How does Ibiza Compare to Marbella?

How does Ibiza Compare to Marbella

It’s the war of the resorts, part two.

This time Swish goes deeper to help you make the most important decision of the year, where to spend your holiday. We recently compared Marbella to the luxury resort of Cannes in the French Riviera. It’s not about winning, but we think our home in the south of Spain fared very well in said challenge. Now for one that tests us on every level, Marbella against the whole island of Ibiza!

Always true to ourselves, we tell it like it is.

Ibiza in 2022: Re-establishing itself after a difficult two years

Ibiza may be known as a party island but it actually became popular with hippies in the 1960s, attracted by its magical sunsets, climate and a free reign to live how they wanted. Fast forward more than 50 years and the so called “White Isle” remains a mecca for spiritualists or those seeking retreats from the rat race. The island offers a near perfect juxtaposition of hedonism and otherworldliness and in fact, it’s become fashionable to blend the two.  High end beach clubs offer yoga and wellness in the day and parties into the small hours.

Sunsets on Ibiza are easily some of the best the Mediterranean has to offer.
Sunsets on Ibiza are easily some of the best the Mediterranean has to offer.

It has, however, been a tough two years for Ibiza. It was hit particularly hard by the pandemic and some of its top clubs are only re-opening this year for the first time since 2019, but the island’s self-image is seemingly ever-evolving. This summer iconic super clubs Hï Ibiza and Ushuaïa are joining together with names like Black Coffee, Charlotte de Witte and The Martinez Brothers for a joint opening party, “Better Together” on 30th April.  We believe this will herald a new, more inclusive and collaborative era in the Ibiza scene.


As far as accommodation goes there is plenty of choice on the island. Despite a difficult time, investment in luxury hotels remains strong and those seeking a truly premium vacation won’t be disappointed. 5 Star hotels to try include the  Nobu hotel and the Six Senses Resort.  Both offer a first-rate experience and blend wellness with enjoyment. There are also many apartments or villas for rent on the island ranging in price and catering to all budgets.

Sailing Ibiza

Marbella: Still a Firm Favourite for Luxury, Year Round

Marbella differs from Ibiza in that it doesn’t share a spiritual image, nor does it have quite the same clubbing scene or trendy Balearic island vibe. What is does have, however, is a solid reputation for luxury dating back to the 1950s and 60s with its own Old School Chic.  The overall feeling you will get here in iconic hotels like The Marbella Club is slightly more grown-up, less “boho chic” and more elegant.  The impressive Puerto Banus Marina offers fabulous designer shops and there is plenty of  choice in luxury accommodation including villas to die for.

Puerto Banus, Marbella luxury marina
Puerto Banus, Marbella

Marbella also offers more of a year- round appeal than Ibiza. Only 45 minutes from the bustling city of Malaga, with proximity to other towns and cities, Marbella is a place to relax, rest and play throughout winter and summer.

Marbella old town
Marbella old town

Unlike an island which really comes to life in May and goes back to sleep after October, Marbella with its 20 golf courses, its stunning mountains and over 320 days of sunshine per year is establishing itself more and more as a place to live and work.

Sports and Leisure - Golf
Sports and Leisure

Beaches of Ibiza and Marbella

Ibiza has impressive beaches with clear waters, pretty coves and outstanding sights. There are larger stretches of sand in windier areas ideal for surfing like Cala Nova and more tranquil bays, ideal to discover from a boat trip.  Those to look out for include Cala D’Hort and Cala Bassa. The latter has transparent waters, technically proven to wash away your cares.  Another way to soothe away any worries, of course, is sipping on something decadent at a beach club. Ibiza has plenty, one we rate is Beachouse Ibiza for its luxe yet chilled ambience, delectable cuisine and experiences that warm up the body, mind and spirit such as yoga or moonlit dinners.

Beachouse Ibiza
Beachouse Ibiza

Marbella beaches give something for everyone from white sandy beaches to the East to slightly grainier varieties around The Golden Mile.

The Swish guide to beach clubs in Marbella in 2022 - Marbella club
Marbella club

All these are complemented by some pretty spectacular places to hang out;  read our guide to the best beach clubs in Marbella in 2022. One such backdrop to your next Instagram post has to be The Trocadero Arena. With a truly colonial feel inside and those idyllic umbrellas outside, it’s quite special. Fancy this for a view?


So, which resort wins? You tell us, but remember, there is only one Marbella and with villas like this, who could resist?

Villa Jazmin, Frontline Golf, Nueva Andalucia

The Swish team are here 365 days a year to help you before, during and after your next vacation. We offer more than just luxury accommodation, but we pride ourselves on our attention to detail and excellent customer service. Message us for more information.



Click below to chat with our team or send us an email!