Hard Rock Hotel, Ibiza

Location: Smack bang on Playa D’en Bossa, Ibiza’s famous people watching beach, 2 miles from the island’s airport.

First impressions: As the first Hard Rock destination in Europe this hotel had a lot to prove and it delivers in limousine loads.  The designer interiors take inspiration from decades of rock star style, blending leather, snakeskin and print far better than Rod Stewart ever did  - with funky chrome lights, opulent fabrics and kaleidoscopic wallpaper setting the tone on the ground floor.  The Hard Rock brand is apparent but not overly dominant; the more obvious examples being a merchandise shop in the lobby, framed musical memorabilia dotted around and poolside, a selfie-inducing sculpture of the ‘sign of the horns’.

A good base for: Learning how to holiday like a rock star. Musically inclined clients can choose from a room service menu of 20 premium Fender electric guitars and jam to their heart’s content. For those that prefer to chill out rather than rock out, there is no better spot than Hard Rock’s complimentary private Beach Club with serviced sun loungers and Balearic beats. Use of the Balinese day beds, complete with billowing toile curtains and champagne bucket the size of a bathtub, is included in the VIP packages.  Should clients wish to leave the hotel to explore, the bustling Ibiza Old Town and glittering Botafoch Marina are a 10 minute taxi ride away and is the home of Lio Cabaret; a highly entertaining burlesque dining experience by the same people behind the Pacha nightclub brand.  For a day trip I suggest a private yacht to the sugar white shores and turquoise waters of Formentera island, all which (of course) can be arranged by the Rock Star Crew at Hard Rock.

The facts: 493 rooms, 235 Suites, 10 different categories – each of them with sea or pool views. Every room is plush and comes with sensory showers, iPod docking station and 300 thread-count cotton bed linen as standard, but the suites in the eight-storey tower are exceptional. Most notable are the rooftop Rock Star Suite (inspired David Bowie) and Rock Star Legend, the room where Bob Marley stayed in 1978. Thankfully the whole hotel has been renovated since then and seductively so. Every colour, texture and tool in the interior designer’s arsenal has been used to evoke rock star pad ambiance; from mirrored columns and zingy orange cushions to purple mood lighting. In the €7,000/£4975 per night Rock Star Suite, floor-to-ceiling glass windows open out onto a deep wooden terrace complete with Jacuzzi and views across the bay. There’s a round leather bed (rocks stars don't do square) and an 8-seat dining table, cut entirely from a trunk of what must have been a colossal tree.
It’s obvious that Hard Rock doesn’t want guests to forget that their hotels are built around music and in this instance, quite literally. In the centre of the resort is a concert arena for up to 2,500 people and a freshwater pool, surrounded by double-storey white washed suites. River Suites on the ground floor have private access to a meandering river pool with their own submerged aquatic loungers.  Whereas in the Rock Suite Platinums a spiral staircases lead up to a private roof terrace with Jacuzzi and day bed looking directly onto the stage. With weekly music events and pool parties throughout the season a well-timed stay in these suites could offer unprecedented views of a world-class artist. 
Of course even rock stars need to eat and both the Beach House and Estado Puro restaurants are sublime.  The latter serving up exquisite morsels of tapas created by two Michelin star chef Paco Rancero accompanied by an equally impressive wine list.

When rocking out gets too much, clients can visit the Rock Spa to retune themselves for €20/£14 per day. In contrast to hotel’s glossy interiors, the spa uses slate, stone and wood to create a more natural space – the result, particularly in the outdoor courtyard pool, is an overwhelming sense of calm.  The choice of treatments is lavish and reads like a smoothie menu with body cocktails of fruit based ingredients. Should clients not want be to smothered head to toe in in moisturising avocado they could opt for something from the signature Rhythm & Motion range which sound wonderful  - no, I mean they ‘sound’ wonderful; each treatment choreographed to a specific soundtrack intended to deepen your relaxation (60 minute massage €140/£100). 
Pressing 9 in the elevator will take you up to The Ninth, a vast rooftop sky lounge with panoramic views over Mediterranean waters on one side and neighbouring hotel Ushuaia towers and Playa D’en Bossa on the other. The sea view, monochrome furniture and glass panes give the impression that you are on the deck of a futuristic vessel, fuelled by live music, tapas and cocktails.

Wow: Honestly, it’s all wow but the service is stand out. Many hotels claim to make you feel like a rock star but Hard Rock actually delivers - presumably because they are used to catering to the whims of genuine celebrities.  Should clients want even more wow, they can book one of 12 nightly places at the award winning Sublimotion; the world’s most expensive restaurant at €1000 per head.  This year the gastronomic 360° audio-visual experience curated by Paco Rancero, includes virtual reality headsets and promises to blow your mind.

Cost: Deluxe Silver rooms are priced from 198€ / £143 (room only)

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