I think it’s safe to say we all think of Ibiza as a party Island for young 20 something sunseekers who like to consume their weight in alcohol and rave until the early, no actually, the late hours of the morning. I also happen to know this Island leaves you broken from the time my boyfriend returned home from a 3 day venture there and proceeded to take the next 5 days off work to recover (insert raised eyebrow emoji here).
So I’ve turned down a few Ibiza trips because although I may only be 25 but my days of drinking copious amount of glen’s vodka mixers are long gone, however my daiquiri drinking, sushi eating, sun goddess days are in full swing and hence I agreed to accompany my flatmate and her friends on what was one of the best holidays EVER! Here’s a summary of our time there and a little guide to living the high life (and no not that kind of high!) in the beautiful White Isle.
Where to stay
We stayed at the Ebano select Apartments in Playa D’en Bossa which is kinda on the South side of the Island home to Bora Bora beach, Space nightclub and Ushuaia. The apartments have the option for a pool view and up to 4 guests. However if you want to go all out and I can vouch that it is totally worth the money you can choose to stay in one of 5 luxury apartments with your own private swim up pool, complimentary bottle of champagne and breakfast included.
Having your own private pool was simply amazing and worth every penny as we actually chilled here most days until the early afternoon, sunbathing, playing some tunes and lazily floating around on lilos. To give you a rough idea of costs the luxury apartments cost around 3,000 euros split between 4 and the pool view apartments with access to the normal hotel pool are nearer 1800-2000 euros split between 4 based on a 5 night stay. http://ebano.co.uk/en/apartments
My top tip for where not to stay is San Antonio, now I know a lot of English love it there but for me I couldn’t wait to get out of there! We visited Ibiza Rocks hotel for the Craig David TS5 pool party which I must say was amazing! The music was exactly what I like, very commercial with a touch of 90s nostalgia peppered with the Craig David classics of course. You can purchase tickets for that here although there’s only one more Sunday left this season so you’d better hurry! Again it seems you get what you pay for in Ibiza as we paid for the VIP tickets which were an extra 30 euros but meant you had a private cordoned off area which was definitely worth doing unless you fancy swimming with the masses in a pool that had a dodgy looking layer of what I can only hope was factor 50 sun cream.
Where to eat
Ibiza is surprisingly full of foodie favourites and I was so thankful to be there with a group of girls who really knew their sashimi from their shiitake (nope I still couldn’t tell you)! Without them I would never have tried a massaman curry or realised that Octopus is super delicious and instead would have indulged in some variety of chicken every night so thanks girls! Here are my top picks:
- Bambuddah – Located pretty much in the centre of the island it’s one of these places that is so hidden and plonked in the middle of nowhere that unless you have a recommendation you wouldn’t even know it existed! Bambuddah celebrates the Asian sharing dining experience which allows you to taste a variety of plates whilst they spin round on the lazy Susan, from the most amazing sushi to the not to be missed duck spring rolls (my fav)! This is definitely a special occasion restaurant, we went for Tugba’s Birthday, make sure to book in advance! For 8 of us we shared about 20 plates including side orders of rice etc plus 1 drink each and it cost around 80 euros a head. Our reservation was at 10.15pm which was perfect as this funky place is open until 2am!
- Cotton Beach Club – There are a couple of these on the island so make sure to head to the correct one in Cala Tarida. Situated on a cliff overlooking the blue waters below on the West side of the White Isle this is a great place to catch the sunset. Whether you want to chill for the day on a luxury VIP sunbed (10am-8pm) or relax on the terrace with lunch or dinner, this is a classy, glamorous and sophisticated way to do either. We arrived about 8pm for dinner and left near 11.30pm where we were entertained by live music, tucked into another round of sushi and sipped the most refreshing strawberry daiquiris a girl could wish for. There are also little fashion shows throughout the day to showcase the beautiful garments sold in the shop. Pricing was around 55 euros each.
- La Bodega – Your go to for traditional Spanish tapas. Hidden on a quaint little street in Old town Ibiza, we took a trip here on our 2nd to last day and enjoyed at least 2 servings of white bait, chorizo, some more octopus now that it’s my new fav, the standard potatas bravas, gambas (prawns, because you have to they’re soooo good!), croquettes and lots of aioli and bread all accompanied by a healthy amount of sangria! All for around 25 euros each. They also have another restaurant in Talamanca which we didn’t visit although looking at he pictures it looks like a winner! Plus the staff here were great fun!
- Passion Cafe – Home of health and happiness and they weren’t lying! If you’re a healthy foodie and crave a bit of gluten free bread, soya or almond milk, fruity goodness and an energy booster smoothie you will literally think you’re in heaven when you enter this place. Situated in Playa D’en Bossa among the likes of La Sirena (the shop that sells everything apart from giant inflatable swans), the dodgems and the police station, this really is the gem of the town. I recommend the oreo milkshake, the New York Breakfast, the morning after breakfast with the best looking hash browns I’ve ever seen and of course the avo on toast, always a winner! This is 100% a must!
- Organic Market – Another breakfast hotspot full of superfoods and healthy goodness. Located on the marina looking at the beautiful boats. All of us pushed the boat out (ha pun intended) and ordered the ricotta pancakes with yoghurt, honey and banana (although I don’t like bananas so ordered mine on the side and shared it between the girls).
