Like An Ibiza Virgin; Partying On The White Isle For The Very First Time!
| 27th August 2015
When I decided Ibiza was my summer holiday destination this year, my friends were shocked by the fact that I had never before been to the party island capital of the world. Why? Hmmmm… I’m not too sure, really. It’s not like I have a party-girl reputation or anything!
Having discovered DJ-ing as my new passion two years ago, I thought it was time to experience Ibiza so off we went to get the VIVA Summer Party started!
As I write this, I’m sitting on a stiflingly warm and sweaty train and I have the biggest Ibiza blues. Listening to some house tune classics, I start reminiscing over the last week of pure madness. What we experienced and how crazily insane the party scene is out there. I’m having to write a clean version and resisting exposing ‘what really happens in Ibiza.’
Day 1: Ibiza rule number one, whether you’ve just landed at two o’clock in the afternoon or two o’clock in the morning, unpacking can wait! You go straight out to party. After all, that’s the reason for going to the island. Our flight got in at two o’clock in the morning and, lucky for us, we had a man – well known in Ibiza – who welcomed us with open arms. Originally from Manchester, Andy Pope, alias the ‘Drinksmith,’ is considered as one of the best mixologists Ibiza has to offer.
Along with VIVA girls, Chadders and Jen The Flat, (who arrived the day before) Andy met us and took us straight to Circo Loco for a party before hitting the beach with our bottles to watch the sunrise in San Antonio Bay. A great start to the Ibiza experience!
Our next move was to don our bikinis and man-kinis and head down to Talamanca beach. This is a family friendly area, so be warned, it’s not really the best place to hang about with a group of mates after a night of partying.
We chose to move on that afternoon to Bora Bora beach in Playa D’en Bossa, thinking we had the opportunity for some chilled time before continuing the party but DJ’s were banging out the ultimate house music along this strip of the beach and people were dancing on the white sand and out of the sea in true Ibiza style. All I can say of this afternoon is, ‘Suncream and hot bananas!’
It’s always more exciting going out with a big group of friends, who all fly out at different times of the week. After heading back from our day of fun on the beach, we were surprised to find that Rowetta, from the Happy Mondays, had turned up earlier than we anticipated. She looked fabulous as ever, chilling by the hotel pool side in a white chiffon dress and day-glo – very suitable attire for partying.
After a quick swim in the pool and a freshen-up, we made our way to Cafe Mambo for some much-needed food and watched the sun set while listening to Australian DJs, Nervo, on the decks! [ Nervo are the sisters who co-wrote David Guetta’s ‘When Life Takes Over’ ]
Cafe Mambo is one of Ibiza’s most popular hot spots to watch the sun set. Book a table in advance if you want food, as it gets extremely busy. If you can’t get a table, then there is plenty of room to sit on the sandy beach in front, where you can buy drinks.
It was then onto my first DJ gig at, lo and behold, VIVA Ibiza bar! It’s at the top of the West End strip and is considered the number one ‘Workers’ bar. Monday night is all about Blasted which has been run by Alexander J since launching in 2013.
A night for the workers from the workers – but open to all – Blasted offers opportunities for fresh, new talent in the form of DJs based amongst Ibiza’s working community plus guest slots from more established names.
I was buzzing to be starting my Ibiza DJ-ing experience at the Blasted night. VIVA Ibiza bar had a really cool vibe about it and my two-hour house set went down well. I ventured back to the bar later on in the evening to do a back-to-back set with promoter Alexander J.
Day 2: It was time for a bit of pampering before jumping aboard the famous Pukka Up boat-party so we called on Blowout, an on-demand hair and make-up service. Adding a touch of glamour to Ibiza, the Blowout girls are on hand throughout the summer to make sure you can always look effortlessly fabulous on the island that never sleeps. All glammed up, we were ready to Pukka up on the boats!
The company host the biggest sunset boat parties in Ibiza with some of the world’s top DJs spinning the tunes. The VIP Super-Yacht provides the ultimate VIP experience in Ibiza for those looking to create a very special and unforgettable memory. Departing from Marina Botafoch in Ibiza Town, clubbers board to a champagne reception and fruit platters, kick back on the VIP day beds, and get lost in the coolest house music from a state-of-the-art sound system. All set to the backdrop of Ibiza’s jaw-dropping scenery.
This summer, the Pukka Up VIP Super-Yacht brought a series of brand new collaborations with Armada, Together, Cr2 Records, Sun:Sets and FIX Records.
Meanwhile, while some of team VIVA were sipping champagne on the crests of the ocean wave, on the other side of the island, myself and the rest of my posse were boarding the World’s biggest boat party by Pukka Up, docked at San Antonio marina.
