Its status as the world’s best party island has been challenged many a time, but Ibiza has managed to hold on to its hedonist crown year after year. Far from the trashy, ladette-filled destination it was in the nineties, the White Isle is now more famous for attracting world-class DJs like David Guetta and Steve Aoki – not to mention a ton of celebrity guests. In 2012, everyone from Kate Moss to Paris Hilton was spotted soaking up the sun, sea and Ciroc.
With three main tourist regions, namely San Antonio, Playa d’en Bossa and Ibiza Town, there are plenty of accommodation options available. If you’ve got cash to splash and fancy doing the celebrity circuit, Ushuaia is the place to be. This stunning hotel is set on the island’s longest beach, Playa d’en Bossa, with amazing views and in close proximity to the famous Bora Bora beach party – not that you’ll want to leave the hotel! Minimalist white décor is contrasted with decadent furnishings, the pool is surrounded by luxury loungers, and there’s a stage for those all-important guest performers.
An entry-level room for two at Ushuaia will set you back an absolute minimum of £129 per night, but during peak season expect to pay nearer £300. Suites available include the Fashion Victim and Anything Can Happen – because here, with your own private Jacuzzi on the balcony and a circular bed, literally anything is possible.
If you don’t fancy shelling out several grand for the pleasure of Ushuaia, you’ll be pleased to know that you can still buy a day pass to access their pool parties, and to see resident DJs David Guetta and Avicii do their thing. Prices from €30.
Just along the white sand from Ushuaia lie the popular Jet Apartments, which are heavily populated with young Brits, and where the staff tend to turn a blind eye to any after-hours shenanigans. Not the place to stay if you fancy a good night’s sleep but, for a party holiday, they’re pretty perfect. Prices from £180 for a one-bedroom apartment in May, jumping to around £1000 per week in peak season – you may find it cheaper to get a group together and chip in for a larger apartment.
Amongst the perks of staying in Playa is that superclub Space is practically on your doorstep – a rarity in Ibiza, where most of the best clubs are a taxi or bus ride away. Note that, depending on the night, superclubs like Space, Pacha and Amnesia will charge up to €80 for entry. It may be worth pre-booking online to get the best discounts on advance tickets.
Additionally, it’s worth pre-drinking in your hotel if you’re a big boozer, as a vodka and diet coke will set you back somewhere in the region of €30. It makes far more sense to buy a bottle of each at the local shop for €10 and drink before you head out.
Younger Ibiza-dwellers might find the hectic West End strip of San Antonio more appealing, where cheap drink is plentiful, and the music is more chart than dance. Ibiza Rocks hotel lies just 300m from the strip, and this summer’s line-up includes Jake Bugg and Rizzle Kicks, to name but two. Handily, the hotel have now opened a neighbouring hostel, which still includes access to gigs and the main hotel, but from just £23pppn.
In San Antonio you’ll find one of the island’s most famous restaurants, Café Mambo. Here, tourists and locals alike congregate for evening drinks, and the best view of the sunset on the island. Waterfront clubs Eden and Es Paradis are also worth a visit, where you’re almost guaranteed to spot Katie Price and the TOWIE lot gyrating on the dancefloor.
Ibiza Town provides a far more laidback vibe, with plenty of beautiful boutiques to explore, and lovely fairy-lit restaurants acting as an oasis of calm against the madness. Love & Lies is a cute clothing store where every piece is a one-off, while high street favourites Pull & Bear and Accessorize are also on offer, all in close proximity to the Castle of Ibiza. Take a walk to the top and soak in the view – it really is a sight to behold.
Despite not being the easiest place to do on a budget, working in Ibiza can be a great way to earn while you spend, and can get you some great discounts on club tickets. Most clubs will employ bar staff, promoters, ticket sellers, dancers and security, with varying levels of skill required, and varying levels of pay. A bar job will ensure you have a steady hourly rate, but you’ll probably have to work nights, and will be tied in to certain hours. Ticket sellers, on the other hand, generally work on the beach during the day. Sounds like a dream job, right? It probably would be if they didn’t work on a commission-only basis. Despite generous rates of around €10 per ticket sold, there’s a lot of competition to sell, so some days you’ll make absolutely nothing for eight hours work.
Dancing and security jobs generally pay better, but require specific skills and experience, and are highly competitive. One way to ensure you make enough money to live off of and have your accommodation provided is to apply for a British-owned company like Thomas Cook’s Club 18-30, Thomson’s 2wentys or Ibiza Rocks, where the recruitment process takes place here and you’ll know exactly what you’re letting yourself in for before you go.
Whichever way you choose to enjoy Ibiza, rest assured that you’ll have the summer of a lifetime; just don’t be surprised if your friends don’t believe your stories. Sometimes it really does seem too good to be true.