Explore Ibiza Like A Local

The General Manager Of Bless Hotel Ibiza Shares His Top Places To Visit On The Island

José Manuel Molina

General Manager, Bless Hotel Ibiza

There could be no one better to open the first Bless hotel in the Balearic Islands than José Manuel Molina, a native of Ibiza. Hospitality runs in his blood. As a young man, he accompanied his father to the Dominican Republic to inaugurate the first property of a Spanish hotel company in Bávaro. After completing studies in hotel administration on the Caribbean island, he alternated between winters spent working there and summers in Ibiza. Accordingly, Molina knows Ibiza through and through.

José Manuel Molina, general manager at Bless Hotel Ibiza.

Lokale Empfehlungen

After obtaining a degree in hotel administration from the Pontifical Catholic University in Santo Domingo City, Dominican Republic—where his enthusiasm for gastronomy was launched—José Manuel Molina started his career as a deputy manager of a resort property in Bávaro, Dominican Republic. Subsequent opportunities took him to Menorca in the Balearic Islands, then to Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Later, he returned to the Caribbean island to assume his first position in a city hotel in Santo Domingo, where he also oversaw its rooftop jazz club, all before the opening of Bless Ibiza.

Now that he's back in Ibiza, José Manuel Molina is eager to share some of the best things to do in Ibiza. Read on for his tips.

Unwind At The Rooftop Lounge

After checking in and dropping off bags, one should head directly to the rooftop and the Epic Infinity Lounge. However tired or fatigued you might be, one cannot help but be revivified. The al fresco bar and restaurant with a view of the aqua Mediterranean and the seemingly infinite horizon invites wonder. Nearby, verdant islets add to the sense of serenity. Sitting in the lounge, whether at a table, a black-and-white striped sofa, or a Balinese bed by the infinity pool, is a tonic for whatever could ail you. A variety of ceviches, platters of sashimi or, if one fancies dessert, strawberries in a pomegranate syrup with basil sorbet and pistachios, and a glass of wine or a coffee further the process. This will prove an auspicious start to the varied, special experiences that await at Bless Hotel Ibiza, in a part of the island like few others.

Explore Ibiza's Historical Landmarks

Although Ibiza is especially popular in the summer, it is a year-round destination. Spring, with almond trees in blossom, fields full of colorful wildflowers, and ideal temperatures, is an incomparable time to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Ibiza is somewhat sleepy, not fully awake, and one senses a special lightness in the air. The various areas of Vila d’Eivissa or Ibiza city are worth exploring, particularly Dalt Vila or Old Town, which rises above the port, like an acropolis. Notably among its winding streets are the cathedral, convents, museums, and fortified walls that are both remnants and landmarks of a Phoenician, Carthaginian, Roman, and Moorish past, as well as the Christian conquest. The ruins of Phoenician settlement at Sa Caleta, on the southwest coast, are worth special inspection. Also, worth a visit are the village churches, white-washed, in a typical Ibizan architectural style, with plain façades, that date to the late eighteenth century or earlier.

Go Shopping At The Mercadillo Hippy

Hands down, the best place for shopping is Las Dalias, the outdoor market also known as the Mercadillo Hippy Km. 12, Eivissa-San Carles Highway, Sant Carles de Peralta; +34-971-326-825. Here, one finds the work of artists, artisans, and designers from throughout the island and abroad. Established in 1954, the weekly Saturday market, held year-round, features more than 300 vendors with clothing for women, men, and children; as well as accessories, jewelry, ceramics, Ibizan salts, spices, and liqueurs, artisanal soaps, even brightly decorated pet collars. During summers, Las Dalias has a night market, some evenings with live music or DJs. And one does not go hungry. There is a rustic-chic bar and café, open year-round, a destination in itself—one of nine bars and restaurants with food that ranges from salmorejo Cordobés, Jamaican chicken curry to pizza and empanadas and Morroccan food. There is also a juice bar and a food truck.

Check Out A Local Festival

"I would be remiss if I failed to recommend with enthusiasm our own fiestas, linked to the full moon, the new moon, and the summer and art festival," says Molina. "One of the largest events on the island is the Medieval Fiesta Eivissa, a three-day festival in spring, which transforms Ibiza’s Old Town into a vivid medieval fair with strolling musicians, dancers, jugglers and jesters, and falconers. There is a colorful procession, tournament, and market. Children are entertained by ancient tales and island legends from knights and wizards, along with donkey and camel rides.

Sample Typical Ibizan Cooking

Ibiza has many special places. One of the best places to watch the sunset is from Hostal La Torre, on the west side of the island, less than two miles from the center of San Antoni de Portmany. To sample typical Ibizan cooking with a touch of the modern, try Can Berri Vell in Sant Agusti des Vedrà (Sant Agusti des Vedrà; 34-971-341-321) . The atmospheric building dates to the 17th century and is across the plaza from the beautiful village church. The menu has such dishes as Iberian pork stuffed with goat cheese and mushrooms and hake with roasted vegetables, flavored with saffron. The best place to taste the well-known Ibizan liqueur made from herbs is Can Anneta or Bar Anita (Plaça de l’Esglèsia, San Carles; +34-971-335-090) in the countryside town of San Carles.

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