If you have not been to Beso Beach this summer, there has been no summer for you. “There’s no summer without a kiss”, say the local people of the island of Formentera. Enjoying Formentera to the fullest means having tasted a mojito in this idyllic beach bar that does not need more presentation that its unique location on the beach of Ses Salines. But Man does not live by cocktails alone. The Beso Beach experience goes far beyond being a simple beach club. Those responsible for this venue so in vogue every summer, can boast of having a terrific front yard to play in!
A magic beachfront with a wonderful Mediterranean restaurant with Basque nuances. The same way they can prepare a delicious seafood paella, they can overcome the ambiguities of cooking a grilled ribeye in mid August. Because it’s worth it. God it it’s worth it! Beso Beach is good food, good music, good atmosphere and good fellas. Visitors will encounter famous faces every night strolling among the tables of this place, seeing and letting themselves be seen. So we spoke to Miguel Sancho, one of the masterminds behind El Beso as they like to call it.
How did Beso Beach start?
It used to be an old venue that got offered to my partner, Rafa Viar. He already had a chain of restaurants called Bilbao Berria, restaurants of Basque cuisine spread across Barcelona, Bilbao, London… Then when he got proposed this place, he offered to partner with the rest of us: Andrés García, Angy López and myself, Miguel Sancho.
The thing about Beso Beach is that, as well as being a beach club it is a restaurant in where you can eat well, where we value the product and oversee the quality. It is a fusion of Mediterranean cuisine with a touch of Basque gastronomy.
There are 4 strong points in Beso Beach: the food, the music – we have a type of music the clients already familiar with and that enhances the vibe; the mojitos, people come explicitly here to try our mojitos during sunset, they are truly the hit of the summer; and the fourth would be the atmosphere – the environment that there is in here, where people come because they know they are going to encounter other people they want to see, the type of clientele, their special vibe…
Who goes to Beso Beach?
Lots of foreigners, yet there is a very strong spanish atmosphere as well. Medium-high range, international, all sorts of people, lots of celebrities. 80% of our clients often arrive by boat.
During the afternoon, clients usually arrive by land through Formentera because El Beso is the place in which people come to watch the sunset because it falls right in front of us. It is one of the most characteristic places here.
Regarding the restaurant, did you import the type of cuisine from the group Bilbao Berria?
The one in charge of the food is my partner Rafa Viar. Even if it is pure Mediterranean gastronomy that everyone loves to have by the beach we decided to have some other touches. When we first introduced them, some people were saying “well, grilled ribeye on the beach?” but now we sell 80 a day.
You have quite consolidated the restaurant then.
Yes of course. We keep calling it beach bar since it is still a piece of wood in which to eat with your feet in the sand but it is a restaurant of great quality. The service we’re giving is not one of a beach bar but of a proper restaurant. The team is very big: you have 13 people in the kitchen and the whole Beso Beach team consists of 43 people.
How do you end up in Beso Beach?
I’ve been working for 12 years in a boat charter called Barco Ibiza, since 2004. El Beso came up slightly related to what I did because lots of people knew me through the boat charter since we sent many clients everyday to Formentera: it was a business that depended on the other in a way. The union was that.
What do you do at Beso Beach?
I take care of everything related to bookings, contracts with clients, how the room is orchestrated, events, image…
What’s your trajectory?
I am from Barcelona. I started like everyone else: came on vacation to Ibiza and thought “damn, I am in the place where I want to stay forever”. So what at first seemed to be fun, having a good time and enjoying the island, ended up as a way of life and work. Work work work. It’s been 13 years or so.
Do you follow Ibiza’s rhythm?
I believe that all restaurants in Ses Salines do in a way because we depend on the boats coming from Ibiza to eat here everyday. And the client in Ibiza does depend on the opening and closing parties (from the big clubs). The type of customers in Formentera and Ibiza are completely different from one another.
Formentera is much more hippie chic, in a more familiar setting where music is forbidden in an island that is being heavily protected. Ibiza is in someway the opposite.
There are expansion plans. Like 3 or 4 sites, we are just working on all these projects simultaneously, some of them international. Something in Formentera, something in Ibiza, something abroad. Expanding Beso Beach. We are getting offers in many parts of the world, all of them beach sites following the concept. So yeah, we’re on it.