Five years ago during my traditional yearly holiday to Ibiza, I was sitting with friends in a bar overlooking the marina, dressed head to toe in that evening’s raving attire. A smartly dressed elderly gentleman was introduced to me, and whilst this conversation is slightly hazy (hey, this was Ibiza) I recall him telling me that he opened the first “party hotel” in the magical island that never sleeps.
He spoke charismatically, regaling me with tales of the debaucherous “flower power” party set which descended upon the island in the 70’s – even flicking through a photo album he carried around with him, showing me quirky snapshots of hedonistic history. His stories intrigued me and whilst I am usually averse to any form of small talk with strangers, was captivated by his quirky conversation and warm nature.
This encounter was banished to the dark depths of my post-ibiza mind, only resurfacing when I was invited to stay at the infamous Pikes hotel last month. It was here where I was told that the enigmatic man who started this quirky hotel had only passed away 2 months before my stay. It was at the quaint reception area whilst scanning old photos of celebrity guests when I realised that the stylish gentleman with the vintage leather photo album I spoke to briefly 5 years ago was in fact Tony Pikes himself.
I decided to spend my two day stay at Pikes playing homage to the “Hugh Hefner of Ibiza” – a nickname coined by Boy George. As Tony was known for his zest for life and love of partying hard – that’s exactly what I did.
Listed as one of the ‘Top 100 Hotels in the world’ by Sunday Times Travel and winner of ‘Best Boutique Hotel’ by the glamorous White Ibiza Readers Choice Awards for four years running, Pikes is set around pretty green gardens and boasts a turquoise swimming pool where George Micheal and Andrew Ridgeley filmed their famous “Club Tropicana” music video.
Lovingly restored in 2011 by founders of the world-famous Ibiza Rocks brand, Dawn Hindle and Andy Mckay, Pikes has always been an adult playground for the music and film gliterati, with guests including Grace Jones (an ex lover of Tony), Spandau Ballet and Freddie Mercury – who held his infamous three day 41st birthday party at the hotel.
Often ignored due to the severe Ibizan hangovers, there is also a neon pink tennis court where Tony Pikes used to play a few friendly games with Freddy Mercury. The pair developed a close friendship, resulting in Tony naming the hotel’s disco-chic club after his talented late chum.
During our stay Freddies hosted their renowned monthly Flash party – a queer-tastic shindig celebrating all things house, disco and glitter. We sadly couldn’t party until ungodly hours of the morning as we were still sozzled by our impromptu balcony rave the night before. Hey when in Pikes…
Hungover souls can indulge in a variety of massages, fitness and yoga classes offered in the Pikes’ ‘Rockovery’ tent throughout the day and night. We however, adored “recovering” in our plush rock n’ roll chic room with its vintage record player, edgy artwork and king-sized bed complete with a freakily realistic looking toy kitty.
The atmosphere at Pikes always seemed to be eclectic and full of energy. Its the kind of hotel where within minutes of arriving, you make instant new friends by the pool and never want to go to bed. The award-winning restaurant Room 39 served us heaty yet heathy smashed avocado on toasts to soak up the booze from the night before and fed us superfood salads and cheese-laden burgers to line our stomachs pre-partying.
In the end it was hard to pry ourselves away from this scandalous Balearic haven, and I thought of Tony who stayed until the very end of his inimitable life. I got a flashback of his friendly face smiling at me all those years ago as I read the words outside the hotel , “you can check in but you can never check out.”
Don’t miss fundraising evening Choose Love:
Back for the second year running is the charity event Choose Love. in aid of Help Refugees. Syrian TV Chef and refugee himself Imad Alarnab take over Pikes kitchen to prepare a mouthwatering Syrian dinner. The after party is at Freddies. Be sure to book ahead.
Dates: 31.07 / 20.08 / 17.09
Bookable via the Pikes website: Ronnie Scotts Live:
Just confirmed and back again for the third year running from London’s Soho is Ronnie Scotts Live, who are planning a series of dinner and live music dates throughout the season as part of their 60th birthday celebrations.
Dates: 28.06 / 26.07 / 30.08 / 27.09