The vibe on this boat is so serial, everyone is just up for a good time dancing on the top deck to some Ibiza house and dance classics by resident DJ Chris Wright – who also let me spin a little cheeky-hour set to the uber sexy crowd that afternoon. That makes VIVA Ems the newest member of the resident DJ crew hitting up these boat-party decks this summer (ha ha)! Pukka Up tickets also grant access to some awesome after parties that have seen the likes of Rudimental, Andy C, Gorgon City, Sigma, Bondax and Sub Focus. This had to be one of my highlights of the week.
That evening, we went to Bambuddha for dinner, There you can find a number of intimate bars where the uber-cool sip on incredible cocktails. As you stroll beneath a tropical canopy of bamboo, past the watchful stone statues, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in Ubud or Goa, rather than the Ibiza countryside. Lovingly created, Bambuddha is a restaurant Temple; fusing spirituality with sexuality, designe to host private events, monumental parties and everything in between.
Day 3: After a few morning shenanigans, we were up and out early into the blazing hot sunshine. The location for today was Kanya Beach Resort pool party where I would be spinning some soulful afternoon house tunes alongside promoter Alexander J and Steven Billham from 13 Records.
Kanya Beach, on the famous Ibiza sunset strip, hosts an exclusive block of twelve luxury sunset apartments with uninterrupted views of the Mediterranean. We spent the afternoon relaxing by the pool and terrace within reaching distance of the poolside cocktail bar. This is also a really lovely place to come and eat in the evening and watch the sunset.
Party destination for this evening had to be Ibiza Rocks and being a massive fan of Sigma, I was over the Ibiza moon to find out that they were headlining. A big shout out goes to our good fellow Manchester friend, Melissa Hay, who is the ‘hostess with the mostest’ looking after Ibiza’s VIPs at Ibiza Rocks.
We had an incredible view of the stage and the ecstatic crowd that had come to see the drum and bass duo, Cameron Edwards and Joe “Wooz” Lenzie. These two talented young men met at a drum and bass night at Leeds University. Hours that were spent listening to and creating music in a bedroom have ended in chart-topping success for them both. This is the second time I have seen Sigma live and they never fail to impress me. ‘Nobody To Love’ has to be one of my all-time dance tune favourites and I think that was also the case for the rest of the party people in Ibiza Rocks that evening.
Afterwards, we wandered out to the legendary Ibiza Rocks House at Pikes for the Sigma after-party. This twenty-five room, boutique hotel, immersed in rock ’n’ roll history hosts the ultimate in Ibiza house parties. Last year saw DJ residency from Idris Elba and, this summer, DJ Harvey was taking the reins for an exclusive six-week residency at the resort.
Pikes is one of the island’s favourite hotspots for celebrities. You just never know what surprise special guests are set to drop by. It’s a little off the beaten track and you can sometimes find yourself waiting quite a while for a taxi home in the early hours of the morning – as a couple of the VIVA girls found. A big shout out goes to Example, who was a true gentlemen and let them share his cab.
If you want to know more about Pikes and its history, our good friend Howard Marks is in the middle of writing a book about the resort and the behind-doors craziness in Pikes. It will be out in all good bookshops soon.
Day 4: ‘My head is a jungle jungle’, so it was a bit of R and R by the hotel pool all day but come the evening, we were en route to a super club!
As I had mentioned earlier Rowetta from the Happy Mondays had come out to join the VIVA Ibiza party and tonight the line up at Cream Amnesia saw Will Atkinson, with whom Ro has been collaborating recently. This twenty-one year old Trance producer and Dj has hit the Ibiza scene hard this year. Responsible for over eighty Radio One plays since 2008 and with a huge range of A-list support from the likes of Armin Van Buuren, Ferry Corsten and John O’Callaghan. This young talent is one to keep an eye on!
His energetic tech-trance sound got the Amnesia party started in Cream that night, ending his set on “Mesmerise” featuring Rowetta, the crowd went wild on hearing it for the first time. It was a truly mesmerising night!
Day 5: And we were on the move, we said goodbye to the madness of San Antonio Bay and headed to Figueratas, to the area’s number one Boutique Hotel, Es Vive.
Hotel Es Vive is one of the island’s longest standing hotels and is known for its luxury and cutting edge parties. The hotel, which has refined with age, offers a high end service that doesn’t compromise on the Ibiza Charm.
Labelled as the number one boutique hotel in Ibiza, Hotel Es Vive has spared no expense with its transformation. Every single room, from its suites to single occupancy, have been re-vamped to an exceptionally high standard by the renowned interior designer, Sean Cochran.
