Summer's just a state of mind, right? If we imagine being in a bathing suit on the beach, glistening from the sun, then it'll happen, right? Well, Ibiza believes so at least. Although it’s September that doesn't mean that summer has to come to a close, just yet.
Picture this: a 25-room hotel loved by celebrities including Queen’s Freddie Mercury, world-renowned DJs, and food from top British chef, Tim Payne. All in an island paradise, and we're not just talking parties. The Spanish city is still flooded with things to do this time of year and Pikes Ibiza is just one location to prove it.
'You Can Check In, But You Can Never Check Out'
Pikes was founded by the late Anthony John Pike, famously known as Tony Pike - other times titled playboy, entrepreneur, hedonist, storyteller, raconteur, entertainer, gentleman, businessman, lover, among more. In 1978, Pike stumbled upon a run-down, 500-year-old finca for sale shortly after moving from Barcelona to Ibiza. He instantly felt connected to this little ramshackle which he later learned was called 'Can Pep Toniet' - roughly translating to "the house of little Tony." And well, the rest is history. Pike had a vision and brought it to life. His finca was re-envisioned with thick rock walls, Sabina trees as roof beams and upholstery made by Pike himself.
On July 4, 1980, Pikes officially opened, with continuous transformations during Ibiza's off-season, including room additions, a swimming pool, and a pink tennis court. Although, the tennis court was rarely used. It only served much of a purpose for Pike and his buddy, Freddie Mercury, when he was in town. While Pike no longer owns the hotel, his signature style helped bring it to life. Since 2011, the hotel has been under new ownership and extensively refurbished by the owners of Ibiza Rocks Group.
Pikes's charming and intimate setting quickly became the blueprint for 'boutique' hotels in the San Antonio hills, featuring bespoke rooms and suites set around the sprawling fairytale gardens and the famous aquamarine pool which was the location for Wham’s ‘Club Tropicana’ video. It attracted everyone from the beautiful to the glamorous as well as people of influence. Tony's guest list wasn't shy of famous names, including Mike Oldfield, Joan Baez, Frank Zappa, Boy George, Kylie Minogue, Spandau Ballet, Brigitte Nielsen, Robert Plant, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Kenny Everett, the English football team, Bon Jovi and even Tony Curtis.
Along with these names were and still are superstar DJs of the world, continuing Ibiza's reputation as the clubbing capital of the world. In fact, DJ Harvey will be at Pikes Ibiza for 8-weeks as of mid-August, giving guests of the island more summer fun to come.
Freddie Mercury was no stranger to Pikes. It was actually quite the opposite. Mercury was Tony's favorite tennis partner and a regular guest at Pikes. He even celebrated his 41st birthday in the space that is now a nightclub titled 'Freddies.'
From August 15 through October 3, DJ Harvey dedicates his time to Pikes Ibizia for his Mercury Rising residency at 'Freddies.' Every Monday, the UK maverick is joined by a different guest who spins chill selections by the pool prior to DJ Harvey's set indoors. This year, names will include Pete Gooding, Sally Rodgers, Luke Una, Lovefingers & Heidi Lawden and Chris Coco.
Top British Chef Tim Payne Joins The Family
Tim Payne is 36 years into his career but a fresh face to the Ibiza crowd. He's held a great passion for food and the art of cooking since his parents took him on a trip to France at the age of 10. The majority of his career has been spent in the kitchens of Michelin-starred restaurants but he's also appeared alongside his mentor on ITV's Hell's Kitchen and "Chefted" it up for DJs like Sasha and Carl Cox over the years. After six years of settling down in Ibiza, Payne has taken himself to the west coast where he has since become a member of the Pikes family, helming Pamelas Restaurant.
“Level-headed, realistic, and precise," is Payne's way of describing his style in the kitchen. This year's menu will offer dishes made with seasonal, local produce blended with an international twist. Choices include tasty octopus pintxos with an Ecuadorian chili sauce, braised pork cheeks with monkfish – a unique take on surf and turf – and a delicious chicken Kiev, (a dish that’s trending on menus worldwide in solidarity with Ukraine). For seafood lovers there will be caramelized fish curry with saffron, lush lobster tacos, deep fried oysters with tartare sauce, and plenty of fresh shellfish such as scallops, clams, mussels, langoustines, and juicy red prawns.. And, their nightly pizza menu will live on with a few carefully curated new additions, one being Pages (Catalan for countryside) pizza - made with island-made Mozzarella, Mahon cheese, sobrasada and butifarra (local sausages).
Payne proudly states, “It’s always about the customers. It’s about serving the guests to the best of your ability, and meeting or exceeding their expectations. Wherever you are, even at the top of hotels and restaurants, you should always aim to improve, no matter how successful it already is – whether you’re at Pikes, McDonald’s or a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, it should be the same. It’s like a building block that never stops.”
“We already know the people who come here enjoy the food a lot. So now, my job is to uphold the standards, see how the whole place functions, and make sure the guests are happy when they leave,” he says.
Pamelas shines as the centerpiece of the Pikes experience, closing the week with its Sunday Roast from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.. Go from Pamelas to poolside to Freddie’s all in one day. Check out the funky and quirk art. Get lost in the parallel universe and time machine that is Pikes and as the wall says “You can check in but you can never check out.”