SAN ANTONIO – THE SUMMER STARTS HERE!

After a long sleepy winter San Antonio will burst back to life on 29 April when many establishments throw open their doors for the first time in what could be termed as the official opening party for Ibiza’s 2nd largest town

At the forefront of many of these businesses are British and Irish residents who will be saying goodbye to the relaxing winter as “San An” transforms from sleepy village to bustling holiday destination.

It’s very much a new dawn for San Antonio with a new centre left coalition in the town hall so as the summer begins in earnest let’s have a look at what’s happening in San An this weekend. 

Stalwarts the SHIP INN and THE FISH are open most of the year and were joined early in 2016 by new bar THE SOCIAL. The ever popular LINEKERS opened last weekend for St George’s day joining sunset bar MINT LOUNGE and the sleek Irish bar FLAHERTY’S who were the first to open for summer way back in March.

Friday 29 April will see ‘soft’ openings for showbiz hangout PLASTIK as well as the brand new LYT IBIZA which occupies the premises formerly known as Play 2 but after extensive renovations promises to be a whole new experience. The sexy OCEAN BEACH will also prepare it’s day beds for the first time this Friday, opening at weekends until their big official opening later in May. 

The Scots are well represented with the popular KILTIES and the always busy HIGHLANDER opening however we will have to wait a little longer for the new Irish Bar SHENANIGANS which will be situated where Capones used to be. 

Also brand new to the West End for 2016 will be SOHO which will join FACES & the workers favourite VIVA opening this weekend. TROPICANA’S opened last weekend and on Vara de Rey the always excellent HUSH and ENTICE will also start their 2016 season with opening parties although Soul City opens next week. 

Also opening is cool sunset hangout SAVANNAH plus the iconic PIKES with the promise of “dinner, DJ’s and poolside cocktails” and on Saturday 30 April SuperClub EDEN has a big party with local San Antonio DJs firing up the crowd. 

So as you can see San An is definitely open for business, for those in the know it’s an exciting time of the year and if you’ve never been then don’t be put off by certain segments of the press, San Antonio is a truly wonderful place and has something for everyone. 

WE AWAIT YOUR VISIT

P.S. You will need to look good for all these openings so a makeover at C4 EXPLOSIVE HAIR is probably a good idea. 

Ibiza Airport Numbers Increase in 1st Quarter

 

The total number of passengers arriving at Ibiza Airport for the 1st quarter of 2016 grew by 14.24% to a little over 232,000.

Interestingly the British and Dutch passenger numbers have doubled compared to 2015. 6,392 arrived from British airports from Jan to Mar in 2015 but this was nearly doubled for the same dates in 2016 with 12,365 arrivals, a 93.4% increase.

As for the Dutch, the numbers were 2,629 in 2015 and 4,307 in 2016, a 63.8% increase. The German contingent for the same period went from 1360 to 1703, an increase of 25.2%. However, other countries have decreased such as the Italian market which fell by 38%.

The total number of passengers who arrived in Ibiza between January and March was 232,092, 14.2% more than a year ago, when there were 203,157, according to figures from Ibiza Airport which was made public yesterday. 

These figures also include the Spanish passengers which include the local resident population whose numbers rose by 11%, from 190,365 to 211,625 people.

March was the busiest month with 102,600 arrivals as it coincided with an early Easter and also the start of the Ryanair summer flying programme.

Passengers who came to Ibiza during the first 3 months of the year were from Spain, UK, Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Holland, Italy and Switzerland. 

Source: Diario de Ibiza

Rip Off Ibiza? 

The local press “Diario de Ibiza” yesterday printed a big article about Airbnb and the exorbitant prices being advertised to tourists for renting unlicensed rooms, houses, caravans, tents, and dormitories amongst other things. 

Vicent Torres “Benet”, head of Ibiza tourism, is promising a crackdown on this kind of tourism but it’s a simple case of supply and demand and a free market will always dictate the prices. If he wants to stop people being ‘ripped off’ is he also going to crackdown on the prices that clubs charge for entrance and drinks?

Tourists are happy to pay as long as the end justifies the means and in Ibiza we have a product that the traveller seems willing to pay for.  The price of property is rocketing too so if you pay a relatively high price to buy a nice house with a pool are you not entitled to charge high prices for rent during the peak summer period? It’s the same in other places where there is a high demand during peak times. 

In my opinion the issue here isn’t the price but the unlicensed trade and the lack of tax paid. This is a familiar story in Ibiza and it all comes down to control. Allow for the creation of wealth but under strict conditions and ensure that the tax is paid. A controlled fair and free market should eventually steady prices, create wealth and increase taxes. Many homeowners may also decide to rent in an alternative manner once they are aware of the tax implications. 

This island allows too many people the opportunity to come over for a few short months, earn vast amounts of money and not put one cent back into the system. That’s the problem, not whether somebody wants to pay a high price to sleep in a converted bus for a week. 

Diario de Ibiza article translated into English: http://bit.ly/1qPW4U8

Ushuaia Pay €355K for Beach Concession

  

In a show of financial muscle, Ushuaia Beach Hotel has won the auction to pay 355,100 euros annually for the right to control 180 sunbeds and 90 umbrellas directly in front of their establishment in Playa den Bossa

They paid the highest price at an auction of 153 lots held by San Jose town hall for specific beach concessions in the municipality. 

The same company also agreed to pay 153,000 and 24,300 euros annually for 2 more lots located in front of their hotels on Playa d’en Bossa beach.

“This is not a business, it is a way to defend our clients, our service and our quality” said Ushuaia representative Vicent Mari, “If we had to bid more then we would have done but not to make money. We have no beach activities only hotels and this is to give service to our customers” he insisted.

