48 hours of 5* R&R at the Ibiza Gran Hotel

ibiza gran hotel review 2024
48 hours of 5* R&R at the Ibiza Gran Hotel Emma Gritt / Ibiza Gran Hotel

A trip to Ibiza really can be anything you want it to be. From my first visit in 2011 to my most recent trip in 2022, my holidays evolved from raving with wild abandon at super clubs on zero sleep, to enjoying balmy evenings having nice leisurely dinners and tamer (in comparison) nights out at Pikes.

But now it’s 2024. My clubbing days are over. What I want now is to relax, lie in the sun with a book, eat good food, drink cocktails, loaf in luxurious surroundings, hear the sea, see some art, learn some history, enjoy a spot of people watching, have a spa treatment… yes, this is still the perfect Ibiza experience in a nutshell, but it also usually involves spending €200+ on taxis getting between restaurants, bars, accommodation, clubs, and beaches, which is definitely what I don’t want to squander my money (and precious annual leave) on.

However, as I discovered during a muy chic and muy muy relaxing 48 hour mini break in Ibiza, it is possible to experience the magic of the White Isle with almost zero sliding into the back seat of an Uber. Really.

Everything all in one place (ish)

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The view from one of the hotel’s two ultra exclusive suites takes in the historical Ibiza old town Emma Gritt

I checked in at the Ibiza Gran Hotel, one of the most impressive hotels I have ever stayed in. It has everything you need for an indulgent Ibizan adventure either on site or right next door: Luxurious suites, numerous restaurants - including one with a Michelin star - stunning views, a fantastic spa, and, if you’re in the mood for it, a club and a casino, plus iconic super club Pacha is just a few minutes’ walk away.

Fancy checking out the Ibiza Gran Hotel for yourself? BOOK NOW

The Ibiza Gran Hotel first opened in 2008 as an ‘Art Hotel’ with a gallery on site, which has since closed. However, the hotel’s dedication to art and supporting local artisans hasn’t lessened. There’s over 450 unique pieces - from paintings to sculptures to installations - throughout the property, all of which have been created by more than thirty artists who are either from or inspired by the Mediterranean.

As you enter the lobby, the first thing you notice is a huge installation, Fecundació, by Antoni Esteva, suspended from the top of the five-floor atrium. I initially thought that the grey and beige woollen orbs and droplets were rain clouds, but actually they’re sperm and eggs. The storm of creation. At one corner of the lobby is a huge sculpture of a dinosaur egg, Pas by Tomeu Ventayol, overlooked by Existence Stairs, by Bahk Seonghi an infinity staircase made from pieces of coal.

At every turn, the Ibiza Gran Hotel turns the 'wow factor' up to 11. Its aesthetic is minimal, purposeful and very Insta-worthy, with lots of thoughtful, extra touches - the vision of its amiable and super stylish creative director, Jenny Nerman. But even though it definitely caters to a very high end customer, the sort of holidaymaker who will shun souvenir shops and browse the capsule collections at the designer boutiques at the nearby marina, it’s not stuffy or stuck up. From the front reception to the spa, the Ibiza Gran Hotel’s staff are friendly, warm, helpful and professional, and are genuinely just as happy to be at the hotel as the guests!

ibiza gran hotel review 2024 wellness open spa restaurants zuma beachouse playa den bossa
The library was one of my favourite spaces Emma Gritt

I loved the timeless, retro styling of the lobby furniture and the 1970s conversation pit inspired sunken library on the first floor. It's a great space for some quiet time or catching up on work. You can take (or leave) a book if you’re in need of something to read, or just take a dive into one of the many art and design tomes scattered across its dark wooden shelves.

Fancy a swim? There are two pools - one main, where kids are welcome, and an exclusive adults only pool on an upper sundeck. There's no direct beach access at the Ibiza Gran Hotel, but concierge can arrange a car to take you to one of the island's many beach clubs (we went to Beachouse in Playa D'en Bossa, a 10 minute drive away).

