Cafe del Mar

The cult of chilling out officially started at Cafe del Mar in Ibiza. Famous for its lush sunsets, Sant Antoni de Portmany is where you can find this illustrious club where chill-out music is the official soundtrack. Every year hundreds of tourists visit this iconic hangout to loosen up for a while, watch the sun descend upon the horizon, and of course, listen to the club’s laidback soundscapes. This much-celebrated club is indeed born to serenade the beautiful sunset of Sant Antoni de Portmany. There mere mention of the club’s moniker evoke images of dreamy afternoon spent at the beach with the best chill-out music floating like drunken butterfly in the background.

Sunset, Cafe del Mar

Sunset, Cafe del Mar

The concept behind Café del Mar was concocted by José Les , Carlos Andrea, and Ramón Guiral. Les was first attracted to the budding nightlife scene of San Antonio when he first arrived on the island in 1978. San Antonio is actually the place where island tourism was birthed so almost everything was set when Les first set foot there. After coming up with the final concept for their venture, the three clubbing pioneer went out to spot the best location for their dream project. The idea is to pinpoint spot that offers the most beautiful view of the sunset. A particular location overlooking the enchanting Conejera Island also would hurt. By the time they found the best place for the club, the three partners already have a fully-realized vision encompassing the look, vibe, and musical theme fit for the club.

Café del Mar Philosophy

The design of the club which still looks awesome more than a couple of decades after it was first conceptualized borders on the baroque. A touch of big time sensuality and eroticism makes the entire theme of the club exudes a splendor that is beyond compare. Perhaps, this is the reason why hundreds of people from various parts of the globe never get tired of coming back to the comforting arms of Café del Mar. It is sort of a necessary escape from the break-neck pace of daily urban life. When you are in this heavenly sanctuary, nothing can be more important than the sea, the hypnotic sunset, and the music.

Sunset, Café del Mar

Sunset, Café del Mar

Today, Andrea, Guiral, and Les’ two years of arduous and intense ground-working has really paid-off. Many sleep-deprived or sleepless nights spent on negotiating the manual as well as artistic complexity in getting the entire work done resulted to inarguably the best chill-out hotspot in the planet. After opening the club’ door on June 20, 1980, everything fell into place as if a divine hand had touched Café del Mar. Perhaps, one of the most distinctive legacies of the club in modern popular culture is the cult of lost-ism. That obscure cult, however, exploded into a full-scale religion. The doctrine of chilling out spread like wild fire in various parts of the globe. The club became massively popular that even music producers started organizing projects as a tribute to the unique and fresh sound brewing in San Antonio. The place inspired various chill out hits like Music For A Found Harmonium by Penguin Café Orchestra and Love Theme from Blade Runner by Vangelis:

Throughout most part of the nineties, even when existential angst sold out like thrift shop flannel, the chilling out cult never lost its lackadaisical momentum. The fact that the Madchester scene and rave culture was all the rage back then also help propel the global resonance of Café del Mar’s brand of tuning in and dropping out. Do not get the impression though that what the club attracts are merely slackers in search of cool buzz. Even the biggest names in Hollywood soon found out about downtempo-fuelled scene in the island. What happens next is history. Café del Mar became one of the biggest draws in the burgeoning clubbing scene in Ibiza. Along with other world class hangouts in the island such as club Es Paradis, the club contributed big in the European tourist industry boom.

More than thirty years after its inception, Café del Mar is still capable of attracting hundreds of visitors every year. In fact, it is still one of Ibiza’s best tourist attractions. It is also important to mention that a lot of groundbreaking artists still showcase their wares in the club. Chicane, Moby, A.R. Rahman, Thomas Newman, Underworld, and Jean Michael Jarre still performs their music there from time to time. Music, probably, is one of the most important contributions of the Café del Mar scene to the world. What now known as ambient music as well as its recent permutations can be traced back to the sound that was developed there during the club’s early years.

Café del Mar

Café del Mar

So, if someone would wonder why Café del Mar is still the best place to chill out today, the explanation will be very simple: sunset, sea, good vibes, and great music.

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Tags for this post: Cafe del Mar, Chillout, Ibiza, Ibiza Clubs
  • monti213

    I love Café del Mar remixes and listen them always. It was very interesting to find post about Café del Mar here. Thanks guys!

  • Igor Onishchenko

    Excellent article, mate! My colleagues and I love listening to Cafe del Mar remixes! They help to stay focused on your work and relax at the same time.

  • Vanno

    Wow that is one really awesome article. I’m your subscriber now and for ever guys 🙂