Bliss is the life: Why Ibiza is perfect for families

Forget any preconceptions about this party isle, it's incredible for all ages, says Hollie-Rae Brader

There aren’t many island destinations that can attract as broad a spectrum of tourist types as Ibiza. All-night ravers, beach bums, bohemian yogis, budget bookers and affluent travellers all descend on this paradise in complete harmony.

Some may have preconceived notions that Ibiza is purely a hedonistic clubbing destination (and, of course, many people do travel here for the world-famous nightclubs, beach clubs and pool parties) but there’s far more to experience on this surprisingly diverse, tiny Balearic beauty.

The Ibiza of yesteryear (the 1960s to be exact) was a retreat for free spirits and anti-war advocates seeking barefoot freedom away from the constraints of modern society.

And while the island is more touristy and far more mainstream than it was all those decades ago, the pandemic allowed for a much-needed reset of sorts and saw the White Isle get back to its relaxed boho roots.

Nightclub closures and other restrictions saw Ibizans and visitors alike embrace a wholesome, family atmosphere that is still very much alive and kicking today. Unlike many of my peers, my first trip to Ibiza wasn’t some drink-fuelled binge in my early 20s.

Instead, it was with my husband and our four-month-old son in 2021, and we loved it so much we’ve returned multiple times since. It’s become one of our special places and somewhere we hope to visit annually to make memories aplenty as a family. Forget any previous thoughts you’ve had about Ibiza, it’s incredible for all ages.

Island retreats

A burgeoning luxury hotel scene is developing across Ibiza and sister isle Formentera. The Standard and Six Senses opened to much fanfare in recent years, and this year Ennismore will join the growing roster of high-end hotel groups that have a presence on the island with the opening of Hyde and Mondrian, both overlooking Cala Longa.

Other high-profile spots for clients include Nobu Ibiza Bay, epic agrotourism property Atzaró and the glitzy 7Pines. Each is utterly perfect, with sublime suites and even better culinary offerings.

Although the hotel product is stellar, VIPs seeking ultimate privacy and seclusion away from the crowds, plus special touches such as private chefs and dedicated staff, might prefer a villa – and Ibiza has high-spec design properties in abundance.

From hilltop rural retreats to epic cliffside and waterside residences, clients can happily escape to their own private sanctuaries after long days at the beach or long nights in the clubs.

Private and secluded

The destination is of growing interest to many villa operators, including UK favourite CV Villas, which has a small clutch of properties across the island. These include six-bedroom, seven-bathroom Finca Tranquila from its super high-end Above collection – where a chef serves daily breakfast – and the epic Villa Gertrudis.

I’m fortunate enough to call the latter my home for a glorious week on this joyous isle. The property is tucked away on a dirt track near the quaint and peaceful village of Santa Gertrudis.

The personal touches are evident immediately: a hamper of themed water toys for my Paw Patrol-obsessed son are sat on the sofa waiting to be played with, while a bottle of Whispering Angel is chilling in the fridge just asking to be quaffed.

Our CV Villas representative is on hand to provide help and advice on arrival, and even offers to assist us gaining guestlist entry to the island’s top clubs. It appears anything is possible, and Kerry is available throughout our stay.

Villa Gertrudis feels more remote than it actually is. It’s incredibly peaceful, in part thanks to the vast orangery that surrounds the house and the outdoor Bali-inspired decor. You can’t help but relax into holiday mode at record speed here.

With two downstairs double rooms (one of which is enormous and almost feels removed from the rest of the house for added privacy) and a further three upstairs, there’s plenty of space for family, friends or a combination of the two.

Days spent around the villa pool are dreamy. We pick fresh fruit from the orangery to enjoy over breakfast, and spend time in the sun, diving into the water to cool down or escaping to the pergola when the heat is too intense (which is often for a redhead like me).

