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You’ve all heard about Space and Amnesia in Ibiza, and how they’re technically the best clubs on the self-styled “Party Island”.
But what about ones like Eden: the subject of a major financial facelift in 2008?
If the biggest DJ in the world – Pete Tong – moved his residency there, its surrounding San Antonio district surely offers more than regurgitating last night’s paella on the kerb?
Wonderland by name, Wonderland by nature
Getting a taxi to San Antonio is comparable to paying for a safari trip into a concrete jungle.
Like a scene from a John A. Romero zombie movie, lurching bodies filter into view approaching the belly of the beast that is San Antonio.
They stumble about the streets, first in small groups, and then in moaning droves the closer you get to Eden and its neighbouring (misleadingly titled) Es Paradis club.
Yes, loyal Beatporters, without wanting to sound snobbish, San Antonio is plagued by chavs.
In San Antonio, one is guaranteed to see Stella-swigging, collar-popping, loafer-shoehorning, football-tattooing, kebab-ingesting, forehead-greasing beta males who, after having seen Kevin and Perry Go Large and hearing ‘The Music Sounds Better With You’, pawned their LG 42-inch plasmas and headed off to Ibiza in search of unprotected sex and “bangin’ choonz”.
Eden’s amazing venue
Having recently been to a deplorable night at Privilege, the prospect of mingling with the Easy Jet crew (fresh from their thirty-person sharer hostels) wasn’t top of the agenda.
But, joking apart (and this may come as a relief to those who haven’t been to Ibiza and are now expecting the worst), Eden is actually an A-grade club, with a great atmosphere and winning policy.
So long as you don’t stay in San Antonio (or venture there for a few pints before the big night out), Eden ranks as a venue well worth going to.
It was rebuilt over the winter of 1999, and refurbished in 2008, now boasting a 5,000 capacity, mezzanine areas, a “ba-dunk-a-dunk” sound system and nine bars (one of which is an “isolation bar” with its own DJ and soundproof floor-to-ceiling sliding glass).
It all sounds too good to be true on paper, but visually, Eden matches up: it’s stunning.
The venue is a clubland manifestation of the ideals behind Justin Timberlake’s ‘Rock Your Body’ music video, boasting swathes of pulsing, multicoloured light bulbs.
Eden reveler tries to take Pete Tong’s Cristal
The atmosphere inside is non-violent and hedonistic.
The chavs are nice: having the times of their lives and really losing themselves in the enigma and transcendency of first-time clubbing on this scale.
It actually feels refreshing to be away from the V.I.P rooms of Pacha and Amnesia, in Wonderland.
In the former clubs, 30+/40+ males with huge financial clout and little personality rent €5000 tables, surrounding their physical shortcomings and childhood insecurities with beautiful gold diggers.
In Eden though, it feels like you’re “back home” (wherever that is), with normal people who aren’t up their own asses, who aren’t going home on multitiered yachts, and who are approachable and sociable.
They come here to enjoy themselves; to get away from their troubles on whatever budgets they can, and make the most of every second.
Moreover, the crowd reactions on the night were the best of any club in Ibiza.
Tom Findlay from Groove Armada DJs in style
In venues like Amnesia, attendees can get lost in the music and appear subdued, but in Eden they’re bang up for a good time – going loony when big tunes drop and flailing around in a manner usually reserved for drum & bass raves.
These good times and vibes spread out superbly across the cavernous, but paradoxically intimate venue that is Eden; there’s always a new place to go and interesting things to soak in.
Top of the list, experience-wise, is the sound-proof chamber above Eden’s main dance floor, with its very own DJ.
Here, you’re situated behind the light bulb-laden glass panels surrounding the main room, and everything feels very personal and special.
Skewing through the venue, out of the sound-proof room, are little hideaways, seats and furnishings, each with their own sense of character.
The Eden staircase
Other than the infamous Pete Tong, Eric Prydz and Groove Armada were playing at Wonderland during this review, and the former two dropped no-nonsense, “safe” club anthems, that, whilst not for the purist, made everyone else (especially those with a drink in hand) go ballistic.
This DJ policy of hiring big names who are entertainers and crowd pleasers – I’m told by Wonderland’s promoters – is a strict policy for Eden.
Perhaps this is why its V.I.P room is fun and unpretentious?
The exotically-dressed entertainers mingle with everyone and aren’t under the whip of the venue staff (speaking of which, some were curiously bleary-eyed).
The drinks prices are, like everywhere in Ibiza, expensive.
The crowd go bananas in Wonderland
Two Red Bulls for €22.
Painful is the word.
But if you want a fun, memorable experience, and are willing to travel to Eden’s well-trodden entrance hall via taxi, Pete Tong’s Wonderland lives up to its name.
Arrive early: it has the biggest queues in Ibiza.