6 months ago
With summer fast approaching, luxury villa season is just starting to heat up.
So why not spend a long weekend (or week’s worth of siestas) on the legendary Spanish island of Ibiza?
Also known as “the White Isle,” Ibiza—pronounced Eee-bee-tha to Castilian Spanish speakers—is part of the Balearic Islands cluster, which also includes Majorca, Minorca, and Formentera. Sitting to the east of the Iberian Peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea, Ibiza’s approximately 90 miles from the Spanish coastal city of Valencia.
With about 13o,000 offseason inhabitants, its throngs of tourists—six million per year, to be exact—make up the island’s true population. Known for its nightlife—which includes some of the premiere nightclubs, bars, and DJ sets in the world, as well as those famous “foam parties“—Ibiza has become a popular dock for the ultra-wealthy’s superyachts and a steady stream of Hollywood/celebrity A-listers, including Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, and husband Kanye West. (It’s also recently become a clean-living mecca, too.)
The heat will be rising on the island soon—both in action and temperature, (daytime averages around 72 Fahrenheit by June)—so be sure to book a villa now, while they’re still available.
RealClearLife tracked down Adam Honey, managing director at Ibiza Luxury Villas, to give readers the lay of the land. Besides providing a bunch of awesome options for villa rentals (see below), he’s also graciously thrown his hat in the ring with some suggestions about must-do’s once travelers reach the island.
Villa Palacio Dalt – With its own private underground grotto, this villa, built in 1740, could pass for the set of a James Bond movie. It sleeps up to 12—so you and 11 Bond girls (or your family) can set up shop here for the summer. For more info, click here.
Villa Dominica – If the previous villa is for the history buff, this one’s for the modernist. And with six bedrooms, a two-minute walk to the beach, and sweeping views of the Caribbean, it’s an easy sell on us. For more info, click here.
Villa Dendritic – Two is better than one. That’s the theme with this villa, which is split into two separate houses, with two pools, and two sets of gardens. Perfect for a ménage à deux. For more info, click here.
Villa Alicura – Sometimes, too many rooms and levels can get tedious; you just want to open the front door and be in the entire house. That’s what this design-friendly one-level villa is all about. For more info, click here.
Villa Hula – This nine-bedroom rental is located in the Beverly Hills of Ibiza—the hills of Roca Llisa. Privacy is everything here, as long as you’re happy with 19 other friends being around (20 is the recommended party size). For more info, click here.
Villa Alexandrina – No, you’re not hallucinating. That’s a four-post bed in the middle of the yard. That’s sort of the theme of this villa, which also features an entirely outdoor dining area, complete with kitchen, dishwasher, and stovetop, all exposed to the elements. We’re going to guess it doesn’t rain there very often. For more info, click here.
Villa Olivia – Art lovers will feel right at home at Olivia. You’re literally surrounded by it—whether it be the sculptures around every corner on the grounds, or the modern works inside. Plus, the villa has its own koi pond—or two human ones (i.e. pools), so you can literally take a double-dip. For more info, click here.
Villa Rosmarin – Not to outdo the rest of the villas above, Rosmarin is one of the most exclusive on the island—and is palatial in size (see above). Guests get five-star hotel service onsite, courtesy of a staff of nine, which includes a gourmet chef, sous chef, and five butlers (four day shifters and one after-hours guy). The pool even comes with its own bartender. It’s entirely possible that the premiere private party of the upcoming season will be happening here. For more on this behemoth, click here.
Below are 13 ideas for how you can fill your days on the island—besides jumping off your friend’s superyacht with a bottle of Dom Perignon while someone posts it on Snapchat.
