Green Light for Space Hotel in San Antonio? 

Space Ibiza’s proposed new hotel and nightclub in San Antonio looks to have been given a green light of sorts with the local council admitting that is is powerless to stop it and that it fears the opening of “a kind of Ushuaïa” in the town.

Juanjo Ferrer, head of the San Antonio’s planning department, confirmed that he received the project in July 2015 to reform and expand the Reco des Sol Hotel which is located close to the Hotel Hawaii and Ocean Beach.
He intimated that the licence request is likely to be authorised as it was protected by an existing tourist law that was passed by the previous right wing PP government of Jose Ramon Bauza that allows for an establishment that combines a hotel and a nightclub.

However he said that he and his government team is keen to avoid a proliferation of these kind of projects so will ask the Balearic government to neutralize all future requests regardless of the filing date.

Nothing has been officially confirmed but all the signs are that the new reformed hotel could end up hosting the New Space Club, successor to the Space nightclub in Playa d’en Bossa even though founder Pepe Rosello hasn’t been in any meetings with developers and architects and has made no comment on the proposed project. 

Sr Ferrer said “It appears that they want to construct a Hotel/Disco and it seems that they would use the Space brand……with the existing law in mind we would have no choice but to grant the licence for this project but it is not seen with good eyes by the government team”.

The temporary prohibition of building adopted by the new Balearic Government overrules the tourist law that allows you to combine a hotel and a club however it does not affect projects submitted prior to the change as is the case with Reco des Sol.

The San Antonio council has stated that the will of the government team is to “stop the avalanche” of hotel/clubs so will discuss a motion to extend the scope of the moratorium at its monthly council meeting that takes place on Wed 31 Aug at 12pm which is open to the public.

The newly formed company that purchased Reco des Sol and the car park in front of it hasn’t made any official comment but the possibility of the ‘Space Ibiza – Hotel and Club’ opening in San Antonio looks stronger than ever ….for now. 

Update: on 31 Aug the coalition San Antonio council voted to apply to the Balearic Govt for a future ban on this type of hotel/club. 

Source: Diario de Ibiza

A Blip for Bloop

INO’s controversial artwork

BLOOP, the month long festival that changes large empty spaces on the sides of buildings into dramatic urban art, has dramatically fallen out with San Antonio Council in a tit for tat war of words played out in the press and social media for all the public to see. 

Problems have been brewing ever since Bloop turned the side of the Vara de Rey school into a large mural which some deemed offensive (see above pic) and caused a headache for the local council. 

The world renowned artists responsible for the amazing street art issued a press release that ironically pointed the finger of blame at Culture councillor Francisco Tienda citing a “lack of support” for the festival and saying that they have been “treated with contempt” and made to feel “worthless”. 

In response Sr Tienda took to his personal Facebook page to directly accuse the Bloop organisers of trying to turn the ‘Far de Coves Blanques’ lighthouse into a bar for their own personal gain and also highlighted their continuing lack of organization “changes of dates”, “mistakes” “problems and failures” and also not once mentioning San Antonio in any poster, advertisement or website.

The Bloop festival organiser Matte Biokip admitted that they have “made mistakes over the years” but that the problem is “with those who load their frustrations and inexperience on to others to justify their shortcomings” referring directly to the San Antonio government team.

Sr Tienda continued saying that the 12000 euros cost of the Bloop Festival could be better spent elsewhere on something that was less elitist and more in touch with the town. 

The Ibiza Town council has already started making noises about taking Bloop to the island’s capital however boss Matte Biokip told me persnally that he wants to carry on in San Antonio through private sponsorship as he feels that Bloop can make a significant contribution to the towns cultural heritage. 

Space Ibiza has it’s San Antonio Hotel Licence Rejected…For Now 

San Antonio Town Hall has rejected Space Ibiza’s request for a license to its newly acquired hotel because issues with several ‘shortcomings’ said the Deputy Mayor Juanjo Ferrer who is charge of the towns Planning Department. Among the deficiencies detected was the intention of having outdoor music however the project has already been revised, amended and is on the table again to be rereviewed by technicians.

The project was presented to San Antonio town hall in July 2015 and is based on reforming an existing hotel, raising it to 4 stars, adding extra rooms whilst also incorporating a nightclub with ample parking.

Space founder Pepe Rosello is one of San Antonio’s favourite sons and has long expressed his desire to bring the Space Ibiza brand to the town of his birth. He’s not a man to take no for an answer so don’t be surprised if this story takes on plenty of twists and turns.

