If a blow-the-budget clubbing holiday on the iconic White Island is on your to-do list, the chances are you’ve heard of UshuaÏa.
Purpose built to satisfy every whim and fancy of even the most discerning of superstar DJ’s, its combination of trendy restaurants, slinky suites and vast open-air event space has placed it firmly at the heart of the Playa d’en Bossa action.
We checked in for a weekend of hedonism at the five-star resort to find out if it’s worth your hard-earned dollar.
No sooner had my plane landed at Ibiza airport, the UshuaÏa experience began with a VIP chauffeur ride straight to the hotel reception. A lovely touch, and a pleasant journey that clocks in at less than 10 minutes.
Upon checking in, it’s impossible not to notice the heavy branding that runs throughout the entire complex. Where so many hotels simply merge into one and become generic, there’s no mistaking you’re in UshuaÏa. The red and white colour scheme is everywhere, and everything from staff members to mini-bar products are clearly labelled so that you know exactly what you’re getting.
Plastic ants adorn various walls and ceilings around the hotel as a nod towards the brands now iconic club event, Ants. It might not be subtle, but this is Ibiza, where life is too short to be subtle. It’s the perfect club brand for the island, and they pull it off at every turn.
My room was located in the UshuaÏa Tower, with a balcony view overlooking the pool area. Surprisingly tranquil and laidback, this is the side of the hotel to stay in if you want time to escape the endless parties for a little peace and quiet.
Party Like a rock star
The rooms are suitably plush and contain everything you need to party like a rock star (including soundproofing). The ‘mini-bar’ consists of around 10 full-sized bottles of premium liquor, from Makers Mark bourbon to George Clooney’s Patron Tequila (the brand was launched right here by the man himself, in partnership with Ushuaia’s owners).
And it doesn’t stop there. You also have access to branded sex toys, chewing gum, oxygen, hangover cures and snacks. From hungry to horny, every mood is catered for.
Heading down for lunch at The Oyster & Caviar Bar, I couldn’t help but admire the pool area. Flanked by VIP beds and private jacuzzis, there’s a cool, chilled-out vibe that’s a welcome contrast to the party-central event space on the other side of the hotel. You’re also right on the beach.
Lunch highlights here included the wonderfully salty 100% Iberian Ham, and the Fried Fish Platter, which arrived with wasabi mayo, curry and red mojo sauces. The Valdubon house white was also exceptional, and a great complement to their seafood offering.
Across the other side of the pool is the Montauk Steakhouse, which offers a more formal dining experience. We kicked off our first full night out here, where dishes such as the Picanha Nebraska Black Angus and Cod Gratin with maple syrup aioli showcased just what this trendy joint could do. It’s a true carnivores paradise.
After several glasses of red, we were well and truly warmed up and ready to hit Ants on the other side of the hotel. We found our sweet spot in the VIP bar, where we sipped watermelon cocktails as Andrea Oliva dropped a slamming selection of tech bangers.
After a blazing set by house legend Eric Morillo, it was time to hit Hi Ibiza, which is now owned by UshuaÏa. Situated just across the road from the hotel, the venue formerly known as Space had big boots to fill when it launched back in 2017. Any fears that Hi would not live up to its celebrated predecessor quickly dissipated as I wondered round its seemingly endless corridors and dance floors.
Yes, it’s a little more polished than Space ever was, but it hasn’t lost any of its appeal and is still one of the best venues to party in the world. Surprisingly, it was the addition of the DJ booth in the toilet that proved to be the clubs biggest draw.
Complete with ceiling disco lights, an intimate atmosphere and a throbbing sound-system, we ended our evening dancing with former Atomic Kitten and Ibiza ex-pat Jenny Frost. A random and bizarre, yet brilliant night.
The Unexpected Breakfast
Most would wince at the thought of shelling out 50 Euros for a breakfast buffet, but UshuaÏa’s Unexpected Breakfast really is something you should experience at least once. Yes, there’s the usual pastries, juice, coffee and continental cold meat fare you’d expect, but there’s also rib-eye steak, donuts, a chocolate fountain and help yourself fizz.
