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08 Jun 2017

BY April Hutchinson


Nobu drives luxury hotel surge in Ibiza

Ibiza’s “most luxurious hotel” is to open by the end of June, including the island’s first Nobu restaurant, a Six Senses spa and hair salon by John Frieda.


Ibiza's latest luxury hotels - from Nobu to Sir Joan

Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay will be the first resort in Europe for the fledgling hospitality brand – an urban hotel also opens in Shoreditch, London on July 1 – and is designed to bring a sophisticated edge to an island known for hedonism.


“There are quite a few things we are doing differently – service is a key one. People don’t really expect five-star levels of service in Ibiza, but we are aiming to deliver that,” said general manager Enrique Mandl. “And while there are plenty of beautiful hotels on the island, our aim is to be the best luxury hotel in Ibiza.”


Families are also a big focus for the hotel, with activities including foraging sessions, a cookery school and DJ lessons.


Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay will have an excellent kids club, modeled on the successful one at the Marbella Club, which has the same owner, MC Hotels, which also owns Puente Romano and El Lodge in Spain.


“This will fill a huge gap on the island for a high-class family hotel,” said Mandl. “Plenty of people used to come here to party but now have families – that doesn’t mean they don’t want to return to the island, they just look for something else, usually a villa, but this will offer them that alternative.”


Health-conscious former clubbers will find a wholesome cafe concept, Celicioso, which offers gluten-free cuisine, while Chambao (pictured below) offers a beach club vibe and a pop-up Mexican option by the Peyote Group will also be available, with a different restaurant appearing in the space annually.


Nobu opening aims to be 'best in Ibiza'

But of course, the headliner is the 211-cover Nobu restaurant. Nobu Matsuhisa's signature Japanese fusion dishes, such as Tiradito, Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno, and Black Cod Miso will all be there, as well as dishes inspired by the island, while the restaurant will also have a sushi bar and lounge bar.


“There’s just going to be a lovely atmosphere wherever you go in the hotel, relaxed and calm and flexible for the guests – and everyone will be welcome to the restaurants; we have 600 covers across all the restaurants,” Mandl said.


Last year, Small Luxury Hotels said Ibiza was the “most unfulfilled search” on its website as clients came looking for hotels on the island but were left wanting; with the opening of Nobu, that is corrected, with the hotel launching as a member.


The hotel is 60% booked for July, Mandl said, with the average length of stay already six nights.


“We didn’t really think it would be a vacation destination, more short stays, but we’re delighted to be proved wrong. I think the hotel is also moderately priced for lead-in rooms for a place of this quality,” he added.


Rooms start from £425 per night and the UK will be the most important market, with the hotel already featured by key operators.


“Ibiza is very much a grown-up destination these days – and this is the “ultimate playground,” said Mandl. “It’s also a place where people can come and feel safe; there’s also a reason celebrities come here – they can hide away and their privacy is [usually] respected too.”


New arrivals for the White Isle

New arrivals for the White Isle

Several other new hotels are also attracting luxury attention to the island.


New for the summer is the fifth hotel from Dutch-based group Sir Hotels, which will open Sir Joan on July 7 in Ibiza Town, with “the feel of a luxury private villa”. Designed by Baranowitz + Kronenberg, it will have 38 rooms and suites; Izakaya, a Japanese meets Peruvian restaurant; and The Butcher, a high-end burger bar based on its popular Amsterdam cousin. Room rates will be from €750 per night (July-August).


In the west coast of the island, Seven Pines Resort Ibiza near Cala Conta is set for a soft opening in Q4 this year with a full opening for the season next spring.

The cliff-top resort will be a year-round property with 195 suites set within a collection of whitewashed Ibizenco-style homes and will also have its own 78-foot Pershing yacht.


Looking ahead, Six Senses will open a 134-room resort on a 25-acre site on Cala Xarraca Bay.

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