August 21, 2023
OKU Ibiza: a boho-chic hotel for the White Isle’s wellness set
f you’re wondering where the name OKU came from, it’s a reference to a Japanese concept meaning ‘inner space’ or ‘inwardness’ — which explains not only the food and architecture of this five-star paradise on ’s north central coast, but the wellness feel. The hotel — or the Ibizan edition, anyway (there’s a sister hotel on the island of Kos) — certainly promises a step away from the stereotypes of long associated with the White Isle. Yoga, sustainable design and nourishing, locally-sourced food are the orders of the day here. No wonder is quickly earning itself a name as one of the hottest in a growing set of wellness-centred hotels taking over the famously party-focused town of . Think complimentary morning vinyasa classes, CBD facials and guided hikes and PT sessions set against earthy, boho-chic interiors that feels closer to what would look like if it had an Ibizan outpost than anything associated with the San Antonio holidays of old. From Japanese-inspired fine dining to the adults-only pool — one of the largest on the island — here’s what to expect. Perched on the cliffs among the pines and palms in a picturesque spot just a 15-minute walk from San Antonio’s famous party strip and right on the fringes of Cala Gracio bay — one of the most beautiful beach spots on the island. It’s nestled among the foothills on the outskirts of the famous party town so you can guarantee a peaceful stay, with the option of live music sessions from some of Ibiza’s hottest DJs at the main pool if you want them. If it’s sea swimming you’re after, OKU is perfectly placed. We snuck down to the beach for a pre-flight swim on our final morning and had a charmingly picture-perfect cove entirely to ourselves. Nature-inspired furniture made from locally-sourced materials. Minimalist interiors and earthy tones. Plump grey sunloungers and tiki umbrellas set against an aquamarine pool. OKU describes its style as bohemian minimalism and this can be seen throughout the entire hotel, from the reception area, filled with a fresh signature scent (Le Labo’s Santal 33, if you’re looking to replicate it at home) to the bedrooms, each stylishly designed in chic blacks, whites, greys and browns with signature folding shutters on the windows. The whole place is a design-lover’s paradise, down to the staff immacutely dressed in navy shorts and white tees. Look out for OKU’s bespoke-made wicker chairs woven from natural fibres in Papua New Guinea. Each of OKU’s 184 rooms and suites comes with floor-to-ceiling glass doors onto its own balcony so you can enjoy every second of the Ibiza sun. There’s an earthy, bohemian vibe throughout, with chic linens, Marshall sound systems and deconstructed bathrooms featuring Le Labo bath products and a spacious rain shower behind a glass door. Choose from rooftop rooms with private terrace views out over the hills or swim-up pool rooms with direct access to a secluded shared pool down on the ground floor. Junior suites are perfect for a couple with a little one and deluxe rooms come with a more spacious lounge area alongside the bedroom. For true seclusion, book the hotel’s four-bedroom private villa with its own pool and space for eight people. Nourishing breakfast bowls accompanied by a live musician. Fresh salads served next to the pool. Japanese small plates in a low-lit restaurant as the sun goes down. Food at OKU is sustainably sourced (the hotel works closely with the Ibiza Preservation Fund, which supports conservation and heritage of the island) and there’s a Japanese and/or Asian twist throughout. There are two restaurants: Kima Ibiza, which offers relaxed Mediterranean fare from breakfast through to an all-day lunch menu; and The OKU Restaurant, offering Japanese-inspired fine dining exclusively at dinner-time — a must-try during any OKU stay. Order the tuna tartare with fried egg and caviar from the raw bar menu and make sure you try the pork belly small plate, served with crispy garlic and unagi. If you don’t believe me, believe the credentials: executive chef Mark Vaessen, who created Amsterdam’s iconic Sushisamba restaurant, is behind the menu here. You could easily eat all your meals at OKU, but some of San Antonio’s top restaurants are just a short walk away if you fancy an evening out. right on the harbourside in San Antonio, is just a 20-minute wander from the hotel and serves up some of the best croquettes in Spain. Order the garlic prawns for main and flan for dessert. is a little further from OKU (best to jump in a taxi for 15 minutes, it’s just under an hour’s walk) but well worth a visit as its rooftop, Rooftop Nine, is one of the best sunset spots on the island. Book a few hours on one of the Bali beds and take a dip in the plunge pool with an Inn Cosmo cocktail before dinner. You can see the whole town laid out in front of you like a map. Back at OKU, breakfast is a buffet affair, with a vast array of mostly health-focused options from yoghurts with nuts and seeds to peaches as big as your head. You can order dishes like eggs benedict from a separate menu on top, and there are plenty of naughtier options too, like waffles with honey straight from a honeycomb wall to breakfast macarons. Fizz is available at the help-yourself drinks counter if you’re after something harder than an iced latte. If Soho House did breakfast buffets, this probably wouldn’t be far off. There are two main pools: a ‘family’ edition for those with kids, and a larger adults-only pool just for the grown-ups that’s one of the biggest pools on the White Isle. The family pool sits up by reception and is smaller but with plenty of sun-loungers and bean bags set under chic tiki umbrellas for those looking to dive into a book in a quieter setting than the main pool (ironically, it’s the more peaceful of the two pool areas and don’t worry — OKU’s under-18 guests all seem to be immacutely dressed and exclusively well-behaved). But the real draw of OKU is its adults-only 50m pool just across the road, with an impressively well-stocked waterside bar and even more impressive DJ stage at the far end. DJ sets kick off from 2pm most days and there are live pool sessions every Wednesday, popular with non-hotel guests who can book available sunbeds as long as they meet a minimum spend. There’s a separate poolside Juice Bar for those in need of a more wholesome break from all the cocktails. Check in with a member of staff when you arrive and he or she will help you find a lounger or day bed with the perfect view and proximity to the bar. The whole place feels (and smells) like a spa, but the spa itself is particularly enticing, with everything from deep-tissue massages to ‘diamond energy’ facials and even an under-15s youngster’s spa experience (just a child-friendly facial and foot massage, don’t panic) all set in a softly-scented space that looks like something from a yoga catalogue. Even the gym is like an Instagram advert, with chic wooden equipment from skillmils to exercise bikes, and sweat towels and hand weights elegantly laid out on bookshelves like they’re ready for a photo shoot. There are complimentary yoga classes available each morning and PTs on-hand if you’re after something more personalised. Other offerings include sound healing sessions, private boat charters, guided hikes and champagne beach picnics, but the best facility of all was the most unexpected: a room set aside exclusively for guests who arrive prior to check-in. There’s no bed: just a shower, towels, mirrors and everything you need for changing post-flight if your room isn’t ready yet. Hotels elsewhere, take note. The view from your balcony as you gaze down at the tops of those tropical little tiki umbrellas next to the pool. Heaven. Zen, stylish young couples looking for a wellness-focused Ibiza experience, children optional. Fights to Ibiza are two-and-a-half hours from London Gatwick. It’s just a 30-minute taxi at the other end. Anytime during the summer season, though September is a popular time for couples looking for a more peaceful end-of-season break outside of the school holidays while the weather is still balmy and warm (temperatures should average 27C, if you’re lucky). Make sure you’re there for a Wednesday, if you’re keen to experience a poolside live music session. Camí del Portixol, 2, 07820 Sant Antoni de Portmany, Illes Balears, Spain
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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