Ocean Beach is almost one month old and all the hype and expectation that led up to the unveiling of the island’s latest beach venue has been justified. After a spectacular opening party the venue has gone from strength to strength, slowly but surely rolling out its calendar of events, a calendar that has seen some of the world’s finest DJs spinning in the elevated booth and Sister Sledge play live! Essentialibiza caught up with Toni Truman just before the opening and again after the first few weeks to get an insight into the planning and preparation behind such a huge project…
Where did the concept of Ocean Beach Ibiza come from?
The idea came from seeing the space, the land and the potential of it and obviously I’ve been to many beach clubs around the world over a number of years so it has come from there really. Also San Antonio desperately needed something like this. It’s got a great bar culture, a couple of nightclubs and a fantastic sunset tradition and this seemed like the natural progression.
Are you catering primarily to the existing San Antonio tourists or are you looking to get people to travel across the island?
Definitely both. A lot of people still have this stigma about coming to San Antonio but if they have a reason to come over, if you’ve built something g really nice then I think they will travel. There has been a snobby attitude towards San Antonio, a lot of my friends and myself have been guilty of it on the past but the thing a lot of them forget is that San Antonio is where Ibiza started. People used to come here when they were 17 and 18, going out partying and this is one of the reasons that they fell in love with it and as they get into their 20’s and 30’s they go to Playa D’en Bossa and Ibiza Town and further north and they look down their noses at San Antonio but really it’s a great place. There is no place got the sunset like it and we are hoping that if we create something special maybe it will bring a few of them back.
Do you think the success of beach clubs is partly down to the 30 and 40 year olds that still want to be coming to Ibiza?
Exactly but they don’t want to be going into the nightclubs. They don’t want to be standing in packed out nightclubs surrounded by youngsters and as you get older you want to be on the beach more and you can bring your kids to the beach, which you can’t do in the club!
What clientele are you hoping to appeal to?
We’re looking to the middle ground, obviously you have somewhere like Blue Marlin that has the high-end clientele from the island, we are hoping to find the middle ground. There isn’t actually anywhere like this on the island where the focal point is a swimming pool, where you can get in the swimming pool and not just stand around the edge. We’ve made this so you can party around the pool. A lot of people will think this is very British and very San Antonio but we want it to be a real cosmopolitan place and we have been very aware of that even when employing the staff, it’s not all British, obviously we have Spanish, German, French, Swiss Dutch Danish, Croatian, we have a real multi-national staff with numerous languages which we think is really important. San Antonio attracts a huge European contingent but they tend to stay here and not go out here because there maybe hasn’t been somewhere for them to go until now.
Ocean Beach Ibiza is more than just a beach club isn’t it?
Yes, we have a couple of gastronomic restaurants, we have a boutique, there are masseurs, one of the masseurs even offers a massage with a didgeridoo, we’ve got some crazy ideas. We have a beautiful sunset cocktail bar and obviously now the hotel has joined forces and will be re-branded as Ocean Beach hotel and we will start refurbishment of that come October so next year that will be another addition. We’re really doing our bit t regenerate this area and make it a bit nicer and give San Antonio something that it has been missing.
How did the hook up with hotel come about?
They’ve obviously seen what’s been going on here since the day that we bought it and the day we put the builders in. They wanted to raise the profile of their hotel, they wanted to get it up to a better standard, as they hadn’t done any refurbishments for a long time o they approached us and said that they’d like to come in as our partners on the project. Thing is, they have 16 hotels in their chain and they’ve said to us that if it goes well they might be happy to look at the same concept with some of their other hotels, so that was a nice potential incentive as well. Probably a testament to what we are creating here.
You’re keen to play down comparisons with other beach club hotel combos on the island?
Definitely, Ushuaia is a name that has been branded about in comparison but we’re nothing like them, they are huge, more like a concert venue. We won’t be anything like them, we are a beach club, if anything we’re more Nikki Beach style, a lot smaller and a lot more intimate and we’re not going to be putting on the massive DJs, not on a regular basis anyway. From time to time we may but we want to be known for our own identity as a beautiful venue.
What entertainment will you be offering?
We’ve been approached by a number of amazing brands but another one of our ethos is that we want to try and give some new things a chance. A lot of the clubs and bars over here have had the same promoters and DJs for years and for any good aspiring talent it has been very hard for them to break through. I’ve been in the game nearly 30 years and have a lot of friends who do cool nights so we’re going to give them a platform to showcase their talent.
Now that Ocean Beach is open, has it lived up to expectations so far?
I can honestly say it has more than exceeded our expectations, it has been an amazing start that we are all very pleased with and the feedback we are getting every day from clients has been fantastic. I suppose the best compliment is the fact that we are getting clients come back day after day once they have visited, which is great as there are so many options now in Ibiza to go to, so many wicked places.
What has been the highlight of the last few weeks for you?
This is a tough one but there have actually been two moments I have felt extremely proud of what we have achieved, one was having the legendary Sister Sledge live on stage performing all of the hits that I have grown up on over the years and to see them rock our venue not once but twice was a tremendous thrill. The second was seeing ocean beach club on the Pacha Vintage Sebastian Gamboa party. It was full of many Spanish and foreign nationals all really loving the party and the place, which was a great moment as we really want this place to be very cosmopolitan in its clientele and this party was all about that.
What are the venue operating hours?
We’re going to be open from 11am until midnight outside in the main area and then in the Pearl area we will be open until 5/6 in the morning. The restaurant will run as normal during the day and them become a cocktail/ party lounge in the evening.