An ethereal energy fills the air in the idyllic hills of Benimussa. Island folklore says the west-facing land is where miracles can happen, and surrounded by fragrant pine forests, fertile farmlands, plus centuries-old carob, fig and olive trees, it definitely feels as if magic is within reach here. Harnessing that magnetic energy in this exact location is 528 Ibiza, an all-new destination that taps into Ibiza’s cultural and culinary heritage, drawing on the elements to create a theatrical dining experience like no other.
Through high-end cuisine, extraordinary art, world-class theatrics and a spectacular soundtrack, 528 Ibiza is a dinner-and-a-show concept with a uniquely Balearic twist. The multi-sensorial experience is as much of a journey – through Ibiza’s past, into its future and back to the present – as it is a night out and when you leave, you’ll feel more deeply connected to the island than ever before. It’s the miracle frequency at work, as 528 Hz resonates through the treetops, into the earth and permeates the atmosphere, filling the space with love, healing, creativity and connection – hence the intriguing brand name. But we’re already getting ahead of ourselves… let us take you back the very beginning.
The multi-sensorial experience is as much of a journey – through Ibiza’s past, into its future and back to the present – as it is a night out.
Once upon a time, an Ibicenco family came to live on this particular hillside, feeling a gravitational pull to nurture the earth and immerse themselves in nature. They planted orchards, they toiled the soil and they witnessed the miracle of the nightly sunset. The land was passed down from generation to generation and today, under the care of born-and-bred Ibicenco Bartolo Escandell, the location is reborn as 528 Ibiza. The winds of change have swept through Benimussa, ushering in the new era, a new way of life and the next chapter in Ibiza’s colourful nightlife history.
How does an Ibicenco farmer, who still drives around on a tractor, harvests his own fruit, and catches his own fish, end up with a high-end theatrical restaurant on his hands? It’s quite simple. Having witnessed Ibiza’s nightlife scene evolve from the late 70s holiday resort shows through to the rise of superclubs and onto today’s VIP nightlife venues, Bartolo always dreamed of creating his own dinner-show concept, but not in line with any trend. Even while farming, the dream was never too far from his mind. When the whole world (and especially Ibiza’s nightlife scene) was put on hold in 2020, Bartolo kept tending to his land – after all, nature doesn’t stop just because society is in hibernation – and his dream continued to grow. At this point he knew, when life began to return to normal, it would be time to make his dream a reality. The land of miracles would provide.
The creative storytelling comes through via a series of scenes, songs and comedic skits, as the Artful Entertainment troupe takes you back through Ibiza’s bygone eras.
Bartolo made it his mission to seek out experts in Ibiza who could not only understand his vision but would also have the skills to bring it to life. One such industry pioneer was Andy McKay, whose decades of experience in hospitality and entertainment with Pikes and Manumission had given him a front-row view to the way the leisure industry operated in Ibiza, and an insiders’ knowledge on what holidaymakers are seeking these days. With Andy’s expertise and connections, Bartolo’s vision and invaluable local contacts, that ethereal energy was stirred up in the Benimussa hills and the duo set out to hand-pick a dream team of professionals who were all on the same page. In keeping with the new age, they knew Ibiza needed something special. It needed to experience magic once again. 528 Ibiza was born.
Officially opening to the public on at 7.55pm (see what they did there?) on Friday August 6, 2021, 528 Ibiza pays homage to Bartolo’s legacy, birthplace and dream through high-level gastronomy and performances that are deeply rooted in island heritage. The four elements of nature – earth, water, wind and fire – are woven throughout the show and the tasting menu. The remarkable team of artists and performers bring the world of island myths and legends to life in a way you could never have imagined, all the while embracing Ibiza’s international influences and sustaining the local community. Authenticity remains at the core of 528 Ibiza – yes, it’s glamorous, exciting and a five-star experience, but the essence of Ibiza can be felt all around.
There’s a connection between the island’s heritage, the elements and the environment from which the food is sourced at every turn.
