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Review: W Ibiza hotel – party palace or peaceful paradise?

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HfP in the Balearics

This is our review of the W Ibiza hotel in Santa Eulalia del Rio, Ibiza.

It is the fourth and final review in our ‘HfP in the Balearics’ series in partnership with Marriott Bonvoy, who very kindly provided the stay. We paid for all other expenses, including flights. We also reviewed the Sheraton Mallorca, Castillo Hotel Son Vida (Mallorca) as well as the St Regis Mardavall.

W is Marriott’s luxury lifestyle brand marketed at ‘millennials’. That means they are design-led hotels with lots of Instagrammable potential 🙂 They are the Virgin of hotels – although Virgin now has its own brand of hotels, which are less Virgin-y than a W …..

W Ibiza pools

There are currently 66 W Hotels worldwide. Marriott is rapidly expanding the brand with a number of new openings in the Asia Pacific region.

The W Ibiza is a fairly new addition to the portfolio with 162 rooms or suites and had its grand opening in June, although it has been open on and off since late 2019 due to covid. It will soon be joined in Southern Europe by W Algarve and W Rome.

The hotel website is here.

Location

W Hotels are normally located right where the action (read: nightlife) takes place, but Marriott chose a different tack when it launched the W Ibiza, which is not in Ibiza Town itself.

Instead, W Ibiza has taken inspiration from the laid back, boho side of Ibiza and is located in the town of Santa Eulalia, about 15-20 minutes East of Ibiza Town and the airport:

W Ibiza location

Santa Eulalia is a small town with a marina and a handful of sandy beaches, the largest of which is home to the W.

W Ibiza is formed of two wings which form a V shape towards the Mediterranean. It is quite a clever design that means you enter from the road via the base of the V. Here is the funky entrance with rainbow lights:

W Ibiza exterior night

Inside you are greeted with a large lobby that sets the tone for the rest of the property. The walls feature soft blues, browns and yellows that reflect the sea views whilst sofas are spread in wonderful pastel-coloured cushions.

W Ibiza lobby

There are a number of public spaces with lots of different levels present. Here is the lounge, which is set across large stairs:

W Ibiza lounge

There is even an indoor swing 😉

W Ibiza lounge swing

Rooms at W Ibiza

Check in is at one of the reception desks as you enter. You are offered water whilst you wait:

W Ibiza welcome water

This being a W hotel you have to expect some interesting naming conventions. Rooms range from the lowest category ‘Cozy Room’ all the way up to the ‘EWOW Suite’. I was given a ‘Fantastic Suite’, which means you get a sea view(ish) plus a separate bedroom and living space.

The boho aesthetic of the hotel lobby continues inside:

W Ibiza living room

The suite is semi-open plan, which means that the half the bathroom (sinks, mirror etc) are in the living space:

W Ibiza bathroom sink

…. whilst the shower and toilet are behind a mirrored door:

W Ibiza shower

Whilst W introduced a new brand of MOMO toiletries last year the W Ibiza is still making its way through unused stock of Bliss toiletries. I was able to sample the new MOMO toiletries during our ‘Week of Wonders’ partnership with Marriott. I rate these very highly and they’re definitely an upgrade on the Bliss toiletries in my opinion.

In the living space you also get a properly stocked mini-bar, complete with cocktail shaker, martini glasses and a selection of small-but-large spirits:

W Ibiza mini bar

The mini-fridge is in a drawer:

W Ibiza mini fridge

Whilst the Nespresso coffee machine is next to the sofa:

Moving on to the bedroom, which is separate although not completely separable from the living space (there’s no door):

W Ibiza bedroom

This is a king size bed with a night stand on each side. As you would expect, the room is well connected with USB sockets. You also get retro Marshall amp Bluetooth speaker and a set of ear plugs laid out – this is a W, after all.

To the left of the bed is a very large wardrobe with stencilled metal doors that obscure but don’t completely hide its contents:

W Ibiza bed

Most (if not all) of the rooms also get a large balcony or terrace:

W Ibiza balcony

Everything in the room is remotely controlled, including the large colourful awnings which can be fully extended or retracted depending on your mood.

As you can see, the rooms at the W Ibiza definitely deliver on the brand’s promise of trendy, design-led rooms. It’s very impressive and very homely. I could get used to this.

Pool, gym and beach at the W Ibiza

…. or, as the hotel likes to call it, the ‘Wet Deck’.

There are three pools in total at W Ibiza: two (one deep, one shallow) at floor level in between the two fingers of the V shaped building:

W Ibiza view

…. and one on the Glow rooftop:

W Ibiza rooftop pool

There are lots of loungers and cabanas around the ground-level pools which are mostly south-facing. These are serviced by a pool bar and a DJ booth which is staffed by a local DJ every day from around 11am onwards.

Whilst the music is louder than at other hotels, I never found it intrusive.

