While last year may have taken its toll on our travel pocket, with BREXIT weakening our pound in Europe, our love for the White Isle never dies.
That’s why we were so happy to learn this year of the lovely ‘luxe-lite’ Occidental Ibiza, a well-priced Barceló property that’s recently been refurbished and now has the feel of now a Mediterranean-style modern abode. A gem on an island that so often feels ruinously expensive.
Formerly the Barceló Pueblo Ibiza, this four-star hotel is situated just a few metres from the sparkling Port des Torrent beach and 10 minutes from the fashionable coves of Cala Compte, Cala Tarida and Cala Bassa.
On entering the reception atrium, it is a palace of white, with turquoise rattan chairs and floor to ceiling modern art. The rooms are modern and spacious too – again boasting bright art walls. We had groovy pastel flowers in ours, perfect for two girls sharing for a few days. The rainfall shower was spacious and felt luxurious, as did the 200 thread-count cotton sheets and white cubist double mirror sink unit, which reminded us both of a similar one spotted in London’s W Hotel.
We enjoyed some time sitting by the slate-tiled lap pool (our fave of the hotel’s three) and a chilled rather than party vibe, with sunloungers-a-plenty.
Not having gone all-inclusive in over 15 years, I quickly got used to the on-tap cappuccinos, sorbets and snacks throughout the days we stayed at the hotel. My friend tried the wines also, which could have gone very badly but indeed she confirmed were good. Plus all house spirits and mixers are included.
We dined one evening buffet-style, with something to suit all tastes, including soup, salads, hot mains, breads, and grill and dessert stations. I was most impressed by the abundance of fresh fruit available at breakfast, lunch and dinner, however – papaya, pawpaw, pineapple, pears, prunes, peaches and more, which felt like a real luxury I don’t have back home.
The Occidental Ibiza isn’t a place for the raver, more the behaver, and is especially suited to young families, with its adventure playground and club for the little ones. It was too hot to use the multi-purpose sports court when we stayed, but am sure this must be well-used by more energetic hotel guests at cooler times.
This little haven is quietly tucked away and the perfect choice as an affordable pad, from which to explore the island. The hotel is admittedly a little far from the main port of Ibiza town and beach-side haunts of say, Blue Marlin, Jockey Club and Amante, so hiring a car is a must. That said, you benefit from a peaceful place to rest your head at the end of your day, content in the knowledge you’ve got more white-isle bang for your buck at the Barceló.
Rates at Occidental Ibiza start from €104 (£90) per night based on two sharing a room. For more information or to book visit www.barcelo.com or call +34 971 34 05 12. Flights to Ibiza start from around £44 return from London searching with award-winning travel site momondo.co.uk. We flew from Stansted – for the best value train fares from London please log on to www.stanstedexpess.com.