover your last month’s rent.

If your move-in date isn’t at the beginning of the month, it’s possible your rent will be prorated for that first month, meaning you’ll only be responsible for paying a portion of that month’s rent.

Pet Fee/Deposit

If your furry friend will be living with you in your new place, you could be asked to pay an additional couple hundred dollars upfront. Some landlords will charge a flat fee, while others will have you pay a refundable deposit that you will get back at the end of your lease, provided your pet has caused no damage.

How to Calculate the Cost to Move

Moving can be an absolute pain — and we’re not just talking about the logistics of packing up your belongings or the physical labor of moving heavy boxes and furniture.

Moving comes with its own set of expenses that need to be factored into the cost of renting a new apartment.

Moving costs will vary widely depending on your situation. For instance, you may want to hire professional movers if your new apartment is a third-floor walk-up.

When asking yourself if you can afford to move, consider the following expenses:

  • Boxes and moving supplies: If you don’t have any boxes of your own or can’t borrow any, you could purchase them from businesses like U-Haul or Home Depot for $ 1 or $ 2 per box. They also sell extras like packing tape and cushioning material.
  • Moving truck: A local move with a small truck might cost you $ 20 to $ 40 plus mileage and fees. Or you could end up paying several hundred dollars for a one-way drop-off if you relocate across state lines.
  • Professional movers: You could pay as little as $ 25 per hour per mover for help with a local move. Or you could pay a company a couple thousand dollars to ship your belongings cross-country.

Making Your Place Feel Like Home on the Cheap

A woman pauses to look out the window while doing repairs in an empty apartment.

If you’re moving into your first place, you probably don’t have a bunch of furniture. That’ll save you on moving costs (win!), but it also means you’ll face the expense of decking out your new home.

If you’re itching to fill up your apartment like a perfectly staged HGTV home, take a deep breath and practice some restraint. You’ll be dealing with enough costs as it is.

First, focus on move-in expenses like toilet paper, cleaning supplies and a shower curtain — plus pizza and beer. Then turn your attention to the basic necessities like a bed, pots, pans and maybe a table and chairs to have meals. Get the rest of what you need over time as your budget allows.

You may be able to score free (or super cheap) furniture from friends, family or sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

Check garage sales, thrift stores, Goodwill or pawn shops for low-priced items for your new home. Retailers like Walmart, IKEA, HomeGoods and Big Lots are known for low prices, as well as online sites like Wayfair and Overstock.

Budgeting for Living Expenses

Your rent won’t be the only monthly expense you’ll face after moving into your new apartment. If you weren’t previously responsible for paying household bills, you’ll have a great deal of recurring costs to get used to.

Here are some common monthly expenses to expect:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Water and sewer
  • Trash removal
  • Cable
  • Internet
  • Renter’s insurance
  • Parking

The cost of your monthly living expenses will vary, but you should plan to budget at least $ 200 to $ 300 for the above expenses. Ask your landlord if any of these costs are included as part of your rent. For example, some apartment complexes will fold water, sewer and trash services into the cost of rent.

When it comes to utilities like water and electricity, some providers may ask you to put down a deposit before services get turned on. Usually, that money is refundable.

You can also expect to pay an installation fee to set up services like cable or internet. That expense is generally nonrefundable.

If you opt for any extras — like outdoor storage or washer and dryer rental for your apartment — you’ll be paying more each month.

And in addition to that pet deposit we mentioned earlier, some landlords will charge renters as much as an extra $ 50 to $ 100 each month per pet.

When you create your budgeting worksheet, don’t forget to include a line item for an emergency fund. It’s good to set money aside each month, because the bills won’t stop if you lose your job or can’t work temporarily due to an illness or injury. Financial experts recommend having between three and six months’ living expenses in an emergency fund.

If you can’t find room in your budget for savings, you need to evaluate your income and expenses. You’ll either need to increase your income or reduce your expenses.

6 Tips for Saving Money on Renting an Apartment

A man looks out the window of an apartment he has just moved into.

All the costs involved with renting an apartment may have you wanting to renounce the entire idea of living on your own. But don’t be discouraged. The sweet freedom of having your own space can be so worth it.

As you financially prepare yourself for your next big step, here are some money-saving apartment tips to keep in mind.

