By Antonio Malara
Ibiza has been the ultimate entertainment destination for generations, especially club entertainment. Years before my visit, Ibiza has amplified this aspect thanks also to the rise of social networks. This intrigued me a lot also because in my city I’m a veteran of clubbing and seeing the famous DJs publish content from Ibiza, intrigued me a lot. Today with technology it is very easy to exaggerate the beauty of a place but the Ibiza shown on social media seemed like pure fun. Large discos with atmospheric lights and full of people, sexy girls, beaches with crystal clear water and above all famous people all over the place. One way or another I had to go there and in 2017 I managed to plan three nights in Ibiza as part of the trip that led me to visit Valencia.
To be honest, I didn't plan my days there in the best possible way, also because the time was short, plus, being all about fun, I couldn't visit the points of real interest. For this reason in Ibiza I took a few photos with the camera and many more with the phone so in this post I will talk about my experience there in general, dividing it by places but without making a story. But I want to tell you about the flight from Valencia to Ibiza which lasted just over 30 minutes and took me from a beautiful place to an even better one. The hotel was near "Playa de Figueretes" which was a beach, a strategic point about 2 kilometers from the center and the same distance from "Playa d'en Bossa", where there was the famous "Ushuaia" club. In this post I want to tell in general my impressions of the places on the island of fun, starting from the point of my stay. Even though I stayed three nights, I found that Ibiza is a place where if you want to do both things (explore it and have fun) you have to stay much longer. So here I tell the "first contact", my "discovery" of a very popular place but in a certain sense unknown to me.
Although I was close to the beach, my first approach was with the historic center. In fact, that was the first place I saw after arriving in Ibiza. I remember that on the way to the port, I was immediately struck by a colonial-style yellow building that took up an entire block. It was perfectly symmetrical with windows, entrance doors and balconies that followed a perfect alternation. This one-story building reminded me of those buildings that represent Cuba and Havana. At the intersection where "Passeig de Vara de Rey" began, looking from the side I saw the hill that housed the Ibiza Castle. Unfortunately, during my stay there, I didn't find the time to go and visit that part of the city. Passeig de Vara de Rey was a long and wide avenue lined with trees and paved. On the sides there were restaurants and shops and on one corner the beautiful "Montesol" hotel. This building was truly unique, it was a mixture of styles, certainly colonial due to the arcades on the ground floor and the symmetry of the balconies and openings. However, on the second and third floors there were also columns, therefore with a neoclassical influence. The color then was very exotic, the yellow broken up with white lines and the light brown of the openings. Precisely in that area I noticed that on the island there were all types of people while my idea was that it was an island of young people. In the historic center there were families with children, elderly people and even young people, the island managed to unite all ages without any problem.
The port area with the quays forming an "L" was divided if you can say so into two parts: on one side the classic quay that housed the ferries and which served as a real port, on the other side the marina, with big boats on one side and restaurants on the other. This part was very cool, elegant but not formal and while during the day it was a tourist area for breakfast or lunch, at night it took on a completely different meaning. I frequented this part of the city mainly in the evening for dinner and also at night because in that area there were the places where you went to drink before going to the disco. Everything started from the fact that the discos in Ibiza were very expensive; around € 80 to enter the club and on average a cocktail costed around € 25. On the other hand, in the port clubs you could drink a cocktail for 12 €, so one could drink a couple of things for little money and be ready for the disco where a cocktail would have been enough. I remember that one night in that area I met an Italian girl who ran one of those clubs, I noticed that in Ibiza there was direct contact not only with the promoters but also with the managers. Everyone tried to explain how things worked on the island obviously with the ultimate aim of taking you to their clubs and their parties.
I liked that part of the city a lot, I liked to go for dinner then go back to the hotel and come back again after midnight to stay in the clubs for another hour. If you met older people during the day, at night it was full of promoters and sadly also of individuals trying to sell soft drugs. However they were "professionals" and understood who to stop to make certain proposals, they were still discreet and at the first refusal they left immediately. Even at night, however, the area maintained a certain elegance and order, which is not always obvious where there are places to drink.
