Ibiza, Spain- Boasting balmy temperatures well into September and easily accessible by air from most points in Europe, Ibiza is the perfect destination for the seasoned island hopper looking to add a few more beach days to their travel calendar. As summer winds down in the Mediterranean, so do peak crowds, making September an ideal time to enjoy the beauty and calm of this island paradise known as Ibiza.
Shedding its reputation as a 24/7 party Mecca, Ibiza has recast itself in a new light as a destination for the sophisticated weekend traveler seeking the more mellow pursuits of relaxation and culinary discoveries. We decided to test this theory by taking a 72-hour detour to Ibiza en route to Barcelona from London. With no time to spare, we enlisted the guidance of beach lifestyle brand ArteMare to narrow down the best places to sleep, eat, drink and most importantly, relax, for the perfect late Mediterranean summer weekend.
Weekend Stay: ME Ibiza
Located on the quieter side of the island in Sainta Eulalia, the 205-room ME Ibiza is arguably one of the most chic properties in Ibiza. The lobby exudes a minimalist aesthetic with beachy tones of wood on white, complete with pod-like, blonde rattan swinging chairs and groovy tropical-house music. A relaxed but lively pool scene lends a cool jet-set vibe. The rooms are streamlined and modern with flat-screen TVs, quirky mini-offerings and mood lighting. Special touches like a Moët mimosa bar at the buffet-style breakfast, private boats for day trips, rooftop massages and free yoga classes only add to the luxurious ambiance that attracts well-heeled weekenders from around the world.
Saturday Beach Club: Cotton Beach Club
La dolce vita is alive and well at the newly-opened Cotton Beach Club, due in no small part to the fully serviced private cabanas, a first for Ibiza. Unlike many of the island’s beaches which can be a bit rocky, Cotton Beach Club sits on the powdery white sands of Cala Tarida bay, making a day spent in Ibiza’s signature turquoise waters that much more enjoyable. The scene is lively and fun with bronzed beach goers taking full advantage of the calm sea and rock formations along the shore (perfect for Instagram-worthy leaps into the sea). A full menu is available for cabana dining, but guests seeking refuge from the sun can opt to eat inside amidst white-washed seating and multiple terraces from which to sip a cocktail, enjoy a smart lunch-with-a-view and take in the scene. The Tomato Lychee Gazpacho and Buratta with Olive Confit are not to be missed appetizers, and the Mediterranean Sole is an absolute must if you are a seafood lover.
Sundowner: Nikki Beach Ibiza
Owned by the extremely popular global luxury chain, Nikki Beach, Nikki Beach Ibiza offers travelers a high-end beach club, fine dining and a chic lifestyle boutique. A stone’s throw away from ME Ibiza, Nikki Beach overlooks the Balearic Sea on Santa Eulalia’s east coast, offering the perfect environment to lounge in style on one of the perfectly plush sun beds while listening to the resident DJ or live music and sipping on delicious cocktails or ice cold Champagne. Open daily from 11 a.m. for lunch, Nikki serves up international cuisine for dinner on select days in September and brunch on Sundays beginning at 12:30 p.m. The season closing Red Party takes place on September 30 and is not to be missed.
Sunday Brunch: Beachouse
With its ideal location on the shores of Playa d’en Bossa, the perennially chic Beachouse is a lively option for a see-and-be-seen brunch. Get there early and stay late for the Sunday parties featuring top DJs spinning mellow house music into the evening. The signature pizzas are a reliably satisfying staple but it’s the Seabass Papillotte wrapped in carta fata with olives, basil and capers with seasonal local vegetables that is the real star of the menu. Follow that up with a Chili Coconut Mojito on the beach and spend the afternoon enjoying the sand, sea and sunset. If the night still feels young, head over to the legendary nightclub Space that closes for good at the end of the month.
Dinner: La Oliva
Located within the walls of Dalt Vila, La Oliva is a chic and romantic restaurant that offers lucky diners an oasis from the throngs of anxious holiday-goers. Bathed in light tones and understated white tablecloths, La Oliva serves Provençal and Mediterranean influenced cuisine that is simple, clean and fresh. Getting a table can be a tough ticket during the busier summer months so that’s why September is the perfect month to try this gem that has been around for 25 years.