A Review Of The New Look Pikes Hotel Ibiza 2024.

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Well, well. What can you say about the recent shake-up at Pikes? The old venue, which opened in 1982, has a new owner, management team, layout, and musical directors. The changing of the guard at Pikes has been the talk of the island, with some sharp critique of the latest stewardship and its new direction by those forced to walk the plank at Pikes. So to experience the changes firsthand, I decided to stow away on the ship’s maiden voyage, during its opening party weekend on April 13, just to get a look inside and a feel for the “New Pikes”. 

I was always a fan of Pikes, I knew Tony well, and we partied together on a few occasions. He also provided me with an excellent interview that promoted my blog and helped me develop my writing skills. That was back in 2012 when Andy and Dawn were in the process of acquiring Pikes as Tony battled illness and financial challenges. I have known Andy since his Manumission days so I was well aware of his strengths and faults. I must admit what Andy and Dawn did with Pikes was cool. They kept the integrity of the place alive and made it open and accessible to the general public. Another buyer could have turned it into a private luxury villa complete with a 50K-a-week price tag. 

Throughout the years, I have always enjoyed the ambiance at Pikes. I loved talking to people outside on the terrace, the reasonable prices of drinks and food compared to other clubs, and of course, their vibrant and free music policy. There was no entry fee and the people who visited Pikes were more refined and interesting, many of whom were residents of the island. The staff at Pikes were also cool, and you would get to know many of them personally. The Pikes Groove was a blend of tourists, workers, and locals dancing and communicating in a sophisticated and artistic manner, which was different from what you would find in the clubs. I have many fond memories of the Literary Festival, where I met Irvine Welsh, and the Ibiza Rocks nights where I bumped into Bernard Summer. That was the beauty of Pikes; it was eclectic and random at times, especially during warm summer nights.

I enjoy being able to mingle in crowds without being recognised. I don’t do invites unless it’s from people I know and I don’t like announcing my arrival. It’s amazing how much you can observe and listen to when people view you as a tourist. So I approached Pikes as I usually do by placing my name on the guest list and queuing up outside to get in. I arrived around 11 pm and already there was a long queue but it moved quickly enough. The young lady at reception processed my online reservation with a polite smile, and warm greeting and requested that I enjoy my night. The front of house is so important in Ibiza as it sets the tone for the rest of the night so I was off to a good start. Not much has changed when you enter. The toilets and Tony’s old quarters are to the right, and as I made my way to the terrace, there was the sound of live music coming from the Plaza Mayor, the heart of the building.

Not all the old crew at Pikes walked the plank

As I entered the terrace area to the side of the building, I was happy to see that it remained the same. I went to the bar and ordered myself a drink which was served quickly by the two smiling staff members there. No sooner than I had turned around with my drink, Andy McKay was there working the crowd and moving around. He didn’t recognise me so I was able to observe. He seemed a lot freer in himself and anybody who knows Andy well can testify to his ability to work a room. Andy splits opinions in Ibiza. Some people admire him, others detest him. But that is the way of life in Ibiza, you don’t get to where Andy is now without making enemies and that observation applies to the majority of people who have been successful on the island. You need to be hard and tough to survive in Ibiza. Any weakness shown will be quickly exploited by the island Pirates.

I chatted with a few people on the terrace and in conversation learned that Andy had a private party in Pikes the weekend before to celebrate 30 years on the island and to launch his new Andy Manumission persona. From all accounts, it was a good one. I then moved on to Freddie’s, my favourite room in Ibiza where everybody was there to dance and enjoy themselves. At the bar, as you enter I ordered a glass of wine and as I waited a group of friends who looked like they had just arrived were ordering heirbass shots. They offered me one and with smiles, we toasted good health and Ibiza together. Unfortunately, the heirbass was off. It was not chilled properly and either it was a cheaper brand or serving it in a plastic shot glass affected its taste. This problem with the Heirbas needs to be rectified promptly or else guests will be left with a bad taste in their mouth, which I had until I washed it away with an okay glass of house wine for eight euros. Good to see prices have remained reasonable. In my earlier conversation on the terrace, I was informed that there was a free bar in operation at the pool area during the playing of Club Tropicana by Wham. A nice touch indeed and hopefully this style of hospitality will remain.

