A DJ’s guide to Ibiza: some of the world’s best DJs share their favorite Balearic hotspots
With its infamous summer clubbing season now well underway, you would struggle to find a European destination more hotly discussed among clubbers than Ibiza. An island famed for its past hedonistic attributes, unparalleled clubbing experiences and more surprisingly, some damn good sushi, the White Isle sees more DJs per square foot than any other European hotspot in the world. Though its club circuit saw a lot of chops and changes on the approach to 2013, there has never been a better time to experience the island for its lesser known attributes. Dancing Astronaut tapped a host of the island’s frequent flyers to scope the secrets and spoils of Balearic clubbing straight from the DJ’s mouth. Hit more to learn the ropes from our all-star panel of guests.
I am big fan of Nassau Beach Club in Playa D’en Bossa. It’s a fantastic place to hang out for the day. The food is fantastic and my tip would be to go for the Ibérico ham. It’s certainly not cheap but it’s out of this world and as you are on holiday, treat yourself! The beds are super comfy, but book early because its does get busy! I am not sure of the name of the guy who DJs there in the day but he is amazing. I spend the whole day either on Shazam or going up asking the name of tracks being played. I was so inspired by the whole experience; I named my remix of Laidback Luke’s “Speak Up ” after it. Have a listen to it and hopefully it will paint a picture in your mind.
One of my favorite inexpensive hotels in Ibiza is the Simbad Hotel. It is no secret that the island is quite expensive, especially during the summer, so I’m really happy to have found this place on Talamanca Beach. The terraces are gorgeous and it comes with an amazing view of the sea. The rooms aren’t a 5-star affair, but who is really sleeping in Ibiza anyway? El Chiringuito is surely the best “old school” restaurant on the island. The fish is fresh from the morning, you only have camping tables and chairs and you are eating straight in front of the sea on the rocks! There is no map for it, but finding it is half the fun! For me, Pacha has always been the best club in Ibiza. This was the first place I played on the island and it has always been a sexy and crowded place to play. The vibe is always very special – there really is only one Pacha Ibiza. Café Mambo is amazing in its own way, as it’s the only place you will find DJs playing for free. It’s a unique place where you play for the sunset and you drink more Hierbas in one night than you would in the whole year!
I think just being in Ibiza is a highlight in itself. It’s such a magical place with so much energy and positive vibes that almost everyone falls in love with the island for their own reasons. The simple beauty of Formentera is a balsam for soul and spirit, a place where you can relax and just be yourself. There are a lot of places where you can watch beautiful sunsets and eat good food at the same time but let’s say I would pick Café Mambo on San Antionio’s legendary sunset strip. The iconic institution boasts a long history of great music and famous DJs, not to mention some awesome off-the-cuff DJ sets. In terms of clubs, it’s got to be Space. There are more clubs that I love, but Space Ibiza is definitely one of my top places on the island. I’ve probably been there the most times and met a lot of friends during the years. The club is massive with the amazing crowd and I can’t wait to be back there this year alongside Roger Sanchez.
I love taking the little ferryboat from Talamanca to Ibiza town, it’s a great way to avoid the parking in the old town on a busy day and it’s great to arrive in Ibiza’s old town by boat for 3 Euro. Park your car in front of Ocean Drive Hotel and make your way down the harbor and it’s about a ten-minute boat trip. Down in Es Cubells there is a fish shack called Ses Boques. The drive there is very spectacular and you make your way all the way down to a really small-pebbled beach to find it, but it’s worth the adventure because the food is stellar. You also need to climb Sa Talaia (you can do it by car if you don’t have the stamina to do it by foot). At approximately 500 meters it’s the highest point on the island and the view is spectacular! I also really love the sushi at Pacha. I’d go as far as to say it is the best on the island and after the meal you can conveniently sneak into the club.
My favorite place to play in Ibiza is the terrace at Amnesia. It has been magic for years for me now. I feel it’s a unique vibe and place in the world that you can’t find anywhere else.
Es Savina in Cala Jondal is our favorite beach in Ibiza. For us this is the best place to relax and have good food. It has a fun bar called Allegria, plus an excellent restaurant with friendly staff. The seawater is always amazing and this place is never crowded, not even in mid August! In terms of restaurants, Sa Cappella is a great place. Not many people know about this place. The restaurant is in fact a desecrated church, the walls inside are raw and the waiters are dressed as church boys. The meat is as tender as could be, the fish is delicate and exquisite and their Hierbas, which they call Medicine, is a must. As for the clubs, of course we are in love with Pacha. We are residents there for David Guetta’s FMIF party and playing there is always special for the atmosphere and the vibe the club has. We have to mention the Mambo, as it’s a great place to go! The Mambo bros know how to treat the crowd! If you want to have a great sunset, with great music and a wonderful Hierbas, you have to go there!
Before I was DJing I had several Ibiza compilation CDs on repeat, imagining being in a theatrical scene, filled with house music lovers and surrounded by a breathtaking party atmosphere. Last year I played in Amnesia and it was exactly how I hoped it to be, house music comes to life there!
I’m a big fan of Ibiza, because it has so many beautiful places. It’s not just a “party island” as many people think. A year ago I did a scooter ride throughout Ibiza, just to discover the island, and it has beautiful green mountains and valleys, perfect for cruising around! Club-wise I’m a huge fan of Amnesia, because it’s not all about the bottles and how many girls you have as company. They are just there for one thing and that’s to rave on to their favorite DJs. Playing those sorts of crowds is a DJ’s dream. There are clubs in Ibiza that will always be very special to me. I had my first Ibiza show two years ago at Privilege with my hero Tiësto and wow, what a big venue it is. The vibe is just next level. Another club that’s really special to me is Pacha. I had my second show there a couple of weeks ago and it was with one my of my biggest heroes, David Guetta. It was like a dream come true. The venue speaks for itself — it’s a special club and with David it’s even more special because of the strength ‘F*** Me, I’m Famous’ holds.
Although we’re always on the island for just a short while, we really enjoy staying at the Ocean Drive Hotel on Talamanca. It has great service and is just a beautiful boutique hotel. Our favorite restaurant is B-For (sushi) and we always go there before our shows. Having a residency at Privilege with Armin is amazing cause we get to play a lot for thousands of party people, so by all means stop by the club and see it in full swing every Monday.
There are a few places we like to check out depending on the mood. Ushuaia is a very fancy place if you want to look at big DJs. We also like Space. That place has an amazing after-party vibe going on.
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano
We always stay at the Ocean Drive hotel. It’s a nice hotel and close to Talamanca beach, which is a nice quiet spot near Ibiza town. As the club where we started our Sexy by Nature residency, Boom Ibiza has to make the list. It’s a really cool club with an awesome design and the best sound system there is from pioneer. We have fallen in love with it since starting our residency there. B-For Restaurant has the best sushi of the island and a really nice atmosphere! Our tip would be to order the Dragon Roll – you wont regret it.
Mark Knight will host Eden every Monday through September 9.
Norman Doray will play Space Ibiza August 14 and Pacha August 31 and September 21.
Sander Kleinenberg will host Eden every Tuesday through September 24.
Mike Vale will play Space Ibiza on August 19 & September 9.
Laidback Luke will play Cream at Amnesia, Pure Pacha and F*** Me, I’m Famous at Ushuaia throughout the season.
Daddy’s Groove will play F*** Me, I’m Famous at both Pacha and Ushuaia throughout the season.
Sandro Silva will play Privilege Ibiza July 28.
W&W will accompany Armin Van Buuren at Privilege July 29, August 5, August 26 and September 23.
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano will host Boom! Ibiza every Wednesday through October 2.