IBIZA 2017: 8 SURPRISES SO FAR

The glorious ever changing White Island, never failing to shock and surprise. No two years are ever the same and 2017 has proved to be interesting so far. Here’s 8 things that have surprised even the ManinSanAn office this summer.


HÏ IBIZA – OK, so it’s not such a surprise that Ibiza’s new superclub has taken cool hedonism to a whole different level but there were a few who doubted that it could better its illustrious predecessor. It hasn’t, because after an expensive refurbishment that lays down the gauntlet to other top end clubs, it’s managed to forge its own identity in double quick time. “Et voila” as Yann might say.


COTTON FITNESS CLUB – the former home of ‘Coastline’ in San An (remember that) has been transformed with a concept that many thought was impossible: Find a use for a frontline business premises where music is all but banned! Combining wellness with fitness and relaxation whilst overlooking the worlds most famous sunset has rejuvenated this spot. Time will tell whether it’s a viable business (those membership fees!) or just a whimsical dream but for the moment it’s a welcome addition to the island.


NIKKI BEACH IBIZA – after a couple of years of quiet anonymity this world renowned brand has finally found its Ibiza feet after teaming up with famous party organisers ‘Sintillate’. Differentiating itself against its rivals with fine dining and a service heavy ambiance in a genuine beach location has so far proved the doubters wrong attracting an older affluent crowd, ironically turning on its head the notion that Santa Eulalia wasn’t the right location as people seek a break from San An and Bossa.


ROAD TRAFFIC – Not all surprises are welcome and Ibiza’s traffic problems show no sign of abating with its current free for all policy for residents, tourists and car hire companies.  2017 is shaping up to be the busiest in Ibiza’s relatively short history yet the government appears to be in denial hiding behind European law (that old chestnut) leaving many of us stuck in traffic for large portions of the day. Something’s got to give sooner or later before the island becomes one big bumper to bumper traffic jam.


THE WEATHER – the hottest start to a summer for over 40 years following on from the wettest winter since records began fits nicely into Ibiza’s excessive reputation. So far the mercury has been steadily rising since April and with the July and August just around the corner you can expect some serious summer meltdowns as the heat becomes unbearable. Make sure that your air-con has been serviced!

SAN AN RENAISSANCE – no ManinSanAn blog is complete without a spurious plug for my home town but I’m happy to report that it’s entirely justified on this occasion (honest). A crackdown on illegals in the fractious West End by a specially formed police force has started a clean up operation that can only be positive (except for the illegals of course). Hotel investment is on the rise and the local blue chip companies are smashing all records whilst keeping thousands happy on a daily basis (plus allowing their Facebook friends to see what a fantastic time they are having in san An). Soon it might even become fashionable for the Ibiza Town pretenders to stop sniping about the islands 2nd largest town (but we won’t hold our breath).


SAN AN WORKERS – you can’t help thinking that point 6 may be related in a small way to the San An Workers era is drawing to a close. The town can breathe a little more easily without bearded tattooed wannabes strolling around without a care in the world and the years of several thousand ‘workers’ descending on the island to party for summer and not doing any actual work are all but over as rental prices have rocketed and lilo sales have hit record levels. Only the ones with a job (wow) are now able to afford to stay while the others in hotels will be gone by early July when prices rise substantially (note: people staying hotels are usually called tourists). It was interesting while it lasted.


PROPERTY PRICES – the simple economics of supply and demand on a small island has seen a boom in property prices over the last 18 months culminating into a crescendo of street protests as affordable housing is gradually replaced by refurbished apartments advertised on Airbnb at 300 Euros per night. Rental prices have become eye watering as a result so whilst doctors, teachers and civil servants scrabble for reasonably prices rooms those who purchased when the market was at its lowest (only a few years ago) can pop open the cava. No one said that living on the worlds most famous (and some might say beautiful) island was gonna be easy.

Anything I’ve left out? Contact me by via Facebook, Twitter or email. Note: No kids or San An workers were harmed whilst writing this article from the comfort of my own office.


