Ibiza, or the White Isle as it’s also known, has visitors falling in love from the moment they step off the plane. The Mediterranean Island off the east coast of Spain has miles of beautiful beaches, a thriving party scene and is scattered with luxury hotels and top class restaurants in beautiful settings.
The charming Old Town of Ibiza
As locals and repeat visitors know, the island has that bit of extra magic that sets it apart from other sunshine destinations, making it the perfect choice for brides-to-be wanting to bid farewell to single life with an extra special luxury hen weekend in the sun.
Kylie Minogue, pictured in Ibiza, is a frequent visitor
Our mission: to try the best hen party activities, as arranged by the island’s leading provider of concierge services, Essential Ibiza. Whether a group of 20 sun-worshipping party-seekers or a smaller gaggle of hens looking for the ultimate relaxation experience, all tastes can be tailored for.
Where to stay
Renting a villa is the best way to host a hen weekend in Ibiza. Not only will you and your friends have total privacy, but villas lend themselves to parties around the pool and sociable breakfasts and dinners.
Villa S'Ermita, the go-to venue for several celebrities, is located close to San Miguel on the north-eastern tip of the island. Stepping into the property situated up in the hills is like entering a parallel universe. The main house holds the living room with a fireplace, indoor and outdoor kitchen and dining areas and five double bedroom suites complete with terraces and balconies, with some rooms featuring their own free-standing baths.
Extending further into the property are two guest houses, one with an external bath, a master house for the bride-to-be and a maze of Balinese-style chill out areas. Apart from the two swimming pools and countless sun loungers dotted around the villa, which look out onto an untouched forest, hens can make use of the fully equipped gym, sauna and jacuzzi.
Villa S'Ermita is located close to San Miguel on the north-eastern tip of the island
The house was previously a mountain church built over 300 years ago, and still retains its original shape and walls due to strict conservation policies. Hens wishing to rent the villa can email Jason Ham, head of business development at Lucas Fox (email@example.com) to enquire about rental prices. And if you're as stunned by the villa as we think you'll be, it's currently on the market for around £4.4million.
If you'd prefer to stay in a hotel, look no further than Atzaro, a beautiful inland retreat nestled in orange groves and surrounded by the hills of the Santa Eulalia region of Ibiza (Atzaro.com).
The ultimate in rural, zen luxury, Atzaro boasts one of the most spectacular spaces on the island – stunning natural grounds create a tranquil environment for soaking up the sun on plush four-poster beds, taking dips in the swimming pools and enjoying the extensive spa facilities that the hotel has to offer.
Atzaro by night
Atzaro's stunning backdrop and friendly team have secured countless high profile events in the music, art and fashion world, and it regularly attracts a decidedly A-list clientele – definitely a place for the discerning traveller's 'must-see' Ibiza list.
Where to eat
The new jewel in the crown of the Playa De'n Bossa area near the airport, Beachouse is a straw-roofed oasis of calm, decked out in whitewashed wood furnishings and art by local talents. It’s the latest venture from the team behind the popular Es Cavallet beach venue El Chiringuito. (Elchiringuitoibiza.com)
From 10am to 8pm daily, (and untill 1am from 1 June onwards) diners can choose from the delicious Italian-influenced menu – created by head chef Sebastian Nicoletti Altimari – either at one of the restaurant’s charming tables or from the comfort of one of the beach daybeds, whilst enjoying ambient tunes from their resident DJs.
The eclectic menu encompasses everything from gourmet pizzas to lobster linguini for two, while the cocktail menu offers exotic twists on classics, like the more-ish passion fruit bellini and the Coco Chilli Mojito. (Beachouseibiza.com)
Beachouse, located in Playa De'n Bossa, is one of the island's best new beach restaurants
Having a private chef come to your villa and cater for your group is another ideal option, if hens don't feel like venturing far from the poolside. Cook Ibiza (Cookibiza.com), which counts Ronnie Wood and other stars as part of their celebrity clientele, has been operating on the island for the three years. Headed by Simon Johnson, the catering company will transform your villa into a feast for the senses, so that you and your friends can concentrate on having all the fun.
When Simon paid a visit, he prepared a gargantuan dinner of honey-marinated spare ribs, butterfly chicken cooked in lemon and garlic, fish brochettes, vegetarian burgers and spinach and avocado salad – among other treats. Anything on the BBQ is what Simon's known for and what he does best. Dishes are locally sourced, and cuisine on offer ranges from French to Mediterranean. Divine Indian food can also be set on the table, which is what our meal included in the form of cous cous salad with peppers and Indian-style slaw.
Organic Açai breakfast bowls consist of frozen acai berries topped with fresh fruit, seeds, coconut flakes and crunchy granola
Nutritious breakfast bowls are the best way to refuel in the mornings, especially if you're feeling sore from the night before or gearing up for a big one later that evening. Healthy and happily married couple Nicholas Andonakis and Marilena Thomadaki of Organic Açai (Organicacai.es) moved to Ibiza last year, with the vision of introducing the acai berry, a superfood from Brazil, into locals' diet.
The duo fixed up a gorgeous breakfast for us served at the villa, which on its own would be worth returning to the island for. Their breakfast bowl consisted of a thick, blended smoothie of frozen acai berries topped with fresh fruit, seeds, nuts, cacao nibs, coconut flakes and crunchy granola – just the right ingredients to energise you for the day.