Suites… with a swimming pool and luxe products

Some guests don't even need to leave their room for a quick dip - and I was one of them. I was staying in a Pool Suite, a huge and airy double room with light wood accents, thoughtful lighting, loads of storage, an enormous bed, jacuzzi bath and most excitingly, a small private swimming pool, perfect for a quick dunk after sunbathing on the private terrace.

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Ibiza Gran Hotel

Due to the clever external design of the hotel, which is slightly reminiscent of a cruise ship, the noise of the restaurants and clubs do not interfere with your sleep. Helping you get a good night’s rest are thick black out curtains which keep the blazing sun at bay until you’re ready to greet the day.

Adding an extra layer of luxury, you’ll find Diptyque products in the (very powerful) shower and by the sink on the vanity. I never knew that the luxury French fragrance house made hair care products until now, and I’m tempted to start a petition to persuade them to sell their shampoo and conditioner in the UK, my hair has never felt or smelled so good. There’s also all the other amenities you might need - cotton buds, a shower cap, a powerful hair dryer - and some unexpected cute extras - a natural sea sponge, a shaving kit, a comb.

Location location location

Immediately surrounding the Ibiza Gran Hotel are some of Ibiza’s hottest dining destinations, global restaurant brands Zuma, Novikov and Cipriani.

We had dinner at Zuma, and I loved the incredible flavours and flamboyant presentation. After starting with sea bass ceviche, we moved though a series of Japanese inspired dishes and flavours including a moreish sesame spinach salad, black cod, and platters of sashimi and sushi. As the evening went on, the atmosphere in the restaurant became increasingly lively, climaxing with people abandoning their tables to dance in front of the resident DJ - as we worked our way though a dessert platter heaving with sliced tropical fruits, delicate ice cream and cheesecake.

On Saturday night, we embarked upon an 18 course tasting menu at La Gaia, the first hotel restaurant on the island to receive a Michelin star. The menu paid homage to Ibiza’s heritage and sea faring history, the island’s huge array of produce, and gave modern twists on traditional dishes. It also allowed executive chef Óscar Molina’s to showcase his formidable abilities.

They kindly prepared a special vegetarian menu for me. My favourite dish featured marinated peppers served with a delicate biscuit made with Szeuchan spices - it was divine.

Make a brunch date

I'll always choose a lie in over breakfast, but, thanks to on-site restaurant Costa Mara's very generous morning dining hours of 7:30 - 11:30am, I was able to have both. Non-residents are also able to enjoy the huge buffet for €75 per person.

The menu here is also overseen by Óscar Molina, and it is thorough. Omelette station, crepe station, freshly carved jamon, cheeses, avocado and smoked salmon on freshly prepared toast, a huge array of breads and cakes (all baked on site by his patisserie team), fresh fruit, juices, cereals, and more unfamiliar dishes - yes I'm talking about you, small (delicious) dish of edamame and sweetcorn.

Breakfast/brunch can be eaten outside by the swimming pool, in the dappled shade of the hotel's tropical gardens. It's really lush.

The spa is beautiful - and brand new

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Open Spa was recently renovated, and is absolutely stunning Salva Lopez

Recently refurbished, Open Spa has one of the sleekest thermal journeys I've ever encountered. Their hydrotherapy circuit, Aqua Spa, has heated hydromassage pools with jets, waterfalls, and powerful swan necks to work on your neck and shoulders, an ice lounge, steamy hammam, a traditional sauna, a tepidarium area with heated loungers, aroma showers and a generous relaxation area with huge Balinese day beds. At the heart of the experience is the contrast path, four small but deep foot baths which alternate between freezing cold and warm - it's great for giving your circulation a boost.

Their treatment menu features a decent range of massages, from deep tissue to Balinese, and facials using Parisian brand Anne Semonin. I had a 50-minute Marine Mineral Purifer treatment (€215) and I couldn't believe how glowing and clear my complexion was afterwards. Access to Aqua is included if you book a treatment, or you can enjoy 90 minutes in there for €90.

Go there!

Rooms at the Ibiza Gran Hotel start from £470 for bed and breakfast BOOK NOW or keep an eye out for deals on LASTMINUTE.COM

Flights to Ibiza: Check out the latest deals on British Airways, or search for cheap flights through SkyScanner.

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