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Once Upon a Time, Boutique Hostal Salinas

We love markets and Ibiza is particularly rich in its offerings but Once Upon a Time stands out from the crowd. Find out why and then go and enjoy!

Once Upon a Time is no ordinary market. For a start, it takes place in the garden of one of Ibiza's hippest hotels, Boutique Hostal Salinas…and you don't get any less ordinary than that, folks. Having been voted one of the top Mediterranean Beach Hotels by the Sunday Times, your Spotlight reviewers were keen to go along and check out this amazing venue's Sunday market.

Boutique Hostal Salinas is easy to find, situated in Las Salinas natural reserve. You can comfortably travel in by bus as it is very close to the bus-station, and for those with their own vehicle, parking is plentiful in the hotel's car park.

We arrived at mid-day just as the market was starting, but already there was a cheerful and relaxed vibe. Co-owner of Boutique Hostal Salinas, Dave, was opening the bar and he chatted happily with us whilst sorting out our refreshments. He explained that, for now, Once Upon a Time will open every Saturday from around 17.00 hrs until midnight.

Once Upon a Time is the brain-child of three partners; Luana, Daniela and Rouge. They wanted to create a market that was somewhat different to the other markets of Ibiza, and they have succeeded admirably in that intention. As we browsed the stalls, it was clear that this was a market with authenticity and attitude.

All of the stall-holders were willing to talk with us and share their back stories and inspiration. There are too many for me to mention here (unfortunately), but as a few examples, we learned that Lebeccine was inspired by her grandmother who taught her how to create her spectacular handmade bags. Natureleza Artesanal make soaps from natural oils, as well as washing up liquid and washing liquid for clothes which contain no added colours or perfumes; just natural ingredients all the way. They even make toothbrush holders and soap dishes out of bamboo. Cyd of JOY jewellery takes her inspiration from Ibiza, especially the colours and textures of the plants and natural forms. She uses only natural gems and stones, and specialises in beautiful bespoke wedding rings which are quickly gaining fame the world over.

Everyone had an interesting story and proffered unique products, clearly made with heart. There is a dazzling variety of items ranging from clothes, jewellery and heart beads to swimsuits, wallets, hair extensions and ornaments, but what sets Once Upon a Time aside is the quality and originality of the goods.

The fact that famous Ibiza DJ, Daisy Heartbreaker, is resident here during the entire season doesn't hurt either. Daisy took the time to chat with me and, just like everyone else, her enthusiasm for Once Upon a Time was plain to see. This will be her third season working with Boutique Hostal Salinas, and she explained she loves DJing at Once Upon a Time as it takes her back to when she first started DJing on the island in 2002. Her eclectic, loungy, retro-vintage sets are the perfect musical backdrop for the market.

More top quality artisans are expected to participate in the market as the season progresses, possibly up to forty stalls. This along with the comfortable bar, the special market menu of fajitas (meat and vegetarian) or the option of dining in Boutique Hostal Salina's own restaurant, makes this is an entire, all-encompassing afternoon or evening out in its own right.

For an Ibiza market experience with an added edge of class and a refreshing sense of space and unhurried-ness, Once Upon a Time is the place to head on a Sunday.

Photo Credits: Cat Milton

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