The loss of La Torre, a simple and charming slice of Ibiza since 1965, is another dagger into the back of traditional island hospitality. For many years I have been returning to La Torre, which is perched on the cliffs at Cap Negret, with captivating views of the Mediterranean. It was there, with a wondrous panoramic sunset as a backdrop, that I proposed to my Girlfriend like many before me. To the local Ibicencos, it was a much loved and respected place, where one could go and experience the true essence of the islands dreamy personality without all the fake commercialism and tourist trapping. Its owner, Pere Gaul, was always welcoming and reflected the islands relaxed personal hospitality in his own unique style, which was typically Ibicenco. My daughter grew up alongside his son Max as both were born close to each other and played in the Cactus garden and halls of the colonial styled Guest House that harped back to a more elegant era. Like an old dame, la Torre was ragged around the edges and the place leaked when it rained, but it was full of character and rich in authenticity, values that Ibiza can ill afford to loose.
For decades Pedro and his family protected La Torre from the lascivious tentacles of corporate Ibiza. Their breakfast room was decorated in traditional Spanish style and with a touch of Ibicenco eccentricity, vintage Hollywood movie posters hung on its walls. Time stood still at La Torre and you could feel the place envelope your very being like a comforting blanket. It was for this reason that La Torre was special and the Torre family who were born and raised nearby, were very much a living part of it. Down through the decades they protected its natural essence.
|The Sunset Door|
Like all of natures beauty, it is frail and delicate and it requires a considerate person to tend to its needs. Pedro devoted many years to this noble cause and resisted modern change and the urge to commercialise the place, so that visitors could experience a taste of romantic Ibiza, the one that hides behind its loud and brash exterior. Sadly, La Torre has been dealt a mortal blow with the news that a new wealthy owner is to take over management of the old, dreamy guest house.
From my understanding La Torre was a leased building rented out to the Torre family. They did not give up ownership of La Torre willingly, the new owner would have been the highest bidder. If this is true, it is not an honorable way to acquire something that is more than just a business transaction. We will not know the identity of the new owner until the “new” La Torre opens for business but we hope that they will remain true to its simple and elegant style and protect the memories that the place holds for so many people. To Pedro and his family I would like to sincerely thank them for their gracious hospitality which I will sorely miss, along with the warm sea breeze that caressed the senses and whispered sweet nothings in the ear.
Update: La Torre will remain closed until July. Pedro has now opened a new bar and has brought the spirit of La Torre with him. The Pinomar Lounge Terrace next to Hotel Sol Pinet Playa in San Antonio Bay, is where he can now be found.