With space-age looks on the outside, but the feel of a private members’ club within, boutique hotel Sir Joan is just the ticket for Ibiza’s increasingly split crowd. Epicúreos will delight in the hotel’s location, right at the glittering heart of things: marina-side bars and iconic nightclubs are all within walking distance. The more sedate traveller will find plenty to keep them happy too, however: the yacht-like interiors practically beseech you to kick back and relax – and, with staff in white chinos ferrying cocktails and spicy sashimi to your lounger, you really do feel as if you’re on the sun-warmed deck of a schooner.
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $181.56 (€164), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €4.40 per person per night on check-out.
Room rates don’t usually include breakfast; a buffet spread and an à la carte menu are served at Izakaya each morning (€39 a person). The hotel’s bar and restaurant are open late, but all the rooms are soundproofed to protect you from any noise at night.
You’ll find a menu for various in-room spa treatments in your room.
At the hotel
Lounge area, poolside terrace and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: minibar, TV, Bang & Olufsen speaker, iPod dock, Illy coffee machine, tea-making facilities, free bottled water, local Ayurvedic oils and Dead Clean bath products.
Our favourite rooms
The two penthouses, which have terraces running the length of the room, holding space for outdoor seating, an open-air kitchen and a private cabana – all with 360-degree views that include the marina and the old town. Less extravagant – but no less stylish – are the Sir Deluxe rooms, which seem remarkably spacious thanks to their smart design and the plentiful daylight streaming through the windows.
The saltwater pool is triangular, with sunloungers running the length of its longest side, and café-style tables lining the others. It’s less a pool to do lengths in (the shape makes it a little tricky), and more of a place to socialise and sip cocktails.
Bring your best swimming costume. The pool is lined with tables and acts as a social hub, so you can guarantee a few spectators.
All of the hotel’s communal areas are wheelchair accessible, as is one of the Sir Boutique rooms.
Welcome, but the hotel is best suited to adults. There are no extra beds, but children can share a room with a parent. The breakfast rate for kids is €19.50.
The floor-to-ceiling windows mean almost every table can see outside, but those on the terrace can’t be beaten if you like people-watching over the rim of your glass.
With all the walnut flooring, you feel like you’re on deck at Izakaya. White trousers, navy blazers and blue-and-white stripes are the captain's orders.
Izakaya is very much a contemporary affair: velvet chairs, straight-edged tables and a ceiling of shimmering stainless steel – which is fitting, as the food takes a fresh look at time-honoured Peruvian-Japanese fusion. There’s an excellent range of sushi and sakana small plates – perfect for a tapas-like experience – and an impressive grill selection, including wagyu beef steak. Already a celebrated feature at Sir Joan’s sister properties, The Butcher restaurant serves Aberdeen Angus beef-burgers in a butcher-shop-like interior of white tiles and brushed-steel counters. Night owls will be pleased to hear that it’s open from noon all the way through to 8am.
The bar sits centre-stage on the ground floor, forming a hub between the lounge and restaurant. As with the rest of the hotel, the nearby marina has been a heavy influence on the design: those with a keen eye will notice that its shape echoes the bollards used to tether yachts. For a fruity, Asian-influenced cocktail, try the Reviver, which muddles Bombay Saffire gin, Lillet Blanc and yuzu umeshu (plum liqueur mixed with yuzu juice) with lemon, watermelon and a drop of absinthe. The sakana small plates from Izakaya’s menu make excellent cocktail companions if you're on the hunt for a midnight snack.
Breakfast is served from 7am to noon. Izakaya also opens at 7am, and is open until 4am. It’s the Butcher that really pushes the boat out, opening at noon and serving all the way through to 8am.
The hotel overlooks Ibiza’s Botafoch marina, home to superyachts, upmarket bars and voguish restaurants. The historic Old Town is only a 15-minute walk away, however, making this the perfect place to experience Ibiza old and new.
Ibiza D’Eivissa is well served by flights from the UK and mainland Europe, particularly during the summer season. It takes just under 15 minutes to reach the hotel by car. Flights and transfers can be arranged with the Smith24 team; call any time, day or night.
The hotel is close to the centre of town and only nine kilometres from the airport, so a car isn’t strictly necessary – but it could come in handy if you’re looking to explore the wider island. The Smith24 team can arrange car hire.
Worth getting out of bed for
If you’ve been out all hours, begin your day by taking a turn along the promenade, which runs the full length of the bay. You’ll be able to able to dip into the cafés and bars to get your caffeine hit, and the sea breeze should help right your late-night wrongs. Those feeling a little fresher can take the ferry to nearby Formentera, the smallest of the Balearic islands. The 30-minute journey is well worth it if you’re on the hunt for quieter beaches or snorkelling spots. If you want to get a little closer to the marine life, pay a visit to the Scuba Ibiza diving centre, whose expert instructors cater for all levels of expertise and can arrange private lessons and dives. If you’re looking for a guaranteed way to one-up your friends’ holiday photos, RockId Ibiza have you covered with their two-hour cliff-diving course. At weekends, the hotel has resident DJs spinning, so you can expect the atmosphere in the bar to kick up a notch.
