Tuesday 21 May 2019

Sun-drenched Ibiza has reached a whole new level of cool

With so many celebs crammed onto the sizzling Balearic Island it's time to grab your towel and sun lotion… and don't forget to take a selfie.

Spain, Balearic Islands, Ibiza, old town from harbour
Spain, Balearic Islands, Ibiza, old town from harbour
Beach and Water Scene In Spain
Justin Bieber with 'momager' Kris Jenner
Millie Mackintosh and husband Professor Green
Kanye, Kim, Kate and Naomi
Lindsey Lohan poses for a selfie in Ibiza
Sean Combs living it up
Paris Hilton
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Sun, sand and more selfies per capita than anywhere else in the world, the Balearic island of Ibiza is the world's haven of hedonistic glamour where everyone can live like a celebrity.

And it's the celebrities themselves who are setting the Ibiza trend.

Millie Mackintosh and husband Professor Green
Millie Mackintosh and husband Professor Green

The Spanish resort island has always been the hot topic on the lips of everyone who is anyone. The latest superstar bash to hit the international headlines was the 40th birthday part of Givenchy Creative Director Riccardo Tisci.

Fashion boss Tisci, who famously dressed a pregnant Kim Kardashian in a sofa-like ensemble at last year's Met Ball, welcomed A-listers such as Kate Moss, Kim and Kanye, Naomi Campbell and Orlando Bloom as well as hundreds from the world of music, fashion and film to the island's luxurious stud farm Los Olivios.

A party with its own hashtag (#ibiza74 noting the location and year of the birthday boy's birth) and sponsored by Beats by Dre (Riccardo himself was gifted with 24-carat gold headphones) might seem a little 'out there', but celebrity life on Ibiza has always been about extravagance.

The island, off the east coast of Spain, has been drawing celebrity A-listers, Z-listers and everyone in between to its white sands since the fifties.

Australian actor Errol Flynn was one of the first people of note to berth his yacht, named Zaca, in its turquoise waters.

Accompanied by Prince Bertil of Switzerland, the great-uncle of Spanish King Felipe VI, the pair were regulars of 'El Corsario', the former corsair's palace. It wasn't long before the likes of Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Aristotle Onassis, the Greek shipping tycoon and Jacqueline Kennedy's future husband, would follow.

Kanye, Kim, Kate and Naomi
Kanye, Kim, Kate and Naomi

Finally, Ibiza's hedonistic reputation was cemented in 1965 when then iconic English actor Laurence Olivier arrived with sunhat in hand and that holiday feeling. Ibiza was the place to be.

Since then, a wonderfully bizarre mish-mash of celebrity parties, relationships and feuds have filled the Ibiza history books.

Lindsey Lohan poses for a selfie in Ibiza
Lindsey Lohan poses for a selfie in Ibiza

This summer alone, the energetic nightlife was the backdrop for one of the season's biggest celebrity bust-ups, when Hollywood actor Orlando Bloom lunged at pop sensation Justin Bieber in relation to an alleged matter with Bloom's former wife and top model Miranda Kerr.

It was also the spot where Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton told the world their childhood friendship was renewed thanks to a trivial selfie.

Still in their honeymoon period, newly-weds rapper Professor Green and reality TV star Millie Mackintosh hit the island for a selfie extravaganza, as Green snapped his wife jumping topless into the crystal waters.

Meanwhile, according to reports, Hilton, music mogul Sean 'Diddy' Combs and recovering addict actress Lindsay Lohan were spotted enjoying tapas nearby.

Sean Combs living it up
Sean Combs living it up

No snapshots of the tapas were added to their multitude of social-media accounts, but both Hilton and Lohan made sure to keep up their daily quota of Ibiza life 'selfies'.

Finally, close enough to see the action on land was Leonardo Di Caprio - lounging on his multi-million euro yacht with German supermodel Toni Garn.

Well-known Irish faces have also made their stamp on the Balearic island.

Artist Kevin Sharkey has hosted exhibitions on the isle and former Miss World Rosanna Davison hosted her second of three wedding parties at Ibiza's exclusive Atzaro Hotel (see panel).

Taking a leaf out of Andrea Roche's book, Rosanna and long-term love Wesley Quirke said they fell in love with the island when they attended the model boss's wedding in 2012.

Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton

"We always knew that when we got married, we wanted to do it somewhere sunny. When we attended my friend Andrea's wedding, we both said how much we loved [Ibiza]," Rosanna later said.

So what is it about the Mediterranean isle that keeps the rich and famous going back for more?

Cotton Beach Club owner Christian Marstrander believes it is a combination of the island's chilled hippie lifestyle and spectacular scenery that keeps it the top spot on the must-go lists of celebrities.

"The [combination of the] spectacular nature [on the island], the house- 
music movement and the freedom that Ibiza has to offer that creates a special energy," he says.

"The fact that this is an island makes it even more special - a playground for adults.

"Even high-end families who used to holiday in the south of France have changed destination - the numbers speak for themselves, our visitors are increasing by 10, 12pc every year."

The beach club, situated 30m above the white sands
 of Cala Tarida with an all-white interior and exterior design, has already played host to an A-list guest-list this year.

"Ibiza has endless of celebrities every season and we have had our part of them already," Christian says.

"We keep a high level of confidentiality, but I can tell you that world top footballers, DJs, singers and models have already visited this summer.

"People can be themselves here. Cars do not impress anyone, large watches and heavy jewellery is not priority, the famous can walk down the main street without being in 40 different magazines the day after," he adds.

And the celebrity lifestyle is there for the taking. Tracy O'Donovan, senior sales consultant at Irish travel agency Lee Travel, says the island caters for a mix of people and the cost of living is reasonable. "It is not hugely overpriced, you get good value for money and the cost of living is quite cheap," she says.

"Contrary to what most think, there are two sides to this island - the 24/7 party towns and then the quieter side of Ibiza with exclusive resorts, magnificent for couples and older people.

"Of course, there is also 
the super luxury accommodation that most 
of us will never get to stay in, but we'll aspire to it all the same," she says.

"Celebrities tweeting and posting snaps on Instagram are definitely making it more known as a party place, but the sense of exclusivity is certainly not turning Irish people off."

Well, what are you waiting for? Grab your towel and sun lotion… and don't forget to take a selfie.

Irish Independent

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