What to do when you’re in… Ibiza

There’s nowhere better than the white isle. Waiting a short flight away is relaxation and escapism that only the best of the med has to offer. Whether you’re into the unbeatable night life or hippie history, quaint Spanish villages or blissful sunsets – there’s something for everyone and the energy (it is known for being the third most magnetic place in the world) is hard to resist once you’ve experienced it for yourself.

It’s our fashion editor’s favourite summer destination and, after years of experiencing the island she has put together the ultimate Ibiza guide for 2018 and beyond.

Where to stay in Ibiza

Seven Pines Resort

This brand new hotel opening for 2018 is just what the island needed. This is luxury without the flashiness, a place to unwind and make the most of Ibiza’s offerings. It’s 186 rooms are set across a sprawling complex at the west of the island (the best sunset spot) that feels more a neighbourhood than a hotel- your dream neighbourhood that is. The infinity pool (one of two the hotel has) and many of the rooms overlook unbeatable sprawling views of the ocean and Es Vedra – the iconic island off the coast known for its magnetic qualities and mythical legend (great chat for the dinner table).

The service is impeccable and the brand new spa is unmissable – try a signature balancing massage or ESPA facial, it’s one of the best I’ve ever experienced. This is the perfect spot if you want to find solace in the ‘quiet’ side of Ibiza but with it only being forty minutes from the old town and twenty from San Antonio – you can always have the best of both worlds.

Rooms from €350 a night inc. breakfast, www.7pines.com

Cubanito

Fancy taking a trip to Miami’s Little Havana via the Balearics? Well that’s exactly what you get with this super stylised new venture from Concept Hotel Group (their fifth hotel on the island). Perfect proximity if you want a flavour of San Antonio’s nightlife but far enough out of the way to avoid the rabble (the location feels surprisingly secluded and neighbouring Cala Gracio is local Ibiza at its best).

The interiors are simple but extremely effective and obviously very well thought out to capture the feel of the cuban inspired theme – record players are free to use in the lobby and the roof terrace is just the place to drink a rum cocktail. There aren’t many hotels in this middle price bracket on the island these days with openings of super high end destinations being so popular so this feels even more like a hidden gem. If kitsch is your thing be sure to also check out their other 2018 opening Paradiso, – you can’t deny they’re great for the ‘gram!

Rooms from €225 per night, cubanitoibiza.com

Nobu Ibiza Bay

After officially opening its doors last spring, Nobu’s Ibiza outpost has settled into island life now, becoming one of the top 5-star destinations in the Balearics. Stunning pools with sea views, modern rooms overlooking the bay, boutiques to kit you out, a chic kids club (yes there is such a thing), a John Frieda hair salon for perking up after a pool day and, of course, the food… four different restaurants cater for all of the needs of today- vegan, plant based, gluten free, Japanese (black cod straight to your sunbed anyone?) and Nobu’s own mouth watering twist on mediterranean fare at Chambao – the traditional salt baked fish and charcoal cod are a must-try.

Rooms from,€630 (approx. £550) per night, nobuhotelibizabay.com

Where to party in Ibiza

Experimental Beach Club

This is the grown up, Instagram-friendly version of an Ibiza beach club –  from the founders of the London speakeasy Experimental Cocktail Club. Book in for a long lunch or reserve beds in advance and spend the whole day here well into the evening, enjoying the music and island atmosphere. Sip on cocktails whilst gazing out to sea – this is another great spot for a sunset!

Cap des Falco, http://www.eccbeach.com/

Ocean Beach

Leave your inhibitions at the door and embrace your inner Love Island (you know you want to) for this no holds barred pool party day. Beds are available for a higher price (go for VIP if you like a bit of personal space) but you can buy a cheap day ticket (around €25) for most events to sit poolside. The food is more reasonably priced here than the likes of Blue Marlin and surprisingly tasty. But you don’t come here to eat… you come for the fun (and maybe the people watching).

San Antonio, oceanbeachibiza.com

Blue Marlin

This is where the high rollers go to play. Big parties, big beds, big money. If you’re after one classic day party though, this ticks all the boxes. The party starts in the afternoon and continues into the small hours, especially when big name DJ’s like Solomun are on the decks. The ultimate Ibiza party and all you need is your swimsuit (and your credit card).

