Back to the White Isle: Relaxing and partying in Ibiza
For anyone who likes clubbing or dance music, Ibiza is a must do at least once in their lifetime. I have been twice and am definitely planning to return. I have clubbed in London since the late ‘90s and noticed a huge decline in clubs over the years. Most of the superclubs have closed down, with Fabric one of the few exceptions, so no wonder so many people are drawn to the Balearic Island every summer. While I’m usually a lover of culture and sight-seeing when I go abroad, my recent holiday to Ibiza was strictly partying, eating and chilling out.
In June this year, I spent a week on the White Isle. My previous visit two years ago was very fleeting, so I was looking forward to exploring more of the island’s resorts and nightlife. The three main resorts for those looking to party are Ibiza Town, Playa d’en Bossa and San Antonio. Ibiza Town is the island capital and includes a huge range of restaurants, port side bars for pre-clubbing drinking and is home to the iconic Pacha – the original Ibiza club which has been there since 1973. It also includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site old town with the cathedral, museums and a necropolis for those looking for some history.
A great place to stay near all the action is Hotel Es Vive – a boutique hotel located just west of Ibiza Town and near Figueretas beach. The hotel provided a perfect place to unwind after the hedonism of the night before. Es Vive is designed in an Art Deco style with swimming pool, spa, restaurant and bar. The food and cocktails were delicious and the service was top-notch. The staff throughout the hotel were incredibly friendly and had answers to any question you had. As well as giving you all the clubbing information you need, there was often an on-site DJ playing tunes as you sunbathe around the pool. However, as you may have noticed in previous posts, I’m a sucker for a rooftop venue so was particularly drawn to the rooftop terrace at the hotel. Including comfortable sunbeds and chairs, it’s a great place to catch some late afternoon rays and watch the yachts on their way to Ibiza Town. Although I didn’t get one myself, my friend had a body massage at the on-site spa and said it was incredibly relaxing and good value.
On the opposite side of the island is San Antonio – a popular destination for package holidays. Admittedly Ibiza can be expensive for nightlife, however San Antonio is the place to go for more affordable drinking. Some of the drinks offers were incredibly cheap for large quantities of alcohol if that’s what you’re looking for! We only visited San Antonio once during our trip – the main draw being to watch the sunset. The famous Café Del Mar and Café Mambo are situated side by side with great views of the sunset. If you can’t get a table at either, there is plenty of room on the rocks below. On the night in question we went, the DJ at Café Mambo blasted out a classical song as the sun sank into the sea, prompting a huge round of applause and cheering from the crowd as it finally said goodbye until tomorrow. I have watched many sunsets in my time, but that was one of the most enjoyable. It became an event and the atmosphere was brilliant. We ended up eating at Café Mambo – the tacos were particularly yummy and were washed down with a bottle of Cava. Following our dinner and drinks, we headed to nearby Es Paradis – one of the island’s big superclubs. The venue has an airy outdoor feel and plays host to its famous water parties and Kisstory on Thursday nights. Not forgetting Amnesia and Privilege, both located on the road to San Rafael.
Playa D’en Bossa is another popular resort and is home to several nightclubs, including Space and Ushuaia, as well as a large sandy beach and lots of restaurants. I can highly recommend the Sands beach club and restaurant – located next to Ushuaia. As well as a great place to lunch or to relax while you work on your tan, it also is open late into the night, drawing big name Djs including the legendary Carl Cox. We had a delicious and leisurely lunch there while looking at over the beach and the Mediterranean. Sitting with my friend, eating amazing food and sipping drinks in the shade on a lovely hot day was my idea of a perfect afternoon. We shared our starters of grilled asparagus with balsamic dressing and parmesan and Ibizan tomatoes and mozzarella, which both went down very well. For my main, I ordered the Spaghetti Vongole (clams) which was incredibly filling and tasty. As it was during the day and I feeling a bit delicate from the night before, I snubbed alcohol and ordered a mixed berries and banana smoothie to boost my vitamin levels. Overall, the food and service was brilliant, and the on-site DJ also added to the laidback vibe of the afternoon.
Although we spent a few nights at Hotel Es Vive, we also rented an apartment for the rest of our stay. Those who prefer self-catering should check out Only-Apartments.com, who offer rented accommodation worldwide as well as Spain. My friend and I rented the ’Can Drac’ apartment in San Jordi – a residential area just north of Playa D’en Bossa (a 15 minute walk away). Located in a high-walled garden in a block of three, the three bedroom apartment was spacious, comfortable and well-equipped. It was so quiet, we felt like we had the whole garden and swimming pool to ourselves which was lovely. Being able to stay in a residential area, meant we able to sleep soundly on nights we chose to stay home – nocturnal noise can be an issue when you’re staying in more built-up apartment blocks in the busier resorts. The town included several restaurants and bars, a taxi stand and bus going to Ibiza Town and the airport so it was well located.
Our trip coincided with the opening of the 2013 season, which looks so good I am strongly tempted to return to the White Isle later this summer! Tickets often range around 40-50 euros for the big nights, but you can find discounts at the port side bars beforehand. A very popular night is the We Love… night at Space. The club has won many awards and has an amazing 12,000 capacity across its many rooms. On the night in question we visited, we saw hot DJ duo Disclosure performing a live set. The main room was packed and the atmosphere was electric as they played their hits Latch and White Noise. Was a brilliant night and, in my opinion, the best club on the island.
For those looking for something a bit different, check out the Flower Power night on Tuesdays at Pacha. When we arrived at the port side bars for pre-club drinks, Ibiza Town had been taken back to the 1970s, with lots of neon, CND signs and people wearing flowers in their hair. It wasn’t long before we too were wearing flowers in our hair. The club was transformed into a mecca of peace and love, with the dancers really fitting the bill with their costumes and moves. The soundtrack was classics from the ‘60s and ‘70s so everyone knew all the words, proving for a fun and relaxed night out.
- To find out what club nights are on in Ibiza this summer and how to get tickets, visit Ibiza Spotlight website.
For Metro Girl’s review of the Hogueras De San Juan festival in Alicante, click here.
For more of Metro Girl’s travel pieces, check out the You can take the girl out of London… section.