When most people think of Ibiza they imagine party central; a Mecca for teenagers and twenty somethings who want to visit the world famous clubs on the island. But does Ibiza offer more than just that? With the island being so easy to reach from East Midlands Airport we headed over to discover what everyone could expect from an Ibiza holiday.
Getting to Ibiza couldn’t be more convenient with Jet2 offering regular flights from nearby East Midlands Airport. A flight time off just 2.5 hours also means that you can be touching down on the Spanish island by 10.30am and on the beach by midday.
The main decision anyone encounters when coming here is where to stay? Do you want lively nightlife or peace and quiet? The culture of the Old Town or a secluded beach location? The beach party scene of Playa d’en Bossa or the nightclubs of San Antonio? Offering the best of all options is Sol House Ibiza, a high end Melia hotel which has partnered with Ibiza Rocks to provide the hotel’s soundtrack and vibe. The hotel is located within San Antonio Bay, but right across the water away from the Sunset Strip of nightclubs. It’s located directly on Playa Pinet beach with its own private access onto the sand, it’s a lovely small bay and is also home to Reggae Beach Bar for those tasty cocktails and laid back Bob Marley beach vibes. You’re far enough from the party action to escape but just a short water taxi away when you want to get involved.
The star of the show though is undoubtedly the magnificent Sol House Rooftop Bar. Open until midnight daily complete with infinity pool, live DJ, beds and very reasonably priced cocktails. 2 happy hour cocktails for €8 with such stunning views? We’ll take that! The afternoon DJ sessions provide the perfect background soundtrack to your sunbathing or book reading, switching daily between your favourite 80s tunes, indie anthems or 90s dance classics, the mixes are perfect for that all important sunshine chill time.
The food options don’t disappoint either. Any regular readers of Cool As Leicester will know that we very much judge a hotel by their breakfast and Sol House had it nailed with their extensive breakfast buffet, complete with everything from a full English to Mexican inspired wraps, chocolate stuffed pancakes to fresh omelettes made to order, smoked salmon and help yourself Cava, plus an entire separate section of pastries, cakes, cookies, doughnuts and more. (They had fruit and yoghurts too obviously, but we weren’t there for that!) Breakfast is served until 11am but if you want a lie in and can’t make it down you can still enjoy breakfast throughout the day from the pool bar too! Other food options at the hotel included their own Tacos & Tequila bar, Canalla, which offers a superb range of tacos, guacamole and much more until midnight.
We stayed in one of the Xtra House Party Rooms, which offers open sea views from the private balcony, a large double bed (with option of an extra sofa bed), flatscreen TV, bluetooth speakers, free wifi and a goody bag on arrival including a beach bag, a bottle of Cava and vouchers for a free welcome drink at the bar. The bathroom had a large walk in shower and comes complete with toiletries as you’d expect from any Melia hotel. The hotel is all all about relaxing, from the beautifully presented rooms, to the day beds throughout the hotel bar area, you’ll never be short of somewhere to put your feet up. As for who else is staying there, the guests ranged from 19 to young families and grandparents. Visiting in September we were right at the end of Ibiza’s peak season, with many more families visiting the area.
Ibiza is known as The White Island thanks to its impeccable beaches and stunning scenery. The lads holiday label that it’s been bestowed with over recent years really mustn’t take away from this, the island is so much more than that. With hire car recommended you can whizz around the island in no time visiting some of the most beautiful beaches you’re likely to encounter in Europe. The west coast boasts the fabulous Cala Comte and Cala Bassa beaches with their stunning sunsets, whilst the north has the most unspoilt beaches with favourites being Cala Xuclar and also Benirràs, where on a Sunday you’ll find the hippies arriving on the beach to play drums at sunset. If you don’t want to tackle driving to the other side of the island then you can hop on a bus outside the hotel and pop to Cala Tarida, one of Ibiza’s most beautiful beaches and home to the famous Cotton Beach Club.
Plus of course at Sol House you’re right on the beach anyway. The hotel has a private entrance onto the soft sands of Playa Pinet beach and less than 1 minute’s walk away on the beach you’ll find the Water Taxi stop to take you over to the action of San Antonio. If the thought of an all nighter at one of the world famous clubs isn’t your cup of tea (it’s not ours, truth be told), don’t let that put you off visiting the famous Sunset Strip. The water taxi takes less than 10 minutes and if there’s one thing that’s better than the clubbing in San Antonio it’s the unbelievable sunset views.
Head to Cafe Mambo at the end of the strip, book a table on the terrace, drink beautiful cocktails and enjoy the sunset whilst the night is still young. Cafe Mambo is a big name in Ibiza and rightly so. Their position right on the beach means that the sunset views from the terrace are unrivalled, and whilst it doesn’t come cheap (a table on the terrace will set you back a minimum €100 spend per person), it’s absolutely worth it. The food options are well presented and perfect for either sharing dishes or main meals. We opted for the fillet steak and Teriyaki salmon, with both beautifully prepared and excellent service.
As the beach below you starts filling with people crowding to watch the sunset you’ll be glad you’ve got your own private spot and table, plus with the drinks selection you won’t want to leave! Cocktails are priced at around €16 each, which for the location isn’t surprising, but don’t worry you can get a bottle of wine €22 too! After dinner there’s time to enjoy the background music of the DJ as revellers begin their night, then it’s up to you – stay to join the party or hop back on the water taxi away from madness and back to the escape of the Sol House rooftop bar! (We went for the latter, obviously)
So who is Ibiza for? Easy answer, everyone. Yes, there are areas more aimed at a particular demographic but isn’t that true of everywhere? There’s no denying that the island’s scenery is stunning and the “Ibiza clubbing scene” is such a small part of what the island has to offer to holidaymakers that it seems unfair to label it so. The best part is that the island is easy to get around and small enough to explore. So if you want to spend a day sampling the beach bars and clubs you can enjoy a lunchtime pool party and then be back relaxing in the comfort of your secluded hotel by dinner time.
Whether you’re after a week long break or a weekend couples or friends getaway, there are flight times to suit. In 2018 Jet2’s flight schedule looks set to include flights from East Midlands to Ibiza 6 days a week, which is welcome news for the perfect short break solution for couples, friends and families looking for a sunshine escape.
Sunshine, culture, gastronomy, beautiful beaches and the option of the world’s best partying; Ibiza has it all. Don’t be put off by the clubbing, it’s just one jewel of many in Ibiza’s crown. We can’t wait to go back.
Jet2 fly regularly to Ibiza from East Midlands Airport. With reasonable prices there’s no excuse not to book your next holiday. Details of all flights can be found on the Jet2 website.
Room rates at Sol House start from £70/night and you can stay on a Bed & Breakfast or Half Board basis. For full information please visit Melia’s Sol House website.
Many thanks to Melia Hotels who invited us to review Sol House, Ibiza. All opinions are our own.