On a cold and blustery New York City morning, I sprinted from the subway into a coffee shop to meet Serena Cook, Ibiza's legendary jack-of-all-trades travel and event planner whose clients are among the coolest partiers in the world (no big deal, just Mick Jagger and Sir Paul McCartney). As a DJ, I've always dreamed of visiting the notorious white isle where music echos from every cove and cerulean crevasse. Serena was in town for media intros, and Ibiza was gearing up for a bustling post-Covid season. Her boho-cool energy — clearly the result of two decades on the island — radiated throughout the room as she told me how a young Londoner ended up creating Ibiza's A-list concierge service, Deliciously Sorted.
Fueled by her great taste in food, style, and even better company, Serena owned and ran several restaurants before the age of 25, including England's first certified organic cafe. When her close friend Jade Jagger (yes, that Jagger) invited her to be her private chef for the summer in 2002, Serena set her sights on the island. And she never turned back. Planning and catering dinner parties quickly escalated into arranging rock-star birthday parties and private DJ appearances at elite villas — club VIP lists, Champagne fountains, and speedboats on speed dial. A self proclaimed "manager of expectations" on an island where insider knowledge is king, Serena's business boomed as she found her niche: well executed, carefully curated island experiences built by a trusted insider with the stamina for every imaginable request and hedonistic desire. Fast forward 21 years, and Deliciously Sorted now serves all four Balearic Islands — Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca, and Formentera — with a power concierge team of twenty offering "no request is too wild" service. When she suggested, "you must come to Ibiza," it was like a siren calling. I knew we'd see each other again.
I left the meeting with disco balls shimmering in my mind and immediately called my sister and best friend, who had a rare free summer between law school and a high-profile firm job, and planted the seed of an Ibiza girls’ trip. We planned for the last weekend of September, which coincided with the closing weekend of the clubs — the time when the locals savor one last song and dance of the season. Serena exuberantly welcomed our plans and generously offered her services for an introduction to the island. Her itinerary for our four-day trip had us beaching and lounging at the hippiest beach clubs, dancing until dawn, shopping the boho markets, always making time to catch the sunset, and even some detoxifying wellness to depart refreshed. The hours for sleep were left to the imagination.
Welcome to the White Isle
The island of Ibiza is much larger than I expected. Spanning 220 square miles, it's five times bigger than Mykonos and ten times bigger than Manhattan. The port city and old town, Dalt Vila, is located on the southern side of the island, its gothic cathedral perched high among the narrow sunbaked streets. This is also the party hub. To get a taste of the south and the north sides of the island, we started in the south with two nights at Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay in Talamanca Bay near the port, where the clank of sailboat masts reminds you you're in the Mediterranean and the thump of the Old Town, reminds you ahh yes, I'm in Eye-BEE-tha. For the second half of the trip, we retreated to Six Senses Ibiza on the strikingly beautiful northern tip of the island. Although remote, it creates its own party in a private cove.
We arrived as the sun was setting and kicked off our first night with an omakase dinner at Nobu, then took a short taxi to Pacha for our intro to Ibiza nightlife. Serena and her team got us on the VIP guest list, so we skipped the massive line and were ushered right in. A few hours of dancing under the strobes, and we were immediately entranced with the island vibe. The next morning, we woke to a shimmering sea and swaying palm trees, squealing in excitement of a new day to explore. The rooms at Nobu are serene and peaceful, the refreshing sea air a quick cure for lingering post-party ailments. We savored a toes-in-the-sand breakfast of healthy detox juices and organic omelets before heading out for a hike to an overlook point onto Es Vedra, Ibiza's uninhibited and mythical rocky island. Legend has it sirens and sea nymphs from the island lured Odysseus from his ship. One look, and I believe it.
After the hike, we headed to El Silencio for a lunch overseen by three-Michelin-starred chef Mauro Colagreco of Mirazur fame in a beautiful cove with a calm bay that beckons a post-seafood feast swim with a pitcher of sangria. For sunset drinks, Serena suggested Sunset Ashram at Cala Conta, a hip bar that juts out over the ocean and vibrates with golden hour energy. It's easy to see how architect Antoni Gaudí was inspired by Spain's jagged coastline and the pale pink rocks curving around a vibrant blue sea. The day called for one last swim as we watched the bright orange sun dip into the sea and felt the DJ's beats all the way underwater.
The energy in Ibiza shifts at nighttime. The island wakes up from the afternoon's long siesta ready to dance the night away. Dinner was walking distance from the hotel at Sa Punta, a breezy Mediterranean restaurant overlooking the bay. Our names once again graced the lists of Serena's favorites nearby clubs — DC10, Hï, Ushuaïa, Amnesia, and Destino. (You do not come to Ibiza for early nights.) We felt like disco duchesses with endless dance floors to choose from. For pre-club cocktails, we ventured to The Standard Ibiza, which opened last year with an amazing rooftop and pool overlooking the Old City and farm-to-bar cocktails in the retro lobby restaurant. If there was ever a match made in hotel heaven, it's The Standard and Ibiza. (Read more of our take on the hotel here.)
The next day, the Deliciously Sorted team arranged a private boat to Formentera, a 30-minute ride through crystal clear waters. We were smiling so much our cheeks hurt. We swam from the boat to the long white stretch of sand dunes filled with locals tanning au natural. We were happily prune-y after spending the afternoon swimming and sunbathing to the daytime disco playlists of the nearby boats.
That night was the season closing party at Beachhouse, a free-spirited boho restaurant, bar, and beach club. We hadn't planned on checking into Six Senses at 2 a.m., but, alas, that's when we arrived salty and sandy from the dance party. We were mortified thinking how late (or early) we were checking into a five-star, wellness-leaning hotel, but the reception team didn't bat an eye. They welcome check-in at any hour and they've clearly seen and prepared for it all. This was confirmed by the fact that the hotel's gift shop has a rentable party closet stocked with sparkle-and-sequin-clad dresses, ready for any spontaneous island invitation — quite possibly the most ingenious hotel amenity ever. (Of course Serena and her team have stylists on call for any party wardrobe needs.)
On our final day, we took advantage of the hotel's spa — the beautiful hammam and the subterranean massage rooms with direct access onto the hotel's organic gardens, where ingredients for body scrubs and treatments are plucked daily. In the afternoon, we drove to Santa Gertrudis, Serena's favorite shopping area for local gems. Our favorite stores were Es Cucons, Baron, and La Galeria Elefante. That evening, we had dinner at the Six Senses' Beach Caves restaurant. Built into a natural cave on the waterfront, it serves amazing seafood and hyper-seasonal produce, mixing Japanese flavors with Ibizan herbs and flare. In Ibiza, you don't plan to dance wherever you go, it's just the natural flow and energy around you. So naturally, the restaurant turned into a nightclub after dessert, the DJ spinning tropical house and Latin music as the lights were turned down and the glow from the full moon illuminated the cave. Locals and other musicians soon floated in. It's as if there's an unspoken language on the island and everyone nows where the best party is happening at any moment.
We couldn't have asked for a better introduction to Ibiza from Serena and her Deliciously Sorted team. We felt just as VIP as the more bold-faced names on their roster. And while four days in Ibiza are definitely not enough to truly explore the island from tip to tip, the vacation was all we could've asked for. My sister declared she's spending her 40s becoming the gypsy she's always dreamed of being, but we all left with that feeling of, oh yes, this is just the beginning.
What to Know Before you Go
Ibiza is a big island with very windy roads. Renting a car is a great for exploring the numerous coves and beach inlets, but once the beat drops and the party mode begins, hire a driver or taxi for the clubs.