But this year in Ibiza, there is a certain iconic nightspot celebrating its 50th anniversary, and the calibre of celebrations that go along with such a milestone are almost impossible not to miss. I’m talking, of course, about Pacha Ibiza, whose birthday party last Saturday night was one for the history books with Pete Tong bringing his now famous ‘Ibiza Classics’ event to the island for a one night only extravaganza at Pacha’s sister venue, Destino Ibiza. The Ibiza Classics concept was born in 2015, when BBC Radio 1 presented the Ibiza Prom at Royal Albert Hall – a classical tribute to the island’s musical heritage. Needless to say, I missed it because as usual, I was here in Ibiza, and while I don’t usually get FOMO for non-island events, this one did indeed tug on my heart strings a little when I started seeing the hundreds of videos that were shared by UK-based Ibiza lovers all over social media. It’s pretty amazing – taking the best Ibiza club anthems and reworking them at the hands of a 65-piece orchestra, acclaimed conductor Jules Buckley and legendary Ibiza DJ Pete Tong. So that’s 134 hands, all in all, just to be clear.
So, when Pacha Ibiza announced they’d be taking their birthday party out into the great outdoors and hosting an Ibiza Classics event, I knew it was something I couldn’t afford to miss (though if you read my blog post last week, you’ll know I almost did!). Team White arrived en masse at Destino, just before sunset, breezing in through the guest list queue, alongside Pacha royalty like Bob Sinclar, David Guetta (looking sharp with a new haircut!), Ricardo Urguell (the true king of Pacha), DJ Piti, the flamboyant performner Parris, and many other glitzy glam types. Speaking of glitz – the hotel’s entry was flanked by a row glamazons decked all in white with feather headdresses and capes that must have truly been a burden in the 35-degree plus heat (such is the price of beauty) – if there’s one thing you can say about Pacha Ibiza, they certainly don’t do things by halves. With a serious case of feather envy, we stepped inside Destino Ibiza, which had been suitably decked out with enough cherries to remind anyone who didn’t remember, who this night was dedicated to. Enormous neon cherries over the stage, more glamorous dancers flitting about the pool in red sequinned mini-shorts and holding larger than life cherry inflatables, the VIP crowd fanning themselves with fans emblazoned with, you guessed it, cherries, plus each and every table in the restaurant featuring martini glasses filled to the brim with fresh dark red cherries. Happy birthday to Pacha Ibiza!
Destino Ibiza is pretty much like a living, breathing catwalk at any time of the day and at dusk – that time when hotel guests are still revelling in the pool (complete with OTT Chanel accessories) while eager partygoers are arriving dressed to the nines for the night ahead – people watching was at its finest. The event seemed to attract all ages, all nationalities, and all styles – authentic Ibiza style. Iconic local DJs Alfredo and DJ Pippi provided the soundtrack – a fusion of cinema-score style tracks, house anthems and Balearic classics. An enormous VIP viewing platform had been extended over the pool, complete with plush sofas – for the king and his cohorts, of course. And while I’m not sure Ariel’s ‘Part of Your World’ from The Little Mermaid could be called Balearic (or could it? Perhaps it’s the very definition of the genre!), all of a sudden, my ears pricked up at the familiar melody floating over the airwaves. As I followed the direction of hundreds of mobile phones being directed at the pool, I realised it was indeed the same song, only being performed live, in Spanish… by a bearded merman! Señor Ariel’s performance culminated in a dive into the pool, emerging with perfect hair to be carried by his hunky man-in-waiting to a throne on wheels waiting to take him back to Atalntis. Weird, wacky and wonderful… Although I have no idea what it had to do with Ibiza classics, I say bravo Señor Ariel, bravo! Donde estas Sebastian?
Finally, when the moon had risen high above and the sky was twinkling with stars, the familiar bars of Fatboy Slim’s Right Here, Right Now echoed from the stage, where The Heritage Orchestra had taken their places and kickstarted their performance with a massive burst of energy. Pete took to the microphone immediately, his familiar voice welcoming the huge crowd to the event, and then it was all over to Jules Buckley – who, might I add, seemed to be attracting quite a lot of attention from the ladies in the audience – to take control of the stage. Track after track of island anthems whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Very early on, Pete Tong made a touching tribute to the late Robert Miles (“He loved Ibiza so much.”) as the band launched into Children. For me, the real goosebump moment came with Moby’s Go. All of a sudden, I was back in 2007, and although there was so much to watch on the stage (or through the thousands of mobile phones held up in front of me), I just had to close my eyes and feel the music. At times throughout the night, the voices of the crowd (my own included) would drown out the live vocals coming from the stage, and although they may not have had the skills of the professionals on stage, there was something equally as touching about the way this music had the power to unite people under the Ibiza sky.