In total all the lots amounted to €4.6M meaning that San Jose will raise €9.2M over 2 years in what was a tense and heated process that lasted 6 hours and saw deputy mayor Paquita Ribas act as auctioneer and other councillors from all parties act as official witnesses.  This amount was twice as much as was previously raised in 2012.

Source: Nou Diari

20 Things Only Those Living in Ibiza Will Understand

  

Living in Ibiza is never straightforward and always interesting with a big learning curve. Here’s a lighthearted look at how life is on the white isle.

1. If you’re under the age of 30 all your friends back home presume you’re a drug dealer. If you are over 30 they presume you’re mad. 

2. You start getting a taste for hierbas especially with ice and can’t understand when visitors say it’s horrible. 

3. Most of your friends and family want to visit in August and automatically think you are also on holiday. How wrong they are. 

4. When you tell people you live in Ibiza they immediately say “Wow, do you go to all the clubs?” 

5. When you suggest to your friends that they visit in winter they look at you blankly. 

6. You invariably rent your apartment or house from a family with one of the following surnames: Bonet, Costa, Cardona, Escandell, Marí, Planells, Roig, Riera, Tur, Torres or Ribas. 

7. You become addicted to olives, bread and aioli without even realising it. 

8. A long lunch in Ibiza is at least 4 hours and can sometimes go into the next day. 

9. You point blank refuse to pay to get into a club, you live on the island after all. 

10. If you are over 40 then Ibiza Rocks/Pikes and Children of the 80s is obligatory.

11. You can’t help yourself but you start to sneer at tourists especially those wearing stereotypical clothing. 

12. You laugh at people that post a thousand photos on Facebook and profess their love for Ibiza then do exactly the same when you visit Formentera.

13. You spend the whole of winter wishing it was summer then the whole of summer wishing it was winter.

14. They say that we are all connected by no more than six degrees of separation but in Ibiza its usually 2 or 3 at most. 

15. Be prepared to talk about food to your neighbours and Spanish friends, it’s the common denominator. 

16. Take every bit of documentation to every meeting on every occasion and still be prepared to get annoyed. 

17. Allow at least 4 weeks when ordering anything from a local shop, 6 weeks over Easter and Christmas. 

18. You’d never dream of walking up D’alt Vila but during the Medieval Festival you find yourself there in crowded streets in the unbearable heat.

19. Animal lovers are everywhere so don’t say anything controversial even in jest and especially not on social media. 

20. You have to come to terms with the fact that in Ibiza nothing really makes much sense but that’s all part of the fun.
This is my 100th blog post, thanks for reading! 

Montesol to Open as a ‘Curio’ Hotel by Hilton

 

Ibiza Town’s famous city centre Hotel Montesol will be the first hotel in Spain opened under the ‘Curio’ brand by the Hilton Group.  It will open this summer as the ‘Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza’ and have 33 rooms open all year round and will mark Hilton Hotels’ debut on the island,

The Curio brand offers a select number of hotels in destinations such as Hamburg, Reykjavik, London, Paris and Lagos which are handpicked for their character and personality. The group hope to have 80 Curio hotels up and running this year. 

Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President of Business Development for EMEA Hilton Worldwide, explained “Ibiza is the ideal place to open the 1st Curio hotel in Spain because of it’s reputation as a luxury destination and is recognised as one of the most visited and popular destinations of Spain”.

The Montesol, founded in 1933, was the first hotel built in Ibiza and was used as military headquarters during the Spanish Civil War. The building is recognised as a place of cultural interest by the Spanish Ministry of Culture with its characteristic yellow neoclassical and white facade which will remain in the new design.

Source: Diario de Ibiza

No Laughing Matter! San Antonio To Ban Laughter In Public

 

In a further tightening of anti-social legislation, San Antonio’s local council has once again flexed it’s muscles and announced plans to curb loud laughter in public.  

In news that will shock many the “Ruidosa Hilaridad Denounciano” (literal translation; Loud Mirth Act), will make it an offence to ‘howl, hoot or roar with laughter in a public place’ with fines for ‘excessive humourous expression’ of between 400 and 1000 euros depending on the severity of the ‘offence’.

When pressed to explain the reason behind the new ruling a council spokesperson explained that San Antonio’s new touristic model did not envisage people having excessive fun or seek to promote the expression of happiness but denied the new anti-laughter law would affect the islands tourist sector, pointing out that people were still allowed to ‘smile’ or  ‘grin’. He also hinted that a blind eye would be turned to sniggerers and titterers though anything exceeding a chuckle or chortle would be deemed a step too far. 

“Roaring or howling with laughter has no place in San Antonio” the spokesperson explained, this type of thing has “a negative impact on the environment and damages the image of the town”.

However there is some confusion over how the new law will be enforced with San Antonio Town Hall also stating that some leniency would be shown to gigglers and that there would be an amnesty from 24 Dec – 07 Jan to allow seasonal “HO! HO! HO-ing”. 

Local businesses have already expressed their dismay at the new legislation with one bar owner telling me that she has decided to stop showing Manchester United games due to concerns that their recent performances have provoked uncontrollable laughter from those assembled. Furthermore, David Guetta’s office refused to confirm whether the French ‘DJ’ will continue to play in Ibiza as his tune selection is known to provoke snorts of derision amongst purists.

A prominent local businessman said “Ibiza is once again taking itself far too seriously. This  law will only serve to drive laughter underground. People like a laugh and will guffaw whether it’s allowed or not”. 

In another twist, it has emerged that the powerful Association of Discotecas is refusing to implement the law inside its superclubs. A  spokesman commented “when people find out how much our drinks cost they often erupt into disbelieving laughter. If we report them all to the police there’ll be nobody left in our venues… and that’s no laughing matter”. 

Happy 1st April! 

Additional reporting: Kirk Field