Sound and vision: Hard Rock Hotel, Playa d’en Bossa

Sound and vision: Hard Rock Hotel, Playa d’en Bossa

Hard Rock Hotel’s Ibiza outpost steals the entertainment scene on Playa d’en Bossa, giving guests an all-access pass

Ibiza is a free spirit of an island, shaking her tail feathers until dawn without a thought for tomorrow. Alas, getting into that Ibiza spirit requires a ton of forward planning behind the freewheeling scene.

Ah, but that’s where the island’s biggest five-star comes in. The Hard Rock Hotel – the upgraded, upmarket version of the American icon – has launched a plush, paper-free, planning-free resort on the white-sand Playa d’en Bossa that jives with Ibiza’s barefoot image.

Where else but music-mad Ibiza would Hard Rock target for its first European hotel? The luxury retreat, designed by London practice Jestico + Whiles and local firm Flaquer Arquitectos (with landscaping by Cesar Alonso), has the apartment-sized rooms, the indoor-outdoor spa and the headline-making restaurants that befit its prime location, with the skill for backstage coordination that brings the party to you. HRH is a magnet for the island’s pleasure-seekers, with a main stage that attracts heavyweights like Tinie Tempah, Nile Rodgers, Icona Pop and Kylie Minogue and seven bars that make it hard for establishments down the beach to compete.

The hotel’s 493 rooms start at 33 sq m and go up from there; nearly half are suites, with swim-up pool access, private terraces and outdoor spa tubs. Residents can put away their purses and strap on the pioneering smart bracelet called VIB (very important bracelet), which replaces the dreaded room key and connects to the four in-house restaurants, the rooftop lounge, all boutiques and sport facilities. The VIB can also connect to social media, rendering smartphones superfluous.

It’s not all bass beats and flashing lights. The pools are extensive and tranquil, with vast lounge beds by Belgian designers Tribù. Inside is a mini museum with the sort of rock memorabilia Hard Rock is known for (David Bowie, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones and Lady Gaga headline a collection too crowded to mention here). There are quiet meeting rooms and a kid’s club to help with the essential lie-in.

What truly elevates the property to a first-class destination, though, is the food. Two-Michelin-star chef Paco Roncero runs a version of his legendary Madrid tapas restaurant Estado Puro in a dazzling ocean-view space designed by estudi{H}ac. And this year Roncero’s 12-seat experiential restaurant Sublimotion – which connects all the senses with video projections, infused scents and diner participation – won the esteemed Worldwide European Award for best F&B innovation.

It’s all orchestrated to eliminate the drag of holiday-planning in the name of pure pleasure. And that’s a spirit nobody can argue with.

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