Words and selected images by Lynsey Riach
Selected photography from iStock by Getty Images
Know for its undeniable natural beauty, Ibiza serves up big on charm and price tag. Now home to the world’s most expensive meal (at a mere QR 5,727) prepare to find yourself blown away while you eat, drink, beach hop, and people watch your way around this place.
An eclectic mix of age and fashion await, from the party girl to bulked up juice-head, the hippy, the young lovers, the retirees, and the young couple with one eye on their runaway toddler and one on the pool-party debauchery that looked a whole lot of fun. (That couple would be me and my husband).
Even though most of our friends and family responded wide-eyed when we told them of our Ibiza holiday plans, we, oddly enough, fitted right in. Perhaps it helped that we chose to opt for the new, and widely spreading trend that is ‘Luxury Ibiza’ by staying at the five-star Hard Rock Hotel Resort not far from, wait for it…Nobu Hotel Ibiza (every Qatari’s dream getaway under one roof).
With beaches for days, the island is known for more than just cool clubs and bouncing bars. Hire out a Jeep Wrangler for the day, roof down, and blare some beats while you beach hop around the island, stopping along the way at some ‘hippy markets’. Visit Old Town Ibiza for a quick bite and gawp at some of the super-yachts docked at the Marina.
Of the 80 beaches in Ibiza, Cala Jondal is the most relaxed. Set in a secluded bay, with some of the most atmospheric bars and restaurants, this place feels serene, sophisticated, and happening all at the same time. Famed beach haunt Blue Marlin serves up fantastic fresh fish for lunch or dinner, set with billowing white cushions, day-beds, refreshing sprinklers, and ambient music stretching all the way down to the sea. Try the lobster ravioli.
Chase that sunset round to the best spot on the west of the island at Café Mambo in San Antonio. Famed for its music and celebrity sightings, the crowd actually clap as the sun sets ahead of…party time!
(Photo credit: www.sublimotionibiza.com)
So what about that pricey meal I mentioned earlier? Sublimotion by 2 Michelin-starred Chef Paco Roncero is located in the Hard Rock Resort – which brings the luxe factor to Ibiza’s top party beach with glamorous design, live music, and a laid-back, clubby vibe. With 500 bedrooms, you won’t find it hard to grab a room to suit your budget. From luxury to lavish, this place has serious views along with the island’s highest rooms and rooftop bar. A dance pool, a relax pool, kids pool and beach club await with a variety of shops and restaurants – not to mention it’s home to Sublimotion, a gastronomic show like no other in the world. At QR 5,700 a pop, it will give you what exactly? Roncero claims that Sublimotion is the "cheapest life-changing experience anyone can have."
Imagine pure theatre – an immersive dining experience of spinning ‘plates’ that appear to float in mid-air; vivid 360-degree projections, a book that opens to a talking head, and a specific drink that actually mixes itself…kinda spooky, kinda cool.
This two-and-a-half-hour gastronomical show took years to design and includes balloons filled with chocolate cake (but not really), and dining in an orchard where everything from the floor to the soil is edible.
(Photo credit: Lynsey Riach)
But if you don’t quite fancy blowing the budget too much, other dinner options include the ever-trendy STK where a branch has just opened on the island. A personal favourite was modern Spanish fare at TATEL located within the Hard Rock Hotel Resort in Playa D’en Bossa, and rather conveniently situated next to Ibiza’s current most iconic hotel to stay at, Ushuaia.
Home to nightly superstar DJ shows, this place is a sell-out each night of the week – so if loud music, loud fashion, and an even louder crowd are your scene, get your tickets early for the likes of David Guetta, Martin Garrix, and Calvin Harris on the line-up. Across the road is HI Ibiza, another paradise for clubbers. But, if you fancy your Ibiza nights with a bit of nostalgia then be sure to visit the original clubs such as Pacha, Amnesia, and DC10. As they say, when in Rome…
Qatar Airways flies to twice daily to Barcelona, where connecting flights to Ibiza can be made on local carriers.
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