IBIZA Closing Style – Chimere Cisse, London
It’s a UK rite of passage, and the destination of choice for sun loving, party animals the world over – Ibiza.
After 10 years of resistance and countless assurances from friends that I really would love the place, I decided to take the plunge and visited the island during its infamous closing parties held in the final days of summer. I packed my bikini, grabbed my best friend and boarded an Easy Jet flight bound for Ibiza in the middle of the night (what’s with the crazy flight times?).
It wasn’t long after arriving that I was regretting bringing only four pairs of heels. This is not your average flip flop/sarong wearing island and I’m pleased to say, the images I had in mind of raving teenagers kitted out in fluro were far from the Ibiza I discovered – think more organic agroturismos, 5 star dining and luxe bars. In fact by the end of our stay we were the ones wearing fluro dancing on tables (you will too if you end up going to Lio).
I’ve narrowed down Ibiza’s best offerings (what a grueling task), to give you my pick of where to stay, eat, dance, drink and unwind.
Best to stay: Hotel Es Vive
This hotel delivers everything it says on the tin and even more.
Arriving at the white wooden gate of the award winning Hotel Es Vive the first thing one might think of is Miami. There’s the classic white art deco facade, sky-high palm trees surrounding a translucent swimming pool, the new roof terrace with rows of white day beds overlooking a spectacular beach view and the stunning newly built restaurant DECO – designed by Sean Cochrane.
The hotel has been operating for over 10 years and from the guests I spoke to seems predominantly booked by regulars who would never dream of staying anywhere else on the island. Staff are more than willing to cater to any request with a smile. It was often hard to differentiate them from the guests; they all looked like they were having so much fun!
Hotel Es Vive is geared-up to party. Not only is there the back-room bar to welcome guests back from superclubs in the wee hours of the morning, keeping them dancing until the sunlight hours, the hotel also boasts its own radio station. Radio Es Vive broadcasts brilliant tunes 24/7 to get you in the Ibiza mood, all supplied by Sonica Ibiza. Then there’s the hidden luxury spa where beauty therapists will make sure all those hours of dancing do not show on your skin, pumping you full of detoxifying organic skin care products within the serenity of a wooden spa.
By the end of three days, Es Vive felt like home to us (and what a home it would be…sigh). It was often hard to extract ourselves from our deck chairs and the new friends we’d made at Es Vive to explore the rest of the island. But we did.
Best for Dancing – Pacha
The legendary super club still rocking hard after all these years – I did actually feel like the floor might collapse the night we went! Even if you’re not a hard clubber it’s a must see, if at the very least to get yourself a cherry t-shirt. This summer the club set up a F**K ME I’M FAMOUS pop-up bar in the Ibiza departure lounge – David & Cathy Guetta’s infamous summer series. The bar provided passengers a last hurrah before their reluctant flight home.
Best for Eating: Bambuddha Grove
A Thai restaurant located in a giant Balinese style hut surrounded by luscious bamboo. Owner Jonjon Moon will ensure your visit is super-chilled. Moon’s father, the founder of Bambuddha Grove, shares his passion for tantric sex with visitors by selling all sorts of kinky toys in the restaurant’s store.
Best for Relaxing: Atzaro Agroturismo
Discover a tranquil oasis at this blissful day spa surrounded by organic restaurants and giant Buddha statues. Melt away the stresses of the big city in one of the many pools surrounding the peaceful agroturismo whilst eating fresh organic platters of fruit and nuts. This is mind and body detox central.
Best for Entertainment: Lio
Lio is a restaurant like none other. Greeted at your table by singing waiters serenading you with whispers one quickly gets a taste of the unexpected thrills to follow. Racy cabaret to dynamic acrobatics, Lio has something to suit all tastes. All the action takes place around your table whilst you dine on a fusion menu. You may start your dinner sitting, but by dessert the performers at Il Lio will have you spinning napkins above your head and dancing with fellow diners.
Best for Cocktails: Aura
The cocktail list at the open air restaurant & bar Aura is wonderfully eclectic, created by the renowned mixologist Chris Edwardes whom you might recognise from the Groucho Club or Damien Hirst’s ultra-hip Pharmacy. Select a drink from the extensive cocktail menu or let Chris decide for you; just tell him a few ingredients you fancy and watch the magic happen. I can guarantee he won’t get it wrong
Best for Music: Ushuaia
Ushuaia is the beach hotel better known for its all day parties then its beds. The hotel boasts some of Ibiza’s most exclusive parties, flying in internationally renowned DJs to entertain crowds of people with slamming beats and spectacular staging. The action takes place around a giant luxurious swimming pool. Expect to go home with aching feet.
After only three days I completely understood the cult like affection visitors have for this Spanish holiday destination. If you combine the best party you’ve ever been to with your favourite beach holiday, you might scratch the surface of the appeal of this island. I’m off to book my 2013 trip back, might see you by the pool.
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