When the first incarnation of this large club opened in 2012, it had one thing that set it apart from Shanghai’s other locally-focused clubs: it actually had a dancefloor. Found somewhat logically in front of the elevated DJ booth, it meant that dance rather than dice could be the order of the night. Sadly, this revolutionary idea meant that the club didn’t last long, and Ibiza suddenly closed its doors, only to re-open them in late 2013.
Conceding that such features are so often superfluous in Shanghai clubland, the dancefloor has been scrapped with the relaunch. More tables have been carried in instead, making the place slot in line with the likes of Myst (also in Jingan) and Mook on Nanjing Lu, although it’s not as sizeable as either.
To be fair, Ibiza isn’t attempting to present itself as anything else – it’s another box-ticking large weekend club primarily aimed at dice-rattling whisky drinkers. Far cleaner and without the seediness of the likes of Mook, however, it does seem a lot more fun. With at least one small portion of the crowd perhaps mourning the loss of the dancefloor, the central table is often used by groups of punters as a dancing podium, while the atmosphere is fun-friendly rather than flash.
Don’t expect the drinks to be any more palatable than the usual overpriced club fare – our woeful mojito (70RMB) meant that we didn’t return to the bar for a second swipe of the iPad menu. Music-wise, there are similarly few revelations – it’s thumping dance-pop hits, often performed by a male singer taking charge of the aforementioned podium.
There are private rooms as well as tables too, of course.There’s nothing Balearic about it, there’s nothing revelatory about it, but Ibiza is still a more fun night out than much of the mega-club competition. Which, admittedly, says more about the standard of said competition than it does about the credentials of this relaunched space.
By Jamie Fullerton