The villa’s central location on the island makes it a perfect spot for exploration – it’s the ideal base from which to head to all corners of Ibiza. I repeatedly fall in love with the island’s incredibly family-friendly beaches, mouthwateringly good food scene and extremely chilled vibe. Pretentious, Ibiza is not.

During the day, I wander around the hippy markets, buying things I’d likely only wear in Ibiza or at Glastonbury Festival, or lolling by the water at Cala Comte, Cala Bassa or Benirrás – my top three beach picks.

The latter is hidden away in the north and is host to a sunset drumming session most Sundays, with local bohemians and tourists frolicking to the beat as the sun dips slowly below the horizon.

A visit to neighbouring little sister Formentera is well recommended. Here, the coastline of the smallest of the Balearic isles is flecked with endless yachts and boats that have made the short 30-minute hop from Ibiza.

Boutique properties and a small clutch of villas help to keep this laid-back beauty just that. A twin-centre or even a short day trip is ideal for those keen to amble around Formentera’s sleepy villages or wade into the iridescent waters that gently stroke the powder-sand beaches.

Whether your clients are looking for a party pad, family-friendly property or romantic getaway, Ibiza will no doubt have something to suit. After all, these days this diverse island is not just for partygoers, it’s a place for everyone.

Review: Villa Gertrudis

Tucked away in the rural centre of the White Isle, Villa Gertrudis is a gem. This five-bed, five-bathroom villa provides an ideal place to retreat after a day at the beach or a night of partying. The Balinese-inspired property is a little tricky to find, on a dirt track off a main road near Santa Gertrudis, but CV Villas staff were on hand to provide assistance on landing in Ibiza.

The ground floor is home to the kitchen, multiple living room spaces, a dining room area and two bedrooms. Upstairs you’ll find another living room/office space, alongside three more double bedrooms.

Each of the five bedrooms has an en suite, two have a shared terrace area. The outdoor space is the real selling point, with a large pool, pergola and additional shaded areas. There’s also an orchard for guests to harvest their own fresh fruit.

As well as travelling with my toddler, we stayed at Villa Gertrudis with two other couples, one of which had a younger child. CV Villas assisted by providing cots, high chairs and other facilities to make our stay easier and more comfortable.

Maid service is provided for three hours twice a week, while linen is changed once a week. Small touches such as comfier sunbeds would elevate the property to another level.

Culinary delights

Ibiza is quickly establishing itself as a favourite for foodies. Here are four of the best spots on the island.

La Paloma

My favourite on the island and the place I return to time and time again. This family-run, bohemian restaurant serves hearty, wholesome and utterly delicious food. The daytime offering is Middle Eastern-inspired, while after dark you’ll find Italian fare on the menu.

El Chiringuito

A legend in Ibiza and the perfect spot for a long, late lunch. DJs play while diners enjoy epic dishes and the palest rosé. Families are catered for, with a little on-site kids’ club.

Oku Restaurant

This trendy spot serves a heavenly combination of Japanese cuisine and Spanish flavours. Every dish is a winner – you cannot pick badly at Oku. The music is very loud – and yes, I’m aware this makes me sound like an old lady – although an insider tells me the music has been turned down slightly.

North at Six Senses Ibiza

Tucked away on the rugged north coast, this venue is as far away from ‘the action’ as you can get, but it’s without doubt worth the journey. North serves Israeli-inspired dishes using ingredients sourced in Ibiza.

Book it: CV Villas offers a week at Villa Gertrudis for 10 people from £6,194 on an accommodation-only basis. The price includes a welcome pack, twice-weekly maid service and once-weekly linen change. The Balearics ecotax is also included.

Hollie-Rae Brader

Hollie is editor of Aspire’s print and online products. She is responsible for the running of the club and ensuring the content produced and the events organised are relevant to the Aspire audience. She was previously deputy news editor and cruise writer for sister title Travel Weekly. She loves exploring new destinations and is gradually ticking new countries off her list. She most enjoys writing about cruise, South America and Japan. Before working in the travel industry she held news reporting roles at the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star.

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