We all know the white isle is one of the ultimate destinations for a summer escape. Whether you’re a music head, a yoga bunny or a foodie, this Balearic island off the coast of Spain is a modern paradise like no other and rooted in hedonism. However, if you’re a Beefa newcomer ready to experience its musical offerings, its sheer number of night time activities can be overwhelming. With DJs playing every night in every club, pool and beach parties and an extensive list of after hours clubs, the choice is endless and you’re in real danger of FOMO if you get it wrong. From past experience, it takes a good couple of times to get your bearings and scope out the tourist traps from the real gems on the island. Here we attempt to show you how to do a long weekend in Ibiza well.
What’s the first thing you want to do when you land in Ibiza (spuffy from the flight and slightly irked thanks to delayed passport control)? Head to the pool of course. If you’re a newcomer to Ibiza ready to get stuck into the heart of the action, Ibiza Rocks Hotel offers an ‘experiential’ stay for its guests. Situated in the lively area of San Antonio, Ibiza Rocks Hotel is the new home of the pool party and this season sees the likes of Stormzy, Dua Lipa, Clean Bandit, Lethal Bizzle and The Kooks take to its main stage, overlooked by the hotel’s residents which who share a bird’s eye view of the performances. Opt for a stage-facing room and watch the regular pool parties from the comfort of your balcony or head down to the stage area and where the atmosphere is nothing less than lit.
If you’re intimidated by DJ names you’ve never heard of plastered across the billboards throughout Ibiza, then Ibiza Rocks Hotel is the ideal venue to ease you in. What has set it apart from other venues across the island is its emphasis on live music. The parties include the Craig David’s now legendary TS5 party; We Are Rockstars Pool Party with everyone from Wilkinson to Sean Paul and Ibiza Rocks’ diverse rosters. If you’re a resident you automatically get entry to each party too.
Warming up at 2 PM daily, the events run until latest 11 PM, so if there’s plenty of time to head back to your apartment for a quick change before heading out somewhere else. DC10 is the destination for hardcore clubbers and lovers of deep house and techno. On Thursday’s head to Disclosure’s Wild Life to catch the likes of Bicep, Annie Mac and DJ Harvey play.
Good sized apartments, on-site bars and restaurants all relatively well priced, a surprisingly cheap supermarket, and with the beach and the party strip just minutes walk away, makes Ibiza Rocks Hotel ideal for any Ibiza first-timer. However, it has plenty a veteran frequent– on our last visit we spoke to someone who had been eight times already.
Our tips: You can’t visit Ibiza without attending Craig David’s TS5 Pool Party.
Pack earplugs. Though the official party may finish the late evening, the partying doesn’t stop ‘till late morning. Be prepared, pack some plugs.
Heading across to Playa D’en Bossa? Take cash for the taxi ride – few cabs take card.
Friday, you may wake up a little sore so you may want to sit on your balcony and let the healing rays of the sun work its magic. Or, you can walk a short distance to The Skinny Kitchen and tuck into healthy smoothies, a fry up or a lean burger. Wash away your hangover by having a swim in one of the little beaches close by.
Friday is one of our favourite days on the island. Late afternoon, get yourself over to the other side, the home of the superclubs. While some may complain commerciality has driven up the prices and encouraged a certain type of tourist to this area, others – especially clubbers and partygoers – enjoy the proximity from the beaches to the clubs and the availability of restaurants and bars.
Playa D’en Bossa is now home to luxury hotels, and VIP resorts and Ushuaia is the perfect example of this. An exclusive hotel, restaurant and club, Ushuaia certainly looks the part, its buildings all white, its pools sapphire and a rooftop bar towering over the full scene. Ushuaia’s live music residents are titans in the game; David Guetta, Martin Garrix, Kygo and with Tinie Tempah’s Disturbing Ibiza returning this year for its second running residency.
It’s Tinie’s night that we recommend and it’s one that sells out week after week, showing Ibiza’s music taste has broadened outside of the dance genres that made its name. Curating the Disturbing Ibiza project is Tinie Tempah’s DJ and radio presenter DJ Charlesy. Each week, Ushuaia plays host to the very best of grime, R&B and rap music, with a little old school garage thrown in for good measure. Everyone from Siobhann Bell, Wizkid, Lethal Bizzle, Rude Kid and Marvin Humes play this season. Ushuaia may be an exclusive club, but boy does it go off. Expect back to back sets, a packed floor and fireworks for the finale.
Our tips: Don’t leave getting your ticket until the last minute as they sell out.
As with anywhere ‘exclusive’ expect ‘exclusive’ prices too at Ushuaia. Just saying.
It may be midnight, but you’re in Ibiza, so the night has barely begun. Grab a beer and head over the road to the next stop on your Friday night: Glitterbox, whose lengthy queue is always worth the wait. Last summer the final night of the legendary Space night club marked the end of an era but for anyone who missed out on the Space years, in its place is the newly launched Hï Club from the Ushuaia group, bringing with its close connections to the world’s biggest stars.
One night that survives the Space era is arguably Hï Club’s best night. Defected Records’ Glitterbox is the home of house and disco on the island, its magical presence cutting through the obnoxious techno that blares from plenty a venue. For years Glitterbox has brought both the house music fans and new kids to its shiny disco doors and those that come return again and again (us included). For Glitterbox, it’s all about having fun – with the music, what you wear and who you are with, and this starts from the moment you saunter on past the entrance.
Like all good nights, each set will compliment the other and should move you on to different journeys, and when you leave Glitterbox at 6 AM, it’s guaranteed your feet will be aching. House heads will flock to see David Morales, Joey Negro, Dimitri in Paris and many other music icons flex their groove, and you’ll regularly see Defected’s founder Simon Dunmore around the venue, avoiding the VIP mentality that’s crept onto the island. It’s said the Glitterbox in Ibiza is the party is where Defected fans from all over the world meet up and you can feel the sense of shared community when you party at Glitterbox.
This season, catch sets from Todd Terry, Basement Jaxx and a live PA set from M People frontwoman Heather Smalls. This is a music lover’s event, and you can see that from just how many people dance non-stop.
Our tips: This is the night to dress to impress. Wear whatever the fuck you like and you’ll fit right in.
Also – go and explore the teepees in the garden, you never know who you may bump into!
Likely you’ll wake up late today after wearing down your heeled espadrilles at Glitterbox but it’s your last day so you should make the most of it. If you fancy a chilled one, we recommend you head to La Salinas, the most southern point of the island and a ten-minute taxi ride from Playa D’en Bossa. Super chilled beach bars playing Balaeric music, and stunning crystal waters make this place feel like the Ibiza you’ve imagined, but this coveted location behind a pine wood offers a break from the masses and what’s more, there’s plenty of very decent places to eat and drink.
Once you’ve topped up your tan, it’ll be almost time for dinner. If you want to experience a proper Ibiza sunset, we suggest Cafe Mambo back over in San Antonio whose sunsets are not to be missed. Opening in 1994, the venue has become synonymous with Ibiza’s lively reputation and has every major celeb you can think of come sip a cocktail or two (hi Naomi!). Pacha residents play a warm up set – last weekend we saw Bob Sinclair hit the decks surrounded by the most flamboyant partygoers we have ever seen. Cafe Mambo is more than just a sunset spot so definitely try the menu while you watch the entertainers on the beach below. It’s definitely more of a mellow end to an epic weekend, but one you should try just once.
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