I decided to have a ‘hen holiday’ rather than a standard hen night because of many reasons. First of all, last year I ended up spending a fortune on overnight stays in Edinburgh during hen nights and I felt you could add a little bit more to the pot and get a few days in the sun instead. Secondly, I wanted to spend quality time with my closest friends and my lovely sister before my wedding. I don’t know if lovely is the right term for her but I do love her? Sometimes.
When it came to deciding on where we would go my sister and I started looking at a variety of places. Of course places like Dubai crossed our minds but it was working it really expensive to have the girly holiday we had mind. We had decided we wanted to stay in a really nice hotel, have lovely meals and do nice things but didn’t want to spend hundreds on flights. Thus, my sister and I sat one night in October and started looking for cheap flights to sunny destinations for an April hen holiday. We browsed and browsed and shortlisted a few places in Europe that had return flights for less than £100. When we first found Ibiza flights, I won’t lie – I was a little apprehensive. For about 30 seconds. Then I thought to myself, stop being so judgemental and look into it. People like different things and some girls might want a wild party holiday before their wedding. So what? That is their choice and why can’t they have that if that is what they want? I am a little more boring and the whole clubbing/partying scene isn’t really for me. I’d rather be tucked up in bed by midnight reading a book. Okay I’m not THAT boring but the point I’m making is, I didn’t want a holiday which would involve late nights out and halal hangover. One would presume that is exactly what one would get in Ibiza.
However, we did our research and found that the clubs don’t open in Ibiza till the end of May. The party season takes place over the summer in Ibiza and no clubs were even open during the week we went. Even if they were open, nobody can force you to go? I have been really baffled by certain comments I have been getting on my Instagram of people leaving comments along the lines of ‘why would you go to Ibiza if you are Muslim?’ When I read things like this in life, I actually lose all faith in humanity. People are so quick to judge and so backward minded that I can’t even deal with that whole mentality. We wanted to go at a time when the clubs were closed because we didn’t want to go at a busy time. When we got there we were told by a taxi driver that not a single club was open in the whole of Ibiza during April other than one that too only at weekends. This meant that the experience we had of Ibiza was probably very different to one we would have had had we gone in mid July for example.
To sum up our experience, we had the most relaxing, peaceful and scenic holiday ever and saw a side to Ibiza that isn’t one that is often advertised. I hope that from this post, some of the more judgemental of my readers will realise that there are always two ways of looking at things. There are underground raves/parties happening in clubs even in the most holiest of cities in Saudi Arabia so the point I’m making is you will only go there if you WANT to? Similarly, one can go to Ibiza NOT for the clubbing and for a lovely, relaxing holiday instead. I hope this post will encourage many of you to go because I had a ball!
If you want a party holiday then of course head to the San Antonio part of the island. We stayed in Ibiza Old Town because we wanted to stay somewhere with nicer hotels and I’m glad we decided to go with Old Town. Because we went at a time when it wasn’t party season, we found that it was mostly families with young children around the island and some young couples. The weather wasn’t scorching but it wasn’t bad either. We stayed at El Hotel Pacha after reading good reviews on Trip Advisor and were so impressed. The rooms were spacious, bright and airy and they did a good breakfast which was included in the price that we paid for the hotel through Booking.com. The staff were extremely helpful and couldn’t do enough to help us when drama ensued. More on this in a further post that will follow.
After a two and a half hour flight on Easter Sunday we arrived at Ibiza airport around 6pm and landed on a runway right next to the beach. How cool is that? We got taxis to our hotel which was about a 15 minute drive away. There were five of us so we had to get two taxis because they don’t seem to have any taxis which cater for more than four people in Ibiza. This was a pain in the bum because everywhere we went we had to pay for two taxis! In hindsight we probably should have rented a car but we were on holiday and didn’t want the hassle. It cost around 20 Euros per taxi to get from the airport to the hotel.
On our first night, me and my two bridesmaids Camilla and Lina unpacked our bags and put our stuff away in the wardrobes/drawers. We are all OCD neat freaks so wanted everything put away. Next door to us were my sister Madiha and sister in law/best friend Ash who are the total opposites from us and looked at us as if we had lost our marbles. Needless to say they were quite happy living out of their suitcases for the entire holiday. The thought alone makes me break out in hives. Yes I will be the person that will spend the first hour of her honeymoon neatly organising her outfits into hotel wardrobes. Of course, husband dearest will just need to do the same.
Once we had unpacked, Camilla took out five lovely, pink gift bags, a GOBLET which was jewel encrusted and a number of other ‘bride’ bits and bobs. I had made it clear I didn’t want any ‘hen props’ if you catch my drift but of course the girls still had to do something. It was all so cute and Camilla had went to such effort making the little gift packs for us all complete with perfect bows. We love a bow. My sister gave me a sash with ‘Future Mrs Ahmed’ on it and it was all so nice of them?! I only wore my sash indoors though because I didn’t want to draw any unnecessary attention to myself, I usually do that anyway by falling or spilling drinks on my bridesmaids. Wait till you hear about what I did? I’m surprised said bridesmaid didn’t throw me into the sea thanks to my clumsy self.
