As we approach Hotel Es Vive’s reception, LB confesses that he was at one of the iconic Ibiza hotel’s very first parties – all the way back when it was illegal for me to set foot in a nightclub. Overhearing as she checks us in, Maria Carmen notes that she’s been part of the furniture since day one and may well have encountered the myriad shenanigans of my then-city boyfriend and his mates.
But, 17 years after owner Jason Bull threw open Es Vive’s doors, the whole shebang feels a little more sedate. Like many venues on the island, the adults-only boutique hotel has grown up, along with its clientele. Where once its punters would check in for weekend filled with debauchery, now they return to the island for the music culture and Ibiza’s inimitable vibes – here for a good time they might actually remember.
Located on a quiet street in the Figueretas suburb of Ibiza town near ‘beach club central’ Playa d’en Bossa, Es Vive actually feels pretty far from the madding crowd. From our third floor balcony, a chilled poolside soundtrack drifts up as we look down on the palm trees in the courtyard; the foliage and the building’s turquoise and white colour scheme rendering the hotel’s aesthetic oh-so Miami.
A small siesta in our sleek, chic Superior bedroom, a packet of Sel de Ibiza crisps from the minibar, and a quick sluice with the Hierbas de Ibiza toiletries in our grey marble bathroom later, we head down to the pool to soak up the last of the afternoon sun, strawberry balsamic mojitos keeping us happily hydrated.
Party? Given we’re within spitting distance of 1,001 clubs, we could and we probably should, but we don’t feel like it and so we don’t. Instead, we take up residence on two throne-like chairs at the far end of the Sky Bar roof terrace and order a drink. If you can free yourself from FOMO, there’s nothing nicer than unwinding over a sundown bottle of rose as Ibiza at large is gearing up for a Friday night on the tiles.
Painting the town well-fed
Tipsiness sets in, hunger strikes, and we descend to Es Vive’s aptly-named, vintage-styled Deco restaurant for dinner. Restaurant GM Guillaume is a star; one of those chaps you’d happily invite to sit down and share your dinner. Were there any left, that is, because the meal that ensues proves to be plate-scrapingly, finger-lickingly good.
Guillaume says the tortilla that comes pintxos-style, wedges skewered to slices of crusty bread, is just a simple affair, but as ever with a well-seasoned, gently-cooked example, its humble ingredients end up heavenly. Our second starter celebrates local ingredients in a modern manner that’s innovative, not irritating – tempura-battered bites of sobrassada sausage in a puddle of honey that LB laps up with all the enthusiasm of Winnie the Pooh after a lengthy diet.
A shared main course of pork pluma reinforces our opinion that Es Vive needs be known as much for fine food as a place to party. Grilled to a perfectly pink medium-rare, it’s flavour is intensely porcine and exceptionally moreish – we eat slice after slice until there is no more to hanker after. Creamy, light cheesecake demonstrates Deco’s sweets to be as exemplary as its savouries.
All’s well that ends wellness
A peep into Es Vive’s late-night Experience Bar is as wild as the night gets for us – in fact, we’re so early it’s not even officially open yet. But the early night (and our room’s blackout curtains and sound-proofing) renders us the brightest-eyed, bushiest-tailed pair at breakfast the next morning; me even more so after a shot of a verdant protein-and-superfood smoothie that I spot amongst the spread of classic cooked and continental options.
Wellness is a new and strong focus for Es Vive, so if you haven’t managed to fill your nutritional boots from the included breakfast buffet, you can top up from an all-day body-bettering menu including all sorts of health-centric detox juices, acai bowls and vitamin-rich snacks.
If you believe your health is your wealth, you could do worse that pay a visit to Es Vive’s gorgeous Virtue Welness – a well-appointed, sexy space comprising treatment rooms, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. Or indeed, treat yourself to a good-value daily yoga or pilates session.
Confession: we do neither. In fact, we do little more exercise than flopping between sun lounger, pool and rooftop daybed. But that’s okay. We’re all hedonists in our own way, and, whether you’ve OD’d on partying or pork, Es Vive’s a pretty lovely place to relax and recuperate before starting all over again.
Make it happen
Where: Hotel Es Vive, Carrer de Carles Roman Ferrer, 8, 07800, Ibiza, +34 971 30 19 02. Find out more: To visit the website, click here