Copyright: ManinSanAn 2017

IBIZA: TOP 5 PLACES TO SPOT A FOOTBALLER

As your timeline probably tells you it’s that time of the year when Ibiza is full of professional footballers enjoying their summer break. From world stars to lower league workhorses, they all love to come to the white isle during their few weeks of downtime. Some like to keep their heads down and stay out of the limelight while others love to bling up their Instagram with endless selfies.

Here’s the top 5 places in Ibiza and Formentera to spot some famous footballers. 

Cristiano and friends hanging tough in Ibiza

5. PRIVATE YACHT: Footballers are considered wealthy however only a select few can afford the serious cash needed for these floating palaces. Only yesterday (12/6/17) LIONEL MESSI, LUIS SUAREZ and CESC FABREGAS were pictured aboard a super yacht moored off the coast of Formentera.  FRANK LAMPARD was a guest on Roman Ambrovich’s superyacht ‘Eclipse’ a few years back while WAYNE ROONEY tried the yacht thing but didn’t like it by all accounts. Last summer the worlds 2 biggest footballers CRISTIANO RONALDO and LIONEL MESSI were parked only a few metres apart on their respective yachts. Follow Mojito Man Ibiza on Instagram for more pics

Leo Chillaxing

4. JUAN Y ANDREA RESTAURANT, Es Palmador, Formentera: The above superstars on their hired megyachts need shore time and refreshments and there’s nowhere they prefer more than J & A on the waters edge of one of the worlds best beaches. This place has come along way since it was a shack serving spaghetti bolognese for 800 PTAS (£3.50), now it is THE place for the rich and famous to hang out for long lobster lunches at eye watering prices. Mixed in with the usual A-listers, internet millionaires and Arab sheiks are the the few selected footballers staying on yachts or just popping over on a day trip. 

Leo, Luis and Cesc onboard their hired Super yacht. PIC:MOJITOMAN IBIZA

3. PLAYA D’EN BOSSA: It’s hard to select one place in this resort that attracts more footy players than the next so let’s just say the entire area. Whether it be the Hard Rock Hotel, Ushuaia, Nassau, the Beach House or Bora Bora there’s plenty of places for them to get suitably messy after a hard season kicking a ball. It remains to be seen if Hï Ibiza becomes as famous for football stars as its predecessor but I wouldn’t bet against it.

Fernando Torres at Cala Bassa

2. CALA BASSA BEACH CLUB: Spanish footballers absolutely love this place and drag their international team mates along for the ride. This beach is always bustling but it doesn’t stop World Cup winners FERNANDO TORRES, DAVID VILLA, CARLES PUJOL and many more from hanging out at CBbC, eating the fine food and relaxing whilst their families chill out on the gorgeous beach. The whole place is Italian owned so there’s usually a good chance to spot a few Azurri players such as ANDREA PIRLO taking it easy in the sun. 

Pirlo and Soldado at CBbC

1. OCEAN BEACH IBIZA: This is the mecca for nearly all British footballers visiting the island, no matter what their level. From Premier League stars such as DELE ALLI, DANNY WELBECK, ROSS BARKLEY, JACK WILSHERE, ANDY CARROLL, JOE HART and PETER CROUCH to lower league journeymen this is where they hangout for some daytime fun in the sun. At certain times of the summer you can’t move in OBI for footballers mingling in with the usual reality TV wannabe’s. For those wanting extra bling there is the owners table while others opt for a bed in the pool. Follow Wayne Lineker on Instagram for more pics. 

Messrs Alli, Hart, Barkley and Welbeck at Ocean Beach
Love this pic!
Wanna fight? Still hanging tough!

Real Mallorca 2-3 SD Portmany: A great result on an uneven field


On Saturday morning I was privileged to witness the under 10’s of Portmany Football Club of San Antonio beat Real Mallorca 3-2 to complete the treble and become the Balearic Champions for the 2nd time in 3 years. 

