The sad story of the half-constructed abandoned resort at Cala d’en Serra – Ibiza
We are in Spain. In the far north of the island near Portinax is a beautiful little horseshoe shaped beach called Cala d’en Serra, surrounded by high pine covered cliffs with crystal clear waters. This beach was also named one of Europe’s top beaches, according one of lot reports onlline. Despite it is much like many of the smaller beaches across Ibiza, what makes this truly special is the abandoned resort situated just meters above the beach.
In 1969, a luxury hotel resort was planned for construction on one of Europe’s most picturesque beaches by the now acclaimed Catalan Architect Josep Lluís Sert, although due to his political affiliations and his aversion to General Franco’s totalitarian rule he spent the past few decades living in exile in the United States. Sert’s clerk of works, Antonio Ferran signed off on his projects back in Catalonia to get around the fact that Spain’s fascist government ensured that Sert himself could not be accredited as an architect in the Catalonia & Balearic islands region.
The main structure and layout were completed including the sun terrace which offers outstanding views out across the cove, the pine sided cliffs and out to sea.
Just over a year later, in 1970, construction on the massive building halted for several years due to the international oil and economic difficulties in, and development eventually ended when Sert died of lung cancer in 1983. There were several discussions on whether or not the hotel should be completed according to the original design or if the structure should simply be demolished.
However, neither option was taken, instead, and the hotel and every eventual its project was simply abandoned.
Many locals consider the half constructed hotel a blight on an area of outstanding natural beauty, while others see the project as an important piece of cultural heritage since Sert has now been elevated to one of Catalonia’s most acclaimed architects.
In the 2000 plans were drawn up to complete the complex in the style intended by Sert for use as an exclusive tourist attraction and Thalassotherapy Centre (seawater therapy), but these plans were also eventually abandoned mainly due to the world banking crisis and the subsequent downturn in the island tourist economy.
Despite in 2012 further plans were submitted to turn what is left into a luxury 100 bed hotel, also these were rejected as the area is now protected by the Law of Natural Spaces and fall within an area of Natural Area of Special Interest.
Today, across the abandoned structure are vast collections of graffiti from intrepid artists who left their mark, and the site is fascinating not only for its artwork, but also for its fantastic views of the nearby beach. Its also a great place to see an imposing urban landscape slowly claimed by nature.