“It's Ibiza Jim, but not as we know it!” (10-16th August 09)


Active Member
After taking my girlfriend to Ibiza for 3 days last year, she was convinced to join me for a full week on the White Isle this time around. Having been 3 times in the last year, I decided this Ibiza trip would be about trying out new places & generally chilling out – here's how we got on …

Monday 10th
Having worked from home all day, the anticipation was almost killing me when we finally boarded our BA plane at Gatwick at 7pm. For some reason the girls behind were franticly taking photos on their mobile phones as they boarded, but I was oblivious to who was on board. It's only a 2 hour flight, but having touched down in Ibiza, it feels like you're in a different world. Grabbed cases & headed to the taxi queue, which was probably 40 deep, but moving quickly. Next thing I know my other half is looking behind where a casually dressed Sienna Miller is greeting a male friend with her new man. Suddenly I realised who the girls were photographing on the way over! After a 15 minute wait we got a 40 euro taxi to our beautiful rural retreat 'Es Cucons' near St Agnes & chilled out for the night

Tuesday 11th
Awoke to a slightly overcast but warm day, and after a hearty fresh breakfast, planted ourselves poolside for the day. When deciding where to stay we weighed up several options from villas to apartments to 4/5* hotels to rural hotels. Can't understate how impressed I was by Es Cucons – excellent staff, great food, an awesome, quiet pool area and comfortable, beautiful rooms. It's not that far to anywhere on the island and provided a great oasis of tranquility.


Tuesday evening we got a taxi for 15 euro straight to the Ibiza Rocks hotel. The gig had sold out the day before & judging by the queue at 8pm it was going to be a busy night! Got in just in time to see an energetic performance by Example, with a grande finale of 'Watch The Sun Come Up'. Picked up some drinks and a massive slice of pizza each and watched from the bar as the 'Newham Generals' fulfilled their supporting role. They were clearly higher up on the bill because of their link to Dizzee's label not because of their talent – they were very average! But that didn't matter because the full-to-capacity crowd were there for one man – Dizzee himself. The atmosphere reached fever pitch as he finally burst onto stage at 10:30 to the Tings Tings – 'That's Not My Name' – a clever cover which soon lead straight into 'Jus' A Rascal'. Dizzee rocked it for the next hour with a set combining classics with new material and even a cover of M.I.A. - Paper Planes, before finishing with Holiday, Dance Wiv Me & Bonkers - which got one of the biggest reactions I've ever seen at a gig. Even though it took a sweaty, crowded & uncomfortable 20 minutes to get out of the hotel, a great evening was had by all. Waited for about 15 mins in the San An taxi queue before being whisked back home


Wednesday 12th
Due to the general shortage of rental cars throughout Europe, we had only managed to book a car from the Wednesday to Sunday of our trip through Avis, and at a rather extortionate price, even for Ibiza in August. Nevertheless, after collecting it from the airport at midday, we once again chilled out at Es Cucons until the evening, when we headed to Amante at Sol d'en Serra. Had read a bit about the change in ownership & renaming this year and decided to give it a go. Location is pretty spectacular – looking out to sea from up high, and the food was very tasty – my steak was cooked to perfection. The service wasn't great and there was a slight lack of atmosphere, but overall we had a lovely romantic meal.

Thursday 13th
The glorious cloud-free, sunshine-filled weather usually associated with Ibiza had properly kicked in, so we opted for another lazy day by the pool, punctuated only by a delicious meal at the hotel.

One of my girlfriend's favourite experiences from last year was sunset strip, so we headed down there just in time to see the sun dip into the sky. We grabbed a couple of reasonably priced & refreshing glasses of Rose from Mambo and sat on the decking watching the world go by, including the obligatory naked water skier! The sunset strip was packed as always, with the new Cafe del Mar terrace open and well patronised.


We the strolled down to Cafe Savannah where Tom Novy rocked it with a excellent set for the 'Be @ Space' warm-up.


Finally at 11pm we headed to Villa Mercedes and had one of the best meals of the holiday. Hotel had reserved us a great table on the balcony upstairs and we had a great time. Beautiful view, great food, excellent service and a reasonable bill at the end of it all – thoroughly recommended. The place was really busy, including plenty of people in the bar soaking up some chilled flamenco tunes. Once again there was a short taxi queue and we were back in the hotel in no time.

Friday 14th
The car finally got a proper run out and the brand new Seat Leon was a joy to drive. We headed up North to Portinax first of all and relived some childhood memories. I'd forgotten what a lovely set of beaches this part of the island has – all were busy, but not unbearable and provided a great opportunity for a refreshing swim in the sea. On the way back we stopped on the windy road from Portinax at a couple of other bays with perfect turquoise water & a smattering of people sunning themselves – beautiful.


Friday night was the big one – Space 20th Anniversary. Despite an extensive line-up devoid of many 'big name' DJs, I wasn't going to miss this for the world. We drove down to PdB early at about 7pm and had dinner at Sands – another revamp for the island in 2009. The place was deserted, and closed soon after we finished dinner, but I was impressed. Lovely beach-front location, with tasty food, big portions and decent service – the tuna I had was really good. Sure the atmosphere would be much different on a big night, such as the upcoming session with Carl Cox!

