The encroaching sprawl of mahogany day beds and heavy set security guards on the golden sands of Ibiza’s beaches has become commonplace and increasingly inevitable. Family run restaurants and chirnguitos which have served beach goers for generations are being replaced by gleaming white structures daubed in pastel logo’s and generic reclaimed sea wood artworks. These immaculate scenes from every lifestyle magazine you have ever read can be seen on almost every beach in Ibiza and they generally come with a hefty price tag.
There are still some relics from Ibiza’s more humble and bohemian past, little mementos from a time when the island was a stop-off for travellers on the alternative circuits of Goa, Bali, Thailand and such. Statues of Buddha and Shiva would adorn these places, Nag Champa hung thick in the air as tie die clad waiters and waitresses lackadaisically tended customers sat on home made furniture. Two such places are / were Sunset Ashram in Cala Conta and Imagine in Calla De Bou.
It was announced this week that the Ruben Brothers have bought 2.8m sq ft of land west of San Antonio. They sealed the €5m (£4.2m) purchase from a local family, the Costa Turs, last week. The deal adds to the Reubens’ existing holdings on Ibiza, giving them about four miles of almost uninterrupted beachfront in the southwest of the island, from Cala Bassa to Cala Conta.
“Their previous purchase of several plots, including the Cala Bassa Beach Club and the Sunset Ashram bar and restaurant, caused outcry among some locals, who feared the brothers would spoil the pretty area with high-end developments. In 2015 an online petition by a group called Movement New Earth gathered more than 4,700 supporters. It declared that “constructing luxury houses with more cement and dust is ugly” and urged interested parties to “send the Reuben brothers our message”.” (The Times)
It is said that the Billionaire property tycoons (who feature among the most wealthy in the United Kingdom with combined assets worth 14 billion) have no immediate plans to develop their newly purchased land. This could well have more to do with the present government upsetting their plans than a lack of ambition to act on such plans. The area is classified as an area of special natural interest and therefore has special protection laws, it is believed that the new investors faced unexpected opposition from the current administration to their planned development. We can only hope that the area which is currently open to the public remains so as it is one of the islands most spectacular areas of natural beauty and enjoyed be many.