Essentialibiza launched a huge opening party competition in collaboration with British Airways, who provided business class return flights, Garbi Hotel, who offered amazing accommodation and some of the biggest brands on the island. We out together an opening party weekend to remember and, after thousands of entries, we drew Clare Quigley as our winner. On notifying the Clare of her winning entry we asked them for only two things, that she have an amazing time in Ibiza with us and that she tell us all about it…
5am: Arrived at London City airport. Puffy eyed and sleep deprived, but feet itching to dance. Our breakfast consisted of two glasses of champagne – we started the trip how we meant to go on! Boarded the British Airways plane and to our delight we were seats 1A and 1B – business class, champagne on arrival. Obviously not going to be sober for one moment of the weekend. Landed Ibiza time 9:30 am to clear skies and 27C heat. Regardless of the time we continued our homage to champagne until our Ibiza guide was ready to meet us for lunch.
10am: Hotel Garbi: possibly the only place you would want to retreat after a messy night in Playa den Bossa and the only place that would make you feel normal again. Beautiful room, sea views and the distant beat of techno from the beach bars.
11:30 Had a few drinks at our favourite bar in Ibiza – Bora Bora, surrounded the usual eclectic mix of Ibiza suspects starting the day early in true Ibiza style, topping up from the plane journey nicely. After a quick change of clothes and a glass of fizz on the balcony @ Garbi we were ready, albeit slightly tipsy. Much to our delight after being given directions to our lunchtime destination, the taxi pulled up at a beautiful beach front utopia, the perfect mix of sea shell lampshades, white sands and beautiful waiting staff and this was before we’d even sat down.
Lunch with our Ibiza veteran, Charlie Chester, one of the men behind essentialibiza.com was hysterical, his mini me Raffa kept the whole restaurant entertained whilst we delved into beautiful starters of thai steak salad followed by paella. After copious amounts of wine, we settled on a white beach bed to watch the sun go down.
Next Stop the International Music Summit. Our preconceptions of IMS were very limited, nothing could have prepared us for what was in store, the first sites of Dalt Vila clarified how incredible the night was about to become. Walking through the cobbled, winding streets, surrounded by people eagerly awaiting what was round the final corner with the low base vibrating under our feet. As we began the final assent to the entrance, the shadows of dancers illuminated on the church sent a wave of excitement over the crowd. After entering, the impact of the pit of dancers against the beautiful harbour view was breathtaking. Seth Troxler smashed it and Carl Cox ended with a banging set.
After a short walk down the hill we carried ourselves to Pacha to see some amazing sets from some world class DJs playing the best house in Ibiza and getting lost in the various rooms and hallways. One of the biggest crowds I’ve ever seen in Pacha, what an amazing way to finish the first day in Ibiza.
10am: Managed to resurface for the beautiful breakfast buffet, what a bonus. We had an amazing day listening to chilled music at the beach side pool, with Garbi staff supplying cocktails whenever we needed a pick me up. Came back to an immaculate room, very hard not to jump into the freshly made beds, but we managed to resist as Ushuaia was beckoning.
Ushuaia arrived and the party was well under way, immediately immersed into the tropical paradise of fluorescent palm trees, light shows, ice canons, sparkling pools and a sea of people soaking up the atmosphere. Banging house music stopping anyone from standing still, artists included Maayan Nidam B2B with Andrea Oliva, and of course the legend himself Luciano. The party carried on well into the morning resulting in an after party at Sankey’s for the Mulletover launch party. A night we have been loyal followers of in London and didn’t it bring its dark, dirty techno to the white Isle in style, cracking on until 8am.
12am: Sunday, still functioning, just. Lay on the beach fending off various promoters, the buzz beginning for the big fiesta…. SPACE. After a delicious dinner at the hotel restaurant with a buffet selection so wide we had to walk away before the food comas set in. We donned our most durable garms and set out off Space, with press wrist bands we had the advantage of a side door entrance with the ability to come and go as we pleased. Access all areas meant we could see this famous opening party at all angles, although we spent the majority of time in the middle of the dance floor and as close to the DJ booth as possible. Every element that contributed to Space opening stood out from the acrobats somersaulting in front of Carl Cox to the dancing glass collectors making their way through the crowd, it was a night not to be missed.
Last day. Bags packed and ready to go. Hotel Garbi were as accommodating as ever, happy for us to chill by the pool and leave our bags in a secure room for however long we needed. After one final dip, we dried off and prepared for home, with the lovely thought of a BA business class return journey. It was an experience neither of could have imagined.