When someone says “Ibiza” two images come to mind: the first is beautiful beaches with clear waters, gorgeous topless women, and endless sun; the second (and more common image) are the clubs that play host to the most famous DJs in the world. Clubs with names like Pacha, Ushuaïa and Amnesia that are known for their extravagant shows of acrobatics, lights, confetti and foam that bring together the sensory enhanced masses for the party of a lifetime.
My boyfriend and I were invited as part of a group honeymoon where we, and 3 other couples, would join the newlyweds on part of their excursion and then split off and continue on our separate ways. Our group of friends are exceptionally close, so the thought of doing a group vacation in this manner didn’t give us any hesitation, and when the happy couple told us the destination would be Ibiza we were ecstatic!
We pulled out all the stops: rented a sick seven bedroom Airbnb, booked a yacht to take us to Formentera to have lunch at Juan y Andrea and booze our selves into a slumber, made reservations at Café Mambo for the sunset, and most exciting of all… a night at Amnesia for Elrow to loose our minds.
Landing into Ibiza airport they were already prepping you for the club atmosphere with posters promoting the coming events and a store called Club Ibiza selling merch from all the famous venues, just incase you were too fucked up to buy them at the clubs themselves (which is definitely the case). Our cab ride to the Airbnb continued the brainwash with more billboards of David Guetta, Tiesto and other performers queuing up for the summer ahead and by the time we reached everyone I was ready to get #lit.
Our first stop was Café Mambo, THE place to watch the sunset, we were not disappointed…
Looked harmless enough. We arrived around 6 pm at Café Mambo and it seemed like any other beach restaurant with it’s white furniture and 80’s-90’s music underscoring, but as the sun continued to lower the masses started to arrive. Slowly, but surely the rocky beach became packed with groups like bachelor parties, girls who’d just finished sunning, friends with bags of beers to continue the early buzz into the night, and with one change of song this seemingly normal sunset became the dramatic ending of Braveheart. People were giving the sun a standing ovation!… Thank you sun, for doing your job.
And then the night began; the DJ took a turn to deep house, a random man started selling whip-its on the beach in green balloons, a woman with a sign exclaiming “Hot Since 82′” started twirling fire on the rocks, and shots, tray by tray, continued to appear at our table.
I made my way through the now crowded restaurant to the bathroom where coupled girls were exiting the stalls having just finished a pick-me-up to continue the excitement, one unfortunate soul had lost her bag of favors which sat perched on top of the sanitary napkin receptacle for anyone daring enough to partake. This seemingly ordinary beach café had turned into the sunset rager that Mambo had become famous for. Girls who only a few hours earlier sat casually eating their early dinners now danced on chairs fully immersed in the music.
As the evening progressed the festivities only became more extravagant, sun-kissed men and women paraded through the crowd in jungle attire amping up the already crazed mass, but since it was our first night we decided to head back and continue the experience on our own terms with some midnight swimming and music with words.
Naturally, the following day we lounged in style…
We rehydrated, napped, swam, sunned, ate, napped some more (some of us on floats), and prepared ourselves for the long hours ahead, because, as everyone knows in Ibiza, the clubs don’t get going till 2am *slowly crawls into a hole to die*.
Dressed and prepped, our 12:30am mini bus arrives to take the crew to Amnesia – I was not ready. Think of the last time you went to a music festival, now put that music festival into a three story warehouse and take some acid, that was Amnesia.
Euros from near and far lined the parking lot outfitted in everything from beachwear to fairy costumes, even Master Roshi made a cameo that evening. Most had already donned their sunnies to disguise how hard they were already rolling (the way to feel “safe” while taking a pill in Ibiza).
Glitter littered the floor from the previous night as they lead us up the back steps through the VIP entrance; no ID check, not even a glance at our purses, they all know what’s going on here tonight… and every night.
The deafening bass reverberated through my chest as I took in Amnesia and all it’s glory. Neon inflatable planes, flip flops, lips, fish, anchors, anything you could imagine to find on the rocky island, was strung up throughout the ceiling; arrows pointing to the stage lead your eye to a set of a two story building where actors carried out scenes in the windows of farced robbery, molestation, sex, drug use and other situations that in the States would be considered too taboo for public display. Girls in leather boots and leotards plastered with ‘Elrow’ danced in front of the DJ while he continued his wordless beats, and we, on the second floor in our velvet roped square, admired it all.
It’s easy to understand the glamor and allure of Ibiza’s night life when looking on in tinted glasses, to feel the music and dance to the rising sun. This small rocky island delivers on something so carnal and freeing that it’s no wonder people flock here by the thousands to take part in the yearly summer festivities.
So, when you board that plane home dehydrated, shaking, and partially queasy, you won’t help, but think, “I love Ibiza”.
For more adventures follow me on my Instagram. Safe travels!