Your 528 Ibiza experience begins you ascend the venue’s staircase at five to eight. The golden hour is casting its spell over the Benimussa hills, the sun starts to melt into the horizon, the Mediterranean Sea is glistening in the distance and the thrum of cicadas fills the air. The anticipation is palpable, as guests weave their way around the rooftop terrace restaurant while being entertained by performers doing skits and musical numbers, and charming waitstaff dressed in über-chic natural hues deliver an array of canape-style light bites alongside some standout small dishes that are presented in the most unexpected of ways. Whether it’s a fisherman reeling you in with an oyster, a flame-red Ibiza prawn served on ice or a farmer digging a baby Ibicenco potato from the earth – there’s a connection between the island’s heritage, the elements and the environment from which the food is sourced at every turn.
The gastronomic team is headed up by internationally renowned head chef Gonzalo Aragüez (Lío Ibiza, Destino Ibiza, Mandarin Oriental, Astrid y Gastón, Le Cirque) and talented sous-chef Massimiliano Bartelloni (W Ibiza, Piccola Cucina, Lío Ibiza, Supperclub, Ristorante Mario Uva) – a duo who are no strangers to fine dining. The chefs have pulled out all the stops when designing a set tasting menu that reflects the produce, flavours and traditional recipes of the island while giving each dish an international twist. The vegetarian and vegan options stand up equally in quality to their carnivorous counterparts – another element that was extremely important to the chefs, knowing that substitutions can often be overlooked when it comes to degustation style meals. It was also imperative to the 528 Ibiza team that as many of the ingredients should be sourced on-island as possible, from veggies and herbs to seafood and more. Bartolo can often be spotted picking lemons and limes from his orchards and bringing them to the kitchen each day. You don’t get much more KM0 than that.
The chefs have pulled out all the stops when designing a set tasting menu that reflects the produce, flavours and traditional recipes of the island while giving each dish an international twist.
There’s no rush to be seated at 528 Ibiza – the idea is that you ease into the night, soak up the ambient vibes and mingle (safely) as you collectively enjoy the sunset before you’re gently guided to your designated table. After dark however, all eyes turn to the stage where the lights go up and jaws drop down. So much more than an experiential theatre act or an all-singing, all-dancing cabaret, the Artful Entertainment artists embody the spirit of their characters and boast fantastic chemistry. The creative storytelling comes through via a series of scenes, songs and comedic skits, as the troupe takes you back through Ibiza’s bygone eras, with tales of the goddess Tanit, the mysterious sirens, the early peasants of Ibiza, the first wave of bohemians and much more over the course of the evening.
There’s a strict no camera policy once you’ve passed the photo wall for selfies – just like the Ibiza days of old – which means many of the elements of the show, and even the menu, remain a secret prior to your night at 528 Ibiza. In order to respect and maintain that policy, we’re not going to give away any more spoilers here, however we will say this: expect to have your mind-blown by the boggling capabilities of acrobats and dancers; be ready to have a tear brought to your eye by the emotive vocalists and get set to laugh at the well-timed comedy elements throughout the show. And be sure to turn up with an appetite because the culinary courses just keep on coming right through until the Cinderella hour. And finally, perhaps it’s best to engage a private driver (or call a cab!), because the wine list on offer is truly exceptional, thanks to the expert sommelier who can recommend the perfect reds, whites and rosés to suit each course.
After dark, all eyes turn to the stage where the lights go up and jaws drop down. 528 Ibiza is so much more than an experiential theatre act or an all-singing, all-dancing cabaret.
Beneath the twinkling Balearic stars, under the glow of the moon, with the summer breeze floating through the treetops, 528 Ibiza proves that miracles really do happen in the Benimussa hills. When the evening is over, guests descend that same staircase filled with happiness, joy, gratitude and memories of an unforgettable night. Inspired by the heritage of Ibiza, touched by the elements of nature – the warm breeze, the beautiful sunset, food from the earth and sea – and tinged with the ethereal energy and magic of the 528 Hz frequency, it’s a reminder that we are all connected and a part of something much bigger.
Bartolo’s lifelong dream, reimagined for the new world, has come to life in the right place, at the right time – just as Ibiza’s nightlife scene is evolving yet again. Open for a limited run this season, reservations are highly recommended at 528 Ibiza to ensure you don’t miss out. The journey is only just beginning, and you’ll want to say you were there when it all began.