Here’s your new Ibiza office
Off-season, the party island offers a very different vibe — and it’s one that’s attracting a growing number of ‘workcationers’.
As any local will tell you, winter is the best time in Ibiza. It’s still mild, the ravers have (largely) departed and you can actually book a table at one of the excellent restaurants, which are increasingly staying open year-round. Oh, and the flights are far cheaper.
So enticing a prospect is it that the island has spawned a whole new breed of tourist: the “workcationer”. They started coming last year, after the long-awaited arrival of fibreoptic broadband on Ibiza. They’re people who have the luxury of working remotely, and choose to escape the dismal British winter in favour of a strikingly beautiful island where the low sun still feels warm on your skin. (The mercury hits 17C most days in December.)
You can find them in one of the new “co-working” spaces — flexible office hubs with high-speed wi-fi, printing facilities, meeting rooms and lockers — in the capital, Ibiza Town. All offer daily, weekly and monthly rates.
Stuart Boyd, 36, who runs a creative and branding agency in Derby, is one of the young professionals won over by this most eye-catching of alternative offices. He particularly likes winter on the island, “as there are fewer distractions”.
I meet Boyd at the Ibiza CoWorking facility, a small network of offices that overlooks Ibiza Town’s harbour. He came here on holiday, but couldn’t escape the demands of his job, so he bit the bullet and hired a desk at a daily rate.
“I was struggling to get anything done in my villa, because the internet wasn’t great and I kept thinking, ‘There’s a fridge over there with beer in it,’” he says. “So I found this space online and it’s worked perfectly. Now I know places like this exist, it gives me more scope to do it again in the future.”
Sophie Mac is the British manager of Casa Del Rey, another co-working space near the Vara de Rey municipal square.
“We’re a lot busier in winter than in summer,” she says. “Our regulars, who live here, tend to put their heads down more in the winter. But we also have people either popping in for a few days or relocating temporarily. We get all sorts.”
The roster includes a team of American designers, who fly over every few weeks to avoid the winter in Chicago, film crews and a water-purification company from Belgium. “We even have people who commute from the UK for three days,” Mac says. “They fly here on Thursday and go back to the UK on Sunday.”
And, you can’t help but feel, why not? If you want to join them, here’s how.
Your workcation guide
Hot desking: set up shop in one of the capital’s co-working spaces
Ibiza CoWorking is a co-working space overlooking the port in Ibiza Town, with printers, faxes and scanners, parking and a chillout area for hosting events (desks from £13 a day; ibizacoworking.es). Casa Del Rey, also in the town, offers hot-desk space with high-speed wi-fi, Skype rooms, free tea, lockable storage and “limitless banter”, apparently (desks from £13 a day; casadelrey.net). Cowork Ibiza, northwest of the port, has desk space and a photographic studio (desks from £17 a day; coworkibiza.com).
You don’t have to break the bank to eat well in Ibiza Town — the trick is to seek out traditional pintxos bars and family-run places such as Comidas Bar San Juan, a two-room restaurant where tables are often shared, the portions are generous and the atmosphere is buzzy (mains from £6; Carrer de Guillem de Montgri 8). At the posher end of the scale, Ibiza Food Studio is a dining club with a convivial atmosphere and two “secret” venues: a townhouse in Ibiza Town’s favela-like Sa Penya and a stunning rural farmhouse near San Lorenzo, to the north. The six-course tasting menu by the former Noma chef Boris Buono is an epicurean delight (tasting menu from £56, mains from £19; ibzfoodstudio.com). For a boozy, beachy lunch, try La Escollera, overlooking the pristine white sands of Es Cavallet. The vibe here is super-chilled and the mostly Mediterranean menu is an authentic treat: sea bass served on a bed of Ibizan salt is a showstopper (mains from £12; laescolleraibiza.com).
Ocean Drive Ibiza is an elegant art deco-style hotel overlooking Marina Botafoch, Ibiza Town’s upmarket yacht harbour. Its Sky Bar is a lively hang-out for stylish Ibicencos on Friday evenings, but the prevailing mood for guests is chilled (doubles from £70 in low season; od-hotels.com). Hostal La Torre is an affordable winter bolthole with an excellent clifftop restaurant — one of the best places to catch a sunset on the island (doubles from £55; latorreibiza.com). Or try Unique Ibiza, a hotel and villa specialist that has three-bedroom villas with a pool from £1,070 a week or hotel rooms from £110 a night (uniqueibiza.co.uk). Ecoibiza is a villa and concierge company that offers significant winter bargains — four-bedroom villas with a pool start at £1,020 a week (ecoibiza.com).