#PartyMonthSpain: Playa d’en Bossa, Ibiza’s Little Miami
If you haven’t been to Ibiza’s Playa d’en Bossa – the island’s longest beach – since the days when Space took place in a hangar overlooking the airport runway, dancing like a loon as planes swept down overhead, prepare to be amazed. Man, has this place changed and an Indian summer (early autumn) is the perfect time to check it out. Ask any local and they’ll tell you: the best parties are the closing parties when the crowds have gone home, the sun is not quite so brutal and the island returns to something resembling itself.
Where once were fairly non-descript, cheap and cheerful package holiday resorts are now some of the biggest brands in club-land accommodation: Hard Rock, Ushuaïa and comparative old-time Garbi, as well as one of the most expensive restaurants in the world: Paco Roncero at Sublimotion is totally Beyoncé, J.Lo or Madonna-worthy.
But what is most striking these days is the clearly defined aesthetic spreading across the sand: Miami meets the Mediterranean if you will, complete with lashings of Art Deco, sexy beach bars and palm trees. Take the new Tropicana Ibiza Coast Suites with its flamingo pink and lime green walls and splashes of daffodil yellow trim (yes, you read right). It’s like a very surreal trip involving a gigantic ice cream sundae complete with 1950s-style ‘milk’ bar, albeit one that serves mainly lashings of champagne. But the club kids love it and you’ve got to admit it’s a whole lot more fun than the more po-faced boutiques. If you’ve ever wanted to live out a Pink Ladies in Grease style fantasy, now’s your moment.
Further along the beach is the rather more sophisticated, but no less Deco inspired Hotel Es Vive, which has recently undergone a major renovation too. This has been done in rather more subtle turquoise, white and black trim and it’s light, airy and fresh feeling. A chill-out sunbathing zone on the roof too allows access to uninterrupted views across the sea to Formentera and to the old town, the Dalt Vila. The cocktail bar is a grown-up affair and the wood-panelled Spa is one of the best on this side of the island.
This season’s most sophisticated newcomer was the Beachhouse where you can bag a shady day bed and take long siestas in the marvellous sunshine of late summer, or come for a healthy, but festive-feeling lunch of sea bream marinated in citrus, coriander and chilli, or wild mushrooms with oregano and truffle oil. We love their laid-back drift wood décor, the Moroccan pouffes and the sea grass roof, while the kids – should you have them in tow – rock out at Little Beachhouse. Closing parties are the first weekend of October.
A short stroll along the strand will take you to Lips. David Reartes self-named Lips Reartes is a play on Marrakech in white, a breezy, open-sided restaurant serving superlative locally sourced, organic food. Indeed, serious foodies may do well to eschew the €1,500 art and technology tasting menu at Sublimotion in favour of tiny Mesa 0, (price-wise knock off a zero and you’ll be about right) which seats four pax max, here. It’s a snug little spot at the bar with a full-frontal view of the kitchen where you’ll be seduced by dishes before they make it onto the taster menu – a preview if you like of things to come – like grilled beef bone marrow and caviar that are cooked up, both literally and imaginatively, right there and then.