The Ultimate Guide to Ibiza | SUITCASE
Published by suitcasemag.com, August 2017
In summer, it’s a hotspot for rhapsodic hedonists; in winter, an enchanting wonderland where the sweet sound of silence replaces the heady beat of a chaotic kick drum. Known the world over for its electronic music scene, Ibizahas long been a destination for those who dance to a different beat, and while clubbers still flock to its unspoilt, sandy shores, it remains an island of many faces. Here, you find secluded coves and isolated beaches, sleepy villages and gastronomic greatness. Magic lies in wait beyond every dancefloor – the trick is knowing where to find it.
Gran Hotel Montesol
With an enviable location overlooking Vara de Rey, Ibiza town’s famous central square, the Gran Hotel Montesol has been a meeting point among the island’s movers and shakers since it first opened back in 1933. Its former grandeur has been restored thanks to Spanish designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán, who remained true to the hotel’s authentic style while incorporating some obvious nods to decadence. Rooms are cruise ship-inspired with neutral walls, lacquered wooden floors and gold-rimmed circular mirrors, while public areas echo the vibes of 1930s New York and all its accompanying mischief – the cocktail bar is a must-visit on Friday nights. Rooms from £117.
The Giri Residence
Surrounded by the evergreen hills of Ibiza’s rural north, the Giri Residence is the definition of a luxury boutique hotel. Diminutive in size but immense in every other way, it’s found in the sleepy village of San Juan where the busiest day comes on a Sunday when market stalls line the streets. There are only five suites in total, each of varying sizes and housed within a restored farmhouse. Decor is relaxed and peppered with Asian-inspired influences – pebbled floors and bamboo features abound. One of the standout features here is the onsite spa, which can be booked entirely for you and a partner, and includes a whirlpool, heated plunge pool and side-by-side baths. The kitchen cook up dishes on demand, so let your culinary imagination run wild. Rooms from £325, minimum five-night stay in summer.
Mischief-making is built into the foundations at Pikes – just ask Freddie Mercury, who famously held his rambunctious 41st birthday party here. With a floor plan akin to a maze-like labyrinth, there are untold corners in which to get lost and be found, depending on the number of gin and tonics you’ve sunk. Head to Sunny’s Boudoir for dress-up fun, or cajole the hostess with the mostest into a spot of bathroom karaoke, where you can relive your Celine Dion dreams while standing in a bathtub – Titanicstance optional. Also an excellent spot for a bloody Mary, especially on Sundays when the eclectic soundtrack will soothe away alcohol-related woes.
Found among the serene salt flats of Las Salinas – an Ibiza nature reserve – Experimental Beach is dripping in cutting edge cool with the clued-up crowd to match. Many come to spend the day here – lounging on sunbeds and sipping on jugs of expertly made, ice-cold cocktails; the majority stay for sunset, when the sea turns inky black and the sky blushes pink in accordance. It’s well worth chatting to the bar staff (they really know their stuff) and bring swimming stuff because there’s an inflatable jetty in the water out front begging to be leapt off.
Bohemian Boat Charters
Rewind the clock to a simpler time by hiring a traditional Spanish llaut. Spend the day serenely floating atop Ibiza’s sun-kissed waters, lounging around on boho chic cushions and exploring Ibiza’s most secluded, rocky coves. Loaded with antique charm, these boats can be skippered by anyone, so it’s down to you to navigate the gentle waves of the sparkling Med. Take a picnic, kick back and revel in sheer relaxation – Ibiza’s northern coast is yours to discover.
For the spiritually inclined, there’s Trish Whelan – a much-loved face on the island who specialises in Kundalini yoga, meditation, reiki and shamanic healing. Trish takes the helm at Soul Adventures and her ultimate aim is to help you connect with your true self through a series of workshops and transformational practices. Trish’s kind, calming nature and palpable wisdom has converted many a cynic over the years (these retreats are more akin to holidays than boot camps) so be prepared to undergo real change once you step over the threshold of your luxury digs.
Once a beacon for the freedom enjoyed in Ibiza but not elsewhere in Spain, Amnesia was a regular haunt for hedonists when it opened in 1976. Back then, it was famed for its open-air terrace, 24-hour parties and mischievous shenanigans from up-for-anything clubbers, and while it’s a more conservative affair these days, its spirit still lives on in the walls. The terrace (now with a roof) remains one of the greatest dancefloors on the planet – few experiences can top watching sun rays stream through the windows at 6AM while listening to first-class techno – and regardless of the DJ you’re there to see, there’s a sense of unity among clubbers here that makes it the ultimate Ibiza experience.
With a long and illustrious past, DC-10 has rightly been crowned one of the biggest players in electronic music history. Ibiza’s most credible club is home to some of the world’s biggest DJs, who week in, week out play for crowds of adoring dance music devotees as planes soar overhead (the club situated close to the runway at Ibiza airport). The club gained notoriety in the 90s when the heady hedonism of Circoloco – its Monday party – was first launched, and to this day it draws clubbers in their droves: they come to dance in the iconic garden as the sun disappears and stay to watch as it rises again through the windows on the terrace.