When Nobu Hotels, owned by Japanese-Peruvian Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert de Niro, opened its Ibizan outpost in late June, the jet set crowd happily streamed into the property, packing a hotel that was not yet running on full ship. The enthusiatic response was affirmation that despite the stature of Ibiza as a tourist destination, there is a clear gap when it came to luxury accomodations. We were amongst the first guests to experience the hotel, which, last we heard is booked out weeks on end.
For years, many of the well-heeled travellers visiting the summer hotspot have had to either stay in super yachts moored off the posh Marina Botafoch or rent luxury villas. There are, of course, a handful of five star hotels (a good number geared towards the party crowd), but they're mostly made of institutional-looking structures with a few hundred rooms around a landscaped pool. There weren't many places that catered to the guests who actually want to chill, or get to know Ibiza beyond its famed party scene.
Despite Ibiza being known as La Isla Blanca, other hotels have missed the obvious in their design brief and have not brought elements of the White Island into the interiors. The Nobu Hotel was the opposite: Designed by Spanish architect Alvaro Sanz from PM Aquilab, the property takes inspiration from the island’s natural materials and colour palette. Besides lots of white, gold is also used to represent the Ibizan sun. Touches of blue—from celadon to lapis lazuli—are everywhere, which reflect the everchanging opalescent colours of the Balearic seas.
Jennica Arazi , one of the owners of the property, worked actively with interior designer Mario Nicholau to create spaces that reflect a stylish yet domestic character. “We wanted to infuse the high-end luxury villa experience with a bespoke residential feel, all within a hotel format that would resonate with our guests and could not be found on Ibiza until we opened.” One of the other owners is Daniel Shamoon, owner of Small Luxury Hotels, of which Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay is a member.
Sitting on the tranquil Talamanca Bay, the hotel is within easy reach of all the key destinations. It's just eight minutes from the UNESCO Heritage Site of D’Alt Vila, 15 minutes away from the airport by car, and within walking distance to Pacha, the nightclub that inspired Singapore’s Zouk. It is a refuge of choice for the mature sun seeker who wants to get away from the crowd but access the party scene should they be in the mood. Relaxed vibes aside, the hotel is also reflective of Ibiza's diverse offerings as a destination— spanning art, culture, and history, all of which are celebrated beautifully in this brand-new property.
The grey and white façade of the four-storey, 152 -room hotel is a low-key welcome to the hotel's impressive design. An audible “wow” escaped my lips as soon as I walked in the lobby, with my eyes transfixed on the Mediterranean Sea that lies beyond the pool area, her soft waves undulating in the horizon. The hotel is built between a protected wetland area called "Ses Feixes"; as such, it is full of native reeds and wildlife on one side, while the sparkling waters of Talamanca Bay glisten on the other side where the rooms are facing.
The open-plan lobby lets in plenty of natural light, which bounces off the gold wall sconces and brass screens. Colour-wise, the hotel is swathed in varying shades of white, cream and wheat, accented by myriad blue hues. Plump sofas and macrame hanging chairs suspended from the ceiling invite one to relax, while a crew of tanned and toned staff man the reception.
Do Not Disturb
The calming colour palette continues in the rooms and suites. In the sleeping quarters, floor-to-ceiling windows lets the sun in, while coloured glass pendant lamps (hand-blown from the neighbouring island of Mallorca) sit by the bed. I stayed in the Garden View Junior Suite with a plunge pool, which faced away from the busy pool area, and offered a quiet respite.
The highlight is the spacious white marble bathroom—anchored by large Turkish tub, fitted with Dornbracht hardware and decorated with Hollywood style brass lights in the mirror, it's just the space to soak away your cares.
An in-house boutique called Almacen de Ibiza Bay stocks a curated selection of goods including crocheted cover ups by local designer Veronica Vald, organic face and body care brands Anumka and Can Pascual amongst other hand-picked labels. Stoneware by Andalusian ceramicist Anna Ortiz—whose handmade plates hung on the wall in my suite—are also available for sale here.
Besides shopping, there is a soon-to-open John Frieda hair salon, a Six Senses-run spa and a full-fledged gym fitted with Technogym equipment. To keep the little tykes occupied, the specialist staff at the Kids Club conduct movie nights to handicraft workshops.There are also surf and DJ workshops, and guided excursions around the island to keep the big kids out of trouble.
Food & Drink
There are four restaurants that cater to a wide variety of tastes. Peyotito serves posh Mexican nosh while Chambao dishes up Mediterranean favourites like the Spanish paella in a traditional Chiringuito (typical Ibiza’s beach club) setting. Celicioso provides a smorgasbord of allergen-free grub without compromising on taste.
Then, of course, there’s the famous Japanese-Peruvian cuisine by Nobu. Besides Nobu classics such as black cod miso and yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno, there are also dishes unique to the Ibiza location such as the gambas de costa rojo with garlic yuzu, that packs piquant Spanish flavours into local prawns.
A typical day in Ibiza involves the sun and the sea, but the Nobu Hotel also has other relaxing options on offer. Food and design aside, the Six Senses-run spa offers a great reason to visit. Once fully operational, it will run signature Six Senses yoga programmes and wellness retreats in the shoulder seasons (between August to October and May to July).