It was a very proud moment for the trainers and families especially beating Mallorca’s leading youth team in their own backyard, a team that hadn’t lost for 30 matches. It wasn’t luck or a fluke either, it was a great performance by a team that has been together as a unit for 5 years. As a football mad parent (who tries not to live his life through his children) it doesn’t get much better. 

It was made all the more sweeter by the fact that the Balearic football association had scheduled the match to start at 10.15am. So whilst the Real Mallorca team woke up in their own beds and had breakfast as normal, the 9 and 10 year olds from San Antonio had to get up at 5.30am with their passports to catch a 30 minute flights and then had to wait for 25 minutes at Palma airport whilst the team bus was ‘delayed’ en route. 

Arriving at the ground 35 minutes before kick isn’t ideal however as the score line would later show maybe it worked in our favour, taking minds off the game. Maybe it was a conspiracy or maybe it was just poor planning from an association that is so Mallorca-centric that they have no concept of a 4 hour early morning dash to a match that lasts 48 minutes. 

I have to admit I was scratching my head trying not to get annoyed as it’s the biggest day in the Balearic youth football calendar but why didn’t the game kick off at 12pm and why don’t they alternate the finals day between the different Balearic Islands rather than just play in Mallorca?

As it turned out it made the final result even better, an away win is always nice and you got the impression that the Real Mallorca supporters thought they just had to turn up (although most were graceful in defeat, something the RCD Mallorca senior side has had to get used to this season). It wasn’t their day and as their young kids left the pitch close to tears and Portmany celebrated you were reminded of the small margins in sport and why it’s such a positive influence for youngsters growing up. 

Teamwork, friendship, humility, discipline, work ethic, exercise, fitness, learning how to lose as well as win…..the list goes on. 

As a parent I was honoured to be there and celebrate as a team, these days don’t come round very often so have to be savoured. Fortunately this time the result went in our favour but like many things in Balearic life it would have been nice if the cards had been stacked a little more evenly. 

Ibiza Tráfico Colapso 


The figures haven’t been published yet but Ibiza has probably just experienced the busiest May on recent record.  The days of a quiet start to the season building up gently to peak season madness is a distant memory as bars, restaurants and walkways have been packed for weeks.

Whilst the politicians slap themselves on the back for doing very little (except be in a favourable geographic position) and Ibiza businesses celebrate a bumper year (many by increasing prices) there’s a big elephant in the corner of the room with 4 wheels and an exhaust.

With people comes the need for transport and with transport comes problems that the White Isle can’t seem to reconcile.  The traffic jams that we’re used to seeing in August are now prevalent in April and May.  Car parks are already full and Ibiza public transport isn’t exactly the best.

Residents cars plus hire cars have seen the island transformed into one big traffic jam which is only going to get worse without any action. With the proliferation of cars comes the added problem of parking.  San Antonio’s parking is already at breaking point with the removal of the blue zone and no replacement plan put in place.

A local environmentalist told me: “I’ve been here 48 years now and am astounded by the stupidity and greed in the development. I kept thinking they will get it soon, but no.  I’ve seen the traffic situation spiral out of control first hand. It was completely avoidable with a little foresight, open mindedness, humility and planning”.

The recent implementation of parking restrictions at various beaches has been welcomed by many but without detailed information this has also led to chaos for some tourists unaware of the new rules. A good idea in principle can lead to big problems if not implemented correctly.

In a public meeting Pepa Mari, the island councillor responsible for mobility, told me personally that there are no plans to cap the amount of cars on the island. Surely that position is unsustainable given the size of the island and its growth rate?

So while environmentalists ask for radical changes the population continues to grow and the car hire companies bring over even more cars to supply the demand it’s a foregone conclusion that the driving/parking situation will only become more difficult unless some stark changes are made. 

The island politicians though appear to prefer to hide behind the European legislators handbook instead of confronting the challenge head on with forward planning and the inevitable unpopular solutions.  Along with affordable housing this is Ibiza’s biggest challenge today.  


