On our first night in Ibiza we didn’t go back to our room until late. Not because we were seeing in dawn at one of the island’s eye-wateringly expensive clubs; rather, we had settled down in a vintage VW campervan, with 360 degree views of the moonlit Mediterranean Sea.
In a nod to the island’s hippy heritage, the Sol Beach House hotel in Santa Eularia has installed the van for guests to stay in or use throughout the day – it’s a shady haven in the afternoon when temperatures can reach 40C. The pale blue van stands out, with exuberant paintings of daisies on the side and a large double bed taking up most of the inside space.
But this isn’t camping in the traditional sense. You’re in the grounds of a four-star hotel with a splendid room with a shower as your base – it’s just that you have the option of going a bit off-piste if you feel like it.
The day starts early, with yoga on a deck overlooking the sea at 9am to stretch out any lingering London tension. Massages are also available and there are weekly Pilates classes – proving that Ibiza isn’t just about hedonism. It has a virtuous side too, with a booming line in yoga retreats and feel-good food.
Breakfast is an event at Sol. There’s a vast buffet with everything from fresh fruit and green juice to churros, eggs made to order and Iberico pork. It’s best eaten on the lawn, gazing out at the changing light on the islands while planning which of the neighbouring coves to check out later. One morning a cellist performed while we enjoyed our yoghurt and fresh melon.
There are two generous-sized swimming pools, flanked by hammocks and deep sun-loungers. In the evening, DJs play by the pool and musicians are invited to perform too. Indeed, it’s hard to tear yourself away from the hotel, which feels like a mini-town on a tranquil cove; everything here feels easy.
The hotel is on the east of the island, a 20-minute drive from the airport and a 10-minute walk from the centre of Santa Eularia. This is Ibiza’s third largest resort, with a lively marina lined with upmarket bars and jammed with yachts. The palm-lined promenade is excellent for people-watching (the cast of Made In Chelsea stopped off here for their recent summer special) and it’s more laidback than Ibiza’s Old Town.
The outskirts of Santa Eularia are dominated by beach bars and idyllic swimming conditions. There are pine trees, turquoise waters where you can spot fish, and craggy rocks for diving off. Babylon Beach Bar is a five-minute stroll along the coast from the hotel. Most of its food and drink is made on site – think locally grown tomatoes and courgettes followed by pina coladas topped with homemade toasted coconut syrup.
The coastline outside the hotel can be explored on foot or even pedal power, as the hotel has vintage-style blue bikes available to hire. The Hippy Market in San Carlos is a 10-minute drive away and is open late on Tuesday nights for live music, pizza and arts and craft stalls selling good value silver jewellery and beaded kaftans – a good look for when you return to the hotel’s camper van.
Further afield, most landmarks are around half an hour’s drive away. It’s easy to get to Café Del Mar, The Old Town, Pacha and Es Vedra, the iconic rock rising from the sea at Cala d’Hort beach.
Closing the door of our room, I feel like I’m in my own private beach house. An injection of colour comes from cushions, bed linen, rugs and bathrobes designed by Desigual (all available to buy in the shop downstairs, which also sells clothes). They’ve thought of everything you could need for a comfortable stay, from SPFs, aftersun and lavender oil to help you sleep, to flip flops, beach towels and books to borrow. If you want a break from the beach there are LG TVs and huge Bluetooth speakers, as well as exercise bikes on the vast balconies overlooking the sea. The Xtra Beach House Mastersuite has a hydrotherapy tub too, which should ease any hangovers.
Sol Beach House Ibiza, Pare Vicent Costa, 2, Santa Eularia del Río, Ibiza
0034 912 76 47 47; melia.com
Doubles from £129, B&B.
Access: disabled accessible rooms, lift
Customers: over 16s only. Pets are welcome: cots, bowls and gifts are provided