Author: Lisa Pollen
I’ve carved out my own experiences in Ibiza as a DJ and I feel like I can be myself. Creatively, there’s something special about the island. It has a unique energy and no matter how tired or stressed you are when you arrive, it all melts away. Ibiza sometimes gets a bad reputation because people go out at all hours of the night and only see the bars and clubs. But if you get yourself into a routine where you can experience the lifestyle during the day, then you’ll really understand what the island is about. Before I started doing gigs there, people warned me that the crowds wouldn’t get my music, they’d hate what I do, that the island is too commercial, but that hasn’t been the case at all.
Anything special I should pack?
Take a selection of records that you want to listen to - music sounds particularly great out there. And I never get on a plane without earplugs. I like to stay in my own head and not have to listen to everyone’s conversations. And of course sun cream – it gets seriously hot – and swimming gear because everything revolves around the coast.
What do you miss about it when you’re away?
Nothing, because every year I make the most of the experience and then I’m ready to come home. I don’t think about it when I’m not there.
What’s the first thing you do when you arrive?
Swim - usually in the hotel pool. I always gravitate towards the water and feel very at home by the sea. It helps me to reset my mind when I arrive in a new place.
Where’s the best place to stay?
I tend to stay at the Ibiza Gran Hotel (+34 971 80 68 06; ibizagranhotel.com ) in the old town. It’s close to the bars where I play and close enough to the airport. It’s got a big pool for families so it’s perfect for when I go with my wife and kids. But Hotel Hacienda (971 33 45 00; hotelhacienda-ibiza.com ) is definitely one of the best places I’ve stayed, set on a cliff on the wild northern coast. It’s the most spectacular place I’ve ever been.
What is your favourite place for lunch?
The fish restaurant Es Torrent (971 80 21 60; estorrent.net ) in Sant Josep, by a stunning rocky cove. It’s remote and the restaurant started out as a fish stall, but now it’s known for delicious fish and seafood: try the Ibizan fish stew. It’s a bit out of the way but worth the trip.
And for dinner?
La Paloma (971 32 55 43; palomaibiza.com ) in San Lorenzo, where all the herbs and vegetables used in their dishes are grown in their garden. I usually go for something vegetable-based like risotto. Also Sa Capella (971 34 00 57), which offers dining inside an old chapel with a beautiful terrace and high vaulted ceilings. Their steaks are great and you cook them on your own grill. I met Calvin Harris for dinner there once and there's never been any question as to where we’d meet in Ibiza since.
Where would you meet friends for a drink?
Hacienda Hotel (971 33 45 00; hotelhacienda-ibiza.com ), on the raised platform by the pool where you can watch the sun set between two cliffs. I saw such a breathtaking sunset there, my hand was straining from the amount of photos I was taking.
As for clubs, Privilege (971 19 81 60; privilegeibiza.com ) will blow you away because of its scale. But I had one of my best gigs at Eden, which is now the Gatecrasher ( gatecrasher.com ), when Pete Tong was there to do a gig. Everything came together and it transformed the way I was considered by my peers. I’ve also had incredible nights at Amnesia (971 19 80 41; amnesia.es ) and Space (971 396 793; spaceibiza.com/en ) is historic, but I love performing at the Ibiza Rocks hotel ( ibizarocks.com ). When you’re on stage and you can see the sky, and the whole place is filled with people jumping on their balconies, up on the roof and by the pool, it feels like being a weird, modern amphitheatre.
Where would you send a first-time visitor?
To Formentera, a small island just off the coast of Ibiza. It’s unspoilt and the water is crystal clear and incredibly blue. It has a paradise island vibe and some great restaurants. Also, sailing back to Ibiza from there and seeing it from the perspective of the ocean is incredible. Also to Las Salinas - a favourite Ibiza beach of mine. It’s got everything; golden sands, clear waters and a party scene. I don’t mind that it’s popular. I don’t need to feel completely isolated to be happy, and you can still find your own patch of sand there.
Anything I should avoid?
You have to embrace the island in whatever way you can, formulate your own experience and enjoy it for what it is. People dismiss San Antonio but it exists for a reason – it’s the hospitality centre of the island.
What should I bring home?
Some Iberian ham if you can. Apart from that, a healthy tan and a clear head. If you can come back more relaxed than when you left, you’ve done something right. Saying that, I’ve come back completely broken.
Anywhere not your kind of town?
No. I’ve had bad experiences in places but that’s not the town or city’s fault. I got food poisoning in Las Vegas once but that’s not the city’s fault – I had a dodgy burger!
Zane Lowe performs at W.A.R! at Ibiza Rocks on August 15 and September 19. For more information, see www.ibizarocks.com/war
This article was written by Interview by Lisa Pollen from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.