Ibiza is one of those bucket list places you are keen to tick off, but never sure if it is in fact your dream destination for that quick weekend getaway. Are there too many fellow British tourists? Are prices exorbitant? Is it just about nightclubs and dance music?
Options are plentiful, especially throughout summer, with flights departing and arriving at all hours of the day. There are flights arriving into Gatwick (even at 3am on a Monday morning) for those who want to enjoy the beautiful white isle to the maximum. There are also direct flights into Ibiza even during the off-season.
Unlike mainland Spain, almost everyone speaks English in Ibiza and there are no problems findings cabs to transport you to different parts of the island. Some cabs do accept card payments.
Where to stay
There has been an increased in activity is recent years to build more grand 5 star hotels as the island surges towards high-end tourism, but there are also many charming boutique hotels on offer. We visited the brand new OD Talamanca on our recent visit, which has spectacular views of Talamanca bay and Ibiza’s old town, as well as a convenient location for reaching key parts of the island. The building itself has a refined retro-glamour style with a sleek lobby lounge area, swimming pools and an all-day restaurant for the diet-conscious offering dishes like tuna tataki.
If there is one clichéd activity that you must try whilst in Ibiza, that is to visit the Ocean Beach Club. It is hugely popular with the reality TV loving generation, yes there might be plenty of inappropriate dancing and beachwear, but for sheer enjoyment of people watching, you will struggle to find anywhere better. Apart from the disco dancing and swimming, the lunch menu should be experienced whilst lounging by the poolside. The sushi is as fresh as any top London restaurant, whilst dining on their ocean or superfood salad will help keep you in shape for summer wear. Just don’t copy the other clientele and waste your Champagne on spraying people – drink it instead.
Where to eat
Surprisingly, not many upscale restaurant brands have opened in Ibiza. STK Ibiza is one of those rare openings that set the bar very high for other restaurants on the island to follow. Service is formal, yet unpretentious, the decor is modern and chic with the giant video wall particularly impressive. It has one of those dreamy menus where you could conceivably return every night to try a different dish. The soft shell crab sliders, lobster fish fingers and beef tartare we tried used exceptionally well-sourced ingredients. Ordering their tender, juicy USDA steaks for the main course is as compulsory as visiting the beach, the supreme degree of fat marbling is unlikely to be matched anywhere else in the Balearic Islands. If you have saved enough room for dessert and are with a large enough group of friends, order their dessert platter selection which is beautifully presented. Apart from fine dining, they also have punchy cabaret performances throughout the night as well as a DJ playing unusually R&B and hip-hop music.
You could write a book about the various clubs and music that have been delighting audiences for decades. If you read any music magazine, clubs like Space, Pacha, Amnesia have always been near the top of the list for the best clubs in the world. Space Ibiza is a must visit if you are heading out in 2016 as they are closing for the last time on October 2nd. We visited Amnesia, which has hosted many great parties from Cream Ibiza to even turning Paris Hilton into a world-famous DJ. I could tell you how great her set was, but honestly I can’t remember much.
Activities are pricey in Ibiza especially for the summer months and yes a bottle of water at a nightclub is routinely charged at around 14 euros, but this is one exciting island that everyone should make time to visit at least once in their lives.
Words by Baldwin Ho