Ibiza is exactly what you think it’s going to be and then it’s not. It’s party central at night, but there’s actually a good number of families there as well, so keep that in mind during the day. We never really left the main beach area, so I can’t comment on the rest of the island. The area around the hotel seemed like it could be sketchy, but there were so many people out all the time it just never was.
The stories you hear about “party favors” are real. I never saw a cop but I saw plenty of money exchange hands. It’s almost as prevalent as the guys on the street in Vegas trying to give you cards with naked girls on them.
Flights: STN-IBZ on RyanAir (this doesn’t run every day so check your dates)
Hotel: Hard Rock Ibiza – we stayed in a pool-side room and split the cost. It was absolutely worth it. Fantastic hotel right on the beach right next to all of the clubs and shopping and restaurants. One piece of advice – if you book a room for two (that sleeps four with the pull-out couch) you will get only 2 wristbands. Those will be looked for at the pool and when you come into the hotel at night.
One thing we did learn is that if you have a guest come in with you, you can register them at the Front Desk for no charge. Take from that what you will J. Also, if you’re staying at the hotel, the pool chairs are all free which is great.
I do know some people that stayed in an Air BnB on the island and rented bikes to get around everywhere. Not sure that would have been so great post-partying though. I would definitely say the cost of getting a hotel right on the beach is well worth it.
Where to eat/drink:
Went shopping for snacks at a small market down the street a bit. Bought alcohol there as well.
Hard Rock Hotel - We did lunch on Saturday at the hotel beach bar. It seemed like we needed a reservation but they fit us in. It was expensive. Probably wouldn’t recommend it.
Sa Punta - This was an awesome find by my friend Lainie. We had to taxi over there – no ubers on the island but the views were gorgeous. We were some of the first people there but we wanted to catch the sunset and by the time we left it was packed. Fantastic food, great wine, and excellent service. I highly recommend it. You do need a reservation and it’s a pretty nice place, so don’t look like a slob (AKA no jeans, tshirts, sneakers, etc.)
Late night food: found a pizza place open post-Afrojack at 4am or whatever time it was. It was not good.
HI – this place was awesome. They have a huge indoor dance floor stage area that reminded me of Vegas nightclubs like Hakkasan or Omnia without all of the bottle service tables and rules about where you can stand. If you go through the double doors at the back of that area, you end up in a space that has one room with a DJ and a bunch of water closets with toilets but no doors. I don’t think the toilets are functional…Then you can go out back and they have a great back patio bar with tepees and statues and plenty of places to sit with friends and chill until the main act comes on stage around 2/230AM. We saw Afrojack but I know it varies every night.
Ushuaia – THE club in Ibiza – right next door to the Hard Rock. We paid about $65 in advance online to see Kygo there. The hotel rooms that night overlooking the pool were something like $1200, so you can imagine how popular this place is. It’s all one giant area surrounding their pool, which they close off probably so no one drowns. Most people were in casual summer outfits similar to what you’d see at Coachella but not swimwear. We went right up the left side of the stage and ended up in the front row on the edge even though we showed up a bit late. He was absolutely incredible and I was 100% sober. That night was the birth of my Kygo addiction. Also, he went on much earlier than the DJ did the previous night – I don’t think he had any openers.
Overall, I loved Ibiza. It’s got the perfect mix of chill daytime hangout poolside, casual pre-game bar spots, amazing food, incredible sunsets, and of course a raging party scene. I wish we’d had a full two days or more there. I’d definitely go back.