Jason Bull

The man behind Ibiza’s beautiful Es Vive and Sands speaks exclusively to DMCWORLD

Welcome back to DMCWORLD Jason. Es Vive opens this week for what looks like the busiest Summer in Ibiza for a few years. What have you changed at the hotel over the winter?

“Throughout the winter we have been going through some huge changes at the hotel. We wanted to ensure that Es Vive remains to stay as no other hotel in Ibiza, and whilst in keeping with the original Art deco facade, we hired the well known interior designer, Sean Cochrane to begin restoration work to bring the hotel’s decor to it’s original glory. We have completely revamped our poolside restaurant, plus the behind the scenes areas such as the kitchen and laundry have had a full makeover. We have kept the Art deco theme running throughout the hotel, giving it a modern twist and conjuring up images of the most loved architecture from South Beach. Our lobby and reception area has been re-worked with chandelier style lighting, marble tops and a classy finish, whilst our whole pool terrace has been covered entirely with a white marble tiling, leaving the whole pool area gleaming and shiny. We have also created a new rooftop terrace, where guests will be able to enjoy the last few hours of sun every afternoon on super sized sunbeds where the best views towards Dalt Vila and Formentera can be found.”

What can we expect from your poolside sessions this summer – who will be DJing?

“This summer we will be enjoying some sessions from Tom Crane who is our new resident DJ. We will be mixing things up a bit with funk and soul sessions every Tuesday, and old school hip hop sessions on Thursdays with Mel Blatt. The fabulous Clara Da Costa will be taking Sundays over again, and this year she will be inviting a few friends to add a little something special to our legendary Sunday sessions. We are also very happy to welcome back our old friend Ben Santiago, who after a two year hiatus is back with his usual spectacular sounds which are always a crowd pleaser.”

Your Playa d’en Bossa beach bar Sands goes from strength to strength – Carl Cox will once again be spinning there in a couple of weeks. How on earth did you manage to secure the big man yet again?

“Carl and his management Safehouse are actually now partners in Sands. They loved the concept of the place and wanted to get involved, so this summer we will be seeing a lot more of Carl, plus other Safehouse DJs.”

What kind of set will he be spinning?

“Carl always likes to show how eclectic he can be when playing at Sands. He could play anything from funk and soul, to vocal house, to his usual fabulous techy sounds…It depends on his mood and the time of day!”

IMS is just around the corner with a weekend of important industry business and two cracking events up in Dalt Villa. In an interview with DMC last week Pete Tong explained just how helpful and supportive the council in Ibiza are with the Summit. As someone who lives and breathes Ibiza, how important is IMS to the start of the Ibiza season?

“The IMS has got bigger and bigger each year – it is one of the best music conferences now for sheer accesibility and ease. To bring so many people to the island who are genuinely trying to push Ibiza and the electronic music scene forward is simply amazing. It is now tradition that the start of the Ibiza clubbing season starts with the IMS, which brings a more professional attitude to the island which can only be a good thing.”

Casting your eye over the island, are there any new bars or clubs opened up for 2012?

“Playa D’en Bossa is going from strength to strength – looking forward to new beach bars such as Plastik on the beach, and Ibiza Rocks Diner to bring some more diversity to the strip. Also looking forward to new bars around the island from old friends such as Vaughan who has just opened a beach bar close to Sta Eulalia, plus the opening of Atzaro beach in Cala Nova.”

Es Vive certainly seems to have set a trend for boutique hotels, there are dozens dotted around the island…

“Well we were the first to bring the ‘high end clubbing’ hotel to Ibiza. We have gained a reputation for providing first class service and for allowing guests to enjoy the Ibiza party scene, whilst also being able to relax and meet like minded people. There have been many newer, bigger hotels that have copied our style, but our guests return year after year, as Es Vive is not just a hotel it’s the whole experience and that is something which is very hard to imitate without the right ingredients.”

What are your thoughts for the clubbing battles this Summer. Sankeys are opening up early with some big guns and look like they are ready to finally establish themselves, Ushuaia are starting some new daytime pool parties to add to their stunning night time activities, there have been some crazy techno wars going on over the winter with DJs and club nights chopping and changing, Eden have a strong line up once again and Privilige have thrown their cheque book at the Summer again. What are you looking forward to in 2012?

“Really excited about Jamie Jones’s night at DC10 – this is just what the island needs – something fresh and very cool for the summer. It’s great that big name DJ’s are now playing at different venues twice in one week – it ensures that everyone will have a chance to catch their favourite DJ when in Ibiza.”

How has Ibiza changed since you first set foot on the white isle?

“Many people reminisce about the ‘good old days’ with a faraway look in their eye, but what we must remember is that Ibiza is constantly evolving and things are changing sometimes for the better, sometimes not. When I first arrived on the island, there was hardly any VIP culture – the best parties back then were the impromptu full moon parties at S’estanyol, or the raves in the caves – now things have moved forward to meet the needs of the high end visitors that Ibiza is attracting every year. Although in the late 90’s life in Ibiza was a beautiful, free spirited treasure, life in ibiza now is still a beautiful treasure, just it is aimed at a wider audience. What we must remember is that Ibiza has something for everyone, and it is great to see how the island has embraced the changes with open arms – there are still the ocassional free beach parties, and dancing in the open air is now being seen  again more and more, although in 2012 they are more likely to have a roped off VIP area.”
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt in running your own businesses in Ibiza?

“If you find good staff, do not let them go!”

Where is your favourite beach, bar and restaurant?

“Sands at Playa D’en Bossa!”

How dull is Ibiza in winter, is there anything at all to do?

“Ibiza in the winter is a lovely place – the residents have a chance to catch up with each other, the weather is still lovely and it’s a great chance for the island to breathe and recharge the batteries. There is loads of parties going on in the winter – bubbles in  Marina Botafich has been rocking last winter with some great parties, and DC10 opened on New Year’s Day which was probably one of the best parties I’ve ever had there. Daytimes are spent enjoying barbeques with friends, dining at new restaurants, and enjoying the beauty of the island. There are some fabulous sports activities such as the Ibiza iron man and the swimming races from san Antonio, and the local fiestas are a great day out for all the family. The island never properly shuts down, although we go at a slower pace in the winter, Ibiza has so much to offer all year round.”

Where do you go on holiday?

“I enjoyed a wonderful holiday with my family in the Maldives at the end of summer – it is a spectacular place where all you can do is relax! Perfect to get over a hard summer’s work. I have also fallen in love with Brasil and have many friends who I go to see as often as possible – I have also ensured alot of them have come to stay in Ibiza and have been thoroughly looked after.”

And finally, is there anywhere quite like Ibiza in the world?

“Nowhere! And there never will be…”