The White Island: Beyond the bright lights

The White Island: Beyond the bright lights

Ibiza boasts more than 2,500 years of civilisation. And its cultural significance was recognised when UNESCO named it a World Heritage site in 1999.

From the fortifications of Ibiza City to the Phoenician settlement of sa Caleta, it is a trove of historical treasures.

A great way to explore the island is by bike. Ibiza is crisscrossed by 23 cycling routes, perfect for all levels of ability and it will keep you in-tune with the nature-loving hipsters who have made Ibiza their home.

Many of the island’s farmhouses and rural estates have been converted into luxury hotels as part of the booming agritourism movement.

Cycling along paths lined with lemon and orange trees is perfect for checking them out.

Take a lunch break in one of their restaurants. Or enjoy an ice cold drink along your way in one of the many pristine villages, untouched by the tourism industry.

Ibiza

“You must check out the 40km of achingly beautiful, sandy beaches that give the White Island its name.”

Benirrás Beach should be top of your list. The rocky seabed is ideal for snorkelling and its sunsets are among the most romantic the Med can offer. On Sundays, musicians descend on the beach to “drum down the sunset” – a must-see Ibiza experience.

You should also tune in and drop out in spiritual hippy hideaways. Or unwind at a yoga retreat in a remote, stone-built mountain finca.

Ibiza is a hub for alternative living. A day spent with the Casita Verde community among its yurts and tree houses is another essential. It opens to the public every Sunday afternoon, serving delicious homegrown, homemade, vegetarian lunch for only a few euros.

And The Hippy Market Punta Arabi, every Wednesday, is not to be missed. Live music and stalls selling crafts and trinkets, put all tourist tat in the shade.

Alternatively, go upscale. And shop ’til you drop in the boutiques of Passeig de Vara de Rey, where the beautiful people ooze Hollywood glamour.

Or if all that sounds too exhausting, just sip highball cocktails in the shade of billowing white curtains, alongside a turquoise-tiled pool.

These contrasting sides of the island sit comfortably side-by-side. So forget foam parties and vodka Red Bulls: experiencing this side of the island will give real Ibizan memories to treasure.

Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay

If you’re lucky enough to escape without the kids, the arrival this summer of Nobu Hotel, Ibiza Bay, has created the ultimate playground for grown-ups. Its two private seafront pools, restaurants, spa and boutique have been carefully curated to provide guests with an authentic island escape – without even having to leave the resort.

Nobu Matsuhisa’s signature Japanese fusion dishes have been a huge hit with celebs in London. And he has unleashed his flavours on Ibiza. The resort’s signature restaurant, Chambao, gives freshly-prepared seafood a Mexican twist.

So if you have ever dismissed Ibiza as home to the Kevin and Perry-brigade of clubbing teenagers: think again. The White Island is everyone’s perfect paradise.

Jason BullJason Bull is co-owner and GM of Ibiza’s Hotel Es Vivé, which is synonymous with a boutique Balearic lifestyle. More than just a hotel, Es Vivé is the epitome of Ibiza’s hedonistic reputation in the modern era.

Having moved to Ibiza in the 90s, and described by co-owner, Jamie Kahn, as ‘Mr Party’, he was the perfect choice of front man for this ambitious venture.

His vision brought together a group of investors with a common goal – to create a hotel that stood out from the rest. It had to be unique, original and refreshing. The plan was to revive an old hostel on the coast of Figueretes, turning it into an exciting and aspirational Ibiza destination.

Soon after its opening in 2000, Hotel Es Vivé became known as one of the best ‘party hotels’ on the island. Its wild reputation, together with round-the-clock service earned it an iconic status.

Hotel Es Vivé

After pioneering the ‘party hotel’ trend, a major Art Deco refurbishment shifted its focus from all night debauchery into a stylish sanctuary where guests could dip their toes into the madness of the island beyond its gates, safe in the knowledge that they had their own private oasis to return to.

How and when did you and your partners first come across Hotel Es Vivé? Was it love at first sight?

Yes it was love at first sight. We looked at the building and the location and we just knew for sure that we could make some magic.

So much has happened at the hotel over the years. Tell me about one of your fondest Es Vivé memories.

The first good memory was demolishing the crazy golf course that took up half the sun terrace. That had to go! After that a million memories were made developing the infamous party hotel concept that has now been recreated globally. To be honest the whole Es Vivé experience has been one big happy memory. I am incredibly lucky.

How has the hotel changed over the years? Was this always your vision, or has the hotel style and ethos evolved/matured as you have?

Hotel Es Vivé was originally a hostel and we developed the ‘party hotel’ concept in-line with the client demand. We wanted a place that catered to the Ibizan market so we went from hostel to party hotel and ended up where we are now, which is luxury and boutique with a beat.

What are you most looking forward to at Es Vivé this season?

I can’t wait see our clients enjoy the new wellness area and experience the evolution of the Experience Bar. I’m also looking forward to some good times hanging out on the Ombra Di Pantera roof terrace expansion.

What does the future hold for you and for Hotel Es Vivé? Can we expect to see you open any more hotels or bars on the island, or elsewhere in the world?

For now we are focusing on making Es Vivé in Ibiza the most amazing it can be. We definitely want to spread the Es Vivé vibe around the world when the time is right though.
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