You can also access the sandy beach via the two back doors of the W Ibiza, which opens onto the promenade. Despite being there at a weekend the beach was never particularly busy. This was not the case for the beach club (€25 if you’re not staying at the W), which was always busy:

W Ibiza beach club

Part of the problem, I think, is that reservations are taken for the whole day which means that some of the loungers are empty but for a towel or top. Moving to a time-limited booking system would give more guests the opportunity to enjoy the loungers.

The beach club is serviced from the beachside restaurant Chirinquito Blue, which also belongs to the W.

W Ibiza spa

The gym and spa are in the hotel basement with access to the pool. The spa is small with just a couple of treatment rooms, although it has a very cool relaxation room:

W Ibiza spa relaxation room

Here is the gym, which is fairly basic. Yoga classes etc are on offer from time to time:

W Ibiza gym

The W Ibiza also has a very small nightclub, which is currently closed.

Dining at W Ibiza

There are two restaurants at the W: La Llama, a brand new steakhouse, and Chirinquito Blue, the aforementioned beach club.

Both are on the smaller side, which means you are never lost in a massive hotel restaurant. La Llama has lovely views across the pool and Mediterranean and is also where breakfast is served:

W Ibiza La Llama balcony

You also have the ‘Ve Cafe’, a vegetarian cafe on the promenade

Dinner at La Llama

We were invited to try dinner at La Llama, which is new this season. The menu is very basic (in a good way) and centred on three different types of beef from Galicia, Portugal and Wagyu with all cooked over an open flame.

The restaurant wanted to showcase its menu so we were offered an ad-hoc taster menu. To start we had the Burrata and Tuna Tataki:

W Ibiza La Llama burrata tuna

Followed by Caviar Baeri:

W Ibiza caviar baeri

Whilst for our main course we shared a Entrecôte steak from Galician beef:

W Ibiza La Llama entrecote

Finally, to top it all off, we had the Knafeh and Vanilla Profiterole:

W Ibiza La Llama Knafeh

I must admit the Knafeh was incredible – neither too sweet nor savoury, and rounded of the meal nicely. After all that we had to roll ourselves back to the suite!

W Ibiza Chirinquito Blue

Lunch at Chirinquito Blue

Chirinquito Blue is a little more casual compared to La Llama and seafood oriented. The restaurant itself is lovely, with layers of hessian bags draping from the ceiling that sway in the wind like waves.

W Ibiza Chirinquito Blue 2

We shared the calamari and padron peppers as starters:

W Ibiza Chirinquito Blue calamari

Whilst I had a large sea bass, which was ‘catch of the day’. It is deboned in front of you:

W Ibiza Chirinquito Blue sea bass

Both were delicious. It’s hard to beat a lovely lunch with a sea breeze.

Glow rooftop bar

The W Ibiza has a lovely rooftop bar adjacent to the rooftop pool, which is a great spot for sunset cocktails:

W Ibiza Glow rooftop bar

There is a range of seating available and you’ll often find a live DJ from 7pm onwards.

The breakfast buffet at W Ibiza

As previously mentioned, breakfast is served in the La Llama restaurant. With 162 rooms in the hotel it is fairly busy – I’m not sure if they open up further seating at the Ve Cafe when the hotel is full.

The buffet itself is relatively compact:

W Ibiza breakfast buffet

…. although you can find everything you expect, including cold cuts of Iberian hams and sausages as well as smoked salmon, gravalax and mackerel:

W Ibiza breakfast cold meats

Here is what I had:

W Ibiza breakfast plate

There is also a cooked selection, with eggs made to order. And of course this wouldn’t be a hotel designed for millenials if there weren’t avocados available, either self-serve or the kitchen will prepare for you:

W Ibiza avocado toast

Note that the team are very happy to put together a takeaway breakfast which is very useful if you are heading to somewhere like Formentera for the day.

Service at W Ibiza

So far so good – the hard product of the hotel and the facilities have been great so far.

What I haven’t yet mentioned is the service. That’s because, to be perfectly honest, there is room for improvement here.

W is one of six brands in Marriott’s ‘Luxury’ category, together with St Regis, JW Marriott, EDITION and others. That means you can expect service that tries to go above and beyond.

Unfortunately, whilst all the staff are very friendly (and young – everyone is under under 35 here, I’d hazard) the service lacks the polish you would expect for the price you are paying.

On arrival staff aren’t there to greet you until you have made your way half way through the lobby. Equally, they will often leave you to organise your own things and are little help beyond basics such as making reservations in the local restaurants.

This may improve with time – the hotel has only just opened for the 2021 season and many restaurants and hotels are struggling to recruit staff. All they really need is a little extra training (and possibly a trip to the St Regis Mardavall which we reviewed here) to see how great service is done.

Conclusion

Despite the shaky service W Ibiza makes a fantastic impression with fantastic style and great energy. It won’t be for everyone – if you’re concerned about noise or looking for a super-quiet retreat then this isn’t for you.

Equally, whilst kids are welcome and there is some provision of activities at the beach club, the W Ibiza isn’t exactly the most child-friendly – although I think teenagers would love it.