Source: Nou Diari


Ghetto Heaven: San Antonio v Magaluf – by Joan Lluis Ferrer

Joan Lluis Ferrer is an award winning author and journalist at the Ibiza daily newspaper, the ‘Diario de Ibiza’. He is one of San Antonio’s most vocal critics and his polarising commentary on Ibiza’s 2nd largest town is always interesting if not always entirely correct.
He wrote the award winning book “Ibiza: The Destruction of Paradise” and has now followed it up with his new title  called “Journey to Trash Tourism” detailing what he believes is wrong about certain elements of tourism in some of Spain’s most popular resorts. 

Here he talks candidly with his own newspaper about his book and what he discovered during his research. Translated in it entirety he makes some valid points but does Sr Ferrer understand the British psyche? What do you think?

Diario de Ibiza: What is ‘Trash Tourism’ as referred to by the title?

Joan Lluis Ferrer: I define it as the type of tourism that is not only crowded but their habits are completely incompatible with the collective well-being but also constitutes a danger to the economy itself. It is tourism characterised by alcohol and drug abuse, revelry without control. It’s dangerous to those who practice it because of certain dangers such as a balcony fall or an overdose. The other key feature is causing problems of coexistence wherever it is and in its most advanced stage it causes the residents to leave their own town.

DI: The Book is divided into 4 areas of the Mediterranean: Lloret de Mar (and Salou), Barcelona, San Antonio and Magaluf. Why these 4 places?

JLF: These are 4 areas ranging from less to more conflict. The 1st grade is Lloret and Salou, where ‘Trash Tourism’ is confined to a fairly specific geographical area and the rest of the people have a fairly normal pace of life. Then we went to the old town of Barcelona, with the Raval, Barceloneta and Gothic quarter, which is in an advanced stage because there is not only a tourism binge but is causing many residents to leave their homes for the inconvenience it causes, entire neighbourhoods. The 3rd phase is the West End of San Antonio. The process of flight of the resident population is much more advanced as is the process of replacing traditional stores for fast food joints and club ticket outlets. San Antonio is replacing the resident local population with those of immigrants who can put up with lower prices and that lifestyle. Then there is the upper stage, which is Magaluf. Magaluf is the capital of ‘Trash Tourism’ in Spain. It differs from San Antonio as there are very few residents there and the predominance is drunken tourism. In San Antonio there is some vestige of normal life, Magaluf is a theme park of alcohol.

DI: Are these phases progressive? San Antonio in is in phase 3, will it soon be in phase 4?

JLF: That’s the conclusion I have drawn. If San Antonio remains the same then within 10 years it will be a Magaluf. In the absence of measures those who have taken control are the business people in the industry of drunkenness, which incidentally are no longer local entrepreneurs but above all British.  In all these places; Barcelona, San Antonio or Magaluf there is a landing mass of entrepreneurs, especially British, who specialise in binge tourism. If you are looking for pub crawls there are internet companies advertising with photos and videos with drunk people on the ground, vomiting between containers … and their customers are no more than 18 to 25 years old.


DI: Are these youngsters searching for this type of holiday or do they find it?

JLF: There are two types of cases: Firstly the case of those who go looking for it , those who want a holiday to get drunk and fall on the floor. Then there are many cases where a kid falls from a balcony purely because they had the bad luck of going to San Antonio or Magaluf. They were the kids that their parents paid for their trip to Spain after finishing their studies. The parents know it is a group tour and think they will be fine. They have no idea where they are going. They know that there are beaches, nightclubs and fun but they could not suspect the degree of non-control. Many of these kids who go to the pub crawls know they are going to drink but they are not hard-core drunks or people who take drugs. In the book there is a teacher who says that many of these people who kill themselves don’t even get drunk in their country of origin. Yes, they go out with friends, yes they have 2 or 3 three drinks but they aren’t inveterate drunks.


DI: So they neither drink or take drugs to the extreme in another environment?

JLF: Nor in any other circumstances. They do it here purely because they are here. If you are in a group of people that take you to get drunk then what do you do? You get drunk, stagger back to the hotel, the balcony door is open, you fall and you kill yourself. If we profile many of these kids who are killed falling off the balcony we can see that they had brilliant academic notes and exemplary records, healthy people who had the bad luck to fall here.


DI: So you say ‘Pub Crawls’ seem to ‘induce’ or cause these deaths. A responsibility nobody assumes?

JLF: What you have to understand is that the bars that rely on young drunken tourism, and there are many in the West End and Magaluf, are endangering the lives of many young people and not only that but they are killing many of these young people every summer. Every year in Ibiza 5 or 6 kids die from falling off a balcony. Between Mallorca and Ibiza 32 young people have died ‘balconing’ from 2010 to 2013. It is an inducement to get drunk and kill themselves. Everyone is free to drink alcohol and take drugs, what we cannot have is an establishment that induces it in such a savage way through websites that should be banned.


