I’ll begin my Ibiza review by saying that I do get it. Sort of. I absolutely understand what this party island has to offer. Lovers of house music (among other things) can travel to Ibiza every summer to work on their tan by day and see some of the world’s best djs perform by night…or morning… So yes, nightlife in Ibiza is pretty crazy and perhaps my expectations were just a little TOO high. But after my weekend get-away I’d have to say that I’d choose Barcelona over Ibiza parties any day of the week. Here’s why…
Wake up ->beach ->disco ->sleep (but probably not) ->repeat. Sounds ideal right? I literally could not have been more excited for my trip to the Ibiza party island. I even watched YouTube videos of ridiculous Ibiza parties as I packed my suitcase and listened to the HOUSE MUSIC playlist on my iTunes. So when my friend Mari and I exited the plane in the Ibiza airport and saw the neon advertisements for AMNESIA SUNDAYS plastered on the luggage carousel, it was clear that for better or for worse, we had arrived.
We knew that our hotel was a little ways outside of town, but given that it is high season and even the cheapest, bare-bones hostels near most Ibiza nightclubs are astronomically expensive, we figured that we were making the best choice. Wrong. The island is huge, so unless you plan on shelling out a lot of cash to stay centrally, you have to rent a car to get around. There’s no need to lecture on the dangers of drinking and driving, so obviously your rent-a-car becomes a poor choice for travel to and from the famed Ibiza nightclubs. Thus, you’re once again stuck with the €30 cab rides that you were trying to avoid in the first place. Trust me, this hassle will seriously detract from your ability to fully enjoy nightlife in Ibiza.
On the first night we went to one of the most famous Ibiza parties at Pacha: “the world’s best club” home of the world’s best djs.” I’ll give credit to whoever did the decorating in that place though, because it was pretty incredible -or at least what I could see in between debilitating blasts from the fog machines. Half-naked women danced around in gigantic champagne glasses, while others frolicked around the stage in sparkly corsets and stiletto pumps. Oh la-la how magical!! Every room was absolutely jam packed with people (mostly men) most of whom were hollering at and actually grabbing every female that passed by. At this point I’m thinking to myself, did I seriously pay €50 just to get man-handled at one of the TOP Ibiza nightclubs?
The music was quite good, although not one of the best djs I’ve heard (Tiesto IN Barcelona, anyone??) SO theoretically if you’re able to keep your 20 euro drink from spilling, all while fending off the sexually frustrated male club goers ranging in age from 16 to 45, and finally make your way to the dance floor then you’re definitely in for a good time!!!!!!! *please note my sarcasm*
In an attempt to be as thorough as possible, Mari and I were sure to check out all of the “top” Ibiza nightclubs. I can therefore tell you with confidence that they were all more of the same: Good music, insanely crowded, theme park-sized venues, ridiculous cover charges (60 euro to enter Space on a Sunday afternoon), crowds ranging from shirtless 16 year olds to 50 year old divorcees, overpriced drinks, etc etc.
The beach scene was pretty similar. Upon arriving at Playa de’n Bossa, home of Bora Bora and Space, one of the most infamous Ibiza nightclubs, I was unpleasantly surprised by what I found.
The dirty streets parallel to the beach were full of vendors selling knock-off Gucci bags and Ray ban sunglasses, and promoters shoving flyers in your face about various “HOT HOT” Ibiza parties. And if they weren’t selling you a €50 ticket to one of the “HOT HOT” Ibiza nightclubs they too were hitting on and/or groping every female that passed them by. This was a far cry from the pristine sand beaches and fabulously chic venues that I had envisioned when I dreamt of the Ibiza party island. I must say that the Bora Bora restaurant/club was…well…entertaining
Mari and I soaked in the scenery as we drank our 20 euro mojitos (no joke) and danced amongst a crowd of people that were either so drunk they couldn’t stand, on some sort of illegal drug, or hooking up on the dance floor. Partttyyyy!!!
We did, however, encounter a few exceptions to that which is typical nightlife in Ibiza. Enter Blue Marlin beach club. Hidden away on Cala Jondal, the Blue Marlin stood out like a God amongst mere mortals. The Mazarati parked out front set the stage for a place where the “Ibiza elite” could come to lay on the white canopy beds, sip on their €100 bottles of Moet, and relax to the interplay of the melodies from the saxophone player and resident DJ.
I’d be lying if I said that the place wasn’t beautiful. Plus the meal we had was fantastic in comparison to our other Ibiza meals, but again everything comes at price (and a high one might I add). Blue Marlin- from the people hanging out there to the staff- can be best described as snobby. But hey, if you have lots of money to blow on your vacay to the Ibiza party island and enjoy the aforementioned scene, then you’d probably love this place.
Don’t get me wrong. I DID have a lot of fun experiencing it all- from the absurd Ibiza parties to the larger than life Ibiza nightclubs. However, if I had it to do over again my Ibiza trip would have gone a little something like this: Hit up one of the famous Ibiza nightclubs (just for the story) and then rent a car and spend the rest of my time driving around the island and exploring the small bars and beaches that are “off the beaten” path.
Next, I’d come back to Barcelona a few hundred Euros richer and head down to Opium del Mar and party like a rockstar for one-tenth of the price. But hey, that’s just my humble opinion!