I’ve never written a budget post before because I have never stuck to a budget – it’s just not my style! Everyone warned me Ibiza would be expensive before we went but it didn’t really sink in until we got there. I tweeted a lot during my trip about how extortionate everything was, but I thought I would share with you here just how much I spent, on what, and why I don’t regret it for a minute.
We didn’t exactly start out well when it came to respecting any sort of budget. I was scouring the Easyjet Holidays website for bargainous flight and package deals and there were some great ones – £500 for flights and an apartment in San Antonio was cheap, but not very me. Eventually I scrolled towards the pricier end of the package options and got tempted by the Hotel Garbi.
Spent: Flights and 4 star hotel for 4 nights = €850 Euro (all prices quoted are my share, i.e. what we paid each)
It turns out the Garbi was a great choice. The flight to Ibiza was one of the rowdiest I have ever been on; the party had clearly already started for this lot. We arrived close to midnight on Thursday night and whilst it seemed most of the 18 – 25 year old passengers headed for buses to San Antonio, me and the girls hopped in a €10 taxi down the road to Playa D’En Bossa.
Hotel Garbi is directly on the beach, within a 5-minute walk to the craziness of Bora Bora, but far enough removed for you be able to unwind when you need to. The 2 pools and 2 bars at Garbi play low-key tunes and close relatively early; it proved to be an oasis of much needed calm during our stay.
The first day we sipped cocktails by the pool (€9 Euros) and grabbed lunch on the beach (€20 Euros.) For dinner we headed to the hottest new restaurant on the island for Asian inspired cuisine with a sexy twist. Bambuddah Grove transports you to a Thai village with a naughty side (the menu has extracts from the Karma Sutra and I spied a Tantric Sex shop near the bathrooms). The food (chicken satay, green Thai curry, pad Thai) was divine and the wine went down well. The prices were very un-Thai though.
Spent: Dinner and drinks at Bambuddah Grove = €70
Stomachs lined it was time to get our party on. We hopped in a taxi to Ibiza town to check out one of the islands most famous clubs – Pacha. We searched for a venue nearby to get some cheap pre-drinks in, to no avail, so rocked up as we were.
Spent: Entry to Pacha = €70 Euros.
They don’t call Pacha a super club for nothing. Although the main dance area was smaller than I expected, it had it all going on. Dancers on podiums, blasts of dry ice, lasers, lights and the tunes of Pete Tong getting the crowd going. Realising we wouldn’t last long without purchasing a drink we bartered with the bar attendant for a deal on a bottle of vodka with mixers for the 5 of us.
Spent: Bottle of vodka and unlimited mixers = €200 Euros (was €300!) divided by 5 = €40 each
The next day there were a few fuzzy heads as we wearily caught a taxi to Blue Marlin, a private beach club. As we had a late one the night before the plan was to lounge and sip cocktails all day at Blue Marlin and retire when it closed at midnight. The padded white sun loungers, with waiters on hand and the sea just a skip away, were pretty self-indulgent. The Blue Marlin strawberry daiquiris are to die for and whilst they cost €15 each this seemed cheap in comparison to the small bottles of water which were €9 per bottle!
As the sun began to fade the music got louder and the beautiful people continued to arrive, many via a fancy yacht. Crowds gathered on the beach with champagne in hand to watch the last rays of the sun set behind the hills. We picked up our things and (still in bikinis) headed to the dance area until it was time to go home.
Spent: Blue Marlin – sun lounger rental €15, food (a chicken sandwich) and drink (lots of daiquiris) €150 including service (we split the €100 service charge between 5.)
So by the end of day 2 I had spent more than I ever anticipated and I began to panic. It was looking like I would be pretty hungry for the next two days! The hotel served a full breakfast so we began by making sure we were up in time for that. For drinks and snacks we headed to the supermarket, here a bottle of vodka was €13 euros – not €300! Then, luckily, things got a little bit serendipitous.
We were booked to have dinner at the Sands Ibiza restaurant, a chic venue on the sands of Playa D’En Bossa, owned by the same people behind Space nightclub. We rocked up at 8.30pm as planned and discovered that Sands had run out of food! Sunday had been so popular with the beach crowd that there was nothing left for us to eat. The owner was genuinely apologetic and offered us a free glass of bubbly each whilst we assessed our options. She made some recommendations of places to eat and then, much to our delight and cheers, also got us on the guest list for Space, where we were heading later that night. Wanting to make the most of our bargain day, we went back to the supermarket for more snacks and drinks and enjoyed them on our hotel balcony until it was time to hit the club.
Spent: Supermarket dinner and drinks = €30
Space is more spacious (groan – I know!) than Pacha, with several rooms and a generous roof terrace. We were upstairs getting some air and wondering whether we needed to invest in another €20 Euro drink when some gentlemen from Kuwait insisted we join them in VIP and help finish the bottles of vodka and champagne they had needed to purchase in order to secure the table (I heard VIP requires a minimum spend of €2000 Euros!) Rolling with the jammy nature of the day we happily obliged and enjoyed the tunes and effects of the Space main stage from the lofty VIP balcony above it. (Apparently the celeb clientele that night was Joey Essex ie The Only Way Is Essex and friends. We failed to spot them and weren’t too upset about it!).
Spent: Space = €20 for 1 drink, free entry and free drinks thanks to our friends from Kuwait
Not all of us made it to breakfast the next day! We did all make it to lunch, however, which we had at Sands, returning to the restaurant to give thanks for their help with the night before. Their juicy burgers and fruity jug of Pimms went down a treat before our last big night out – at Ushuaia Ibiza.
Spent: Sands lunch and Pimms = €30
I wrote in detail about my Ushuaia experience previously but in summary – it was the best night of my life! We attended the closing party for David Guetta’s ‘F**k Me I’m Famous’ event, for which tickets cost €70 euros. The venue, show, staging, fireworks, dancers, acrobats and more, are worth every penny. Drinks are standard Ibiza prices but you can save slightly by purchasing them in bulk from the voucher stands in the venue – 6 beers for €60 euros.
Spent: Ushuaia = €70 entry + €60 drinks
The last day we dedicated to sunbathing by the pool which would have been completely free if the Garbi didn’t sell delicious strawberry daiquiris (€9 each). Taxis around the island are relatively cheap and being only 10 minutes from the airport (Bossa is actually under the flight path and perfect for plane spotters!) our fare back was only €10 euros. This left me with a few loose coins to put down on a tacky t-shirt. ‘I heart Ibiza’ it says, because it is true, I do.
So there you have it. If I add in a few more meals and forgotten taxis and drinks it comes to a total of €1500 for 5 days of fun. The holiday included a mix of luxury, cost-cutting and pure good luck; I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Would you spend €1500 on 5 days in Ibiza? Have you been to Ibiza and spent more or less? I’d love to know!