I remained dancing in Freddies for the next hour or so as the music was light and funky and the crowd, were good. No mobile phones which was refreshing to see and those in attendance were younger than before. The majority were British tourists, well-dressed, fashionable and professional-looking. Not your usual having it large tourist type but more refined and discerning. It was not too crowded and it was easy to dance and move around. When I moved out to the new Plaza Mayor I could see why Freddies was not packed, the majority of the crowd was in the Plaza dancing away to the Pikes House band. This area is where I witnessed Pikes biggest change. A Jools Holland-style stage where the band were part of the crowd, up close and personal and everybody enjoying themselves. Not as many people out of it as there used to be at Pikes. The Marilyn Monroe-styled lead singer was very good and she had the crowd feeding out of her hand. The Plaza was bright and airy with its bar and I liked the way you could move easily from Freddies to the Plaza. Before it was a bottleneck as access was restricted. I remained there for 45 minutes as the live music was entertaining and the atmosphere vibrant.

I then returned to Freddies to dance the remaining of the night away. On my way back from the Plaza I passed by a big gap from the old soul of Pikes, Sunnys Boudoir. It was sad to see it gone, as it represented so much of Ibiza’s old spirit. Sunny Razman is a professional entertainer through and through and some of my most emotional moments in Pikes were in his Karakoe Bathtub. Sadly Sunny was a casualty of war in the changeover of ownership. He remained loyal to his old friends, which is an admirable sign of character and while he will be greatly missed, I feel it’s time for him to move on to pastures greener where he can grow bigger and better. It was difficult for me to watch the Karaoke Bathtub replaced in favour of a hard techno room. If you wanted to replace something with the complete opposite of what it was, then this area represents the most profound change at Pikes. However, the younger guests seemed to be enjoying the room as a novelty but they weren’t staying as long as they did for Sunny. I feel this area of Pikes needs some love and attention as it’s not complete yet.

Moving back into Freddies the music was not as dark as it used to be in the old Pikes. The one thing I always found about the music policy at Pikes was its inconsistency. You had some really good DJs and some particularly dodgy ones. There never seemed to be a disciplined musical direction at Pikes but that was its attraction for some. It was like selecting the shuffle option on your playlist. While the Sunday We Love parties were curated expertly other parties were not. Hopefully, the new management will address this situation and bring a more cohesive structure to the music programming, paying particular attention to the DJs they book. Listening to the same DJs week after week was getting boring. A shakeup was required in my opinion. Music policy will play a major factor in the success of Pikes going forward and rightly so.

Thankfully, not all the old crew at Pikes walked the plank. I recognised a few old faces from before and was happy to hear that Tess Prince of Love Food Ibiza was still in charge of the kitchens. She remains one of the best chefs in Ibiza, thanks to her warm style of cooking with love. Her husband Dan Prince also remains at Pikes with his cool Back To Mine party which was always good fun as it did not take itself so seriously. I did request the names of the new management team but that information was not forthcoming so I will have to rely on rumours as to the people in charge of music policy. I do hear the name of Neil Evans, music director at Amnesia, being mentioned in dispatches along with Nick Fergeson of Shine Ibiza at Eden. Those appointments are rumoured to have caused some friction and clash of egos between the old and the new but thats not unusual in Ibiza.

I did not get to see the rooms at Pikes. This was the one area the previous management fell down in. Old fixtures and fittings and worn-out beds were not what you come to expect when forking out 300 a night for a room. Hopefully, this issue along with the overall experience for paying guests will be addressed if not already.

It was about 5 am before I staggered out of Pikes after really enjoying my night. Overall it was a positive experience and I thought that the Plaza Mayor area was where the new Pikes shone at its brightest. I always respected Andy for his support and promotion of live music in Ibiza and I think he is on a winner with intimate live music sessions in the Plaza Mayor. I also enjoyed the music in Freddies and although areas are lacking, the new Pikes still feels the same, if not a little different. It’s now catering to a new generation of guests and I would guess the management is marketing Pikes to this crowd.

From what I experienced at Pikes last weekend, they are going to help make Pikes even better.


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