While some British media outlets continue to direct negative comment at San Antonio, the Spanish resort is enjoying a popular comeback at present. Once the jewel in the crown of the islands nightlife in the 70’s, the invasion of package tour operators with their cheap and greedy business model in the 80’s, changed the style of the small fishing port into one of tacky tawdriness. However the locals never changed and their personality has allowed the resort to retain its authenticity and as Playa den Bossa prices itself out of the market for the average tourist, San Antonio is where its happening in Ibiza right now.
Real estate in the town is booming. There is hardly a “For Sale” sign to be seen, as good property is been snapped up in private deals before it even reaches the market. Hotels in San An are a valuable commodity and there is lots of money bidding to invest in property catering to the under 40 UK agegroup. The investors behind Ocean Beach Club, with two hotels in their portfolio, are busy buying up property around the West End as the cheap operators there, can no longer afford to make profits due to increasing rates and rents, slowly killing off the tacky business. The local council has banned PR’s and people carrying drinks out onto the street, to try and improve the image of the area and instead of applauding the initiative, the British media pokes fun at it.
New bars and restaurants with fresh concepts are sprouting up. Healthy food and felxitarian menus are appearing in places like Bondi, The Skinny Kitchen, Tapas, Bamboo and Natural Pau as the greasy “Bellybuster” breakfast is resigned to the dustbin. The sunset strip continues to grow with over 30,000 people descending on Cafe Mambo for a Fatboy Slim gig last year. While it did toy with the idea of moving to Playa Den Bossa, the BBC Radio 1 Weekend wisely decided to remain in San Antonio as that is where the trends are being set in Ibiza right now. Ibiza Rocks and Pikes Hotel are increasing in popularity with a cool and savvy crowd and this year, could well be the one that breaks all records.
The young up and coming DJ’s are all based around San Antonio as that it where the work is. Local DJ’s like Manu Gonzales and the Mambo Brothers are being booked to play outside of the island and there is a healthy underground scene, as venues are prepared to give fresh talent a podium. With the majority of the Hotels in the ownership of local families, the resort has retained its identity and has not yet sold out to commercial brands. The West Coast of the island has always had the best waters, Cala’s and natural views of sunset and more and more people are starting to realise this as they visit the area. If you can find a room in San Antonio this summer, I would suggest that you come and experience it for yourself rather than believing all that is written in the press.