History of Ibiza: The cafés that chilled the world
Mention Ibiza and you inevitably think of cool music, superstar DJs, beautiful sunsets and dancing until the sun comes up. The little island that forms part of the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain is renowned as an international tourist hotspot, both for the young and the young-at-heart.
But where did it all start? How did Ibiza become the international dance destination it’s been for over 30 years now?
To understand where Ibiza came from you need to go back to Ibiza’s oldest music bars and cafés, the places where Ibiza’s famous chill-out music was pioneered, and which ultimately led to the 5,000-capacity super-clubs the island is renowned for today.
Nothing beats kicking back and enjoying the sunset with a sundowner at one of Ibiza’s iconic cafés. Let’s take it back to 1980, when Ibiza was a sleepy town on the cusp of becoming a giant. Click the Play button below and let the Mambo Brothers provide you with the soundtrack of the summer…
Café Mambo is located on San Antonio’s sunset strip, and is one of the oldest attractions on the island.
It’s also easily one of the most famous cafés in the world.
The café began as a local bar in its earliest days, well-liked for its winning combination of picturesque sunset and delectable food. But as more and more music aficionados flocked to Ibiza the DJ scene took over, and the café capitalised on its success.
Graced by international DJs such as Bob Sinclair, Afrojack and the Mambo Brothers themselves, Café Mambo is a legend in Ibiza, and it can’t be missed if you’re visiting the island.
As the “Best Bar in Ibiza”, Café Mambo has received considerable recognition worldwide. Founded by a Scottish family in the 1980’s, Café Mambo has been in the music business for 20 years. Nowadays the legacy has been passed down to the children of the original owners, none other than international DJs The Mambo Brothers.
The Mambo Brothers of Ibiza
If you want a little taste of Ibiza right here in Kuala Lumpur you can check out The Mambo Brothers appearing live on 28 March 2015 at M8 Bar.
Café del Mar
Sunset cocktail at Cafe Del Mar
How could we not have mentioned Café del Mar already!? Renowned as the original sunset bar, Café del Mar serves some of the best cocktails in Ibiza.
As the inspiration for a list of successors, Café del Mar takes the look of a white yacht with huge sails, as designed by Catalan architect Lluis Géell. It opened in 1980 and out of all of the Ibiza cafés this is one most people know of whether they are music fans or not.
Café del Mar hit on a stroke of genius when it launched what would become a world famous chill-out compilation album in 1994 compiled by the legendary Jose Padilla, single-handedly defining the idea of playing laidback background music to chilled-out customers – a concept that’s since been copied by cafes and bars all over the world.
Savannah Beach Club
Savannah Beach Club sunset
Another fixture on the sunset strip in San Antonio is the Savannah Beach Club, offering fine dining and an amazing view of the sun as it dips down into the ocean.
As another part of the Mambo Café family empire, music here is centre-stage. It’s famous as a venue for clubbing pre-parties, hosting a few sundowners before visitors head out to Eden’s Toolroom Knights or the Ibiza Global Radio party.
Savannah Beach Club is perfect for unwinding out on its sun-terrace, and with a fully-stocked specialised Gin Bar it’s perfect for sundown drinks.
For a more private setting, the hidden bar in the back room is perfect for those looking to be a little more low-key, and chances are you’ll bump into a celebrity if you hang around long enough…
Mint Lounge Bar
Mint Lounge Bar
Mint Lounge Bar is one of a new wave of bars ushering in a new, luxurious era for Ibiza. Standing its ground with the big boys, Mint Lounge Bar is renowned for its green and white decor – a perfect posing backdrop during the Ibiza sunset.
Most cafés have a thing or two which they’re famous for, and at Mint Lounge Bar it’s the pizza. Although not one of the first bars on the island, as with all things Ibiza Mint Lounge Bar will provide you a good time with its ambience, music and food.
Mood and Music: A Little Ibiza in Kuala Lumpur
Music has always dictated the mood of a place, whether it be a feeling of tranquility, a type of lifestyle or a level of luxury.
Here in Kuala Lumpur The Marini’s Group offers its own little piece of Ibiza chill-out with its Marini’s on 57 Sunset Hours Vol. 1 compilation album. Compiled by José Padilla (yes, the same one who compiled the Café del Mar albums), the music on the album was inspired by the likes of Café del Mar and Mambo Café, and goes back to the early days of the chill-out Ibiza scene.
Click the image below to listen to Marini’s on 57 Sunset Hours Vol. 1 promo on Soundcloud:
Marini’s on 57 Sunset Hours Volume One
The music scene that began in Ibiza has inspired a plethora of different genres, from funk to house to nu-disco, and has produced and influenced some of the best international DJs, from Joey Negro (performing at the Marini’s on 57’s F1 Kick Off Party in Kuala Lumpur this March 27th) to Pete Tong to Guy Gerber.
The world is a better place with Ibiza’s chilled-out influence, and we’re all the happier for it.