If you’re looking for a hotel with a unique and locally-inspired style and a lively clientele then you’d be hard-pressed to do better than the W Ibiza. Its location in Santa Eulalia means you are within easy access of the nightlife in Ibiza Town but still far enough away to enjoy the more laid-back lifestyle of the island. I would definitely come here again.

The W Ibiza is a Category 7 hotel in Marriott Bonvoy which means you need between 50,000 and 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. Cash rates start at €400 per night in September.

You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.

Comments (63)

  • Sam says:

    We just came back from a stay here (literally missed your visit by a few days). Our experience was really different.

    Firstly, the service to be pretty outstanding. We found the staff to be one of the greatest assets of the hotel. Polite, attentive, always asking if we needed anything. The Glow Bar and Wet Deck are both great places to relax, drink, and snack. The location of the hotel is good with easy walk to restaurants and bars too.

    Two things ruined it. The fire alarm went off 3 times in the night during our stay. Getting woken at 1am and 5am by the fire alarm siren and all lights is pretty jarring. It’s there for our protection, so once is understandable, but for 3 nights of a five night stay? It’s also obviously a recurring theme as there was a standard letter left in our room after each occurrence and the staff seemed very versed in how to respond. The bar staff ended up telling us that it is always the kitchen that sets it off.

    Second was the music. I’ve stayed in lots of W’s and the music is part of the experience. At the W Ibiza the bedrooms are not well protected from this. The music played until 2am consistently and the little earplugs they leave by the bed do nothing to keep it out. We stayed in a Fantastic Suite overlooking the pool.

    Overall it wasn’t a great experience and the fire alarm issue seems to be recurring if Trip Advisor is anything to go by.

    • Conrad says:

      I was surprised how long it took to get the letters to the room. Alarm scared the cr** out of us.
      As I recall music is til 1am in the lounge but not every night. Top deck glow finishes at 10.30 (/ quietens down until 11 then kick out).
      Sunday night all stops early inc bar.

  • Jo says:

    Great review but not impressed with the refurb, it still looks like a 70’s concrete monstrosity just tarted up! If I’m going to the med I want a hotel with a bit of charm of in a pretty setting.
    Despite being somewhat older than their target market I really loved the W hotel in the Maldives, it’s modern but has a bit of character.

    • Rhys says:

      You should’ve seen it before!

      Personally I love the style – the colourful awnings are fun!

      • Andrew says:

        They do look good.

        Just for family safety and my own dislike of low barriers, I’d prefer the balcony glass to be at least a foot taller.

        • Harry T says:

          If a family is staying at a W, they are in the wrong place!

          • laineyling says:

            I think this W has a family play area? I remember speaking to one of the best soft play companies in the UK (they do a lot of play design for private family clubs here, and around the world) and they did something for the W.

            Rhys you didn’t happen to see it by any chance?

          • Rhys says:

            It does, and they have some kids entertainment at the beach club too. But I still probably wouldn’t take my kids here! Teenagers would love it though.

  • Dominic says:

    Got to say I find those sun shades tasteless and rather ugly…

    Apart from that, it looks to be an excellent refurb.

  • John says:

    As a millennial, I can’t imagine ever paying €400 per night for a hotel.

    • Rob says:

      That’s half the price of the St Regis though. This is what the Balearics cost in Summer, for better or worse. If you want good value in Summer try the Caribbean.

    • Harry T says:

      You won’t be staying at many good hotels then during the summer!

      • Rob says:

        You won’t be staying at many bad ones either – Premier Inn Scarborough was £250 in August for the nights I checked yesterday.

        • Harry T says:

          @Rob that’s one of the reasons I’m holidaying abroad this summer! If you’re fully vaccinated, I think the UK is the worst place to spend your time this summer – popular destinations overrun with Brits and you’ll get gouged paying for subpar service and accommodation.

      • John says:

        Rather have 5 nights in an average hotel for €80

    • Tom says:

      Getting this hotel for €400 per night in peak summer is a steal. Ibiza in July-August is bloody expensive….

      The new Six Senses is like €1.2K a night and sold out for all of July when I asked. This hotel is selling for like €600-700 per night now. Even small independent hotels can get €400 per night in Ibiza.

      • Tom says:

        Also to add, I’ve stayed at the W twice now and think I had better service than Rhys. Really liked this hotel ‘as a millennial’, albeit it’s clearly not high-end luxury.

  • Greenpen says:

    I may be an old-fashioned baby boomer, but £400 a night for this W and £800 for the better one does seem rather expensive!

    If you spend £250 on a Premier Inn, you’v A lot more money than sense!

    • Tom says:

      If the Premier Inn is charging £250, how much do you think the Hilton or Marriott is charging?

  • Paul says:

    I go to ibiza every year in August. I can normally get a week in a hotel including flights for less than 400. Who the hell pays a grand a night. They need to give their head a shake.

  • John says:

    Jyst curious on what drove the choice for this Marriott cs the other one there (Tribute/Hotel Riimar)?

    Doing a similar trip thru the Balarics and looking at Marriott options (Titanium).

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