La Savina 1954
Through the chronological account of our family tourism business, pioneering in this field, a comparative study can undoubtedly be established with the development of tourism in Formentera.
Puerto de La Savina 1955
By way of introduction, we feel obliged to paint a picture of our great-grandmother, since all of the ingredients of the autarkic way of life and survival in Formentera during the first decades of the last century are reflected in her. So, her husband left for America as a migrant in search of wealth in 1911, and she stayed on the island, in a state of hope. A short time later she received only a death certificate or her husband which came from Camaguey (Cuba).
Puerto de Formentera 1956
She brought her son up by herself, working day and night, doing a bit of everything until her son went to study in Barcelona (he as a naval engineer).
Hostal la Savina 1959
Her son, our grandfather, returned to Formentera in 1940, freed from a concentration camp in the north of Africa after spending a few years in France as an exiled republican. Our grandfather (along with his mother) had, in La Savina, a type of small fish market for sale in Ibiza. One fine day there was a knock at the door from a Catalan couple,who had recently arrived from Ibiza, who were visiting and looking for somewhere to stay in La Savina. And our great-grandmother, as bold as you like, with her innate business sense, improvised a bedroom in her own house and laid the first stone of a family business that would continue to the present day.
We kept some interesting documents that tell us about the evolving of the establishment, including: · Opening as a Café (1951) · Opening as a hostel (1954) · Opening as a Bar-Restaurant (1958) · Opening as a Guest House (1960) · Opening as a ‘Hostal’ budget hotel (1980)
Visitors to the Hostal 1965
This evolution came marked by the mood of tourism in constant change, given that over time people demanded more and better services.
Food in the Restaurant 1967
In the beginning it was curious visitors who came to the island, simply to see what there was to the south of Ibiza. However, in the decade of the sixties, the first organised tourism project of the island flourished around the La Savina Guesthouse (we consider this circumstance deserves a separate mention). A French industrialist (Mr Laborey) discovered Formentera and scheduled visits of young people from the surroundings of Paris to our island. For this initiative, Mr Laborey contacted La Savina Guesthouse through our grandfather, Vicente, in 1968. He was the first tour operator to land in Formentera, known as “Club des Argonautes” and, throughout two decades, thousands of young French people spent their summers on the island enjoying water sports and underwater fishing and, in parallel, experiencing relationships between sexes in an uninhibited way, with their evenings of music and dance, free love, etc..
Formentera bus “Sa carraca” 1965
Paradoxically, they project onto this small corner of the Mediterranean, and under the shade of a dictatorial regime, the purest spirit of May 1968 (we may indeed be talking of the most libertarian environment in Europe at this time).
The decade of the 1980s saw organised tourism spread throughout the entire island, (basically of German nationality) and the budget hotels and groups of apartments multiplied around the island, these continue to be the core of our offer today.
Party in “Sa Fonda” 1966
Hotel La Savina is one of the establishments that has adapted over the years to the new times and demands, but, even today, it takes great care to preserve the same family, comfortable and cosmopolitan spirit, with the resulting core of visitors from different eras and nationalities.
History of La Savina
Hostal La Savina experienced some of the significant events around it in terms of the modernisation of the island, such as the arrival of the first television set or the installation of an electricity generator years before the arrival of electricity as a public service.
History of La Savina
And as a note of nostalgia, we can highlight that, even today, when our terrace fills with guests who want to enjoy the spectacular summer sunsets, some French retirees, now residents on the island, still tell us anecdotes of their fun holidays as young people at La Savina guesthouse, where they tell us that they literally drove our grandfather, vicente, crazy with their mischievousness.
History of La Savina