DI: Pub crawls are permitted by law?

JLF: They’re banned but as with so many other things everyone seems to turn a blind eye. Local laws forbid them but in real life everything is permitted. In San Antonio there are laws to cover everything but almost nobody complies.  The pub crawl is an activity prohibited in most Spanish tourist towns but it still goes on.  Instead of banning it some places such as Magaluf allow it with regulation where there has to be monitors, a maximum number of attendees but I’ve seen with my own eyes that the regulations weren’t fulfilled. Many of these activities are banned but tolerated and there is a total permissiveness.

DI: Do you think that this situation is reversible?

JLF: What is amazing is the power of this industry to establish themselves and challenge the rules that exist.  They are a power to which public institutions are totally ineffective. In San Antonio we are tired of seeing it. They pass through the limits of any mandatory law. Public administrations are those that have to act decisively but the hundreds of complaints that are received every summer are against prostitution, drug trafficking, closing times that are not met and noise.  In the end the sanctions are negligible, they open a file but it ends up in the trash.


DI: Why is this happening?

JLF: It’s a mystery. I attribute it to institutional apathy, although politicians in question tell you they have no means to deal with the avalanche of complaints. What I cannot understand is that there are means to process the flood of planning permissions with which is urbanizing Ibiza by leaps and bounds and requires processing yet there are no means to force these ‘Binge Bars’ to close and these bars are destroying our image and putting the lives of young people at risk. There is a saying that “you can’t do everything” which is what encourages this to continue. There have been a few strong sanctions, recently San Antonio Town Hall dealt with a bar due to excessive noises but they may order a closure but we see that nothing has closed. There is a dereliction of duties, they have the skills but no will. We’ve been 40 years with this scourge that is the West End.


DI: The West End is 40 years old?

JLF: Yes, yes, it’s stagnant there. Ibiza goes ‘Luxury and High End’ and we have San Antonio which in summer is a madhouse outdoors. And in winter it is an abandoned place.


DI: How was the experience of visiting these places?

JLF: It was born from a personal curiosity because in the end journalism is that, a curiousity about how things are. I wanted to know how far the West End had gone, more or less of a disaster than Magaluf, more or less than Lloret, understand it’s place so I went to these sites to see. I already wish that San Antonio was more like Lloret de Mar. There in the Avenue of nightclubs are patrol cars of the ‘Mossos d’Esquadra’ (similar to Guardia Civil) while the local police patrol every street in the area on foot and the rest of the town is immaculate. It will be a miracle the day we see this in San Antonio. In Salou the problem you have is with the ‘Saloufest’, which is total chaos but is limited to a time and a specific space. In Barcelona, you go to Barceloneta and other neighbourhoods and people are scared. They leave because they cannot stand the noise of groups that party until 6am. A neighbour told me that he was vomited on from a balcony above and when he complained they broke his window in retaliation. It is a real problem when tourist and residential accommodation are side by side.


DI: Well here the Government wants to legalise private apartments for holiday lets?

JLF: Biel Barcelo (Balearic Minister of Tourism) should take a walk through Barceloneta, the Gothic Quarter and Raval to see what is happening and then try to live in one of those apartments.


DI: And then you visited Magaluf?

JLF: That far exceeds San Antonio because it’s like a Disneyworld dedicated to drunks. In San Antonio there are many off licences with their bottles inside but in Magaluf they have them on the sidewalk in enormous pallets directly offloaded from cargo ships.  Up to 10 pallets of alcohol on the sidewalk, so big you can’t get past. Souvenir shops sell alcohol, tobacco shops are part toabcco part off licence at the same time … I do not know, it’s an amazing thing. All this oriented towards drink. Try to look for the residential part of Magaluf and it doesn’t seem to exist. There are some buildings where residents live but I really don’t know how they can live there?


DI: So you’ve seen everything?

JLF: It makes the hair stand up on your neck with the thought of your child going there.  We’ve all run riot in life but … that excess and the general induction to get drunk and get high, that’s another thing. In Magaluf I remember seeing a mother with a stroller with a baby dodging drunks at two in the morning at Punta Ballena next to a terrace with a load of messed up fortysomethings dancing on tables, these are scenes from another world.

Source: Diario de Ibiza

Original article in Spanish

BEWARE: Villa Scammers Operating in this Area

Scammers are continuing to cause havoc to some peoples plans by promising sumptuous villas that don’t exist.

With the demand for Ibiza villas hitting an all time high, con artists are preying on unsuspecting tourists by copying villa details from genuine websites then passing them off as their own.

They then ask for a payment to be sent by bank transfer promising to meet the clients on arrival in Ibiza but once they get the money they disconnect their phones and the website gets taken down.