Sat at the tip of the marina, ever-popular Calma has a clear line of sight towards Ibiza’s Old Town. During the day, it’s an ideal spot for long, sun-soaked lunches on the terrace; come evening, the floodlit fortifications of the Old Town make for an impressive backdrop to dinner. The menu is fairly wide ranging, but most come for the seafood and juicy steaks. Booking is essential in summer. Fellow marina resident Il Giardinetto specialises in authentic Spanish and Italian cuisine, and has been managed by the same family for 17 years. This is the place for traditional Ibizan seafood and excellent pizzas – there’s also a judicious list of Spanish and Italian wines. Ask for a table on the decked terrace, which is bordered by planters filled with bright-blooming flowers.
Nightlife mainstay Pacha has been open since 1973, which means it’s been around since the island’s party scene was first getting going. It’s since evolved into a 3,000-capacity venue with five rooms including a roof terrace, ensuring a choice of music and a mixed crowd. What’s more, it’s only 500 metres from the hotel, so you can save that taxi money for drinks inside (beers cost €12, so you’ll need it). Amnesia, another of the island’s iconic venues, is around 10 minutes away by taxi. The venue is split into two enormous rooms (one allows sunlight to stream in at daybreak) with a VIP area on the upper levels.
To quote Mary Berry, we arrived at Sir Joan with soggy bottoms. After picking up a rental car – a Seat Ibiza, naturally – Mr Smith and I hot wheeled it to Cala Salada: a cove so magically beautiful that from the pine-scented cliff walk, the seabed’s rocks appear to form heart-shaped constellations.
Following an impromptu dip – not a skinny one, but a fat, head-dunking dive – we squelched into Sir Joan’s reception with salt-crackled skin, bronzed noses and underwear turned swimwear. Some five-star hotels would have steered our damp bits away from their furnishings. Sir Joan steered us towards two Lemongrass Old Fashioneds and a day-bed. A few sips in, lips tingling with ice and liquor, we realised there definitely was a grown-up way to do Ibiza.
Before booking this trip, I’ll admit that I wondered if our Ibiza ship had sailed. My only encounter with the White Isle had been a family resort holiday as a 12-year-old; memories of my dad murdering Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’ on karaoke still rang in my ears. Mr Smith had endured similar luck: aged 19, he spent four hours on the ferry from Mallorca to go clubbing – only to get refused entry to every single venue. Going for the sounds had not gone well for us. And now, a couple of decades on, more into supper clubs than super clubs – yet a few connections short of getting an invite to the Jaggers’ finca – we’d uttered the dreaded, ‘But what if we’re just too old?’ Thankfully, Sir Joan caters for whatever you like to do at 2am: at only 500m away, the iconic Pacha is close enough to make queuing a doddle… or far enough away that you don’t hear a beat tucked up in bed.
Appealing to both ravers and relaxers could have been a head-banger – not least in terms of design. At times, Ibiza is a puzzling mix where stone houses and succulents stand next to giant billboards advertising dance producers with names like Da Tweekaz. To its credit, Sir Joan didn’t attempt to amalgamate the two – instead, it took the colour palette of the neighbouring harbour (blues, light-dancing silvers, sandy yellows) and did extremely modern things with it. How modern? You know you’re within Instagram distance when you spot three layers of white cubes, stacked like Lego bricks and dotted with glass balconies, terraces and leafy palms. That’s the hotel. The headline act is inside: a lightning-bolt-shaped pool that grounds itself between ice buckets, waterfall showers, geometric tiles and… abs. (Note to self: this pool is for showing off the results of your workout, not doing one).
What stops it from becoming a bit show pony are the staff. Simply, they are excellent. There’s a danger that cool places attract employees with too cool an attitude, and here the opposite is true.
Use the free valet parking, for example, and your car will come back stocked with bottled water and (in our case at least) re-tuned to an infinitely more on-trend electronic radio station than when we handed the keys over. Meanwhile at breakfast, the manager’s insistent, ‘Please take croissants away with you for the day,’ took the sting off the €39 charge – and avoided the sneaky pastry-into-handbag shuffle. Though, on an island where even a bog-standard bowl of pasta can set you back €30, this is one breakfast spread that earns its keep. The bread was indecently good – all crispy seeded crust and swishy-soft centre – while the food selection was like a world trip in itself: Greek mezze, Nordic smoked salmon, American pancakes, Spanish tapas, a Full English. The fresh juices are also insane. Mr Smith – a man who still believes the only colour a juice should be is orange – was even spotted with a glass of celery, mint and apple.
Two special touches also happened inside the room. Three, if you count the fact that I managed to resist stealing fashion stylist Renu Kashyap’s hot-pink hardback Ibiza Bohemia – a gloriously name-droppy photobook of Ibiza’s creative set and their hippie-chic homes.
The first (non-theft-related) treat was a complimentary bottle of fizz that appeared, as if delivered by fairies, while I was admiring the marble shower and Mr Smith was ‘embracing the siesta tradition’. The staff’s whisper-soft footsteps didn’t even wake him.
The second surprise came on day two when a day’s hiking and wrong turning meant we returned with stomachs dangerously close to hanger. With dinner not until 9.30pm, and the rumbles almost creating their own bass line, the unexpected appearance of a handwritten note and a local dessert called a Flaó was music to my organs. It took all of my stamina not to devour every last crumble of its pastry base and lemony, mojito-esque flan filling. It required so much stamina, in fact, that we had to call off our 2am trip to Pacha.
Instead, we rooted our bottoms on poolside seats at the hotel’s acclaimed Asian restaurant, Izakaya, and began a hard night’s eating and people watching. You know, grown-up stuff…
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