Playa de Figureretes
From my hotel, reaching Playa de Figuereste was a short walk. The beach was reached via a staircase placed under the road which at that point formed a curve on the right. Although it was not very big, the whole area was very beautiful and I liked it right away. Tall palm trees, a paved road that followed the coast and remained high above the beach and then the fine sand, the crystalline sea and on the left design buildings that formed the background. At the Playa there were many restaurants and it was nice to just walk around and then stop for lunch even if you didn't want to go to the beach. Even there and especially near the restaurants I noticed that people were of different ages, not just young people. The "morning" in Ibiza began right from Playa de Figueretes, after noon in fact, I went down to the beach, a couple of hours before going to lunch. On the beach I noticed a certain ease in the girls to be topless and with thongs reduced to a minimum. That practice there was a normal thing and I must say very pleasant from all points of view. Being able to interact with girls who were truly independent and easygoing gave me positivity and made me respect them even more. The beach was also the first place where I discovered the frenetic activity of the "promoters". Boys and girls, in their early twenties, approached people on the beach by making a certain selection of which I was always part of. Mostly they tried to promote lesser-known parties, in a place where entertainment had a very high offer. There was everything; from party in the afternoon, pool party, or parties on boats. The patience these guys put into promoting the parties was admirable, I liked to stop and talk to them because the conversation always ended up personal with them telling their story and how they ended up working in Ibiza.
There was a place in Playa de Figueretes that cooked a chicken salad that was delicious, after having eaten the first time, I couldn't help but go back in the following days. The chicken was cut into small pieces and roasted and that already tasted very good, together with the lettuce, boiled egg and tomato created perfection in its simplicity. It was a routine crowned by a pint of beer, and it was a pleasure to enjoy that food on that terrace covered by the shade of the umbrellas. In addition to the pleasure of swimming and fresh food, the beach area and also the area around our hotel had some nice souvenir shops where you can spend some time shopping for classic, unpretentious purchases. The only thing that was really missing were the purely night-time restaurants, there were some but they did not convince me, in general they were specialized for lunches.
Playa d'en Bossa - Ushuaia
Playa d'en Bossa, compared to my hotel, was in the opposite direction of the center and despite being only a couple of kilometers away I reached it by taxi. In fact, the place intrigued me due to the presence of the famous Ushuaia club, where all the famous DJs played during the summer. Unfortunately I only discovered in Ibiza that normally the parties there started in the afternoon around 4 pm and ended at midnight. The day of my arrival David Guetta was playing but I didn't have time to organize to go and watch him. On the day of my visit, however, there were no parties scheduled so I only saw the Ushuaia Tower, a hotel adjacent to the structure that had a very exotic design due to the floral typology of the writings on the facade. Not being able to visit Ushuaia, I enjoyed the beach. This “Playa” was very large and also made of fine sand, unfortunately the water was not of the same type as that of Playa de Figueretes. Being more open sea there were many waves and there was no real seabed so not the type of sea I like. In general, the place was scattered due to its size but even there, I met many promoters with whom I had friendly conversations. My impression was that that beach should be frequented more in function of Ushuaia, it would have been nice to go there a few hours after lunch and then enter Ushuaia for a non-formal party. That day I decided to walk back to the hotel to explore the area. Eccentricity was everywhere, from the presence of a large sign with the hashtag of "Ibiza" to a Hammer limousine. In the area there were many souvenir shops and restaurants and in general the place was much bigger than where I was staying. There, too, I met another girl promoter with whom I stopped to talk for a while.
I organized the night in Ibiza with care especially because I was curious to visit a particular nightclub, the Amnesia. At that time the place was highly advertised by Paris Hilton who played there for practically all summer. So the first place I rushed to was Amnesia. For discos, it was preferable to buy the ticket in advance which, if I remember correctly, saved something. Unfortunately, the night I selected was not the right one and when the promoter told me that the night it would be “locura” (craziness) I had to understand. The "Cocoon" night was a type of party focused on the most extreme techno music. Personally I love many particular genres such as “House” music but techno, paradoxically, was a deathbed. Beyond this, the Amnesia was a very large and articulated place. I noticed that with the right music and the right people, you could have fun there. It was possible to do so actively on the huge dance floor, or watch the activities from the many terraces all around. There were also small crevices and reserved-looking areas that were perfect for seclusion with a few girls.