We didn’t attend all the beach clubs we said we were going to but I can highly recommend Blue Marlin for a day out. On the water’s edge this is another good place to watch the sunset and if you’re there for the day it’s definitely worth getting a bed (I think they were about 500 euros each ). We went for a late lunch before the sunset and enjoyed more octopus and a selection of Mediterranean delights. Other clubs we were planning to attend and heard were good are Ocean Beach, Nikki Beach although it’s still in its first year and El Chiringuito.
How to travel
The only way I now know how – by boat! If you don’t do anything else on the holiday, splash out, literally, on a boat! We rented one for Tugba’s birthday on Saturday and I think we will all agree it was the best day – come on life, step up your game it’s going to take a lot to beat this day out! We hired the boat from Dream Boats Ibiza and spoke to a lovely lady called Nikki who was not only the nicest person I ever met and whose lifestyle I envy entirely but she was also an absolute Ibiza guru who gave us the best recommendations on what to do/where to go etc so thanks Nikki!
It cost about 1200 euros so 150 each but it was soooo worth it. We had the boat between 10.30am until 7pm, the boat had a shaded area too, sunbathing deck on the front and back, room to store our bags etc, a cooler for our packed lunch plus the bottles of prosecco coming out of our ears. Coming into our ears was the built in sound system which our skipper Juan (Enrique Inglesias’ twin) plugged his deep house tunes into which was the perfect accompaniment to our day.
We headed to the best spots the island of Formentera had to offer including Espalmador where they have the famous mud baths and the sea is so low, or maybe the sand is so high that you can actually walk in the sea for miles without drowning. As I’m not the best swimmer, this was music to my ears and even I went for a dip! The atmosphere is so great, all the coves are full of little boats as well as luxury yachts all playing music which was being enjoyed by both young and old alike. I now want to buy a boat!
What to listen to
Ibiza’s music scene is a little too hard core for me in terms of the super clubs like Pacha, Amnesia, Privilege, Space – I like my music with a few more lyrics, you know something I can sing along to. Whilst Ricky Martin might be high on my commercial holiday chart list I think the genre we found most befitting for the island vibe was deep house. So here’s a great mix our skipper Juan introduced us to…
What to wear
I wouldn’t say Ibiza is the most fashion savvy place in the world, heck where is if you live in 30 degree heat all year round, T shirts and shorts will usually suffice. However if you want to stand out from the crowd and add a touch of personality to your Ibiza look, here are some suggestions:
- Dancing Leopard x Silk Fred – one of my favourite brands of the moment and although they seemed to be very popular in Ibiza, I must have seen at least 2 other people wearing the tropical print jumpsuit and a couple wearing the tropical print dress in the vibrant blue. As well a boutique in old town actually sold the brand!
- Slogan sunhats – These floppy hats with writing on are so popular right now, I even personalised my own and so had some of the shops in old town! Clearly a market for it there! From the designer Eugenia Kim brand which sell for over 400 dollars to the blogger copy that can be found at http://www.noughtsandkisses.co.uk/summer-hats/ for a mere £25 or the other brand best sellers from Abercrombie and Fitch, Kate Spade and Oliver Bonas.
- One pieces – I have to say that my Missguided one piece went down a treat in Ibiza, perfect for a pool party or teamed with white shorts for a more casual look. It’s now in the sale for £12 no excuses really! https://www.missguided.co.uk/ibiza-swimsuit-black
- Transfer tattoos – Being a 90s child I remember how popular these tattoos once were although more in the form of a pokemon character or flower. Well over in Ibiza 20 years later they have made a come back in the form of stick on jewellery designs and they look pretty damn cool and are super cheap! Orelia have a lot of options.
- Funky hair styles – Double buns and french braids are fast becoming the 2016 look of the summer I just wish my hair was long enough to get involved! Either 2 buns on top of the head, leaving the rest of your hair flowing down in beach style curls, some even go the extra mile and add glitter to the parting which is very Ibiza! Or the 2 french plaits either side of the head which are a great way to stay cool in the heat and not have to think about your hair, winner!
Where to shop
Definitely head into old town Ibiza for unique boutiques like Jeffrey’s Ibiza or further into the port you’ve got the Mangos and Zaras of the world.
Ibiza top tips
A few little tips and tricks I couldn’t resist sharing!
- Giant inflatables – I think I talked so much about purchasing a giant inflatable swan / unicorn / flamingo that it became a little, ok a lot, obsessive! Despite out best efforts there was not one bloody swan to be found on the island apart from those bobbing around in the pools of luxury beach clubs which must have been shipped in. So make sure you buy before you go out there, Flowts Life are the absolute go to! We settled for Bernie the 3 euro mini zebra, probably made for a 5 year old and not a 25 year old!
- Pre drink – Ibiza is a pretty pricey corner of the world with club entry and events costing anywhere from 30 – 70 euros and drinks inside averaging 20 euros each! And I thought London was expensive! Take advantage of duty free on your way over, we bought 2 bottles of Moet for £50 (absolute bargain), Ciroc vodka was on offer for £20, Hendricks gin was also massively discount and we were just too tempted by the Patron!
- Taxis – Take note of radio taxis, I think this is their number +34 971 39 84 83. A lot of beach clubs and restaurants have deals with private taxi firms and/or know the people running these private taxis and they cost almost double the price not to mention the fact they may not actually be legit! Don’t be fooled by staff saying there’s an hour plus wait for a normal cab but they can offer you a private cab for more, even if they’ve insisted they have checked, it’s best to keep a taxi number on you just in case!
And there you have it – my ultimate guide to the Ibiza White Isle – Let me know if you have any questions or other suggestions people might like!