It was the kind of night Ibiza legends are made of, that’s for sure, however if you weren’t lucky enough to be in the crowd, I am 100-percent certain you’ll still get goosebumps just from viewing the videos of those in the crowd, just the way I did back in 2015 from the Royal Albert Hall. What an enormous pool of talent, right there, right now. Who knew classical musicians (and their conductors) could be young, cool and into electronic music… encore une fois?Mirrors, mirrors on the…
There. I’ve said it. Whether it was because I was out of the loop, off my game, feeling anti-social (or perhaps a combination of all three), the fact is, nothing had ever lured me to the island’s latest luxury resort. Until now.
Last week, a mysterious invitation arrived on my desk, promising a day-to-night extravaganza of grown-up fun, fashion, art, music, cocktails and brunch… and all of a sudden I felt the urge to lose my Destino virginity. The event in question was Mirrors, the all-new party concept by Andrew Dax – founder of luxury concierge company Dax Ibiza and the man behind previous Ibiza events such as Love Brunch.
Being a big fan of the NYC-style brunch concept, we made a point of skipping breakfast before dolling up in the latest purchases from the White Ibiza Boutique (occupational hazard – when so many pretty things pass your desk each day, it’s impossible to resist ‘just trying them on for size’) and making our way to the Cap Martinet hotspot.
‘Hello Destino… I think we’re going to be friends,’ I thought, as we sauntered through the entrance, did a strut around the pool and restaurant area before taking our seat for brunch. Beautiful, yes, Destino is everything and more that you’d expect from a Pacha Ibiza resort and more, chock full of beautiful people and with a view that really does make your jaw drop. The Gumball 3000 rally had recently wrapped up on the island, and all the drivers and their entourages were holed up in the hotel, so there were millionaires and designer clothes aplenty sunbed-hopping while we dined in style in the shade. I had to be subtle as I Instagrammed the action!
On the other side of the venue, the giant stage – dripping in mirror balls of course – was surrounded by cabanas and cute little stalls, offering all the little extras you could imagine for an afternoon of fun. A station offering OTT makeovers – and by this I mean cool, glitterfoil lips, sequinned eyes or diamante-encrusted false lashes – was definitely calling my name (after a swim of course) and the Tarot readings offered an element of mysticism that I thought would be perfect after a mojito or three!
One fresh coconut and a Bloody Mary later, I have to admit, I was in heaven. And then the food came! An amazing set menu – which changes weekly – at an accessible price, we tucked into melt-in-your-mouth salmon sashimi and seaweed salad, rich black cod and bok choy and deluxe Black Angus strips… OK, so it was a little more than we’d expected for ‘brunch’, but when the food’s that good, you lap it up. With manners.
After brunch, we joined the hipsters, race car drivers, Ibiza socialites, London trust fund babies, DJs, models and dancers by the pool, for some serious tanning time. The idea behind Mirrors is that it’s a marathon, not a race (though partygoers are encouraged to dip in and out of the party, between other Ibiza social engagements!) and fueling up and relaxing before the action is all part of the process. As were the plethora of fresh coconuts (there’s really nothing more ‘holiday’ than a fresh coconut by the pool, even if you do feel slightly silly because you need to hold it with two hands).
Soon switching from coconuts to cocktails, we found our toes tapping to the music, followed by our heads, then our shoulders and, well, you know how it goes. I couldn’t help but notice the music switched into an interesting, eclectic fusion of electronic music and minimal techno, and wondered to myself who the DJ was… a quick stroll to the DJ booth and I discovered none other than deadmau5 (fresh from his stint as a Gumball driver) had volunteered his services for the afternoon.
You know you’re onto a winner when superstar DJs are actually asking you to let them play at your party!
Sure enough, after a few mojitos I was once again intrigued to see what was going on in the party area – I could see shimmers of sequins everywhere… and like the magpie I am, I followed the sparkle to the dance floor, where sexy girls in tassled silver bikinis danced alongside glamazon models in custom-created mirror-esque couture by The Gypset Collection. One more mojito, and I might just be tempted to try and squeeze myself into one of those sparkly outfits, I thought…
As the resort guests began to stream into the venue following their day’s island adventures and the sky started to turn the beautiful pinky-purple hue of sunset, you could feel a buzz in the air (and also see the buzz build up on social media as word got out about the event)… any moment, Mirrors was going to turn from a chilled-out pool party to a hands-in-the-air rave!
Sure enough, there was dancing, there was prancing and I’m pretty sure there was some romancing – with a pop-up wedding chapel onsite for impromptu declarations of love, I’m not surprised! And if you were smart enough, you could go and see the psychic before tying the knot, to make sure your newfound love is ‘the one’. After midnight, the party moved downstairs to the intimate TOX club – continuing through until 6am.
With amazing DJ line-ups and live bands (and we heard some seriously superstar names being bantered around) on the cards for the coming weeks, I can safely say that although this may have been my first foray into the world of Destino, it definitely won’t be my last…
If you’re interested in checking it out (and trust me when I say you’ll be glad you did!), you can book a table for brunch at Destino or simply purchase a ticket (at the meager price of just 14€) to enter directly into our pool party. You heard it here first folks!