Review: W Ibiza hotel – party palace or peaceful paradise?
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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 ….. Our guide to W Hotels is here.
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.
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:
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:
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.
There are a number of public spaces with lots of different levels present. Here is the lounge, which is set across large stairs:
There is even an indoor swing 😉
Rooms at W Ibiza
Check in is at one of the reception desks as you enter. You are offered water whilst you wait:
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:
The suite is semi-open plan, which means that the half the bathroom (sinks, mirror etc) are in the living space:
…. whilst the shower and toilet are behind a mirrored door:
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:
The mini-fridge is in a drawer:
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):
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:
Most (if not all) of the rooms also get a large balcony or terrace:
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:
…. and one on the Glow rooftop:
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:
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.
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:
Here is the gym, which is fairly basic. Yoga classes etc are on offer from time to time:
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:
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:
Followed by Caviar Baeri:
Whilst for our main course we shared a Entrecôte steak from Galician beef:
Finally, to top it all off, we had the Knafeh and Vanilla Profiterole:
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!
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.
We shared the calamari and padron peppers as starters:
Whilst I had a large sea bass, which was ‘catch of the day’. It is deboned in front of you:
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:
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:
…. although you can find everything you expect, including cold cuts of Iberian hams and sausages as well as smoked salmon, gravalax and mackerel:
Here is what I had:
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:
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.
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.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (March 2023)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.
You can apply here.
Marriott Bonvoy American Express
20,000 bonus points and 15 elite night credits Read our full review
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
The Platinum Card from American Express
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You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (10,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)