The Late Nikki Penrod

The Opening party that had it all, cool people, great food, variety of music, smiling staff, and the open air environment of the beautiful S’ Aragamasa coast, where three sleek yachts stood guard out to sea. To top it all off, fireworks exploded into the sparkling clear night skies, loudly announcing the arrival of the Americans to Ibiza. As I gazed out at the three yachts bobbing brightly in the historic Mediterranean sea, my mind flirted with a romantic vision of one of Ibiza’s fabled sons returning home from a land whose people, he helped shape and influence. Christopher Columbus, set sail to discover the Americas on August 3rd, 1492 with a fleet of three wooden ships, The Santa Maria which he captained, The Pinta and The Nina. There is an argument and Theory by local academic Neto Vedera, that Columbus was an Ibicenco and a member of the Colom family who traded with Genoa. Could it be, that the circle which started in 1492 was now complete, as Ibiza welcomed back the sailors, descendants of the crew that set sail for the new world over five centuries ago but instead of three wooden vessels, a digital, state of the art fleet of modern luxury yachts heralded their return home and look, “didn’t we do good for ourselves”!.

The party was an “all white” affair and the full compliment of the Nikki Beach Global team were present to introduce themselves to the island. We arrived shortly before 8pm to be warmly greeted by a beautiful Irish girl from Mayo, named Sarah, at the front door. As we entered, to the right, was a memorial to the person who Nikki beach is named after, Nikki Penrod. A stunning young woman whose life was taken by a drunk driver in 1997 at the age of 18. Her father Jack Penrod opened the first Nikki Beach in her memory and the concept grew from there….a celebration of family life. I was then introduced to the Penrod family, first the patriarch himself Jack Penrod, who like all Americans has an easy charm. He tells me that his first visit to Ibiza was back in the early 70’s and that he had always wanted to return to the island and now with the Nikki Beach concept, he was delighted to be back. His family were all present and before long we were joined by Lucia Penrod, Jacks wife, bursting with enthusiasm as she tells me of her love for the island and its family culture. One could sense that Nikki Beach were excited to be in Ibiza.

Jack and Lucia Penrod @Nikki Beach Opening Party

Inside the main building, the open kitchen plan was busily sending out the food. Over 20 chefs were preparing a menu of seafood, meats, sushi, canapés and Petit Fours. The highlight being the Poached Lobster tails with Bloody Mary sauce, poached tiger shrimp with cocktail sauce and split King crab leg with vodka mayonnaise, all served on a large yacht shaped wooden platter, accompanied by ice. The kitchens and service were impressive and it is in this area, where Nikki Beach will undoubtedly shine in Ibiza. While the island is well respected for its traditional culinary service and skills, the American model brings something new and modern, that local chefs will be keen to see. In the crowd there were many well know faces and dignitaries. Local politicians, movers and shakers and of course the beautiful people, looking resplendent and stunning in the latest fashions from the worlds leading fashion houses. Young and old mixed easily together. The big stage area had a variety of musical entertainment and while the sound was pumping bass, it could be forgiven as it was an Opening party. An impressive display of Fireworks, announced the arrival of Nikki Beach in Ibiza. When the pyrotechnics were finished, cheering and clapping from the local bars and restaurants in the area could be heard from the beach in front of the complex.

Party In Full Swing

Next door, in the Melia owned Sol S’Aragamassa Hotel, a big black banner displayed a slogan stating, that a “Rebirth” was coming in 2014. The Hotel is to be completely refurbished and upgraded to cater to the 5 star market which will incorporate the Nikki Beach concept….. so resigning to the history books, the old 3* star family seafront hotel, that was built in the 70’s. Talking to some of the local businesspeople, many were positive towards the new upmarket concept for the area. “Santa Eularia needs new investment” one told me and “we look froward to the new clients that Nikki Beach will bring to the area” stated another. “I like the concept but lets wait and see” said another cautiously. Tasteful and unpretentious would be how I would best describe Nikki Beach. Some people are not going to be happy with its arrival in such a quiet area, but progress is progress and we all have to accept that life changes whether we like it or not. I think Santa Eularia has landed a good catch with Nikki Beach, as they are people who will respect the local community and who are always open to communication. The local Ibicenco parents and grand parents, that waited in the next door Ceasers bar, as their sons and daughters were invited to the party, popping back every now and then to update the family on what was going on inside, were clearly intrigued to find out what the American style was like.

As they sang and clapped in the traditional Spanish way, one could feel that they were happy with their new neighbour and that maybe, just maybe, the descendants of a long lost relative had returned in triumph to the island of his birth.

The Blog would sincerely like to thank Julie Fogel of Nikki Beach for all her invaluable help and assistance.