A lot of people scoff at the number of Americans who don’t own passports. But really, if you love your home comforts and unless you are a born traveller, it’s hard to find solid reasons to leave the United States. Speaking as an American-born Brit with naturally wandering feet, I have to say that the lower 48 states have pretty much everything a vaguely curious soul will ever need, from the lighthouses of Maine to the mystical deserts of New Mexico, and the bayou of Louisiana to the subtropical wildwoods of the Pacific Northwest.
Not many hotels fit neatly into this everything-under-one-roof category, but the Spanish group Melia Hotel’s latest offering in Ibiza is definitely one. A similar sense of universality pervades the Me Ibiza Hotel, a fine, classy establishment that has pretty much everything you’d ever want. If you cannot find what you need on the glorious grounds of this hotel, you simply aren’t looking hard enough.
A cursory day-in-the-life tour helps explain the thinking here. Stylebible’s correspondent showed up at the doors of the hotel late and tired, hungover and head-weary, having navigated the dry heat (yes, really) of a British summer. The hotel excellent staff did everything possible to make the transition from wobbly-bloke-in-lobby to happy-soul-clutching-glass-of bubbles as smooth as chilled jazz.
First, they handed me a glass of bubbles (it’s amazing what that simple act will do to the soul, let alone one’s long-term view of an establishment). They’d already taken my cumbersome Jeep away to be valet-parked, while stowing my new roadbike in storage, guarded by a giant Pole with Popeye forearms. Then I was whisked up to my room, a tour de force in Mediterranean white, with a double power shower, a giant fluffy-pillowed bed begging to be slept in, and a minibar filled with the sort of goodies one has come to expect in elite hotels.
A grumbling tummy, demanding food after a long and hot flight was accommodated up on the roof, where light-footed waitresses served up toothsome seafood washed down with a less bubbly bottle of white. (It was after eleven when I ate, but the restaurant was more than happy to accommodate). Duly sated, I returned to my room to sleep the sleep of the happy and wholesome traveller, filled with those dreams – bouncy, filled with light and air – that one has only at the start of an adventure or a long holiday.
Morning brought more joy. Yoga began at a sensible hour (9.30am – things start and end late on this party island) out on the rocks with Daphne, a lissome Parsienne who walked a group of inflexible Anglo-Saxon desk jockeys through their planks and downward dogs. A choice breakfast followed in the form of a seriously fabulous buffet, which included a host of little things, each catering to every conceivable taste. (Your correspondent loves fresh tomato juice; here, he found enough to keep him going for a week).
Then it was time to chill. Melia has cultivated a deserved reputation for pampering its customers while catering to the environment in which each hotel is situated. In Ibiza, that meant a long swimming pool set next to the beach, a DJ with a good line in kooky songs backstopped by gentle beats, and waiters lingering nearby to rustle you up some tasty nibbles and, yes, more bubbles. As mid-afternoon encroached, a choice loomed. To siesta - or to head to the roof terrace for a much-needed massage. The latter choice won out handily. I fell asleep on the massage table in the heat, all my aches and pains smoothed clear of my back and shoulders.
Before long it was time to leave – but not before an excellent late lunch consisting of gazpacho soup, spiced-fried prawns, and red snapper. Drifting back through the lobby of Me Ibiza Hotel, I had one of those moments. I realised that not only did I really not want to go (even though I was moving into a perfectly nice serviced apartment for the next few days) but that I hadn’t stepped foot off the hotel’s premises since I first arrived. So this is what it feels like to be an American. I could get used to it.