Es Vive’s impeccable Art Deco, poolside restaurant has also been lovingly restored, offering a setting like no other with its impeccable food menu and a forty-plus bespoke cocktail menu.
The hotel facilities include a stunning roof terrace with huge white sun beds and day loungers, which team VIVA were very much drawn to throughout our stay. Overlooking Figueratas Bay, you can see Formentera in the distance and you can people-watch to your heart’s content. It has also boasts an inner sanctuary and Scandinavian-designed spa and treatment rooms.
With its big party reputation Hotel Es Vive has access to the most exclusive parties on the island, whether you’re looking to dance poolside or attend Ibiza’s most exclusive underground clubs, this boutique hotel is the perfect location.
That night we were on the guest list for SuperMartXe at Privilege, the world’s biggest club according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
With a capacity of ten thousand people, you can imagine my excitement. I had heard loads of amazing things from friends about this super club and it is, no doubt, the best clubbing experience in the world!
Manchester band Happy Mondays played here in June 1990, when it was originally called Ku and then opened Manumission at Privilege in June 1999, which led to a sixty-four hour, non-stop party that went down in Ibiza history.
Notorious drug smuggler turned author, Howard Marks was also out there in June 1999, he explains, “Along with Irvine Welsh and Kris Needs, I was Writer in Residence at the Pink Pussy motel and wrote the fliers for the 1999 Manumission season. It was the biggest and most extravagant party in the world. The fliers were flash and were kept by the punters for souvenirs. They weren’t like the ones you find on the floor anywhere else in the world.”
But before we got our dancing shoes on, we went all out for rock n roll cuisine at the famous Hard Rock Hotel. The experimental eatery, Estado Puro, run by double Michelin star chef Paco Roncero, who is renowned for his theatrical dining and culinary art. He is Spain’s answer to Heston Blumenthal.
Boasting a menu of traditional tapas with a modern twist, Roncero’s unique approach shines through the ground-breaking décor and visitors can expect dishes such as the surprising XXI century Spanish tortilla, (served in a glass) tempura asparagus with salsa Romesco, chocolate “filipino” with foie gras and cardamom and yoghurt risotto.
The food certainly had an edge, it was quite strange eating a Spanish tortilla from a glass or should I say sipping it from a glass but I have to say it worked!
Paco Roncero’s latest concept called Sublimation is another one not to miss. It is a unique concept which is now open for its second season in the grounds of Hard Rock Hotel. It’s designed for twelve guests and offers a multi-sensory journey marrying art, gastronomy and technology which merges the tangible with virtual reality thanks to Samsung’s latest wearable technology; the Samsung Gear VR. Diners will be transported from the bottom of the sea in a scene called ‘Oceano’ to ‘Peru,’ ‘Japan’ and even the future in ‘2050.’
Day 6: After a full-on night of pure dancing and a spectacular show courtesy of SuperMarXe hosted at Privilege and what can only be described as the most insane, amazing party I have ever been to, it was time to chill before we headed back to Manchester on our midnight flight.
Before leaving, I met with popular Welsh healing facilitator lady of the island, Selina Ingram. This larger-than-life character, trapped in the body of a small, vibrant, Welshwoman, has been helping others heal themselves for over thirty years and is in demand all over the world. She was on the road as a soul diva in the seventies and began taking her gift seriously in the nineteen-eighties, when she established her first practice in Las Vegas.
I went over to her villa, which overlooks the Ibiza waves near the Old Town. Being a bit of a party animal, I thought it best to get some health and healing tips. Selina talked me through another side of Ibiza that you wouldn’t expect from the island. “People think it’s just one big party island but there’s another side to this magical place. It’s very spiritual and some people like to come out here for a chilled time and to detox their bodies, no raving nor misbehaving.” she said.
Apparently James Blunt is a big fan of this spiritual stuff! Rejuvenate, rebalance and restore is a big part of what Selina believes in and she has put together a ‘Party Smartly pack’ for us ravers, which is a combination of vitamins, minerals and supplements. These encourage the assistance of better recovery, aids in supporting the central nervous system and major organs. ‘Rock Your Box’ is another detox cleanser which Selina sells and which I swear by. Now this stuff is amazing. It’s made up of Silica, which plays an important role in many bodily functions and has a direct relationship to mineral absorption which gives you a day-to-day boost of energy. Perfect for people always on the go!
I was on the verge of tears leaving this magical party island. It’s a DJ’s haven. A ravers’ playground and, one day, it will be my back garden. Until next summer, B Well Ibiza!
VIVA EMS IBIZA MIX…