The problem has reached such a point that many villa websites such as HomeAway and Owners Direct have changed their business model to compete with Airbnb so that funds are only released to villa owners and operators once clients have arrived and are happy in their chosen villa.

So what can you do to counter these pirates? Firstly do a little online research. Has the company got a Facebook page that is active and has genuine commentary? Does it have a Twitter or Instagram account that is active? Have you googled the name of the person you are talking to? Are you speaking to an office or a foreign voice at the end of a random mobile phone?

If the deal looks too good to be true then it usually is. Don’t send any money to obscure bank accounts that can’t be traced. Only send money once you are entirely satisfied that you are talking to a genuine villa operator and there are plenty of good ones out there. 
If in doubt then don’t do anything until you are happy. If possible speak to friends who have dealt with villa operators in Ibiza and get a direct referral.

In this social media cyber world you can usually spot the scammers a mile away by their posture and don’t hesitate to challenge them.

HomeAway, Owners Direct, Holiday Lettings and AirBnB now offer to ring fence your money so take advantage of this service. Alternatively use an established Ibiza Villa Operator that is accountable.

It isn’t rocket science but can also be a potential minefield if you don’t do your homework. The good news is that if you do follow some of these guidelines you can get unbelievable deals on some amazing villa. 

Related: Telegraph – Tips for avoiding holiday villa fraud

Cathy Guetta’s Lavish Ibiza House Party – No Expense Spared

Just when you thought that Ibiza couldn’t get any more nouveau riche Cathy Guetta has proved otherwise by throwing a huge house warming party for her new multi million euro villa inviting 800 friends and acquaintances to party with her. 

The ex-wife of DJ and French producer David Guetta, who received a monster divorce settlement just 18 months after renewing their vows, officially opened her new Ibiza pad ironically called ‘Villa Titanium’ which is considered by Forbes Magazine to be one of the most exclusive on the island and one of the 11 most expensive villas in the world. 

The sumptuous abode is located at Km 5 on the Sant Josep road and was designed by her very own hand. It boasts 12 bedrooms all with en-suite bathrooms, a round the clock staff of 24, a nightclub called the Cathy Cat Club, four shops for yoga, meditation and massage, a spa and a 3-hectare garden.  The house can be rented at the very”reasonable” price of 251,000 euros per week for up to 24 people.

The party was considered by many to be the most glamorous of the Ibiza season so far, not skimping on any details for the invited guestlist which included many well known celebrities.

Black Coffee, a renowned South African DJ, was in charge of the music while lavish food and drink was served. Decor included living statues and chocolate fountains…….enough said. 

David and Cathy renew their vows – August 2012
Source: Nou Diari

Pirates Taxis to the Left, Illegal Street Sellers to the Right 

In ugly footage Telecinco’s ‘El Programa del Verano’ yesterday ran an undercover report and exposed on Spanish national TV Ibiza’s wide scale pirate taxi problems that occur daily on the island.

An undercover reporter exposed in less than 5 minutes what most of us have known for many years: large organised gangs of illegal drivers offering overpriced journeys with the optional add on’s of drugs and prostitution.

In a 12 minute special the TV programme laid bare the problem and lack of action taken by the authorities in confronting these illegal drivers. The reporter questioned the drivers themselves and also tourists showing that these drivers usually charge double even for small journies.

Ibiza Pirate Taxis – Undercover Report

While the pirate ‘taxi’ drivers ply their illicit trade unhindered at the airport and large clubs San Antonio’s seafront has also been in the spotlight after local residents prepared to make a formal complaint about a group of 6-8 women of African origin that gather daily between the egg and the Hotel Arenal.

Their  ‘trick’ is to pretend to shake hands with passersby then quickly put a small fabric bracelet on their wrists. Unsuspecting tourists are then asked to pay for it in a threatening manner with most just handing over the money to avoid confrontation.

One local resident issued a plea on Facebook when her husband saw a young boy appear to have a seizure when being harassed by the group whilst others have complained about young children being targeted.

It will be interesting to see how Ibiza’s lawmakers respond to these incidents and whether they will continue to hide behind the usual excuse of Spanish national law and it’s limitations whilst changing local laws to fine establishments for a whole range of minor infractions.

Ibiza is generally a very safe place however visiting tourists should be aware of these local issues. Always use a licensed taxi even if you have to wait a few extra minutes and if an African lady on the seafront tries to put something on your wrist then a firm and polite NO usually suffices.

If they continue to not take NO for an answer then threatening to call the local police will definitely do the trick. Please remember that if you agree to be bullied into paying for something you didn’t ask for and didn’t want then you become part of the problem, not the solution.