Ibiza's image is starting to change, it now offers parents the chance to combine a family holiday with some hardcore shape-shifting.
I’m trying to find inspiration for our family holiday. Yes, the kids’ club and milkshake bar are all very good if you’re under 12, but what about us parents? Suddenly an advert catches my attention. The decision is made; this year we’re taking the family to Ibiza. That’s right kids; Mummy and Daddy are going clubbing.
I’ve been a regular to Ibiza since the late 1980s. I’d spend days lounging by hip beach bars, sipping the local rosé to a trance soundtrack. At night I’d hit the island’s exclusive clubs. And, thanks to one of Ibiza’s overnight nanny services, we’re going to be going clubbing for the first time since Angus, seven, and Nancy and Lola, three, were born.
We’re excited and nervous in equal measures. Parents and clubbers aren’t the most natural of bedfellows: the only similarity is they’re both likely to be up and bleary-eyed at 4am. Will we be the oldest in the club? Can I still dance? And, I can’t help thinking in a flash of maternal guilt, is this what proper parents do?
When we arrive on the island, the familiar feelings of excitement flood back with the soft warmth that only a June day in the Mediterranean can bring. Ibiza has a unique energy, an unspoken spirituality that’s a hangover from the bohemian set that arrived in the 1960s and never left.
Relaxing easily into family life, we spend idyllic days plodding around the island, exploring the beach coves of the north, pottering around custard-coloured Ibicenco villages and paddling in the cool waters of the south. And before we know it, Friday night is upon us.
Alexis, our nanny for the evening, set up Childcare Ibiza in 2008. ‘Most of our business comes from the people who used to come to Ibiza to party a few years ago,’ she says, ‘but now want to combine experiencing the island with their children, and one or two nights out,’ she says.
So that night, with Alexis and the kids happily ensconced in our hotel room, we leave for Ibiza Town and our night at Pacha. We wander slowly through narrow lanes lined with smoky tapas bars and cosy amber-hued tavernas. Grabbing cold beers, we lounge outside a pre-club bar where the increasing volume of house beats gives us a taster of the night ahead.
Once inside Pacha, we walk through the cavernous maze of rooms, each hosted by a different DJ, and a wave of excitement floods over me. I send a quick text to Alexis to check the children are asleep. Then, armed with icy vodka-limons, I throw myself into the main room to unleash some full-on Mum and Dad dancing.
The next morning, the kids are having breakfast with Alexis. They barely acknowledge a bleary-eyed Mummy and Daddy rolling up in desperate need of a café con leche.
Tired, hungover but with smiles a mile wide, we take our places at the table. It was worth every minute.
How to get there: easyJet flies from London Gatwick, London Luton and London Stansted, and other UK airports, to Ibiza from £100 return.
Accommodation: Hotel Cala Verde starts from £1,600 for seven nights in two adjoining double rooms with sea views, based on two adults and two children sharing.
Babysitting: Overnight childcare through Childcare Ibiza costs from £110 for a fully-qualified and CRB-checked nanny, for up to three children for 12 hours. Longer sessions are available.