THE WEEKEND: Ibiza is open for the summer season and doing what it does best: wearing two faces. One side of the White Isle is for weekends of hedonism, while the other is about restoration, surrounded by viridian green sea.
WHERE? I was staying at the Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay, which first launched in 2017 but reopened in April 2022 for the summer season. Located on Talamanca Bay, a quieter corner away from San Antonio, Pacha nightclub and the Old Town are close by. Famous for its chain for high-end sushi restaurants from chef Nobu Matsuhisa, there are now almost 30 Nobu hotels around the world and upcoming openings will include properties in Marrakech, Rome and Toronto. Unlike many of the other outposts, the Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay has more of a Mediterranean vibe than Japanese, but guests can feast on as much black cod and Wagyu beef tacos as they like at the on-site Nobu restaurant (you can even order Nobu room service).
THE STAY: The hotel has 152 rooms (90 of which are suites) and most have sea views. Make sure you get one with a terrace. The décor is a little dated already but it’s fresh and minimal. The property also has a Spa by Six Senses, a gym and two large outdoor pools. (Although it’s located on the coast, the beach is covered in seaweed so you probably won’t be swimming in the sea.) New for summer 2022 is a rooftop terrace that hosts events in partnership with electronic dance music specialists SUCO (the Sunshine Collective), and the Nobu Lounge for cocktails and sets from local DJs. Other activities guests can sign up for include sunrise Pilates and open-air movie screenings of Robert De Niro movies (he is a Nobu Hotels co-founder), accompanied by popcorn and Japanese bento boxes.
THE FOOD: There are three restaurants at the Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay – casual Chambao for breakfast and lunch, trendy Bibo by Michelin-starred chef Dani Garcia (he also has a restaurant at London’s Mondrian hotel in Shoreditch), and of course, Nobu. Signature dishes include sashimi salad with Matsuhisa dressing (€35), yellowtail tartare with caviar (€35), oysters with Nobu sauce (€28), California sushi Maki (€21) and tuna tataki with Tosazu (€26). You can also order a multi-course “omakase” tasting menu for €90/€130. I enjoyed sitting up at the bar one evening having dish after tasty dish delivered to me while drinking cold champagne. The restaurant was definitely a highlight of my stay (and so easy to get to bed after).
WHAT TO DO: Rather than return to London feeling like I’d over-done the nightlife, I decided to chill out for a couple of days and sign up for one of the Nobu Hotel’s new “wellness hikes” that are led by Manuel Ehrensperger, a man who formerly worked in senior roles at companies such as Swarovski and Chopard but gave it all up to commune with nature in Ibiza. As the founder of Ibiza Hike Station, he knows all the most stunning hiking routes across the island (check out Ibiza Hike Station on Instagram) and has an exclusive partnership with the Nobu Hotel for resident guests.
Although I am nervous about heights and cliff edges, the four-hour hike we went on afforded such incredible views of Esphedra island, as well as close-up encounters with local flora, it was absolutely worth it. “I know every corner of the island. I watch the sunset every day,” says Ehrensperger, whose typical clients are female tourists, DJs, models and anyone else who wants to learn about the “real Ibiza”. When the weather is cooler in September and October, the hotel will also launch a series of three-day hiking retreats with free activities such as sound healing classes, rooftop wellness sessions, meditation and two signature spa treatments included in the price.
NEED TO KNOW: Low season room rates start at Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay start at €450 a night and high season starts at €850