The Hedonist: Ibiza
What to see and where to be seen
Saturday 27 August 2011
A hedonist in Ibiza – as happy a combination as caviar and champagne, diamonds and Dior. A world-class destination for seekers of louche, naughty glamour, Ibiza may not have the ostentatious glitz of St-Tropez or the steroid-perfect bodies that abound in Miami, but it does have a unique brand of bohemian chic that makes it a firm fixture for the international party crowd.
Making my Ibizan pilgrimage for the eighth year, I head straight to the Blue Marlin (00 34 971 410 117; bluemarlinibiza.com) beach club in Cala Jondal to mainline Ibiza's sexy quintessence. The hottest daytime destination in recent years, Blue Marlin has amassed a following of celebrity and Euro-chic regulars. It has come close to imploding in an orgy of self-love, but I notice a serious attitude reappraisal, with service now as polished as the stylish white-canopied restaurant and decked bar area.
Settling in to lunch, several chilled bottles of Laurent Perrier Rosé are the perfect accompaniment to the crispy tempura prawns and baked John Dory. Afterwards, I lounge like a pasha in the sun, watching the safari of beautiful people: tanned, tattooed Spaniards, bohemian Brits, and an amusing brace of small, tubby men with limber Russian lovelies. The sun goes down, the music picks up, and a mojito is not an option but a necessity.
Around 8pm, I head back to agriturismo Can Guillem (00 34 971 316 204; canguillem.net) for a siesta before the big night ahead. Small, charming and chic, I fall for its palpable friendliness and proximity to Ibiza Town. I always plan to hang out here but somehow that never quite happens.
I slip into a slinky dress and some impractical neon orange Alexandre Birman heels, and set off for Aura (00 34 971 325 356; auraibiza.com) – my favourite of the many restaurant-bar-clubs, although KM5 (00 34 971 308 575; km5-lounge.com) has a special place in my heart, too.
I'm joined by a friend and we head into the island's interior. Our 11pm reservation is met with true Spanish indifference, but it is no hardship to put the cocktail list through its paces while we wait. The verdant courtyard is a magical place for a dinner, but I've booked a table in Aura's bijou, Moroccan-themed club, where a bottle of Belvedere is already on ice for us. Although it's early by Ibizan standards – just 1am – the club is packed with a glamorous crowd and the energy is fantastic.
We spend a couple of hours dancing to uplifting house music, then tear ourselves away: we have a VIP table at Pacha (00 34 971 31 0959; pacha.com) and it's not long before David Guetta hits the decks. Love him or loathe him, there's no denying that Guetta's "F*** Me I'm Famous" on Thursdays is one of the best nights at Pacha. Tonight doesn't disappoint. Perhaps it's our table – at the front of the VIP section within ogling distance of the dancers and the glut of ladies in one-armed sequinned dresses homing in on the serried guys-only tables.
Losing ourselves in the music and flowing drinks, morning comes only too quickly. We escape around 6am before the rush for taxis, and make it back to Can Guillem to grab a few hours of rest before our date with Echo of Ibiza (00 34 971 199 715; ibizanonsense.com), a 32ft speedboat. Seon, Echo's easy-on-the-eye skipper, takes one look at us and decides that lunch is required sooner rather than later. We head straight to Juan y Andrea (00 34 971 187 130; juanyandrea.com) on the neighbouring island of Formentera to test out my theory that any hangover is powerless to resist sea air, champagne and salt-baked sea bass. Happily, this proves to be the case.
I am quickly seduced by Juan y Andrea's barefoot chic but have to make time for a roll in the nearby mud baths (said to be good for the skin but really an excuse to get muddy), a swim through a cave and an afternoon snooze before we head back to Ibiza. Glass of wine in hand, the sunlight sparking off the turquoise waters and Café del Mar's chill-out playing in the distance, I conclude there is no better destination for hedonists. I'll be back again next year.
A Hedonist's Guide to... (Hg2) is a luxury city guide series for the more decadent traveller. For more information, see hg2.com
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