Es Vedrà – A tiny, uninhabited island just a stone’s throw from the main one, Es Vedrà is said to be highly magnetic and is the home of a couple mythic tales. One myth claims that this is where Ulysses encountered the beautiful but deadly Sirens in Homer’s Odyssey. The other is that it’s the birthplace of Phoenician and Berber goddess Tanit. You can hire locals to give you the grand tour—or just park your superyacht nearby for a meditation session. Ibiza Luxury Villas’ Adam Honey adds that Es Vedrà is an incredible place to scuba dive—and divers will be mesmerized by its underwater canyons.
Beachouse – Be sure to find your way to this top-rated restaurant from Head Chef Sebastiano Altimari, who serves up light, international fare such as pizza made with fresh, local ingredients; or Spanish favorites, such as Jamón Iberico de Bellota (sliced, cured ham of the highest quality). Take a peek at Beachouse’s menu.
Las Dalias Markets – Consisting of a trio of unique shopping experiences—the Hippy Market (Saturdays from 10 a.m.), Night Market (Mondays/Tuesdays from June-Sept. after 7 p.m.), and Sunday Night Market (every Sunday in August after 7 p.m.)—Las Dalias provides perfect opportunities to pick up a memento (other than a glow stick) to bring back with you to the states.
WooMooN – A new local favorite launched last June in the hills of San José, WooMooN is basically an updated version of a love-in, featuring live music and performances, healthy foods, and exhibitions from some of the area’s most talented artists. It all takes place in Cova Santa, a restaurant-lounge-club built around an ancient cave. (This year’s WooMooN takes place on June 25.)
La Paloma Café – An eclectically minded restaurant hidden away in the village of San Lorenzo, La Paloma is known for its homemade pasta dishes, steaks, and “Bio Plate,” perfect for the vegan/vegetarian set. A must.
Chezz Gerdi – A personal favorite of the folks behind Ibiza Luxury Villas, the restaurant is actually located on nearby the tiny nearby island of Formentera. Known for its seaside views and top-notch Spanish/Italian fare—not to mention a sensational wine list—Chezz Gerdi would make for a wonderful day trip.
Es Xarcu – A beachside restaurant, with some of the freshest, best seafood in the area, Es Xarcu’s been open for nearly 20 years and lies on the southern tip of the island. And yes, they do allow yachts to dock nearby.
Es Torrent – The only non-seafood entry on the menu, as far as we can tell, is the cured Spanish jamón. Everything from its trio of paellas and lobsters to its salted sea bass and Galician-style octopus will have your mouth watering before you even step foot on this beachside mecca.
El Chiringuito – Located on Es Cavallet beach, this restaurant pretty much has everything: beach service, a spot for kids to play, boutique, and trio of in-house DJs. That’s before you even open the menus, which include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and beach-only. We’d suggest going there for dinner—or some light tapas. Because the place has its own ham expert, too.
Sa Caleta – Although Sa Caleta’s menu is a seafood symphony, we’d suggest stopping by this Cala Jondal beach haunt for a seaside dessert. Maybe a Greixonera, which is a traditional Ibizan pudding; or a Flaó, which is similar to our cheesecake. Wash it all down with an alcohol-infused coffee served in a giant clay jug—a house specialty.
Ses Boques – Let’s take a look at the data: Per the restaurant’s website, it says they go through 6,000 plates of paella, 250 lemon cakes, and 1,600 salt-encrusted fish per season—and an entire leg of Spanish ham per week. That should tell you all you need to know about this top-notch destination. Take a peek at their menu.
Experimental Beach – Looking for the site of your next corporate getaway? EB is the place. They can host up to 250 people at their beachside restaurant, which serves up a panoply of proteins (not just fish) and a bar menu that goes on for miles.
Amante Beach Club – Nestled in its own cove and overlooking a cliff on Sol Den Serra Bay, the award-winning Amante boasts six different menus—including a number of delightful cocktails and a robust wine list—and is well known for its open-air cinema, where you catch a flick, some popcorn, and a glass of Cava for about $30. (This season’s options include Inglorious Basterds and La La Land.) Those into meditation and yoga can also now take part in early morning sessions on the beach at sister restaurant Aiyanna.