If all-day beach parties, heady nights in famous nightclubs listening to the world's coolest DJs alongside a laid-back uber-glam crowd, fabulous restaurants, bars and boat trips sound like your sort of thing then you should get yourself to Ibiza as quickly as possible.
Photo courtesy of Coastline
It's not all drinking and dancing though, as Dave and Sam Cam's family holiday on the Balearic Island in the Mediterranean Sea last month proved. Whether you're going with a music-obsessed gang of pals, hell bent on partying every night or with young kids looking for rest and relaxation, the absolute best way to do the White Isle is to rent a villa. You can live the high life in a beautiful property without paying the highest hotel price, come and go as you please and still feel like you're living the rock star dream. Plus, if you are out clubbing until the small hours, there's nothing quite like waking up to the peace and quiet of your own kitchen, sun loungers, pool and sublime view to make one feel healthy and serene again.
There are villas of all stripes all over the island and the options are endless, but one of the very best I've come across is the Finca Grande through Coastline, a spacious traditional-style house that sleeps eight, set on the top of a hill in a protected pine forest two kilometres above the gorgeous port town of Santa Eulalia, near where the Camerons also stayed. If it's solitude you're after, or somewhere where you can play the music as loud and as late as you like without disturbing the neighbours then this rental can't fail to hit the spot.
Courtesy of Coastline
Coastline is a brilliant villa rental company to book with who really do think of everything to make your holiday function like a dream. Car hire is included in your booking and you pick them up at the airport when you arrive and drop them off when you leave. It's an easy half an hour drive to the villa and you'll gasp with delight when you reach the top of the steep, winding dirt road that leads up to the house and see the glorious vista spread out before you. Bright white walls contrast with the deep brown wood of the majestic front door, turrets rising from the top terrace alerting you to the fact that you're in for an authentic treat. Rosemary bushes amongst the pine trees lend a summery fragrance to the air and mean you'll want to get the BBQ in the outdoor kitchen area going as soon as possible. Frogs croaking in the pond compete to be heard with only the small waterfall and the plentiful bird song and, of course, your delighted yells as you spy the view through the huge sliding windows of the double height wood-panelled lounge complete with minstrel's gallery. The décor is understated but clearly Mediterranean with large terracotta tiles and the dramatic colours of the Cuban oil paintings set against the white walls. Each of the four bedrooms opens onto a wide balcony with views across the landscaped gardens, ornamental stream and deep blue of the curved swimming pool to the countryside and mountain way across the valley.
Sunbathing is a dream here, with loungers on the terrace outside the kitchen and another set down by the pool, meaning you can laze about all over the place. This place is so relaxing you don't even need to worry about driving into town to pick up breakfast since Coastline also have that covered. The villa comes with an amazing concierge lady called Grace, who is so knowledgeable and helpful we nicknamed her Ibiza Wikipedia. Not only does Grace know everyone and everything on the island she also drops off a daily delivery of pastries, bread and an English newspaper of your choice each morning, meaning you don't have to think about lifting a finger until you're ready to go out. A welcome hamper containing all sorts of cleaning essentials, salads, local meat and cheese is waiting for you on day one so you can acclimatise before hitting the great supermarket just down the road to stock up for the week.
Courtesy of Coastline
If you fancy having a luxurious dinner in the comfort of your own home like we did then Coastline will send in a private chef. You'll feel incredibly lucky as you lounge around by the pool, chatting and sipping a local white rioja whilst a Gordon Ramsey trained chef cooks up a storm in the kitchen having discussed your culinary preferences with you before hitting the shops for exactly what you want. We were served champagne and smoked salmon canapés before sitting down at the beautifully laid outdoor table to mixed tapas, including sizzling garlic prawns, chorizo and vegetable stacks and the best Spanish tortilla I've ever tasted. Our al fresco monkfish with clam and champagne sauce on roasted vegetables was so good we hardly spoke until every last bit was gone, whilst the cherry clafoutis was off the chart.
You can't visit Ibiza and not spend a day on a speed boat, whizzing across the turquoise sea to Formantera and a truly special seafood lunch at Juan y Andrea, which is so slick they send men in RIBs to pick you up if you don't fancy swimming to shore. Sit down in barefoot luxury and feel white sand between your toes as you feast on salt-baked seabass, garlic prawns and tuna tartare. Vicente, our captain, stopped off along the way so we could splash about off the back of the boat or swim to shore and potter about the almost deserted beaches. He booked our lunch and mixed up the best sangria of the week for the lazy afternoon on the sun deck. If you book Vicente through Coastline, the boat I rented is 700Euro per day in July and August and 500Euro per day in September – this is a very good deal, about half price.
What with the beautiful property, Amazing Grace, all the included extras and the fabulous things you can book in extra such as the chef and the boat day, I think you'd be hard pressed to find such a great deal anywhere else. My group became extremely attached to this picture-perfect home away from home, and none of us wanted to leave, ever.
Book Villa Finca Grande from £815 pp including flights, car hire, linens and towels, cleaner, concierge, welcome hamper and daily delivery of bread, pastries and newspaper. Tel: 0844 5571020, web: www.coastline.co.uk.
By: Sara Lawrence