The unconventional, free-spirited Ibiza is still the best party in Spain and everyone is invited. But don't be fooled into buying the one-dimensional hype about the sought-after Mediterranean island destination. Steeped in a myriad of culture and beauty, the island best known as a celebrity beach-hopping and clubbing mecca has much more to offer.
According to UNESCO, Ibiza and surrounding waters remain an excellent example of marine and coastline ecosystems. Designated a World Heritage Site, remarkable archaeological ruins testify to the role the region played in the historical Mediterranean economy.
The island's fortified infrastructure is an amazingly preserved example of Renaissance military architecture and Spain's influence on New World settlement.
For those with an interest in Ibiza's cultural and historical offerings, something beyond the island's trademark sunset chill and boho glam scene, it's essential to have access to insider connections at the ready. Deliciously Sorted (DS) is the most successful concierge company in the Balearic Islands, and the gateway to all the beauty and luxury the islands have to offer. A one-stop shop.
With a restaurant background and recommendation from friend Jade Jagger, Serena Cook, founder and CEO of Deliciously Sorted (the company name a nod to her foodie roots), made the move from London to Ibiza in 1997. After spending the summer cooking and catering for private parties, a potential service niche opened up when guests communicated a wealth of other hospitality requirements. Cook reflects, “for me it was the classic cliché of being in the right place at the right time.” A getaway summer in Ibiza soon turned into an ambitious career undertaking.
Though the early business concept seemed a bit of a “rough diamond”, the service was invaluable at a time when the affluent bohemian travel scene was first taking hold of the island, Initially Cook operated solo, and says her cell phone “rang for literally 18 hours per day”. Though even the local government has since become invested in protecting the island´s reputation as a luxury “it” destination, in 2007 passing law that all new hotels must be at least five-star.
Of the early days, she says, “I would sit on my sofa on the terrace at night and actually could not keep up with incoming calls!” In time, Cook enlisted the help of her sister. The two of them would work the phones until 11 p.m. and then head to what she terms “meet-and-greets” outside whichever party potential clients were at that evening. Business grew by word-of-mouth and, ultimately, became self-generating.
Today, seventeen years later, Cook has over three hundred subcontractors and suppliers, a still expanding roster of clients, and twenty dedicated employees. Cook doesn't pay for advertising because, as she says, she has a tremendous base of repeat users and, too, has received an abundance of press given her breakout success as a young self-styled female entrepreneur from London “running it” in a decidedly glamorous destination.
Headquartered on Ibiza, the DS network also extends to the other three Balearic Islands: Mallorca, Menorca, and Formentera. Service requests are a mix of the typical, the imaginative, and the unique. Cook references regularly occurring examples like hand-picking villa accommodations (they have a portfolio of fifty villas in Ibiza and a further fifty across other islands), organizing milestone birthday celebrations, coordinating accommodation staffing, orchestrating island-hopping excursions by sleek DS Sunseeker, designing a bespoke shopping trip, or guaranteeing hard to come by reservations at the Michelin-starred Macao. Clients love the fact that DS is one-stop shop for all their desires. At Pacha, the iconic Ibiza nightclub, Deliciously Sorted clients skip both queue and VIP line with a DS nightlife specialist who personally escorts them to a previously arranged table.
When asked if ever there has been a request left unfulfilled, the self-proclaimed “manager of expectations” cites on client who required dancing bears and tiger cubs for a circus-themed event. Cook's response? “Absolutely not!”
Deliciously Sorted structures service offerings with a selection of membership options: Silver, Platinum and Lifestyle rates start at £500 per week. In addition, there is a bespoke option for any client who requests it. Cook's roster has included celebrity clients Paris Hilton, Diddy, Lady Gaga, Johnny Depp, Hugh Grant, Thandie Newton, Naomi Campbell, Princess Eugenie, Mick Jagger, Calvin Klein, Damon Dash, David Williams, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber, and George and Amal Clooney.
Cook reiterates, “Ibiza nightlife is fun, but a small aspect of what the island offers.” She suggests visiting the whitewashed villages of the north on foot and dinning at La Paloma, or hiking at sunset at Es Vedra, a place of local legend that also happens to be the third most magnetic spot on earth. To “push the boat out” Cooks says she recommends taking to the water to best experience the majestic coastal beauty of Ibiza and nearby sister island surrounds.