As I said before, the nights started after midnight in the port area and after the first cocktails, it was normal to go to the promoters to see what was on for the night, because at 1 AM in Ibiza it was still early to go to the disco. One day I knew a girl through a dating app and she was telling me about a place called “Lio”, she wanted us to go there. After a quick search I found out that the place was for the super rich people, it cost around € 150 to get in. However, intrigued, I went to take a look; the area was fabulous, surrounded by mega yachts and the place from the outside was also very beautiful with its circular shape. That night a promoter had proposed me a place called "Heart" and with her voucher if I had entered before 1:30 AM, I would have paid only € 15. I was very hesitant but it intrigued me and after seeing the Lio I headed towards the Heart. In the area it was full of beautiful and elegant young escorts who actually left the doubt about their profession until the end. With one of them and her friend, I engaged in a conversation initiated by one of them (a blonde one) who had been hit by my Gucci belt. We talked normally and eventually the blonde opened up about her profession, she would be with me in exchange for the belt, which she wanted to buy but she couldn't find anywhere. I had an appointment with the girl from the app and I wanted to see the Heart. Surprisingly, I was able to enter the disco paying only € 15, I was amazed by that and the beauty of the Heart. On the ground floor there was the dance floor, not large but nice. Upstairs there was what I considered the added value, a semi-covered terrace with a very nice design. Lots of wood, soft lighting with a central bar and even a tree in the center. Looking out, you could see the whole part of the promenade with the frenetic coming and going of cars until the early hours of dawn. That night went very well, I enjoyed it in the company of the girl I met on the app and thanks to her I also ended up in a private area of the club. Unfortunately she left at some point but that night ended unexpectedly anyway. On the promenade while I was looking for a taxi back to the hotel I met again the blonde who wanted the Gucci belt. We ended up in her apartment together and when I got dressed to leave her home at 7 AM, my belt was still where I had left it.
The last club I visited was Pacha and it was also the most awaited one. I chose an event in which the main DJ was Martin Solveig and that party as well as that of Amnesia costed about € 80 in presale. I arrived out of Pacha around 2 AM after being in the port area and having a couple of cocktails. The disco from the outside looked very good. It overlooked a street with tall palm trees and the lights illuminating the building along with the entry line made up mostly of well-dressed girls, it was a good thing. Inside there was the program of the night and when I discovered that the most important DJ would play around 3:15 AM I laughed at the originality of Ibiza. That detail made me understand how the city lived the night in the true sense of the word. Solveig wasn't one of my favorite DJs, but he was the star of the night and the fact that he performed in the middle of the night made me appreciate Ibiza even more. That was the lifestyle that I preferred and that I was able to do even in my city until about ten years ago. Unfortunately, the new rules imposed on music closing times had put an end to the real fun; normally I arrived at the disco after 1 AM while in recent years, even in the summer, the parties ended at 2:30 AM. Also for this reason that Pacha night took me back to my glorious times and gave me the hope that somewhere you could still have fun in the "old" style.
From an aesthetic point of view, the Pacha gave me the impression of a sort of arena. It was by no means symmetrical and there were many small ravines and separate areas but the most original part was the high one. In fact, there was an area that was above the dance floor and the ground floor, only it was shaped like that of the stands at the stadium. A sort of boxes, all on one side, I think they were a kind of private area only it was the first time I saw that type of design in a nightclub.
Solveig's dj set was poor, nothing worth remembering, however the scene around him was very beautiful with colorful atmospheres. When he played, we’re turned on some auxiliary lights which allowed me to notice how crowded the place was. In general the party was full but composed, I noticed many groups of girls but it was impossible to interact with all those people all around. However, there was also a nice outdoor terrace but there it was the exact opposite of the internal room. There, people were in a minority in relation to size and were isolated on their own business. In general, I liked Pacha as a local and I hope to return one day when the main DJ is one of my favorites. I would like for example to see a dj set by Martin Garrix there at Pacha, I think it would be a perfect mix.
Ibiza was a very special experience, a few days (actually nights) lived intensely and where I learned very interesting things. Certainly at the top of the list are the "times" of Ibiza. Everything there is moved forward about three hours and that's exactly what I always did during the summers until a decade ago. Reliving this thing put a new energy into me and gave me hope. This is certainly the most material aspect that I have noticed and that is dear to me for personal reasons. But obviously Ibiza is not just that, as I said earlier if the island is populated by people of all ages who don't care about parties, it means that the place has much more to offer. My trip there was more a partial understanding of what the island can give, as far as I'm concerned what little I saw thrilled me. Starting from the other city on the island which is San Antoine de Port Mary, up to the various beaches and coves present throughout the territory, Ibiza for me is still to be discovered. What I saw was like seeing a trailer of a movie! Only small clips that, however, made me understand the "plot" or the potential of Ibiza. The next time I go back, I'll do it to watch the full "movie", so I'll write a real post knowing all the secrets of who has seen the film and not who has only seen the trailer.
Pictures: Antonio Malara
Camera: Nikon D800-iPhone 7 Plus