  1. Look for rental specials. Some apartment managers run specials, such as free rent for your first month. 
  2. Factor in all the amenities of the apartment complex and neighboring area when choosing a place to live. Let’s say one apartment option is $ 900 per month and includes access to an on-site gym and is in walking distance to work and a grocery store. Another apartment costs $ 800 but requires you to have a car and keep paying for your gym membership. You may find the more expensive apartment to be a better deal when you look at the entire picture. 
  3. Talk to your potential landlord in advance if you think you have an issue, like a poor credit score, that would cause your rental application to be denied. The landlord may show leniency. And if not, you can get confirmation that your application will be denied before wasting money on an application fee.
  1. Rent the apartment with a roommate. You can save significantly by splitting costs with a roommate (or several). Just make sure you discuss in advance who is responsible for what and establish some ground rules to maintain the peace. 
  2. Do a thorough walk-through before moving into your apartment unit. Bring any existing damages or other issues you notice to the property manager’s attention. Though it may not help you save on the apartment upfront, you’re more likely to get all of your security deposit back when you move out if it’s noted that those scratches on the hardwood floor existed before you moved in.
  1. Look into public assistance options if your income can’t cover the average cost of housing. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides resources for rental assistance programs — such as Section 8, public and privately owned subsidized housing — to make housing affordable to low-income people.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s lived in five different rentals over the last 10 years.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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You Can’t Escape Your Past, Take It From Kevin Hart

Critics have blasted Kevin Hart and all those coming to his defense over homophobic comments that the comedian made between 2009 and 2011 on Twitter. The tweets resurfaced last week after it was announced that Hart would be the master of ceremonies at the 2019 Academy Awards. The 39-year-old actor initially refused to apologize for the controversial remarks, arguing in an Instagram video that he has since “evolved” and should not be held accountable for past mistakes. He, however, later issued a public apology on Twitter and stepped down from the hosting gig.

Since then, a number of prominent high-profile black comedians have rushed to Hart’s defense, including Tony Rock, Nick Cannon, and D.L. Hughley.

“So let me get this straight, a comedian tells a joke that offends people and refuses to apologize, and people want to know what I think of that,” said Hughley. The comic then went as far as to call a transgender woman who disagreed with his opinion a sexist slur.

Although Hughley and others argue that comedians are granted a creative license to use offensive language in the spirit of telling jokes, this truth remains the same: your past can, and likely will, come back to haunt you, especially in today’s digital landscape. As a result, this can tarnish your brand and cause you to miss out on endorsement deals and other opportunities.

Here are five ways to use social media effectively and avoid a branding crisis.

1. Present Your Best Self

Like in Hart’s case, how you present yourself online could be the deciding factor for whether or not an opportunity materializes into fruition. Even if you delete a controversial social media post, nothing on the internet is truly ever erased. So keep in mind that you never know who may have taken a screenshot of your post before you publicly undermine your job or a client, rant about a colleague or boss, or document yourself while under the influence.

2. Think Before You Tweet

Many people use social media as a platform to vent and express their grievances about life and its many upsets. Although it’s perfectly OK and normal to share your gripes with others online, sometimes it’s best to avoid posting in the heat of a moment, which can cause you to say something you’ll live to regret.

3. Be Authentic

People have a low tolerance for B.S. and can oftentimes sniff out those who front for the gram, i.e., that time Bow Wow was caught lying about flying around on a private jet. Hence, it’s imperative to be true to yourself when building your social media brand—just make sure it’s your best self, as stated in point No. 1.

4. Post With Intention

Social media platforms give you the ability to control what the world thinks of you and what you represent. Be sure that you’re creating an image that you can feel proud of and posting thoughts that don’t come with a shelf life.

5. What you wear on social media matters, too

According to author and Black Enterprise contributor Gayneté Jones:

Social media wardrobe choices are etched into the minds of viewers. Employers, potential clients, contractors, romantic interests, and other concerned parties usually seek to view your social media pages in the first instance, prior to meeting you in person or giving you a call to organize an important meeting. In a brief moment of scrolling through your page, viewers have obtained a solid impression of who you are and what they believe you represent.

Style expert, Perri Furbert adds, “Your wardrobe is a form of non-verbal communication and usually acts as a deciding interaction factor. People will, unfortunately, judge you based on what they see. It’s very important to express what you want to say to the world in your apparel.”

The post You Can’t Escape Your Past, Take It From Kevin Hart appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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