An impressive live jazz singer added to the ambience, and the beachside setting under the cool shade makes it a place you won’t want to leave. It’s the ideal spot to refuel before the day ahead, whether you’re chilling on Bora Bora or cruising on a party boat.
The Beach by UshuaÏa Ibiza
After a few hours sunbathing by the pool, we enjoyed my favourite gastronomic experience of the entire weekend at The Beach. You can’t beat al fresco dining, and the causal vibe and delicious food here is a real winner. Hot picks from the mixed Mediterranean and exotic menu included the lush 12-piece sushi platter, and the juicy Grilled Hanger Steak.
If you have a sweet tooth, then you must also try the desserts here. The colourful selection of mini ice-cream creations here looked beautiful and tasted even better. The Beach also turned out to be an entertaining people-watching spot, as our table was treated to a live saxophonist and a view of a mildly erotic massage a female guest was enjoying from her VIP cabana. Only in Ibiza.
The I’m On Top of the World Suite
After lunch, we embarked on an all access tour of UshuaÏa, which included a visit the lavish I’m On Top of the World Suite. Spanning 214 square metres, this spacious penthouse suite has hosted everyone from Brad Pitt to Ronaldo, as well as an endless list of world-class DJs.
Amenities include a hydro massage tub on the terrace and another in the bedroom, two bathrooms, a dining room, a DJM 2000 DJ mixer, dressing room, Moet & Chandon champagne fridge and luxurious Clarins grooming products.
You can also enjoy epic views of both the sea and main stage from the spacious terrace. What more could an A-lister ask for? The suite can comfortably accommodate up to 4 guests and can set you back as much as 9,000 Euros. Well worth reserving for a special occasion, if your bank balance (or credit card limit) allows for it.
Minami Japanese Restaurant
Our last culinary experience of the weekend was in the upscale Minami Restaurant, where Japanese and Mediterranean cooking techniques fuse together harmoniously. Standout dishes here include the crispy King Prawn Tempura with Tensuyu sauce, and the brilliant Smoked Duck Magret with hoisin sauce, burnt chillies and tortillas.
Located just to the back of the main stage, we ended dinner with a view of the exotic dancers getting ready to rock the stage for the evenings Mucho Ibiza event. New to UshuaÏa for 2019, Mucho is the islands first open-air Latin event and showcases the Reggaeton sound that has recently taken the charts by storm.
It’s a million miles away from the techno and house music I’m accustomed to, but I was quickly won over by the party spirit and ambitious production that permeated each set. By the time headliner Becky G hit the stage, the atmosphere was electric.
Reggaeton has arrived
The 22-year old American singer may be relatively unknown in the UK, but she’s a bona-fide superstar in Latin communities across the world. With a string of catchy hit singles and movie roles under her belt, the crowd went wild as she took to the stage.
Looking like a cross between Selena Gomez and Cheryl Cole, she delivered a slick set of Reggaeton pop, and showed off some fancy footwork along with her impressive troupe of dancers. She ended the set with the infectious ‘Sin Pijama’, which the crowd seemed to know word for word. Reggaeton has well and truly arrived in Ibiza.
Up Ibiza Sky Society
Next, it was time to head up to the very highest point of UshuaÏa in the Up Ibiza Sky Society cocktail bar. The modern and minimalist space here offers jaw-dropping views of Playa d’en Bossa beach and beyond, as well as a tempting menu of original cocktails. After group photos and a spot of plane-watching, we headed back to Hi Ibiza to hit the dancefloor one last time for Glitterbox.
This celebrated house night is really at home here in Ibiza, with dancefloor bomb after bomb dropped by Masters at Work and Roger Sanchez to name just two of the evenings acts. Once again, our night ended within the sweaty confines of the club room toilet, where joyous peak time anthems almost sent revellers through the roof.
The UshuaÏa experience doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth every penny. If you consider yourself a seasoned clubber, then you need to add to this to your bucket list pronto.
UshuaÏa Ibiza Beach Hotel, Platja d’en Bossa, 10, 07817 Sant Jordi de ses Salines, Ibiza, Spain.