Revival of Playa d'en Bossa: sexyness and beach parties.

Words by: smac
Posted: 16/6/09 13:45

So the Town Hall have had a while to dwell on their actions of last year, and at the IMS last week laid out their plans for the island in the years ahead. Part of the process it seems is the creation of an Ibiza Music Island, focussing on the rejuvenation of Playa D'en Bossa and San Antonio as destination for music lovers and clubbing tourists.

Either they're more astute than we thought and have been secretly plotting this for a while, or the general mood is already one step ahead.

This summer sees a buzz around Playa D'en Bossa like never before, with so many businesses locating there from Eivissa and chiringuitos springing up all along the beach. I know we heard it all before last year, when Pete Tong lauded San Antonio, but is it genuine this time? Are we looking at Bossa as the new Miami Beach?

A quick stroll through Playa last night bears much more resemblance to the old port of Ibiza. The main strip between Space and Bora Bora has already become a focal point for locals and the cool Italian crowd, the piadina posse have relocated from the bottom of Calle De La Virgen and can now be found outside Il Ciccilino with it's Italian trio of pasta shop, pizzeria and frozen yogurt stand. And further down the road familiar faces are popping up having made their move out of the port.

Newcomer to PdB this year is Oscar Casu, who for 10 years made his Noctambula bar a focal point of the port for the discerning visitor...

"We were already for the last couple of years watching the port going down and we were very sad about this, for many reason, firstly the Ayuntamiento didn't do anything to make the area better, they just leave everything to fall apart, then the way the politicians treat the town with the parking, the police controls, they make it impossible to go to the port and enjoy it like it was before..."

"In the beginning you could go to the port, and walk around from bar to bar and watch the shows, and meet people. In Playa D'en Bossa you now have a few places opening, so the area is starting to rise...for us, it was just time to change..almost all of the tourists stay around here so it can be easier to find more customers. Its always been cheap tourists and all inclusive, so it has this reputation and everything is built up with the places offering 3 for the price of 1, but maybe all these new places and nice places opening up might make this change..."

Oscar's new place, with brother Loris and longtime friend Johann is an Italian fusion restaurant called Shardana, tucked away, just like his bar was, up a side street behind the main strip.

And that's the key really to the new PdB, people are trying something new to adapt to the area and slowly slowly the area has been changing for a while.

Fellow Italian Chiara, has had her Punto G ice-cream parlour in the town for 3 years... "its a good place to make business and to work...I was tired of working in the port, I had a fashion shop there, but the energy there was pretty heavy, here is much more beautiful, there is the beach and more tourists and I saw this place as something different and I think with all these new places this year it will be great, Playa D'en Bossa is working now. . I saw a change, the people that come are better, more quality people, all the places on the beach, the restaurants, the bars are changing and getting better, with good decoration, good music to relax on the beach, and a lot of places here are trying to make themselves better. I work with a lot of local people, Ibicenco people who also are starting  come to Playa D'en Bossa... and I think this is a good not only work with tourists here"

And it's not just Italian's moving in on the area. Jason Bull has had a bar in Ibiza port for the last decade, and this year has also extended out to the Bossa beach with his restaurant Sands. He has his reasons too. "And at the end of the day Playa D'en Bossa and San Antonio were the first areas on the island that got developed and then over developed, which is what made them go down - they were the best parts so all the hotels were built there and then it got over built so people started to go somewhere else....and started to frown on Playa D'en Bossa and San Antonio. But when people go back and look a little deeper and the reasons why people went there in the first place, it's because Playa D'en Bossa has the best beach...So now there's this renaissance of Playa D'en Bossa, because its the nicest beach, it's accessible and close to town, there's parking, its got all the facilities you could possibly need"

Parking. That's really the biggest issue that gets raised again and again... for anyone living on the island even the thought of driving into the city from early evening onwards is enough to bring on a sweat. And as for the rest of the building works, legal restrictions etc, Jason has a few words for them too...

"what's happened with the port of Ibiza town is its been turned into an industrial port these days, and to go to an industrial port and have a drink doesn't really have much appeal for anybody does it? Let's be honest. Until the Port Authority redistribute how they  place the boats and the yachts then the port is going to be of no value to anybody. Consequently people who had valid businesses in the port, as I did, have seen their businesses destroyed through no fault of their own, so until we can actually see any changes then we;re not going to invest our time or our energy, or our money into what is essentially for the time being, a dead area. For us we've had to look for other ways to supplement what we've lost, and obviously Playa D'en Bossa had potential before and has potential again now"

Potential for sure. Miami Beach? Not so sure. Potential for sure. Miami Beach? Not so sure. Certainly the owners of La Plage like to think so, their exclusive beach restaurant is an extension of Restaurant L'Elephant  in San Rafael and they will be looking for some big spenders to ditch Cala Jondal and head back to the Ibiza urban beach of  Playa. Beach Azuli held their first party of the summer in neighbouring Ushuaia, which has also had a major luxury re-furb for the millionairio clientele... but whether the celebrity crowd and the Hummer posse will feel at home quite so close to the hoi-polloi remains to be seen.

Nassau Beach Club arguably started the Bossa trend for high end and seem to be doing a pretty good job of attracting clientele, time will tell if there is enough to go around.

We Love's Mark Broadbent agrees. "This will be our 11th year at Space and PDB has without doubt been through many changes during this time, some good and some bad, I think that the change in opening hours for the clubs last year was bound to make this area of Ibiza a "nicer" place to be for the families that book their holidays there and expected a quite beach type break but on the other hand it was not great for the businesses around Space that had built their customer base around us. It is then fantastic that people have seen and embraced the possibility to do something different in this once maligned area of Ibiza and this can only be a great news for all concerned living and working there."

I have to confess a vested interest in the area myself, as I'm involved in the new Delano Beach Club, next door to Bora Bora.  If the thought of a legal Cafe Concierto venue on the beach playing music till 4am seemed impossible before, it seems now we have the opportunity to enjoy ourselves in the right place at the right time.

When the economy is uncertain the workers of Ibiza tend to get creative in order to stay ahead of the game, so with so much fresh and exciting activity down in PdB get ready to spend most of your summer there, as the rest of the islanders will certainly be doing so.

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