Possible Solutions

Limit number of vehicles on the island 

Build no more unsightly super highways

Limit rental cars

Force rental car companies to pay their road taxes in Ibiza

Strong incentive/obligation to promote electric/hybrid transport charged with solar panels.

Better education/awareness of our individual and collective contribution of green house gasses and taking personal responsibility

Improved public transport system

A safe, interconnected bike lane system

Increased taxation for polluters

Say Hi to Hï


So after all hype, the announcements and an interesting social media campaign Ibiza’s latest super club Hï will open its doors today. 

It will be a bittersweet moment for many as Space Ibiza will finally be confined to the history books as after extensive work its former home is almost unrecognisable. The forty-something space cadets will now definitely have to move on. 

Yann the Man – pic courtesy of IMS
Yann Pissenem changed the daytime game with Ushuaia and he has now turned his attention to nocturnal pursuits with Hï: “We are really trying to bring something new to the island. It’s a new era and it’s something completely different”.

“Being indoors allows us to create and produce a completely different experience and energy at Hï Ibiza compared to Ushuaïa, and take our production to the next level”,

Mixing glam with stunning production values yet clearly stating that all clubbers are invited to join the party Hï will be looking to create a template to further enhance the Ibiza experience. That’s a big ask when you consider the competition but don’t bet against it especially when you consider their vision not to mention deep pockets. 

There will be a few secretly wanting it to fail but Ibiza is big business these days and to succeed big investment is required. The Ibiza traditionalists will see Hï as everything that is wrong about the Island but many (including myself) are excited by the prospect of Ibiza yet again leading the way in the world of pure hedonistic entertainment.

Ibiza 2017 is a completely different animal, things are moving so fast and competition will be fierce but the island is now firmly established as one of the worlds major playgrounds. 

You can be assured that social media will come alive on Sunday evening and Monday morning with the usual selfies and banal commentary from the Hï dance floor/VIP tables/DJ box but scratch away at the surface and under all the hyperbole it will become clear that there’s a new major nighttime player in town. Having fun in Ibiza is a serious business.

IBZ AIRPORT CLEANING STRIKE CALLED OFF


The cleaning staff at Ibiza airport will return to work on Tuesday morning (23/05/17) after they voted by 17 to 5 to accept new proposals put forward by Spanish airport operator AENA and their respective unions. 

After 2 days of ‘hard negotiations’ the deadlock was finally broken at 11pm on Monday night when the cleaners accepted a new deal which will see them receive 2 of their outstanding monthly payments almost immediately from the unfrozen accounts of the bankrupt company  ‘Kle’ after administrators agreed to lift an embargo. 

The other monthly payment plus an extra payment will be paid through the Wage Guarantee Fund (FOGASA) with the objective for this to be paid “within 3 months”. 

The dispute hit global headlines with a social media frenzy of photos and videos being picked up by press agencies from around the world highlighting the disgusting conditions for those arriving and departing at Ibiza’s main hub. 

The unpaid staff can now finally get back to work, collect their salary and put this sorry story behind them but this dispute has only served to underscore the importance of a fully functioning airport and with it’s end the island can now focus on the busy summer ahead.

Ibiza Airport Cleaners Strike Continues


The staff of the Ibiza airport cleaning service have rejected an offer from airport operator AENA to end the strike that has been in effect since 16 May. 

AENA had proposed a joint payment plan with the new company who have been awarded the cleaning concession but the mainly female workforce met and decided to decline the offer and maintain the industrial action.

The workforce consider it essential that the offer is received in writing with details of when and how much they will be paid. The previous concessionaire, Kle, owes them 3 months salary including May.

After 6 days of strike action the terminal is in a disgraceful condition with bins overflowing, rubbish everywhere and filthy floors.  Many news outlets have reported that the airport is now a health risk but AENA has so far refused to describe the situation as an emergency. 

Source: Diario de Ibiza