Heading to the White Isle for the bank holiday weekend? We round up the best beachfront restaurants for lazy Ibizan days…
Best for views: Amante
Of all the knockout views in Ibiza, the shimmering aquamarine vista that greets you as you descend the steps to Amante has to be one of the most knee-weakening on the island. Luckily staff are on hand to rouse you from your stupor with an Ibizan Mule or glass of the palest-pink rose. While the beach isn’t the island’s best (it’s shingly to the point of painful — bring waterproof flip-flops to venture into the water), Amante’s draw is its secluded clifftop location, and you’ll need to be quick to secure one of the loungers that line its lowest tier.
Cliffside dining at Amante Ibiza
If you don’t, settle in at the elegant bar and restaurant; a masterclass in «refined rustic» decor, serving a varied menu of perfectly executed crowd-pleasers (prawn carpaccio, burrata, passionfruit cheesecake), alongside more experimental dishes (Spanish fisherman’s stew with saffron, avocado mousse dessert). Also look out for Amante’s sister restaurant Aiyanna, which opened on Cala Nova earlier this summer. Cala Sol Den Serra (Cala Llonga), 07849 Santa Eulalia des Riu
Fisherman’s stew at Amante
Best for foodies: Sa Punta
French restaurateur Rodolphe Sachs hasn’t bottled his recipe for Ibizan good vibes (yet) but it must go something like: one part spectacular location (at the furthest tip of Talamanca bay overlooking the Old Town in one direction, with an expanse of ocean in the other); three parts distinctive, consistently delicious food (the site is home to three restaurants) and a hefty dose of mood-enhancing music. Given the enduring success of Sa Punta, it’s a tried-and-tested formula for attracting those in high spirits and higher heels.
Sa Punta Fine Dining restaurant
The original fine dining restaurant dishes up exquisite fresh seafood — the Nobu-style black cod is a standout — while upstairs, colourful Lebanese restaurant Patchwork offers moreish sharing dishes (hummus, baba ghanoush and sambousek), and further up the clifftop is kitsch Asian eatery Ginger. This year the team have added a homeware boutique, so that after a night of dancing under the stars you can buy a Balinese-style printed cushion — or even an Indonesian mosaic elephant if you wish — to take some of the magic home with you. Es Pouet de Talamanca, 07819 Santa Eulalia des Riu
Patchwork at Sa Punta
Best for all-day lounging: Cotton Beach Club
With its crystal-clear, shallow waters and white sand, Cala Tarida has always been popular with families; the opening of Norwegian duo Christian and Merete Marstrander’s Cotton Beach Club in 2014 put the secluded cove on the five-star Ibiza map. Arrive early to secure a beach bed before ascending the stairs to the all-white restaurant and terrace, where the views over the bay will leave you breathless as much as the climb.
The rooftop restaurant at Cotton Beach Club CREDIT: EMANUEL GESANG
Serving Mediterranean and Asian cuisine, the sun-soaked rooftop Fay operates its own sushi bar, while the grand terrace offers substantial fare including chicken tacos and prawn yellow curry. Radiating a sense of Ibizan cool, you’re welcome to roll in off the beach, while there are private showers on the roof for pre-sunset sprucing. This year the team have also opened all-day restaurant Cotton Lounge Club in Ibiza Town, alongside an outdoor fitness club with pool and restaurant in San Antonio. Carrer Posta de Sol, 21, 07829 Cala Tarida
Sushi at Cotton Beach Club
Best for sundowners: Experimental Beach
Set on the southern tip of the island, past the beautifully bleak salt lakes, Experimental Beach Ibiza is a return to the rustic, boho Ibiza of old — only with killer cocktails and a designer-bikini-clad crowd, as befits a holiday outpost of London’s acclaimed Experimental Cocktail Club. Overlooking beach beds and onto the Mediterranean beyond, the open-air restaurant has an informal, feet-in-the-sand vibe: shabby-chic rattan and wood furnishings and a reggae soundtrack add to the blissed-out atmosphere.
Experimental Beach Ibiza
Cocktails are the selling point; the boat-bar is lined with homemade syrups and tinctures which make for drinks far superior to your average Mojito. A Spanish-influenced menu offers tapas and beach bites (on an island full of quinoa salads, theirs is the best), to heartier dishes such as lobster fettucini and salt-baked seabass. Relaxed by day, Experimental Beach picks up as the sun dips lower and the sky gets pinker, with DJs catering to the barefoot and beautiful until 1am. Playa des Codolar, Las Salinas, 07817 Ibiza
Cocktails at Experimental Beach Ibiza
Best for people watching: Blue Marlin
One of Ibiza’s most famous beach restaurants, Blue Marlin remains the place to see and be seen for those who like their sushi served with a side of selfies. Set on the pebbly Cala Jondal beach on the south-west of the island, its magnums of Moet and sparklers may epitomise what sent Ibiza’s original hippies running to the hills of Formentera (that it also has an outpost in Dubai tells you everything you need to know). But if a lively beach club is what you’re after, Blue Marlin is the five-star option: not to mention a lot of fun.
Blue Marlin Ibiza CREDIT: MAR TORRES
Serving a mostly Mediterranean menu spliced with Asian flavours — grilled octopus and burrata feature alongside salmon tataki and soft-shell crab — the restaurant sits adjacent to the party zone, where a smaller menu is served to huge white day-beds. By day it’s a feelgood spot for photogenic cocktails and people watching; by night, the numerous VIP zones fill up and the crowd takes to the dancefloor until 4am. Cala Jondal, 07800 Ibiza
Lobster sashimi at Blue Marlin
Best for families: Gecko Beach Club, Formentera
The jetset flock to Formentera for a respite from Ibiza’s frenetic party pace and, surveying the 10km stretch of white sand from the restaurant at Gecko Beach Club, it’s easy to see why. Named after the creatures that scuttle across the decking, the hotel and beach club has been refurbished for 2017 at the hands of Mallorcan designer Antonio Obrador. Clean, contemporary furnishings are dusted with turquoise accents and patterned tiles to create a bright and breezy space inspired by classic riviera resorts.
Gecko Beach Club, Formentera
Find a spot in the shade to tuck into the restaurant’s signature seafood paella, before retiring with a glass of sangria to a lounger in the adjacent garden, where there’s a decent-sized pool to keep kids occupied (the hotel also offers a creche). With nothing to disturb you but the sound of the waves, the surroundings will lull you into a state of zen-like tranquility before you can say «siesta’» Ca Mari, Playa Migjorn, 07860 Formentera
Gecko Beach Club, Formentera