Cala Jondal, bluemarlinibiza.com

Where to eat in Ibiza

El Portalon

Open for its second season this summer, we can’t recommend this unassuming street side restaurant enough. With a lovely terrace in the heart of the Dalt Vila (old town) that has a feeling of a familial porch, this is an atmosphere you don’t find everywhere in Ibiza (we sat down at 8pm and didn’t leave until 1am after putting the world to rights with fellow customers).

The cuisine is mediterranean with a strong focus on local delicacies from the island. Talk about farm to table – the owner, Anne Sijmonsbergen an ex-New Yorker with her own cookbook, stopped by our table to tell us she’d been out foraging that morning for berries to accompany the delicious prawn dish we were just about to tuck into. This isn’t your average paella, dishes are seasonal and deconstructed to make them enticingly different from the plethora of tapas bars available-  be sure to try the fresh seafood and don’t leave without a lingering taste of the traditional Hierbas liqueur.

Ibiza Old Town, elportalonibiza.com

Cala Gracioneta/La Torre

If you’re staying in the north of the island, or have hired a car, take the time to discover some of the north coast’s hidden coves and their ‘chiringuitos’ (or beach bars, as us Brits would say). In particular Cala Gracioneta stands out as a not-so-known local spot open all year round (quite rare for Ibiza) with excellent food and an accompanying cove with clear blue sea to take a dip in before a long lazy lunch. If you’re in it for the long haul and spend the day here then head to neighbouring La Torre for sangria and sunset views to stun.

Cala Gració/Cap Negret

Fish Shack

An oldie but a goodie – if you visit one place on this list make it Fish Shack. Often talked about in guides to Ibiza but for a very good reason. Luckily it’s avoided commercialism and held onto the spirit of the place that made it so special to begin with. Scramble down a dusty path and you’ll find a small shack (literally) and a few tables nestled on the rocks overlooking fishing boats in the Talamanca bay. There’s no menu, but the name says it all. Choose your freshly caught fish from a list reeled off by the waiters including the likes of swordfish, cuttlefish, tuna, and sardines (to die for) plus a few meat options for non-fish eaters, all served with the softest potatoes and crunchiest salad. This is exactly what you want to be eating on a hot Ibizan afternoon. Head down early to secure a table for lunch (it opens around 1pm), or reserve in advance for a big group or dinner.

Top tip: It’s not the easiest place to access – direct your taxi driver or sat nav to Restaurant Sa Punta then follow the off-road track around the rocks.

Cap Martinet

What to do in Ibiza

Take a drive

If you’re after adventures off the beaten track, and you want to feel like one of the old island rock stars whilst you do it, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Ibiza Mustang Adventures, a new company that has eight classic cars to rent out yourself or with a driver. Or why not a bit of both? The best part (aside from the envious looks you’ll get) is their drivers are on hand if you’re long lunch gets more boozy than intended. Trust me when I say that driving towards a sunset with the wind in your hair in one of these is pretty. damn. fun. And isn’t that what Ibiza’s all about?

From €350 per day with driver, mustangadventures.com

Island hop

Don’t leave the island without experiencing a day trip to Formentera. Catch the ferry from Santa Eulalia or Ibiza port and at the other end, if you’re brave enough, hop on a moped (if not there are plenty of taxis) and head to Playa de Ses Illetes to try and beat the crowds to some of the bluest seas outside of the caribbean. On your way back for lunch stop off at Beso Beach (the place to be on Formentera so booking is essential) or for a bit of luxury relaxation Gecko Beach Club and spend the afternoon on the beds. Don’t miss the traditional rice dishes here for a true taste of the islands.

Formentera, Geckobeachclub.com

Enjoy the sunset

If it’s the full hippie experience you’re after, don’t miss sunset at Benirras beach where locals, hippies (and tourists) alike gather around drummers to watch the sun go down. Sunday is the big draw but not many know the drummers will likely be there the rest of the week as well. Similarly Sunset Ashram, a rustic beach bar is a prime spot for those famous sunsets (apparently the best spot on the island). The restaurant gets busy so the service isn’t five star but the view certainly is – grab a cocktail and head down to the beach to enjoy. There’s often late night live performances after darkness falls as well.

Cala Conta, sunsetashram.com/en/

Feature by Emily Dawes