This year for the 4th time and 3rd year in a row (yes that’s right, last year he went twice) our Editor in Chief The Gentleman Casual headed off to the wonderful white Isle of Ibiza for a week. This is his diary… based on what he can remember!
Day 1 – Thursday
We had taken a pretty early flight out of Birmingham so we landed around lunchtime Spanish time and it is true that there is literally very few feelings like the one you get when you land at Evissa Airport. We knew that the weather was looking good and glorious 30+ heat and bright sunshine greeted us as we got off the plane. Having spent the last couple of years in apartments (without air-con on our first trip!) we had opted for an all inclusive hotel this time around, so we quickly located our transfer and luckily as we were staying on Platja d’en Bossa which is the airport side of the island we pulled up at Club Bahamas within 20 minutes!
We’d seen the hotel from the beach before and it looked beautiful, a lovely cold glass of cava was presented on arrival after a short wait we checked in to our rooms – mine very handily being both on the ground floor and right next to reception and the restaurant!
We knew that our bank balances couldn’t handle a club every night for a week, so we made the relatively sensible decision to have some dinner and then head north to San Anotio to try and catch the sunset at Cafe Mambo. It was a beautiful start to the evening, an (unbelievably) cheap bottle of champagne was ordered and we soaked up the unique Cafe Mambo atmosphere. Things quickly went west (literally) when we decided to make our now traditional “sight-seeing” trip down the West End strip and treat the one member of our party to the delights of “Kilties Scottish Bar.” Suffice to say I don’t remember much after that and woke up in a pretty rough state.
Day 2 – Friday
After rising in some disbelief that we had succumbed quite so heavily to Kilties we spent most of the day relaxing by the pool and on Platja d’en Bossa with a sunbed at the beautiful Sands Bar. Friday night was one that we’d had planned ahead and we headed to the extremely nearby Space for Glitterbox. Run by Defected it does exactly what it says on the tin, a wonderful whirlwind of camp craziness and quality disco and house tunes.
Day 2 – Saturday
We’d gone pretty heard on our first big club night of the week so as is often the case in Ibiza, most of Saturday day time was spent recovering and relaxing by the pool in the hotel. As it was really close and we’d heard a lot about ANTS on a Saturday at Ushuaia we decided to get some wristbands and head in for a bit of an earlier night. It wasn’t quite as “glamorous” as I had imagined, although the VIP section looked pretty packed and the sort of prices you’d pay in there are eye watering. Things were just kicking off when we got in and I caught a bit of Pete Tong’s set before crashing and burning and heading back to the hotel for an early one! Pretty pathetic performance!
Day 3 – Sunday
As we’d had an earlier night last night, me especially we decided Sunday seemed like a good day to hire a car and head out to a couple of other beaches on the Island. Once we sorted it with the hotel hire company we headed east along the coast to a lovely beach we had discovered before called Cala Llenya which seemed to be mainly Spanish holiday makers, untouched by the usual trappings of Ibiza. After a dip in the sea and a doze on a sunbed we grabbed a snack from the beach bar and then headed off to another beach which we’d had recommended to us called Cala Conte. This beach was a completely different kettle (or cove) of fish and made up mainly of rocks, but falling away down to a beautifully bright clear blue sea with several yachts and expensive looking speed boats moored not far away. There was a much younger crowd here and a bustling bar and restaurant blasting out Balearic house. After another dip in the sea and a bit of a sunbathe we made our way back across the island. Sunday was one night which we didn’t really fancy any of the club nights, so we opted to have some dinner at the hotel and head into Ibiza Old Town for a cocktail. Haz had done some researched and we headed for a cocktail bar right on the harbour called “The Rock.” It was an excellent find, the hostess / waitress was extremely friendly and helpful and the cocktails were incredible. After opting for something fairly light I headed straight into a few Old Fashioned’s, which were incredible, but as I found out the next morning, extremely strong. Somehow we still ended up getting in at about 5am and I think the next morning was one of the most hungover I felt all week!
Day 4 – Monday
I had to quickly shake off the hangover though as Monday was a big night, particularly for me as it was Cocoon and probably the night I was looking forward to most being probably the biggest techno head amongst us. Despite the fact it was a week that Sven Vath wasn’t playing the line up still looked incredible to me, with Luciano playing, Detroit legend Carl Craig and then possibly my favourite DJ Adam Beyer B2B with his incredible wife and my perfect woman Ida Engberg! After drinking in the hotel until fairly late we jumped in taxis and headed to Amnesia. It was a lot quieter than I had remembered it being last time and truth be told much nicer inside than I had remembered as well! Perhaps it was the fact Sven Vath wasn’t playing but the night stayed fairly quiet by Cocoon standards, which was perfect for us as it made for a nice relaxed atmosphere and easy access to the bar! Carl Craig kicked our night off nicely before we moved into the main room for Adam & Ida. They didn’t disappoint. Ida’s slightly more soulful and vocal techno taste was the perfect accompaniment to Adam Beyer’s heavier, chunkier techno and it meant that our whole gang, even those not really into their techno really enjoyed the night.
Day 5 – Tuesday
It took me a while to rise after our Amnesia exploits and I largely spent the day lounging round the pool to make sure I was alright for one of the biggest night’s of the week and one we had all been looking forward to – Carl Cox at Space, part of his final series in Ibiza. We did our usual and drank as late as we could in the hotel before heading down to Space, it was one of the first night’s of the week that we actually had to queue for a bit, so we were expecting it to be rammed. We started off in the sunset terrace where it was relatively chilled out before going in to take a look at Erick Morillo. Unfortunately I have to say we thought he was pretty shit, I was stood there thinking it, not sure what anyone else thought before everyone turned round and went “bit shit this isn’t it?” So we headed back to the sunset terrace, it was really disappointing but he just wasn’t doing it for us, he kept building things up to quickly and then dropping too often and generally playing crap tunes. So we waited for Carl Cox to come on in the main room, when he did we headed in and jesus christ was it busy. It was so busy it was uncomfortable so we actually headed back out of the room for a bit before having another go and we managed to weave our way in to a spot by the bar and the VIP section where we could just about see the big man in action. He was absolutely incredible to be fair, but all in all it was a little bit of a disappointing night, maybe we had built it up too much and maybe we went a bit hard at Amnesia but we ended the night feeling very sober and pretty knackered. But none the less, it was still amazing to see one of his last ever sets at Space.
Day 6 – Wednesday
Our last day and I managed to get out of bed before noon, just! I took a last dip in the sea off Bora Bora Beach before relaxing by the pool and then all heading into Ibiza town for our last night. We sacked off the all inclusive and had a nice alfresco meal in the old town, sampling some lovely Paella. We then made a return to The Rock cocktail bar which we had enjoyed so much a few nights before and received a lovely welcome from the girl who had served us before – it was really nice that she recognised us and went even further to underline it as one of our favourite Ibiza haunts!
Everyone else headed to Pacha for the last night but me and Tom decided to call it a night, giving our wallets and livers a rest. All in all we had had a fantastic week, great times with some great friends a really nice mix of nights and tastes as well as some more chilled out times. For all the preconceptions and bad press that Ibiza can get I can’t recommend it highly enough, whether you are a hardcore party head or looking for a beautiful beach holiday with a bit of a life.