Review of Ibiza 09 - Got a bit carried away, apologies!!


Active Member
Me and my boyfriend (20, 21) came to Ibiza for our first time this year, between Aug 21st and Sept 4th. We stayed at the Arenal Hotel in San Antonio and I simply can't fault the holiday!

We booked with Thomas Cook (who were also spot on) but after reading some reviews online, I was a little worried about the hotel. However, the staff were lovely and helpful on arrival, we were upgraded to a seaview free of charge. The room was clean, comfy and had everything you'd need (except maybe a fridge?) and was tidied every single morning. We went half board to save some money and were pleasantly surprised with the standard, granted the layout of the dining room might be a bit 'school canteen' for some people. You help yourself to the generous salad bar and a selection of hot food. Some nights, they also had the Chef cooking the special out in the room, with meals such as paella, crepes, omlettes which made a nice change. I would thoroughly recommend the hotel to everyone, there were plenty of young people, along with families and older people too. It was quiet at night when you wanted to sleep, and they were welcoming at reception at 5am.

With regards to San Antonio itself, I was again extremely relieved at how wrong the reviews really were. Considering we were there for two weeks, we rarely saw big groups of drunken lads (which is what I was expecting) and there was always a feel good atmosphere. The PR's on the streets, although sometimes a bit too persistent, were also very helpful when you needed them. The only negative with San An (although we were approached in Playa den Bossa too) were the men on the street constantly offering dodgy CD's and sunglasses, amongst other things (!). I was stunned at first at how blatantly they were offering it in public but we soon learnt to just ignore them.

In terms of nights out, we went to 3/4 'big' nights throughout our stay. Reclaim the Dancefloor at Eden was a very good choice, with Pendulum as the headliner. They played for a few hours and had the crowd bouncing off the walls. The club itself wasn't quite as spectacular as I hoped for but it was only 20 euros to get in and the music was fab.

We went to Es Paradis several times, but never paid to get in, they seemed to always be handing out free entry wristbands. The club itself really is beautiful, but I was never bowled over by the music. We popped in on our first night to Kompass and only stayed about an hour. And we attempted to do the water party on a Saturday but didn't make it all night. The water doesn't come on until about half 5 and we ran out of steam before then. I would have liked to see it but we overheard some people the next day who said the water was truly disgusting! Without a wristband, it would have been 40 euros to get in so that was a relief!

On one of the Thursdays, we went to Cream at Amnesia, which was outstanding. Annie Mac played in the Terrace and did a terrific set and had everyone bouncing. The Crookers came on after her and kept the momentum going. They've just got a new laser system and its out of this world. We only caved and bought a bottle water to share at about 3am as we''d drunk prior to the club and it was 8 bloody euros. Only downside to the club really is the drink prices. The main room didn't appeal to me as much, as in comparison to the terrace, it was quite dark and dingey. Although Eddie Halliwell was pretty good. 40 euros well spent.

The best and most stand out night we did was The Swedish House Mafia at Pacha. Favourite club by far. Bit harder to get to but only 6 euro return on the disco bus. Again, silly prices for drink, beer was, I think, 10 euros, same for water, which are blatant cons. But we shared a couple of vodka/lemonades, 15 euros, but with stupidly generous Spanish measures of vodka, and a seperate bottle of lemonade its much better value. The Mafia were beyond amazing and it was a performance rather than just a set. There were dancers, lasers, glitter, fireworks, the works. And music was just brilliant. Best night, 47 euros, again, extremely well spent!

A few other things that stood out during the holiday were the boat trips to the little beaches you can get from the harbour, go to Cala Conta, its gorgeous! We did a boat cruise for Judgement Sundays and the free cocktail advertised really didn't run out, it was 20 euros and worth every cent. We also met Judge Jules at Kanya, Zane Lowe at Bar M.. the pre-parties were really good and you get a mini snippet of the big nights for free. Along from Bar M towards the Arenal, is the Cafe de Tulp, and the Bay Bar, worth a visit and much more personal and friendly compared to the sunset strip.

Everyone really does applaud at sunset down by Cafe del Mar which was an experience! We did the cheapy option and bought some drinks at the supermarket and sat on the steps to watch most nights. Same view, same music and a lot less pricey!
In general, yes the exchange rate is crap, the clubs are expensive etc etc, but Ibiza really isn't that overpriced if you're sensible and don't drink in the main clubs.

We each took 800 euros for two weeks (some people might be shocked) and we ran out of money at the airport on the way home. You don't need thousands to enjoy Ibiza. It's a beautiful island and its much more worthwhile to do a few big nights but don't waste your daytimes! We slept in on a few days and it felt like we'd missed out. Oh, and invest in a snorkel set, crystal clear water. And go Parasailing at sunset on the Plastik boat, super crew, free beer, sound system and a party outside Mambo after sunset. And do the Es Vedra cruise... And go to Fusion restaurant at Playa des Figueretes... I could go on but I'll be quiet now. Best holiday ever.
A very happy Laura :D xx
Last edited by a moderator:
Very nice review,lots of usefull detail,you covered a lot of ground for a first visit !

btw, no need to applaud the sun setting ;)
Got to agree with you on the money/costs...yes, ibiza is VERY expensive but you can do it on a fairly tight budget. Although its harder to save money on clubs (alcohol especially), a lot of what is expensive is going to 'the places to be seen' like the beach bar on Salinas beach which isnt even that nice. There are plenty more interesting and better bars/restaurants and places to go that are full of locals and much more reasonable on the island!
Good review........sounds like you will be back.

SHM at Pacha was a good night......... great atmosphere:p
Nice Review 8)

and the sunset has been applauded since people started taking it in from Cafe Del Mar/Mambo/Savannah/on the rocks or wherever!!!
and there will always be newbies to Ibiza year after year ....

i think the applause comes from people who think to themselves at the time!!! "There you go!!! i seen a sunset at Mambo at last!!! 8)
Sounds like you had a great time Laura :D. I sometimes wish I was going for the first time all over again. Good to see that you managed to pack loads in without spending 3 grand or whatever. I've done Ibiza on a tight budget a couple of times and still had as good a time as the times when I've had plenty to spend.