Gaby Hamilton gave up life in the UK to set up a holiday business in Ibiza so she could give her children a better quality of life. Mandy Garner talks to her.
Gaby Hamilton seems to have the ideal life. She lives in Ibiza with her husband and two small girls, another is on the way and she runs her own business offering the ultimate in relaxation holidays for families.
She moved to Ibiza two years ago, although she knew the place well as her previous business, fashion company Utuinanna, had a shop on the island, as well as in West Hampstead and Portobello Road. That business is currently inactive while Gaby and her partner focus on the D-Lite IbizaYoga Retreat
. D-Lite is a holiday company, specialising in offering family holidays with built-in childcare.
When she first moved to Ibiza, Gaby came on her own with the children, now aged two and four, as her husband was still working in London. They lived in a farmhouse, while she set up the business. She says those months were “very, very hard” as she tried to set up the pr and website for the new company. Her oldest child was in nursery for part of the time which allowed her to get some work done and she says she was very lucky with the pr [although she admits she drew on her experience at Utuinanna]. The first clients started coming last April. Mostly, she says, people were attracted by the emphasis on family. “We have a great family atmosphere,” says Gaby. “We felt there was something missing at the top end of the holiday market and we know what young families want.”
She says people tend to keep coming back for more. There are a range of activities on offer: men can do personal training; women can have massage, yoga and holistic therapies. There are also lots of activities for the kids such as horse riding and yacht trips. There is a big swimming pool and D-Lite has its own nanny service. In fact, it employs around seven people, including a nutritional consultant and a yoga teacher. Gaby herself knows a bit about yoga, having trained for three years in yoga in India.
Her typical day involves getting everyone up and preparing their lunch, dropping off at school [the children go to a private English school, but 80% of the school children are Spanish] and then answering email queries. She then goes down to the retreat until 3pm, does the school pick-up and cooks dinner. If people are staying, she works over the weekend. Her husband, who is an interior designer, does some construction work in the winter when the holiday business is quieter. Gaby hopes this might get busier as Ryanair is going to offer direct flights to Ibiza all year round.
D-Lite’s peak period is from April to October, although they also offer New Year detox and slimming programmes. D-Lite also offers spa days using herbs and salts from the island, such as pine, orange blossom and rosemary.
Gaby says she is glad she made the move. “I had two years in England with children and I hated every minute of it,” she says. “I much prefer the outdoor life. It’s a freer way of living.”
www.d-liteibizayoga.com. Tel 34 628 791506