Ibiza can be many things to many different tourists, as Joanna Booth discovers
Somewhat maligned as the Balearic’s barfly, Ibiza is much more than a place to party.
Its superclubs and lively bars are still thriving, but there’s more low-key nightlife too, plus plenty to appeal to families and those who prefer sightseeing to dancing the night away. Get to know this island inside out, and you’ll find there’s a side to suit a trinity of clients.
There’s no doubt that Ibiza knows how to have a good time, but its nightlife is a broader church than it once was.
Classic clubbers are well catered for with old favourites such as Pacha going strong. But though the island is traditionally the home of house music, it’s successfully branched out.
Ibiza Rocks Hotel brings music fans of many persuasions to the island with the host of live acts it attracts – this year including artists as diverse as Ed Sheeran, Tinie Tempah and the Kaiser Chiefs.
For those on a budget, Thomas Cook’s Escapades brand offers stays at Ibiza Rocks Hostel, the budget option over the road, with prices starting at £367 for seven nights’ room-only including flights from Gatwick in September.
Following in its hotel/music brand combination footsteps, the Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel opened in Playa d’en Bossa last year and is hosting DJs and live performances from the likes of Usher. This year David Guetta is a resident DJ and the hotel has a new on-site recording studio.
Classic Collection Holidays saw sales for Ibiza in 2011 up 40% year on year, and attributes the majority of this success to Ushuaia. “The hotel captures everything of contemporary Ibiza with stylishly minimalist rooms, including swim-up ones,” says Andrew Farr. The operator offers a week’s B&B including flights in September from £1,040.
Tui Travel’s 2wentys collection is aimed at young guests looking for good value fun and features the 3T Hotel Puchet. Five minutes from the beach and a 20-minute walk from the centre of San Antonio, there’s a large and sociable pool area with loads of loungers and sofas, tranquil white rooms with LCD TVs for hangover recovery and Wi-Fi. A week’s B&B starts from £549 including flights from Manchester on August 17.
Those who want to be in the thick of things in San Antonio should book the clean, friendly Central Park Apartments (from £279 based on four adults sharing with Jet2holidays.com). There’s a rooftop swimming pool, and it’s only 50 metres from both the beach and the clubs.
Balmy sunshine, clean beaches, plenty of flights from regional airports and a range of good value accommodation – it’s little wonder Ibiza is popular with the family market.
Playa d’en Bossa has plenty of large, family-friendly hotels, and is also home to the Aguamar water park. The 4T Fiesta Club Palm Beach is one of Thomson’s Family Resorts, and there’s a kids’ club and pool, a family entertainment programme, a playground, mini-golf and child-height buffets.
There are triple and quadruple-bedded and interconnecting rooms available, and infants under two get 10kg luggage allowance and can bring a folding pushchair or car seat. Thomson offers a week all-inclusive for a family of four from £2,663 with flights from Manchester on August 3.
Exclusive to Airtours customers in the UK is the four-star Sirenis Seaview Country Club. The location offers families the best of both worlds, sitting on the pretty, quiet cove of Port d’es Torrent but also within walking distance of the bay of San Antonio. Just 150 metres from the beach, a new water park opened on site this month.
Airtours offers it on all-inclusive or self-catering bases, as studios and apartments have kitchenettes. There’s a new multi-activity kids’ club run by a dedicated Sunstar team, open six days a week with evening sessions, plus specialist academies for dance, football and swimming over the summer on peak dates. Airtours offers seven nights’ all-inclusive from £2,390 for a family of four including flights in July.
Jet2holidays recommends the Invisa Figueral Resort, which has a stunning hillside location on the east coast of the island. It has two children’s pools, and a new Pirates Island water activity zone.
Sporting facilities include volleyball, water polo and tennis, so kids can burn off their energy while mum and dad enjoy the sun terrace with sea views. The operator offers a week from £599 based on two adults and two children during the school holidays.Cosmos Holidays recommends two good value hotels in locations on the outskirts of resorts.
The three-diamond Nereida Aparthotel is less than 2.5 miles from the centre of San Antonio, but is close to shops, restaurants and Xinxo Beach, and offers a children’s pool, playroom and playground as well as a kids’ club and mini-disco.
Accommodation includes one bedroom or studio apartments, with a week in the latter from £425 between July and September, with flights from Birmingham. The three-diamond Ola Club Cala Llenya is in pretty Santa Eulalia, and has a kids’ club, pool, playground and family entertainment.
A week in a studio between July and September starts from £435 with flights from Birmingham.
DELUXE COUPLES’ RETREAT
Whether couples are looking for slow-paced relaxation or a buzzing city break, Ibiza can oblige.
Ibiza Town is a stunning old walled city, with plenty of cultural attractions plus a great dining and bar scene. Those with euros to spare should check in to the Ibiza Gran Hotel for a stylish weekend break. At the edge of the port, its enviable location lives up to its contemporary, clean but luxurious design.
Each room is a minimum of 50sq metres, and all have private terraces overlooking the Old Town. The large, high-tech spa is a real draw. Sovereign Holidays offers four nights’ B&B from £1,119 including flights from London in September.
The island can provide havens of relaxation too. Agrotourism is increasingly popular, and the beautiful Can Curreu, situated near San Carlos in a rural corner of the east coast, offers 7% commission. With its own stables, guests can discover the local area on horseback, and in the evening dine at the property and relax on the terrace or next to an open fire.
For a less rural option, try the Grand Palladium Palace Ibiza Resort & Spa in Playa d’en Bossa. It gained the Grand in its title after a refurb and a new spa opening this summer.
Santa Eulalia is a cosmopolitan resort, quieter than Ibiza Town but with lively bars and restaurants, and a lovely beach. Thomas Cook Adult Style features the adult-only Hotel Sol Ibiza here, an excellent quality four-star half a mile from the shops and restaurants.
Right on the seafront, it’s spacious, comfortable and modern, with sunloungers on the terrace and a garden area to relax in. Seven nights’ half-board starts from £636 including flights.
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