There is something special about Ibiza, something that it is hard to put your finger on. Once you have been it’s almost impossible not to return. Some say it’s the magnetic pull of the mystical island of Es Vedra, often quoted as being the third most magnetic point on the globe after the poles, but whether real or imagined, there is definitely something there. And now Marina Ibiza has given not just one, but several more reasons to keep returning to the beautiful White Isle.
When you think of Ibiza it conjures up images of the rich and famous luxuriating on the back of superyachts, sipping champagne as the sun sets after a hard days shopping in all of the high-end stores on the island. And this is where the real fantasy comes in or certainly did, until Marina Ibiza spotted the very large flaw in that description. There actually was nowhere to go to have that Pretty Woman moment – you know the one – and so part of retaining the concession was to fill that gaping hole in the market. And fill it they have, in quite a spectacular fashion.
Now, just inside the entrance of the IMCI accredited 5 star marina, a classification that not many marinas in the world can boast, are several of the highest end boutiques. Stores that you would expect to find on Rodeo Drive. Currently the offering features Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Bulgari, Hublot, Tag Heuer, Zanotti, Burdelier, Noches de Ibiza and Blue Ibiza and that’s just for starters. Many more of the most famous names in fashion are signed up already for next season. One of the most interesting things is that the fashion brands have not only got on board by their simple presence, but they have designed dedicated Ibizan ranges that can only be purchased from the Ibiza Marina stores. So if you want your very own J’Adior Ibiza bag then you had best get yourself over to Ibiza Marina. The first mini range they had sold out within a week, such is the powerful combination of Ibiza and a luxury fashion brand.
As I was strolling up to meet my most fabulous host for the day Kety Sierra, Head of Marketing, who has been with IPM group for a decade now, in fact as long as Marina Ibiza has been part of it, I am drawn in by the calmness of the atmosphere. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot going on, an awful lot in fact, but it all seems to be happening with ease and at a pace that is really perfectly summed up by the Spanish word tranquillo. It is an atmosphere that Kety says they have worked hard to create. Wooden planters with beautifully maintained shrubbery have been installed all along the marina walkways serving the triple purpose of added safety for foot traffic, being easy on the eye and acting as a sound dampener, thus helping to create that feeling of calm and tranquility. The plan behind the revamped marina is not to just bring in the aforementioned shops, but to truly beautify the whole experience, to become, in essence, a destination within a destination. And a destination not only for the bold and beautiful yachting crowd, but also for the residents of the island. Located just off the Golden Mile, known for having the most expensive and exclusive real estate on the island, it is perfectly placed to become a hub not only during the heady summer months but in the quieter winter season when the island truly comes into its own.
The idea of making this a true destination is also the thinking behind the newly opened restaurant Roto, from the brains behind Formentera and Ibiza stalwarts Beso, in conjunction with IPM Group. Carrying much the same ethos as the feet in the sand clubs that have long been the place to catch the dying rays and enjoy a cold sundowner, Roto is doing the same by the waters edge. Roto, meaning broken in Spanish, is a wonderful mish mash collection of furniture that you just know have stories to tell, think Chesterfield sofas and distressed wood. But it still manages to exude a feeling of absolute style. Shabby chic if you will. A flower power child at heart, Roto has its feet firmly planted in the days when Ibiza was a haven for anyone and everyone, no matter your background or bank account, to come together, drink wine and cocktails and enjoy good food. Roto doesn’t just want to be a place for people to come and eat and leave, it wants you to stay, to love and to enjoy the magnificence of the setting.
And what a setting.Perched on the far end of the marina where the big superyachts sleep at night, it has the most amazing views over to Dalt Vita, better known as Ibiza Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site As the sun begins to dip below the yardarm and the fleet returns to its home after a leisurely day meandering around the coves and calas of Ibiza’s stunning coastline, this is when Roto really comes into its own. There is laughter in the air as those lounging or dining at the various tables speculate about who might be on the next big yacht or simply eye up their next purchase, whilst choosing from any one of the delectable dishes on offer from Masterchef winning head chef Jorge Brazalez.
This isn’t the only fabulous dining option available in the marina though. There are various different spots, from Balearic favourite Cappuccino, to the delightful Calme, once a crew bar with the best views in the marina, which is now a perfect setting for live events, chilling with a glass of rose or starting off your morning with one of their speciality coffees. And when the sun properly goes down and the stars, both ethereal and human come out the real magic happens at the open air club, Lio. One of the most unique clubs in the world, Lio offers guests something a little more risque, with this season’s theme being La Fete Sauvage encompassing the four elements that make it so special: fun, freedom, spectacle and magic. Some would say that these four elements also perfectly sum up the island as a whole.
However, Ibiza Marina isn’t all about shopping and partying, there is a very real heart and soul to the group who care passionately about the environment and are trying to implement this passion in the marina itself. Everywhere you walk there are clearly signed recycling bins and if you pop into reception they will be happy to furnish any one of the boats that are moored there with bags to make recycling plastics easy.
Even more excitingly Ibiza Marina have entered into a seahorse research and breeding programme with Marine Biologist and National Geographic Explorer Manu San Felix and the Asociacion Vellmari. Head back into reception and you will find a professionally installed tank with these magical creatures who meet each morning in amongst the plant life to dance. Each male is able to produce more than 1,800 offspring, however only 0.5% of them ever survive. The plan with Ibiza Marina is that they will support the reproduction in captivity of this hugely threatened species, whose offspring are then subsequently released back into the wild and their natural habitat of the Posidonia meadows. These enigmatic creatures, in every colour of the rainbow are absolutely spectacular to see up close and personal.
The seahorse project is just one of many that Ibiza Marina are involved in, they are also working with Trasmapi on their social responsibility project Be Blue, to try and encourage and educate the next generation of guardians of the sea. They are also actively involved with saving turtles and if any boat should spot one on their travels around the island, this most environmentally friendly of marinas ask that you bring them in and alert the team. They are then transferred to a special tank where they will be taken to Palma Aquarium to be rehabilitated and then released back into the wild.
Beside the luxury and environmental sides of Ibiza Marina, which can take up to 425 boats from 8-110 metres in length, are the necessary fundamentals including a static fuel station along with a mobile one that can be called up at any time. There is also a dry dock and lift for the storage of smaller boats, which can again be accessed via the reception within a very short time frame and then lifted back out of the water. There is also access to Marina Varadero, a wellness centre with views for yachts. Whether for an annual overhaul or for a quick retouch the refit and repair yard is the perfect spot in the Bay of Ibiza when your yacht needs a little TLC
Ibiza Marina really does have it all: friendly staff, wonderful views, incredible facilities, sunsets to absolutely die for and the most ecologically friendly programme around, It truly is an inclusively exclusive marina.
By Victoria Pearce (Delany)