After we opened our gift packs and I ooh’d and aaah’d like mad, we all realised we were ravenous and set out to look for a place to eat. Because we were so central to everything we found an amazing Italian place just a 10 minute walk away. I wish I had remembered the name of the restaurant because the food was actually amazing. I love it when you go on holiday and the waitresses just automatically put a basket of bread on your table with a selection of oils and sauces?! Why don’t we have this culture in the UK? Okay, yes it’s carbs overload but still. Let’s just say we went through many a bread basket in Ibiza. Major pre wedding detox is beginning for me from next week right up until the wedding in July. Anyway, we had a lovely dinner and after dinner went back to the hotel and had a good night’s sleep.
The next morning we all woke up and got ready and went down for breakfast. My sister missed breakfast because it takes her so long to get ready. Imagine missing breakfast because you’re too busy gelling your eyebrows for heavens sake? That’s why her eyebrows are a work of art and mine look like two wee snakes sometimes. Oh well, breakfast over brows any day ya’ll. Why am I saying ya’ll?
On this day I put together a very pastel coloured outfit. Camilla, who is the queen of braiding hair did a fancy pleat of some sort on my hair and I truly felt like I was on holiday.
Blazer – River Island
Trousers – Zara
Shoes – Primark (bargain at £14)
Necklace – Miss Selfridge
Sunglasses – New Look
We walked SO much on this day and in hindsight the shoes were probably a daft idea because they did have a heel but they were actually quite comfortable. I did carry flip flops in my bag for the next couple of days whenever I decided to wear silly shoes though so I could whip them off and put my Minnie Mouse flip flops on whenever my heart desired.
We walked along to the marina where we got a beautiful view of Ibiza Old Town.
We had done our research prior to the holiday and knew that Ibiza Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site. We walked through the cobbled, winding and narrow streets to get the most magnificent views from the breaks in the vast terraces at each level.
There was so much detail in the Gothic buildings and in certain streets you almost got a very Santorini feel to the place with white houses with blue windows. There were lovely restaurants in Old Town where you could get panoramic views of statues from the Cuban War and 16th century churches. Ibiza is also home to one of the world’s most impressive Roman museum collections, with artefacts on display which have been found exclusively on the island.
We spent the afternoon exploring and pictures really do not do justice to the beauty of the place. I made lots of videos on my Canon 70D and hope to make a vlog of the holiday because I managed to get some amazing footage of the beautiful places. I don’t see myself having time to do that till about 2065.
After exploring for hours we went for lunch at this place that wasn’t so great. Again, I really should have noted names down for these places. The only real thing to note from here is that in my over excitement over something daft that I can’t even remember now, I ended up knocking my glass of Cola over and it spilled all over Lina’s white outfit. Poor thing was soaked cover to cover and I ruined her white jeans and top. I honestly thought I was doing so well as well having been in Ibiza for nearly 24 hours and not causing a rumpus. But of course, I had to just go and do that didn’t I? Poor Lina also suffered another time when I dropped her HD brow palette and it smashed. But oh no, that’s not even the half of it? I wheeled my 15kg suitcase over Camilla’s foot at the airport. I genuinely don’t know how I even have friends.
We went back to the hotel that evening and had a bit of a rest and a good chin wag. We decided to go and see the Ibiza sunset at the beach because this was something I really wanted to do. We all wore our hen holiday t-shirts because when else would we ever wear them?
We got a 25 minute taxi to San Antonio which was VERY different to where we were staying and made us realise that we had made the right decision by choosing Old Town. Without being snobby, it was pretty run down in comparison and quite basic shall we say. The beach was lovely though and we settled down at a bar/bistro called Mint Lounge. We caught the beautiful sunset and the lovely people at Mint Lounge gave us fleecy blankets to wrap ourselves in because by this point it had gotten quite chilly. We had delicious mocktails and watched the sunset for ages before moving inside and having more drinks and a late dinner.
Some of us went to sleep with blisters that night, surprisingly I came out the other end blister free. Just about. After getting back to the hotel room we all got into our matching Disney pyjamas (all of us had matching pyjamas that Camilla and I bought for the holiday other than my sister who refused to be part of such nonsense) and had a girly slumber party. This involved a surprise game of Mr & Mrs that Camilla had arranged. I was asked 20 questions about Atteeq that he had already answered for Camilla via email.
The aim of the game was to see how many I would get correct.
I was very proud of the fact that I would get at least 70% right because I know him so well.
I got 8 out of 20.
I could have killed him for giving the wrong answers about himself.
I went to sleep that night with 6 braids in my hair courtesy of Camilla again looking like Alicia Keyes from the 90s since I couldn’t take my rollers with me and thought I would wake up with wild, curly hair. However, half way through the night I had to take them out because my head felt like it was being stretched with pliers.
Thus, our first two nights in Ibiza were complete and so is part 1 of this Ibiza post.
Right now, I am staying with my Bari Ammi which literally translates to ‘Big Mum’. I assure you, she is anything but ‘big’ but the title was derived because she is older than my birth mother by a few years. Other than this little detail I don’t see any difference between the two and I often come and stay with Bari Ammi to spend quality time with her. She is currently preparing dinner for us both whilst I sit and write this post. She told me yesterday that one of her colleagues is a reader of my blog so hello Faiza if you are reading this! What a small world we live in?
I am here for the next couple of days whilst Bari Ammi will be at work and I plan on spending my time reading endless books and of course…writing on here.