The winding stretch of coastline that curves its way around Ibiza’s capital Eivissa is no stranger to high-end style these days. While the throngs of starry-eyed clubbers and stag groups still make their annual pilgrimage to the island, they’re now sharing turf with the international jet-set, and an increasingly glitzy array of accoutrements.View on Instagram
From the lofty vantage point of the old town Dalt Vila, you can survey, pirate-fashion, the azure waters that are filled during the summer season with luxury yachts bobbing in the waves. Across the way lies Marina Botafoch, packed with designer boutiques and upscale venues including Pacha’s lounge-cabaret venture Lio and Heart, the Adria brothers’ collaboration with Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté.
And beyond, as the coastline snakes around to Talamanca Bay, those with a keen eye will be able to spot a new figure making its mark on the island’s shores. This sleek uprising is the latest offering from Nobu Hotels, which opened its doors on June 30. Alongside the company’s recent launch in London’s Shoreditch, Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay precedes a wave of openings for the brand, with destinations from Riyadh to Bahrain lined up to complement its operations in Miami, Manila and Las Vegas.
This anticipated new venture – a collaboration between Nobu Hospitality, London & Regional and MC Hotels – looks set to be something of a game-changer for the island’s burgeoning luxury market. Ibiza may be shifting to accommodate the super-rich, but here a neat balance has been struck between five-star standards and the relaxed, set-your-own-rules charm the island is renowned for. With its breezy lack of pretension, the hotel plays out like the supermodel dressed down in jeans and no make-up who still manages to be the hottest girl in the room.
The resort houses everything from a fitness centre to hair salon and boutique – as well as four exceptional restaurants
That’s not to say, however, that it isn’t flawlessly executed. In fact, look a little closer, and you’ll soon see just how much attention to detail has gone into creating that sexily laid-back ambience. Inspired by the island’s aesthetic, the hotel’s natural woods and pale stonework provide a bright canvas for living green walls, stylish underwater nude photography and beautifully made local artworks. It takes confidence to attempt this kind of less-is-more approach – and genuine calibre to pull it off.
This focus on quality plays out across every aspect of the 152-room resort. Nothing if not comprehensive, it houses everything from a fitness centre to a kids’ club, hair salon and boutique – as well, of course, as the four exceptional restaurants that are the real jewels in its crown.
First and foremost of these is the signature Nobu restaurant, whose Peruvian-accented “new style” Japanese dishes need no introduction. Here Ibizan influences add a novel twist to the flavours of its London counterparts, with Padrón peppers and local catches such as red tuna and sea bream complementing trademark specialities including Matsuhisa’s superb miso-marinated black cod.
Top chefs and servers from Nobu’s other international outposts have been flown in for the launch to ensure all meets the brand’s famously exacting standards, with Matsuhisa himself scheduled to put in an appearance in the coming weeks.
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This is a venue with a glint in its eye, offering style, personality and world-class cuisine
Also on offer is contemporary Mexican cuisine courtesy of Peyote Group’s Peyotito, lining up alongside its hit sister venues Peyotito in Notting Hill and Peyote in Mayfair and Dubai. This new iteration also gives an Ibiza-inspired slant to its dishes, with standout creations including Verde Vuelve a la Vida, featuring meltingly tender local sea bass, and Papa Fritta potatoes with chorizo and chile pasilia. On hand to wash it all down is a huge selection of margaritas, mezcals and tequilas that put retiring for an early night – never a likely prospect at the best of times in Ibiza – firmly off the agenda.
Equally impressive fare can be found at the chiringuito-style Chambao, where a relaxed beach-club spirit is channelled in an array of market-fresh seafood, sangria and colourful cocktails. And for those who’ve over-indulged in the temptations of the island’s nightlife, a remedy to hedonism is on offer in a new outpost of the Celicioso café, whose dishes range from bright salads to gluten-free patisserie.
Uniting each of these disparate offerings, and the hotel as a whole, is a service-oriented approach that means you can set your own pace. If Ibiza’s greatest attraction is a sense of absolute freedom, then Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay is perhaps its ultimate luxury embodiment. Staff here are genuinely happy to oblige – whether you’d like your breakfast served at 1pm, or your Six Senses Spa treatment in a beach cabana or on the rooftop with 360-degree views of the bay.
Those with wanderlust can hop onto chartered boats to Formentera, or grill the hotel’s experiences team for insider tips on everything from sightseeing to the island’s best club nights and parties.
For my part, I found it hard to leave these cossetting surrounds – this is a grown-up venue with a glint in its eye, offering style, personality and world-class cuisine with the easy assurance of those at the top of their game.
Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay is open annually from May to October. Rates start from €490 per night.