This post is the first in Melissa Curtin’s recount of her Ibiza and Formentera adventure. Check out the second post here.
Ibiza was never on my list of places to go. A party island never sounded that appealing to me, but when a friend of mine called to invite me to join him and his Canadian British friends in their villa, and that he was leaving in ten days, it was hard to say no. And after spending 10 days in the Balaeric Islands off of the coast of Spain, I realized that Ibiza can be done as an adult. It actually IS the place to go for adults. It seems that even celebs these days are jumping on this Spanish paradise bandwagon and skipping Miami and St. Tropez. Just look who is flocking to Ibiza. I only wish now that I’d had more days there, and I hope to return next summer.
I really had no idea what to expect about this “Unz Unz Land,” and was pleasantly surprised. You didn’t have to be partying at Pacha, Privilege, Space, Amnesia or Ushuaia. These names kept popping up everywhere—on signs, on clothes, and on scantily clad guys and girls in every half-naked costume imaginable parading down some of the beaches and sauntering past us at dinner in Old Town Ibiza. However, I’ve seen LA, DC, and NY friends’ photos and videos and I’m not going to lie: I’m definitely curious about those places.
What I did discover in Ibiza was the picture-perfect beaches (over 50, with many of the most lovely and quiet in the north), and the jaw-dropping places to dine and unwind. Below is a list of some of the most memorable spots I enjoyed in “Ibeetha.” The spirit of a chiringuito or the outdoor beach bar is alive and well everywhere you go.
I hope that you too can catch a sunset, find inner peace, laugh with new friends, and drink some rosé the next time you find yourself 49 miles off the eastern coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea:
1. Experimental Beach Club
This would be one of my top spots to return. We watched the sunset from this Montauk-like Surf Lodge-esque spot on the beach with the mountains hugging us and the water for miles. This is the perfect spot for a sunset, but what place in Ibiza is not perfect? The layout is so reminiscent of a chill east coast vibe with the bar in a boat, live singers singing chill tunes in the sand, and a layout of white rustic tables and chairs. The signature fusion drinks were incredible, the food quite pricey, but worth it. Once again, we dined on tender marinated sardines, melt-in-your-mouth prosciutto, and marinated fish.
2. El Chiringuita
We had a long Rose wine lunch filled with every imaginable seafood at this lovely “Hamptons-esque” beach spot. The food is exceptional and expensive – ranging from an oyster shucker man who will come to your table and seafood paella for four or more. We ordered a massive amount of oysters and yellowtail sashimi. I enjoyed a rich thick lobster lasagna while my friend enjoyed a perfectly cooked leg of Jamon. The spot has lovely beach beds and chairs, and gets very nude as you walk to the end of the beach heading right, where there is a more basic resort at the tip.
We came back for brunch another day. Ten of us enjoyed a lovely breakfast—pancakes with blueberries and ham (their version of bacon)—but the waiter had us chuckle inside for days. I had asked him if the blueberries could be put in the pancakes. A big mistake to ask such questions, because he retorted back, “If you know how to speak Spanish, then maybe you can order.” Later when my buddy asked for water for the table, his reply was, “The order is closed.” Obviously you’re not going to get the same service standards as the US, but it made me laugh ’til I cried.
This place is so rustic and lovely that you could dream about living here. Since it’s so nice, you can buy a $300 dress in the beachside store or the same one from the lovely girls modeling them on the beach for about $40. Ice cream is also sold outside for 4 Euros. Lounge chairs on the beach can be reserved from around 25-30 Euros. They let us bring our magnum bottle of rosé that we didn’t finish at lunch to the beach.
3. Jockey Club
Don’t get fooled by the name. Club basically means beach spot in Ibiza. The beach restaurant offers a tasty Mediterranean menu. We loved the sushi fruit salad concoction presented so perfectly it looked like a piece of art; mango and avocado expertly towered with fresh sushi with even bits of dried fig. The rose wine kept pouring as we drooled over the beach. The beach chairs were quickly snatched up by 11 am, and the peaceful quiet beach was mobbed by 1 pm. This was another beautiful breathtaking swimming beach area that included sexy dressed up paraders promoting the latest night happenings – in every scantily clad costume imaginable.
4. Platges de Comte – Sunset Ashram Restaurant
Our first wide eyed beach spot in Ibiza was here. This crowded beach (of nudes) offered glorious swimming and many umbrellas helping Europeans nap in the blazing sun. The beach forms a backwards arc or boomerang shape with a restaurant, shop, and bar. We dined at Sunset Ashram up above the sea and talked to an interesting Belgium couple. I ordered the food and picked it up for our table, including fresh sushi, whole fish, fried sardines, and salad. This place would be perfect for sunset, and was really crowded, but a must-see due to the sweeping landscape and how the restaurant is carved into the beach land.
5. Roberto Cavalli Ibiza Restaurant (known as Cavalli Ibiza)
This place is an awe-inspiring venue designed in Cavalli fashion flair from the pillows to the bold fabric prints on the seats to the pink ornamental pineapple decor to every colorful detail. It’s an oasis that stares at the historical white Old Town harbor. The Who’s Who of the world is here. My buddy spotted Danilo Gallinari behind us, the Italian basketball star who played for the NY Knicks, and now the Denver Nuggets. Ten of us dined on sushi, foie gras with fig preserve and toast, and more. I loved my lobster and avocado salad.
They messed up on our Bronzino fish order telling us they had no more after serving the first fish to a couple at our table, so they brought us out another fish (French turbo) without asking, which for some reason was horrible. It’s supposed to be one of the most expensive fishes in the world. They let us order what we wanted in the end since we sent back what tasted like chicken fish. The meal ended with a specialty bottle of Cavalli vodka shared by all. The Brits really know how to pick some fine places. Models came in left and right and the owner happened to be sitting behind us. Beautiful DJ Alina Wild was creating the mood, and they even had the American artist Brian Ermanski on-site.
6. Lio Ibiza
This is definitely where the older scene is hanging out partying. Literally, hundreds of people and some practically my parents age all dressed in their finest garb. There are many different rooms and the DJ’s are cranking things up. There are the schwankiest bars, rooms with dancing, and a massive long room overlooking the glorious Old Town Harbor. We had a table where we were served vodka cocktails all night and watched the Europeans tear it up.
7. Cipriani Ibiza
Twelve days after we dined here, Leonardo was either flicking away Justin Bieber from his table, or cheering on his dining buddy Orlando Bloom to knock him out, after comments were directed at their table from the young popstar. Bieber seemed to want to fuel the fire by posting Instragram photos of Bloom’s Victoria Secret model exwife with a small crown. This indoor outdoor bar restaurant is beautiful! Everyone there was dining in sexy white attire. We had a massive table overlooking the long red lit pool with Charlie Chaplin on the big screen above the pool. The pool changed colors, just like our villa pool. Since I had been eating so much on the whole trip, I opted to split tagliardi with veal with my friend—an incredible homemade pasta! Again, sushi was a nice way to start the meal.
8. Old Town Ibiza
Step back 2,500 years to this port, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are fantastic restaurants, white washed winding paths, massive yachts to view, and great people watching. I also adored all the stores, and left with a zebra purse, silk top, and chunky multi-layered bracelets. Every possible beautiful flowing white ensemble (especially dresses) are sold here. I wish I had more time to explore since I was only here for a night, but leaving the harbor by boat was another way to see this beauty.
Fly away to Spain, and see why Ibiza is the hot adult playground.
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