An extensive travel guide can be more of an undertaking than the trip itself.
Forty-seven different restaurant recommendations, 19 local landmarks, multiple categorisation of hotels: there are so many options it's hard enough to decide what you want, let alone find a consensus. (This is also know as the Netflix phenomenon.)
We've broken Ibiza down to the essentials: a hotel, and suggested venue for each meal of the day. (Plus a photo gallery for each so you know what you're getting.)
Follow our lead and you can't go wrong.
Stay and party at Ocean Beach Ibiza
Located on the San Antonio waterfront, Ocean Beach Ibiza is a sharp, stylish beach club that hosts the best day parties in Ibiza. It’s also attached to The THB Ocean Beach Hotel, which makes it a perfect base for your holiday – go as hard as you want, safe in the knowledge your bed is but a minute away.
In recent years, visitors to Ibiza have started to shun the big club nights in favour of the many day parties on offer at most major hotels. The trend makes sense: the UK is full of nightclubs, whereas sunshine and swimming pools tend to be in shorter supply.
You’ll get plenty of both at Ocean Beach Ibiza. Don’t take our word for it: Stormzy, Ed Sheeran and Conor McGregor are just a few of the A-listers to let off steam here.
According to club co-founder Duane Lineker: “Usually celebs like to come through the back door; Conor Mcgregor was such a showman, he came through the main exit draped in an Irish flag and walked right through the crowd. The crowd went absolutely wild, there were thousands of people clambering to get his attention or to get a photo. He then went up on the DJ booth partying with his friends and family. He was a really good guy and very generous with his time.” (Read the full interview with Duane here.)
Even if you miss McGregor, the day shows are utterly spectacular. As well as DJs and dancers, throughout the afternoon huge model toys are lowered from the sky into the main pool area. Giant pink tank? Check. Elephant? You betcha! Three-headed dragon the size of a double-decker bus attached to another double-decker bus? Oh yes. This is very much one for the gram, as they say.
Of course there’s food as well, food that is far, far better than it has any right to be. The restaurant offers a range of fusion cuisine – we’d recommend the sushi because a) it’s fantastic and b) you’re going to be surrounded by incredibly attractive people in swimming costumes and this is not the time to be chomping down on a cheeseburger. Eat little and order a bottle of Ciroc.
Breakfast at Skinny Kitchen
Whether you’re heading to Ibiza for a relaxing few days in the sun or a week of debauchery to make a Roman Emperor blush, you’ll want to your first meal of the morning / afternoon to be a cut above the standard greasy spoon. The Skinny Kitchen bears the motto “Eat clean, rave dirty” and it can certainly help with the first objective.
The menu carries plenty of lunch and dinner options but it’s the breakfast portion of the menu that really makes the eyes pop. The Sweet Potato Hash, which includes avocado, poached eggs and mushrooms, tastes delicious and will sustain you well into the upcoming pool party or ocean cruise. Feeling a little homesick? The Skinny Kitchen Breakfast is a classic Full English cooked with the highest quality ingredients and some extra greens (avocado, spinach) for good measure.
Every dish on the menu comes with a detailed breakdown of its calories, protein, fat, etc so you know exactly what you are putting in your body, and can tailor your order accordingly. There are also plenty of fresh juices and smoothies to wash the food down – although some of the latter pack enough fruit to be almost a meal unto themselves.
Oh, and there are pancakes. Warm, delicious pancakes that won’t help any weight-loss programmes back are far too good to be shunned. (Share a plate with the table if you must.) This is food that will make you feel as good as it tastes.
Lunch at Maya Beach Club
One of the most picturesque lunches you’ll ever enjoy is offered at Maya Beach Club. The restaurant overlooks Cala Vadella bay, all rugged cliffs and turquoise sea opening out onto the horizon. Sip a cocktail and pick your favourite yacht from the fleet anchored beneath you.
The food lives up to the setting; in fact the food is so good you’ll forget to look up from your plate. Sushi is of course a staple – Ibiza likes its sushi – and frankly you can’t go wrong with a Chef’s Combo Sharing Plate to kick things off.
The menu has a strong Italian accent with plenty of pizza and pasta dishes tempting you to stray from the seafood. However if you don’t order the paella then you’ll hate yourself forever if somebody smarter does. Fresh, spicy, and filled with half the ocean, the lobster paella (there’s also a fish option) might be the gastronomic VIP of a stacked menu.
Maya Beach Club is a 20-minute drive from Ocean Beach Hotel – one of the joys of Ibiza: everything is nearby – but if you’re feeling flush then it’s possible to charter a boat to sail around the western coast of the island; it’ll take twice as long but be infinitely more memorable. Make sure you do the swimming before lunch.
Dinner at STK
STK is a 20-minute taxi ride from Ocean Beach, and the experience is most certainly worth the journey. It’s hard to say whether STK is a nightclub that serves food or a restaurant that turns into a nightclub; the latter, probably, but then the Michael Jackson impersonator takes the stage midway through the starters and the lines begin to blur…
Happily the food is good enough to distract you from the surrounding razzmatazz. STK bills itself as a steakhouse, first and foremost, although as with most Ibiza restaurants the menu is broad in scope: Asian Style Prawns, Burrata, and Lil' Brgs are all potential starters. (STK is no fan of vwls).
You’d be a coward and a fool if you didn’t order something meaty for the main: portions start small – USDA Prime Rump 250g – and duly grow until you reach 1kg of USDA Prime Sirloin. Or if you’ve really built up an appetite, order the 10 kg Flintstone Rack cooked over two hours with single malt whisky; available only with early booking, an empty stomach, and a willingness to remain motionless for the subsequent two hours.
A word on the drinks menu: as well as eight signature cocktails – a coffee-containing Wake Up is a solid shout, especially if you got through the Flintstone – there are two giants: a 1.5L Espresso Martini and a 3L Pornstar Martini, both served in supersized versions of the traditional glassware. Excessive? The dictionary definition of. Worth it? Oh, absolutely. And if you want to keeping partying, Pacha is just down the road...