Health-conscious hens will love the benefits of acai berries. Not only are they high in antioxidants and help digestion and the immune system, the flavoursome fruit also clears skin and speeds up weight loss. To organise a visit during your hen weekend, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for prices and options.
Taking to the open seas
A boat trip has become a must during a trip to Ibiza – enjoying the stunningly clear blue Mediterranean waters while discovering parts of the island you never knew existed is quite the luxury.
We enjoyed a spectacular day with Smart Charter Ibiza – the island's largest boat charter company that caters for all budgets. Fully equipped with all boat trip essentials – think towels, drinks, top tunes via quality sound systems and an array of water toys – they provide a flexible, fun service that lets you party on the Med in style.
Not to mention a super friendly, multilingual team who will happily pass on local knowledge while taking you to uncover hidden bays of crystal waters and explore mysterious caves and secluded beaches. Lunch can either be served on board or you can be dropped off at one of the many excellent, beachside restaurants(Smartcharteribiza.com).
Soak up the rays on the deck of your private motorboat
Body and mind
Ibiza isn't just about the wild partying and champagne-sipping on a yacht – which is why it's the perfect location for hens wishing to balance nights out with health and pampering sessions.
Helene Su from Pure Love Retreats was our exercise guru for the day. The inspirational teacher came to our villa for a 90-minute session and eased us into the hen weekend with a gentle and relaxing yoga class for beginners, which is what she would recommend for hens on the first day of their trip.
For hens who want to relax, a yoga session is the perfect option
Helene, who has been practising yoga for 20 years and has an MA in dance and somatics, would suggest a more energetic class for the following day – a yoga and dance session to bring everyone together and get hens practising their grooves and moves before a night out. Helene can also take a class to the group's requested playlist if asked in advance.
After the partying and the exercising, a full-on pampering session is what a bride-to-be and her girls will want. Sian Randall, who like Helene is represented by Pure Love Retreats, has been working on the island for the past three summers. When she came to the villa, she gave us heavenly Indian head treatments by the poolside.
Sian recommends having beauty treatments such as pedicures, manicures, facials and massages soon after you land in Ibiza. It'll put hens straight into the chilled-out holiday mood, while also prepare you to look fabulous for a night out. The head and neck massage completed de-stressed each and every one of us, but left us wishing we had more time to call Sian back for an aromatherapy massage, a full body Swedish massage or a Thai spa facial, all of which she does on top of other blissful treatments. Massages start from approximately €40 depending on type and length.
When the sun goes down
As Ibiza transforms from day to night, a great way to start the evening is a walk through the meandering cobbled streets of Dalt Villa in the glamorous Ibiza Town old centre, which is chock full of busting bars and restaurants.
Then no hen party trip to the Island is complete without the bride-to-be and her friends putting on their dancing shoes and heading to Pacha, the iconic Ibizan club known the world over for its double cherry logo.
For dancing head to Pacha, regarded the most authentic Ibizan club
Widely regarded as the most authentic Ibizan club, Pacha first opened its doors 1973 – a converted finca on the edge of town. Today it is 5,000-capacity house music superclub split over five connecting rooms – including their famous roof terrace.
Hens should check out Saturday nights, which are taken over by club night Pure Pacha – a firm favourite with locals. Line-up highlights of the night, which opens on May 23, include Basement Jaxx, Fatboy Slim and Armand Van Helden. (Pacha.com)
Another authentic Ibiza hen experience can be found at the infamous Pikes Hotel, which is nestled in the countryside just to the north east of San Antonio. What could be more fun than singing karaoke in the bathtub in the suite regularly frequented by Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in the days he used to come to the island to party?
In 2014, Ibiza received 794,662 visitors from Britain
The hotel, which resembles a small village, is a coverted 15th century finca which has guests flocking to party round the pool or have dinner in the restaurant, Room 39. It was opened in 1978 by Britain-born Australian Tony Pike, who came to the island and fell in love with a British girl, and decided to stay. Well past retirement age, Tony can still be seen mingling with clubbers at the establishment today.
His hotel quickly gained a reputation for hedonism and the famous guests that would frequent it in the Eighties. The video for Wham’s Club Tropicana was filmed here, and it played host to Freddie's 41st birthday – still considered to be one of the most lavish parties in Ibiza history.
Travelling around the island from A to B isn't as simple as city life or other holiday destinations. Hiring a car or a driver is essential and the best solution for large groups is going with a company like Ibiza Transit Express (Ibizatransitexpress.com), which was one of the better-priced options we found. You'll be given a private driver and minibus who will sort out all your journeys from the very first airport transfer. The company's fleet of 2015 Ford Transit minibuses can carry up to 17 passengers, or up to 13 comfortably with luggage. Prices vary depending on zones but start from roughly €115 for the car.
British Airways currently flies from London City to Ibiza up to three times a week, increasing to up to 19 return flights a week by the peak summer season. One-way hand baggage only fares are available from £71 and are available to book on Ba.com/londoncity
For further Ibiza info
Essential Ibiza is the go-to online resource for anyone wanting further information about the White Island. They provide concierge services, up to the minute Ibiza news and activities and can arrange everything from VIP tables and transport to private catering as well as all disco and club tickets. The company has been operating for four years on the Island, founded and run by Ibiza experts, who have established great contacts from living on the island for 15 years. (Essentialibiza.com)