Miss W’s blog: Adios 2015… Hola 2016!
I’ve been thinking (and writing) a lot about Ibiza winter rituals lately, and one of the most highly anticipated of them all is finally upon us. Of course, I’m talking about celebrating the arrival of the new year, which here in Ibiza is a two-day extravaganza incorporating both December 31 and January 1 (or three day if you’re among the most party-hardy of islanders).
Just a week ago, I was waxing lyrical about how amazing Christmas in Ibiza is… but I do believe I forgot to mention just how A-MAZ-ING it’s cousin New Year is too! Yes, yes, I know New Year is a ritual treasured by many all over the world, but this is my Ibiza blog so you’ll have to excuse me if I go a little overboard about how awesome it is here on the white isle.
You see, just like the Ibiza style Christmas celebrations, there is an Ibiza New Year style for everyone. The most obvious one is the party ritual – we are the party capital of the world after all. There are a few different ways you can approach the New year party circuit. Let’s have a look at a few:
- The sophisticated dinner.
Many of Ibiza’s best restaurants offer a set menu on New Year’s Eve, as is the Spanish tradition. You’ll be treated to a showcase of the chef’s finest dishes, culminating in the custom of eating 12 grapes at the 12 strokes of midnight for good luck – trust me, this is much harder than it appears. You look at the 12 grapes, you hear a chime and you think, no problem and by grape four, your mouth is bulging and it feels near impossible. These dinners are usually quite formal, so be prepared to get dressed up, and you’ll also need to make a reservation – because everything is a set menu, there’s rarely room for passers by. And if you really want to embrace the local tradition, remember the Spanish always wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve to ensure the year ahead will be, shall we say, amorous! Check the White Ibiza New Year Diaries for a list of the best NYE dinners around the island.
- Follow a specific party plan.
If New Year for you is more about the party and less about the eating, it makes sense to draw up a specific plan of attack regarding what parties to hit when. Many of the dinners above open up to new guests from 1am, when the DJs hit the decks and the dining is over, plus there is always a slew of house parties, little bars and clubs doing their own thing you may want to drop into at some point. Tip: in Ibiza, many of the bars respect the local custom of spending NYE with your family, so you may find your favourite bar doesn’t open until 12.30am unless it’s run by an expat.
- The plush hotel experience.
Some of Ibiza’s best hotels are open all year round, and offer special deals to guests spending the New Year period with them. Not only will you score a discounted rate to the hotel’s party or dinner, you’ll also just have metres to walk when it’s time to rest your weary head post-party, plus a breakfast to look forward to the next morning. My top tip – stay an extra day. There’s nothing more depressing than checking out of a beautiful hotel room when you’re hungover on New Year’s Day and could be making the most of a spa treatment or just curled up in a fluffy white robe all day. Check out the White Ibiza Winter Blog to see what hotels are open all year round.
- The family-friendly approach.
Why should the grown ups have all the fun? Many restaurants offering a NYE dinner also have kids menus at very affordable prices, with dedicated kids corners to keep the little ones entertained while mum and dad enjoy their dinner. There are also a host of family friendly activities on New Year’s Day, including the annual swim at Las Salinas – you can always watch from the sideline as the little ones make a splash.
- Home for the holidays.
Whether it’s your own home, a friend’s apartment, or a rental villa with all your pals, nothing beats a good old fashioned house party at times. Stock up on your favourite drinks – or better yet, enlist the services of a pop-up bar – and get your favourite tunes on the iPod, and do as the Spanish do and watch the annual ball drop from Plaza Major in Madrid on the TV (minus the sound!). Just be sure to pre-warn your neighbours (and invite them too) – there’s nothing worse than a 2am visit from the police just when you’re starting to really get into the spirit.
- The wellness route.
Whether it’s yoga, meditation, or simply some spiritual drumming on a beach, Ibiza’s wellness community offers some form of New Year celebration for everyone. There are a host of wellbeing retreats taking place, or you can opt for some one-to-one coaching or tuition, a relaxing treatment to end the old year, or start the new year with, or you could go walking in nature with other like-minded individuals.
- The clubbing marathon.
We are in the clubbing capital of the world, so it makes sense people fly here to go clubbing, and while most of the major clubs are closed, Pacha flies the flag and is hosting a major league fiesta, starting with a cabaret dinner (on the dance floor of the main room) hosted by Lio before main man Solomun jets in for an all night long set. Then on New Year’s Day, everyone’s favourite after party, Circo Loco at DC10, opens for a one-day-only winter appearance. There’s nothing quite like winter clubbing in Ibiza – once you’ve tried it, you’ll be addicted.
Seasoned party veterans have been known to avoid NYE for many years, confessing they don’t like the pressure of being expected to have fun on demand, don’t like the inflated prices and crowds. And there are also those who like to stay in and reflect on the year gone by, and the year ahead. To each their own. Whether you binge watch a box set, or painstakingly put together your 2016 vision boards, if you’re comfortable with your own company, then you’ll never feel alone.
- Avoid FOMO. Go to all the parties.
You’ll definitely need a designated driver for this one, as finding taxis in remote locations on NYE is like trying to call a taxi to a villa party in August. Grab a crew (no bigger than a car load), pack your boot with booze (sorry driver) and hit the road. From here, you can visit the many house parties happening across the island, plus pop in to the must-visit destinations as seen in the White Ibiza Winter Calendar. This also means you’re ready to spring into spontaneous action at the news of any after party or happening in the early hours, while others are standing outside clubs wondering what happens next!
- Save yourself for DC10.
You’d be surprised how many people in Ibiza confess to staying in, or having a quiet dinner at home with friends on New Year’s Eve because they don’t want to ruin the magic of the one-day-only winter trip to DC10. Arriving fresh on that dance floor at 4pm means you’ll still have plenty of stamina later at 4am, right when others are fading fast. And you’ll also save plenty of cash you can spend on drinks!
So… which Ibiza New Year style are you this year? I think I’ll opt for… well now, I don’t want to spoil the secret now do I? Adios 2015 – it’s been nice knowing you. Hola 2016… I wonder what surprises you’ll bring?