It cost 30 euros to have a burger at the restaurant near the beach.
There is not a day that is uncommon for a sunbed at an upscale beach club to cost 500 euros during the height of summer.
“VIP” nightclub tables can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Though it is an inexpensive place to visit in general, Ibiza is long-renowned for living the good life.
“The pricing is silly,” said Ben Pundole, a luxury hotel consultant and regular Ibiza visitor. “After 23 years in New York, I can only compare it to the Hamptons in the height of [the] season.”
He added that Ibiza’s visitors are willing to spend a lot, as exemplified by some of the luxury yachts they see while exploring the town.
“Ibiza is very expensive, it’s always been expensive,” he said. “But people are willing to pay.”
In the 1960s, hippies were drawn to Ibiza for its supposed “magnetic” vibrations, but British-Australian Tony Pike put the island on the map when he opened the Pikes Hotel, now known as Pikes Ibiza, in 1980. Here in the hills, this small hotel took over a 500-year-old estate and turned it into a new party spot.
Some of Pike’s famous friends from his times of fortune and success in life, such as Freddie Mercury, George Michael, and Kylie Minogue, stayed at the hotel and this legacy remains an enduring legacy for the hotel.
Amnesia, Space (now Hi Ibiza) and Pacha rose to prominence in the 1980s, with the latter charging 13 euros ($13) for a regular can of Coca-Cola. Nowadays, there are even more clubs like Ushuaia, which ranked the third best club in the world for 2019, according to the International Nightlife Association.
The prices of restaurants, clubs, holiday rentals, and taxis have all gone up, Pundole said.
“It’s an island, it’s seasonal, businesses are making up for two years of lost revenue, there’s supply chain issues and the pent-up demand is enormous,” he said.
Spanish statistics show that visitors to the Balearic Islands increased by 300% year over year in May.
“Ibiza’s reputation as a luxury destination emerged over a few decades,” said Carolyn Addison, head of product for luxury travel company Black Tomato. She further added that “It has this kind of … established glamour. So, there’s a lot on offer that is expensive.”
“You would have to trace it back to the ’60s when there was this sort of … hippie crowd that washed up,” she said. “As that crowd maybe got older, richer, more established, [it] defined the island in a new way.”
The trip is organized by Black Tomato and costs around £6,100 ($7,260) per person for a six-night vacation, which includes food, accommodation, and a private yacht charter for one day. (Prices exclude flight expenses.)
Ibiza’s Six Senses hotel is popular among Black Tomato’s clients, says Addison. The luxury hotel announced the addition of 19 exclusive living spaces and two mansions in June.
According to the hotel’s website, $16,000 per night is the standard cost for a stay in a mansion in the summer. The hotel’s amenities are plentiful: there’s a spa, a kids’ club, and daily activities such as kayaking and cliff jumping. Guests get Guest Experience Makers who help plan activities like entering nightclubs and taking boat tours, according to the hotel.
A new addition to Six Senses this year is Beach Caves, a venue that has a restaurant, a live music venue, a recording studio, and six extra-large suites on Ibiza’s north coast.
Creative director Pundole called the area as “a different vibe,” and called it “curious, mystical, equally as hedonistic, and as bohemian as anywhere you could imagine.” Beach Caves hotel rooms during the summer start from 1,565 euros a night.
This year also saw Mandarin Oriental, a luxury hotel group, take over management of Tagomago, a private island off the coast of Ibiza. An entire island can be rented for 30,000 euros a night during high season, which includes a villa, chef, concierge, butler, villa host, and yacht captain.
Luca Finardi, director of operations at Mandarin Oriental Exclusive Homes, said that Tagomago’s clientele are “a variety of high-end individuals from all over the world.”
When asked why Ibiza is so expensive, Finardi said by email that it’s popular with travellers who want a combination of “beautiful scenery, high quality restaurants and bars, chic shopping experiences and lively nightlife.”
“It also provides lovely areas where guests can find quiet corners to escape the crowds,” he said. “It represents value for money to people seeking these experiences.”
A.M.A Selections, a luxury home booking site launched in June, charges around 26,500 euros for 10 days at a villa on Ibiza, according to co-founder Mariek Anselme. The average customer also gets services such as private chefs, yoga classes, and spa treatments for example – from as little as 500 euros per event.
“The island is able to strike a balance of authentic, boho charm with upscale offerings popular amongst VIPs and wealthy travelers,” Anselme told.
“For decades it’s pulled in iconic names in the music industry, creating an elite and extravagant entertainment scene … In recent years we’ve seen more global leaders in luxury hospitality open in Ibiza, giving it a world-class status that is able to command high prices,” she added.