Ibiza may be synonymous with night clubs and parties – but luxurious hotels and experiences including literary festivals, an emerging foodie scene and fabulous shopping opportunities are giving this beautiful island a new sophisticated image.
Called the White Isle, or Isla Blanca, Ibiza was founded by Phoenican settlers in 654 BC. After the Romans the island was invaded by Byzantines and Moors and in the 20th century by hippies and ravers – of which all have left their mark. Today the government is clamping down on the clubbing and nightlife scene and a new Ibiza is dawning, channelling the island’s energy into a unique destination for discerning travellers.
Words: Judith Baker
Lead image: The infinity pool at 7 Pines
Where to stay
Ibiza has gone luxe with glamorous resorts, villas and boutique properties around the island.
Atzaro Agroturismo is housed in a 300-year-old finca (or country estate), and has a relaxed, quietly elegant rustic chic. The hotel’s own design team mixes antiques with Moroccan doors, custom made sculptures and lanterns.
Natural luxury defines the hotel’s ambience. The highly Instagrammable 43-metre pool leads to a spa, hamman, steam room and yoga studio. A small sauna pod sits in the vegetable garden.
New to Ibiza is the all-suite 7 Pines set on the cliffs on the west coast on the edge of a pine forest with spectacular views out to sea. One of The Leading Hotels of The World, it has 186 spacious suites spread over an area of 56,000 square metres.
They are ultra-modern in a village-like setting, some with their own pools. The VIP areas offer the ultimate in privacy. The Pershing Yacht Terrace is a sophisticated cocktail bar designed by the Pershing team to emulate the vessel’s clean lines looking out to the ocean.
Where to eat
Ibiza is acquiring a reputation as a foodie heaven. The Amorevore Food & Arts Festival (which runs from 26-28 October 2018) has stands of street food, wild walks, long table banquets, demonstrations and exhibitions.
Vegan restaurant Wild Beets is run by long-time Ibiza resident American Cliff Grubin, who started the original Sejuiced in Benniras Beach 10 years ago and also is the creator of iPurify, his own range of takeaway cold-pressed Juice cleanses.
Open all year round for breakfast and lunch, Wild Beets serves unique colourful healthy vegan food in a boho-chic setting.
For authentic Ibizan farm-to-table meals, head to Aubergine. Set in the countryside this pretty restaurant grows everything that is served on the premises.
The menu is healthy and organic – try the Buddha Bowl or the signature Aubergine Parmigiana.
The bohemian village of Santa Gertrudis epitomises the coming together of Ibiza’s creative energy and glamorous elegance.
Step inside La Galeria Elefante and you enter an Aladdin’s cave of delights. Owner Victoria Durrer-Gasse collects items from all over the globe many made by NGOs that empower women such as SEWA and Key to Freedom. Check out her signature floaty Ibizan dresses as well as her own label Sunny Day and fabulous jewellery, beach bags and cushions.
Get the look
Pamper yourself by booking a hair and beauty session with the Louise Maxwell Collective, a team of holistic beauty therapists led by makeup artist to the stars, Louise Maxwell, who will come to your hotel or villa. British-born Louise lives on Ibiza and counts celebrities including Jade Jagger among her clients.
She describes the island look as ‘a real mix of styles. Glamorous, understated, hippie and completely OTT! That’s what’s so wonderful about Ibiza – the island attracts an eclectic mix of people’.
Plus, her gorgeous villa, Rayo de Sol is available to rent and is also currently for sale!
Head to the beach
Atzaro Beach – at Cala Nova beach, The Atzaro Group’s beach club – is set to relaunch this winter. Here you can book a daybed or indulge in fresh paella in a Hamptons-style beach club setting overlooking Ibiza’s eastern shores.
British Airways flies to Ibiza from London Gatwick and London City Airport