The White Isle is officially back in business. After two years of unnerving silence on the magical island of Ibiza, party capital of Europe, the thrum of conversation and pulse of Balearic beats can be heard drifting across the warm summer winds once again. And what welcome sounds they are.
No matter if you’re a first timer or a regular weekender, the best way to do Ibiza is extravagantly. Embrace the all-day lunches, the sun-drenched boat cruises, the late-night clubs, the see-and-be-seen parties and the eye-watering prices in all their over the top splendor and you’ll have the time of your life, as good as guaranteed. And to help you do just that, here’s everything you need to know to make your next visit one to remember.
Fly in style with Aero
There’s a lot to be said for arriving at your destination relaxed, refreshed and ready to handle whatever gets thrown at you – especially when you’re flying into Ibiza. The best way to do that is to skip the commercial flights, packed with people as often as not already in party mode, and book a seat instead on an Aero jet.
Describing its service as ‘semi-private’ (the grammatical implications of which I can’t begin to start justifying), Aero flies meticulously designed sixteen-seater jets between private terminals on targeted routes across Europe, from London to Nice in France and Ibiza in Spain, as well as from Ibiza to Mykonos in Greece. (They also operate in North America between San Francisco, LA, Aspen and Los Cabos, amongst others.) Book seats and you get most of the perks of a private flight at a snip of the price, from chilled out lounges at the private airport terminals with no queues, a concierge to handle the hassle of check-in and passport control, personalized in-flight service with open bar, and plane food you’ll actually be happy to eat.
Perhaps best of all though is kicking back, champagne in hand and peering out of your window as the jet dips its wings, swings around to make its approach and Ibiza spreads out below you revealing a promise of the fun yet to come. One way flights from London Farnborough to Ibiza start from £1,400 (around $1,750) with the flexibility to change or cancel your flight up to 48 hours before flying.
Book a private retreat with onefinestay
We can categorically say that there’s no shortage of amazing hotels spread across the Ibizan island, from glitzy big-brand beachfront resorts to discreet boutique hotels dotting the interior. But as luxe as these places undeniably are, they all come with the single same problem – other people. And when you’ve lunched all day and partied all night, there are few things more valuable to your recovery than a long slice of peace and quiet – without sacrificing any of that five-star luxury, of course.
Book instead a onefinestay villa – the kind of picture perfect megapad you see lovingly photographed in overpriced coffee table books in five-star hotel foyers the world over. A bells-and-whistles hosted service, onefinestay is like a turbocharged Airbnb. Managing only the most extraordinary privately-owned villas around the world, onefinestay makes them available to guests with every conceivable add-on you could wish for, from private drivers to in-villa chefs, butlers and spa experiences.
The dedicated onefinestay concierge service is also included, ready to tailor any or every element of your trip, from booking impossible-to-get tables at the best restaurants and clubs to organizing cliff top walks exploring the island’s hidden natural wonders or private power boat excursions to nearby Formentera.
Of its Ibiza portfolio, my pick is Los Amigos – a single-story, six bedroom ode to the best of Californian architecture tucked away in the wilds near the village of Sant Llorenc de Balafia but close enough to the action to walk the perfect line between hideaway and hotspot. A canvas of polished cast concrete, floor to ceiling windows and clean uncluttered design, Los Amigos is enormous without being imposing and gives up to 12 guests more than enough room to hang out or spread out, inside and out, in decadence and style.
In truth, come the Ibizan summer you won’t be spending that much time inside, which is why Los Amigos’s French designer-owner has put so much thought and love into the outside area. Uncluttered and unfussy yet elegant and comfy, a lush green lawn envelops the property and is home to a simple, stylish pool (cleverly finished so as to look almost natural rather than man made), a large lounging area with huge couches and sun loungers, and an outdoor dining table purpose-built for the most Bacchanalian of feasts.
Dine and drink, day and night
One thing is always true when it comes to eating out in Ibiza – book well in advance (or get your onefinestay concierge to do it for you!).
Just because you’re not staying at a hotel, doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of its best offering (especially when your villa comes with a dedicated all-hours private driver). Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay set on the shores of Talamanca Bay is a flashy, five-star residence with the brand’s signature new-style Japanese cuisine at the heart of its restaurant offering.
Book in for a long evening of fine wines, super fresh sashimi, and of course the classic Nobu go-to: black cod miso (still unrivaled in this writer’s humble tastebud-driven opinion). Dress up or dress down, Nobu is proof positive that great food, drink and service can be relaxed and unpretentious without compromising on quality.
In the heart of Ibiza’s south coast, restaurant-come-club Blue Marlin has long grabbed the headlines with its hedonistic sunset sessions and great food. But right next door and benefiting from the same extraordinary setting, Jondal is the pick of the two for toes-in-the-sand all-day dining with a party edge mixed in for good measure.
A simple ‘from the sea’ and ‘from the land’ menu masks the quality of the food on offer, from the freshest oysters and razor clams to the terrifying-looking but utterly delicious scorpion fish served whole, teeth and all, dissected and reconstructed, and ready to be munched in corn tortillas with fresh tartare and pico de gallo. Sit back, gorge, take your time and watch the rich and beautiful of Ibiza do the same all around you.
Tucked away in Santa Eulalia del Río on the east coast, ME Ibiza is an oasis of calm and peace that fuses five-star style with a low key aesthetic – something of a rarity for the White Isle (and despite the fact it sits next door to the legendary Nikki Beach party hotspot).
Set high on the hotel rooftop (arrive early and bring your bathing costume for a pre-dinner dip in the to-die-for infinity pool), its low-key restaurant offers breezy, tasty respite from the masses. Sup a cocktail or two, order up a storm from the fish and meat-focused Mediterranean menu, and drink in the commanding views over the coastline and Santa Eulalia Bay beyond. Bliss.