We checked out Delano (funky but empty) & Bora Bora (reasonably full and banging) before arriving at Space about 10pm. Club was rapidly getting busier, but still quite empty at this stage. As per usual for Space we got a free drink with our tickets, which is always good value – given both the prices and the large Spanish measures! We also got a free t-shirt which was a really nice touch and made for an excellent memento. Michel Cleis was playing a quality set on the sunset terrace & sent the place crazy for the last 10 minutes by playing that tune! Everywhere in the club people were well up for a good night and there was still plenty of room to dance. We moved on to the new terrace to see Elio Riso, who I still think is a great talent, even if the missus wasn't too keen. We chilled out for a bit in the sunset terrace before getting a prime position in the discoteca for the last 15 minutes of Yousef and the start of deadmau5. Never before have I seen such massive anticipation amongst the crowd for a DJ as I did with him. When he finally took to the 'decks', giant mouse head on, the place went mental – helped along by fire crackers, ticker tape and the usual out-of-this-world laser show. His set was as expected with his own creations leading the way, but it really made the night. Unfortunately we were flagging so headed home before he finished, but overall had a really enjoyable night.

Saturday 15th
Got up late, chilled by the pool, then headed to Ibiza Town early evening to grab a few drinks and have a walk around the old town – another one of my girlfriend's favourite experiences from last year. As usual the car parking situation in town was horrific so headed out to the industrial area next to the skateboard park at the end of Av de Ignasi Wallis – always loads of spaces, but the walk over the foot bridge into town is a bit sketchy! Had a walk round the old town, saw a couple of very impressive yachts (including Philip Green's) and then headed back to the car. Not sure whether it was because of it being a Sat night, being August or being during the 'credit crunch' but Eivissa was empty – literally. This was a bit disappointing, because whilst Dalt Vila is beautiful, for me it's the great atmosphere in the narrow cobbled streets that makes the place magical. We were also very glad of our choice not to park in town as whilst crossing the motorway on the way back we saw a rather large plume of smoke from what we guessed was a car on fire near Carrer de Joan Castello.

Once again we decided to try out a new restaurant, and tonight we headed for Bambudha Grove. After a short drive, and rather sharp turn into a slightly hidden entrance we arrived, and all I can say is – wow! The whole place is really impressive, with massive bambo shoots, plants and various decorations from the far east all over the place. It's also huge – so huge that I nearly got lost on the way to the toilets after having to go through about 5 different rooms. We ate from the al a carte menu as the buffet had finished and had a really tasty meal of spring rolls, duck curry, tiger prawns and chocolate soufflé. Yes it is reasonably expensive, but the atmosphere & setting are awesome – can't believe I've never been there before – will definitely be heading back next year! Was still buzzing as we left at 1am

Sunday 16th
Wanted to make the most of our last day, and as our flight wasn't until 11pm we checked out and headed to Aquas Blancas. Drive was really easy, plenty of free parking & after a steep walk down a winding road we got to the beautiful beach. Had never been there before, but was very impressed – lovely long sandy beach, chilled out vibe, bit of surf to have fun with in the sea, shade from the cliffs above and a great little chiringuito.


Struggled back up the road to our car and headed for Santa Eularia – another popular spot from visiting the island as a child some 15 years ago. Parked up, strolled along the lovely promenade to the marina, grabbed some food & ice cream, then headed back towards the car. On the way I looked up and thought to myself 'I know that apartment, but how?'. Then I realised – it was the one used in the film 'Kevin & Perry Go Large' – I think maybe I've watched that film a few too many times!


It was early evening so we drove back to Es Cucons, chilled out by the pool, then had a shower, got changed and headed for the airport. Dropped off the car at Avis with no hassle, check or anything and checked in. Our BA flight was delayed by 30 mins so just got some tasty ham baguettes from the Illy coffee shop and chilled before boarding about 11:30pm. The holiday was very much over, and the prospect of work the next day wasn't looking very appealing!

We succeeded in trying out lots of different places on the island and was really pleased as found some absolute gems – Bambudha Grove, Villa Mercedes & Aguas Blancas. However, I found the best ones were those that have been mentioned by others on here for years. Sure there are lots of cool new places in Ibiza this season, and some are clearly here to stay, but others might find the going a little tough in their debut season. As with deciding when to go to which clubs – plan your visit to the new bars depending on what's on that night! All in all the island is more exciting & interesting than ever, and continues to evolve year on year – it's made me realise that after going to the island regularly for the last 20 years, I still haven't seen more than 10% of what it has to offer – bring on next year! :)

PS: Sorry about the late review, but V festival, SW4, etc slowed by writing progress!
Nice review:) I think this is more the direction my holidays will be heading in the future although now I've decided to do 2 a year one for clubbing and one for exploring! I haven't driven abroad yet but I'm going to try it out next year :confused: hope I'll be alright! Nice to see some reviews on restaurants for a change as well :D
Haha!! No seriously Tom Novy is insanely bad! And he shouts come on Ibiza a lot... maybe to hide sh** mixes??? :twisted:
I think he is crap too ... but at least he loves ibiza and that's the most important !!!

So if Timmy Mallet was on the decks in Space shouting "come on Ibiza" every 4 minutes so you didn't notice his s*** mixes would you be ok with that ? :lol::lol::lol:

.... actually come to think of it :D