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Nowhere does sun-dappled, drawn-out days like Ibiza, that’s why this dazzling hulk of Balearic rock continues to captivate devotees, old and new. An island with unquestionably transcendent appeal, here’s how to soak up the best of its uniquely spirited charms in summer 2019.
A project from the masterminds behind Café Mambo, Casa Maca is a rustic hidden gem perched atop a hill just outside Ibiza Town. Harnessing that illusive sweet spot between relaxation and proximity to fun times, this place doubles up as a nice little metaphor for the White Isle itself – on the one hand, serene; on the other, temptation lies in wait. Still, you might find yourself keen to hole up for a few days because the vibe here is ultimate chill, the pool is to die for, and the restaurant knocks up next-level food. Views of Dalt Vila are impressive too, so at some point be prepared to submit to the medieval call of its cobbled streets. And bars.
Opening its second Spanish property this summer, Bless Hotels entices guests with its prime beachfront location on Cala Nova. Rotate your time between the hotel’s two infinity pools, and when you’ve turned positively pruney return to your room – which takes its design inspiration from Coco Chanel – to freshen up before supper. Come sundown head to the sky lounge for transcendent views of the Mediterranean coast.
Fans of Pikes (they are numerous) need no excuse to sink a bevvy by its George Michael approved pool, bur regardless, they’ve given you one anyway. This summer it’s in the form of Room 39 Curiosity Shop, a cocktail bar with a classic Pikes twist. Owner Dawn Hindle has sashayed across the globe collecting as many weird and wonderful objets d’art as she can find, and then bar manager Tanja Mašić has been tasked with creating a cocktail inspired by said objects. The result is a space adorned with bewitching bits and bobs and a menu featuring drinks including the Crystal Dildo, Legless Indian and Captain of the Night. Try them all for maximum effect.
The second Ibiza enterprise from cool-as-you-like Dutch couple, Mirjam Leslie Pringle and Nicolaas Homan, Los Otros Harbour borrows the charm and urban appeal of its sister venue in San Juan and delivers it to the Santa Eulalia marina. The offering is similar – lots of delicious, plant-based food, fresh juices and cocktails – but there’s less emphasis on the concept store, so there’s only a small rail of handpicked fashion and accessories to browse through. Stop by for coffee on the terrace and listen to the seawater lapping gently against the harbour and the boat sails flapping in the breeze.
With a bar manned by one of the best mixologists on the island, Inhalar is the locals’ new go-to for devilishly good cocktails, fresh, reasonably priced juices and lots of other stuff in between. Located right in the heart of Ibiza town, just a short walk from the bustling harbour, at Inhalar the approach is very much “detox to retox”. So recover from the night before with a juice, a plate of sushi and a dose at the Oxygen Bar, then start the cycle all over again with a fancy cocktail, live DJ and a visit to the Vape shop upstairs. And then repeat.
Latest in a long line of island-wide Passion Cafés, this outpost in San Antonio comes with all the style and grace you’d expect from owner, Lana Love. With a prime location on the seafront promenade (that eventually snakes round to sunset strip), the shaded terrace is the perfect spot for people watching, coffee drinking and cooling off with a cold-pressed juice. There’s a deli style menu so you can choose your weapon and take it with you to the beach, but it’s well worth sticking around for breakfast – one of the best on the island. Featuring smoothie bowls, avocado toast and pancakes, the eponymous Passion breakfast is not to be missed.
Since it was pedestrianised in 2017, Vara de Rey – Ibiza’s main town square – has witnessed a spate of cosmopolitan venues pop up on its doorstep. Maison Le Vrai is the latest, much to the delight of islanders, who’ve been raving about its quintessential croque monsieurs and whipped-cream-filled muffins with fresh raspberries. Come during the day for coffee and cake, and at night to see the island’s hot young things getting stuck into French-Mediterranean gastronomy.
The first restaurant on the island to incorporate a specially-created plant-based menu to its spread, Peyote, which originally gained a loyal following thanks to its inaugural outpost in Mayfair, is leading the charge when it comes to delicious, sustainable food. Proving that plant-based doesn’t have to mean boring, the new menu is inspired, with dishes including jicama (think of a pear crossed with a potato) served with lime, mint and tajin, and chargrilled whole cauliflower marinated in red and green adobo and served with tortillas. It’s a genuine work of art, and naturally, tastes best when washed down with tequila. Carnivore’s can revert to Peyote’s standard menu, offering ample variations of carne.
Another corker from the couple behind Cotton Beach Club, Alma Sushi elevates the island’s sushi levels to giddy new heights. Thanks to head chef Daniel Moranda – a genuine itamae who’s spent years honing his craft with the world’s best sushi experts – this restaurant is the kind of culinary experience that leaves you stunned, stuffed and seduced all at once. Located in Figueretas with killer sea views, take a seat, sip on sake, and marvel at some Japanese-inspired splendour.
Getting behind the wheel of a Mustang should be at the top of any self-respecting holiday rebel’s hitlist, and at Mustang Adventures they obligingly help you tick it off. With vintage cars available in jet black, racing red, and baby blue, there’s a colour to suit every leather jacket, and enough va-va-vroom in each to set pulses racing. Press your foot on the gas, unleash your inner Steve McQueen, and take to the winding roads of Ibiza in painfully sleek style. This is the only way to see the island.
Hidden within the art-deco-inspired walls of Es Vive, Virtue Wellness provides peaceful sanctuary in amid the unavoidable Ibiza chaos. Recently refurbished and open to the public as well as guests, when you book a treatment here you’re given access to the entire Finnish spa, meaning the hot tub, sauna and steam room are all yours. Book yourself a massage from one of the expert therapists and let the stresses and strains of reality melt away – this is how to attain a state of total holiday nirvana.
Sven Väth’s Cocoon party returns to Amnesia this summer (following a fallow year spent at Pacha). Monday nights at the San Rafael club will see some of techno’s biggest names to take up the mantle in celebration of the club night’s 20th anniversary. The first party takes place on 27th May – prepare your ears for a consummate pounding.
Open-air, daytime partying is now considered the island’s “thing” but shun the big Playa d’en Bossa crowds in favour of a more authentic experience and you’ll be richly rewarded. Capadi RebelsLand is happening every Tuesday and you should make a beeline for it, not only because the line-up is a minimal lover’s dream but also because this fiesta will attract a modest crew, keen to dance alongside you rather than shuffle and elbow you out of the way. And that’s what clubbing is about.
The island’s most glamorous club had a refurb over winter, and now there’s less focus on VIPs and more room to dance, which is great news for everyone. Tuesdays on Mars is a brand new party and it’s proved a masterstroke, bringing A-list names like Fatboy Slim, Calvin Harris and Alesso back to the Ibiza town club. If you like big-name DJs who bring even bigger beats, this is the party for you.
A party that reaffirms the true Ibiza spirit is alive and well, Wax da Jam is a favourite among islanders who come to have a chinwag, eat street food and listen to the sweet, soulful beats of Nightmares on Wax. This summer they’re performing live on two exclusive dates, with five euros from every ticket being donated to the Last Night a DJ Saved My Life charity foundation. Plastic straws have also been officially shown the door, proving that this party is good for your soul, your groove and the planet.
Room 39 Curiosity Shop
Los Otros Harbour
Passion Café San Antonio
Maison Le Vrai
Finca La Plaza
Es Vive Virtue Wellness Spa
Pikes Literary Festival
Pyramid at Amnesia
Capadi RebelsLand at Benimussa Park
Tuesdays on Mars at Pacha
Wax da Jam at Las Dalias
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