Even if you’ve never heard of Pikes by name – you certainly know about it (Picture: James Christiansen)

‘Does it make it more magical? If it does, let’s do it…’ 

It’s a bit of a no-brainer that magic and holidays go hand in hand, but for one boutique hotel in the San Antonio hills in Ibiza, it’s key management decision-making. And, according to current owner, Andy McKay, ‘way more important than any bottom line’.

It’s this ethos that has helped maintain Pikes Hotel’s legendary status as the must-visit place to dance and drink or eat and stay on the White Isle.

With a heady mix of A-list guests that span decades and include Grace Jones, Kylie, Liam Gallagher and Freddie Mercury, the 26-room villa-esque hotel has become as famous for its Sunday roast and A-list DJ sets as its juicy history. 

Even if you’ve never heard of Pikes by name – you certainly know about it. 

Fun and sunshine, there’s enough for everyone

The hotel first propelled onto our screens back in 1983 after it was used as the location for Wham’s iconic Club Tropicana video (and again in 2022 for Lewis Capaldi’s almost identical Forget Me vid).

Meanwhile, Freddie Mercury – a regular at the hotel – held his infamous 41st birthday party at Pikes, where little people walked around with trays of cocaine and guests managed to guzzle 350 bottles of champagne.

George Michael and Freddie Mercury (with Tony Pike)

George Michael and Freddie Mercury helped give Pikes it’s legendary status (Picture: Pikes)

Since then, although such levels of debauchery have definitely been toned down, Pikes has managed to hold onto its hedonistic reputation.

How it started

Before Andy took on the 15th century finca in 2011, Pikes belonged to Hertfordshire born yachtsman Tony Pike, who arrived on Balaeric shores in 1978. With his partner Lyn, he bought the rundown mansion and turned it into a small countryside hotel, where he could entertain friends and guests.

The finca when Tony bough it (Picture: Pikes)
Doing the rennos with Lyn (Picture: Pikes)

‘Tony was a genius,’ Andy, who ran Ibiza’s infamous Manumission club nights in the 90s and 00s, tells Metro. ‘He invented the first ever boutique hotel, before it was even a thing.’

As word spread – and a certain video was made – rock royalty began to stay, and for almost two decades Pikes became the place to party. However, when money eventually ran dry in 1998, Tony was forced to put the hotel up for sale. 

It took 13 years for current owner Andy to come into the picture. Already a staple on Ibiza’s club scene thanks to the success of his Ibiza Rocks Group, he already owned an infamous hotel – Ibiza Rocks – which he’d created to be ‘the best accommodation a 21-year-old coming to the island for the first time would want to stay in’.  

As part of the hotel’s allure, Andy put on live events featuring the hottest bands at the time, such as Arctic Monkeys, The Kaiser Chiefs and Kasabian – but he needed somewhere to put them up. 

The end result back in the 80s (Picture: Pikes)
Grace Jones was a guest and now her picture hangs on the walls (Picture: Pikes)
Kylie – with Tony and friends – also enjoyed a Pikes party (Picture: Pikes)

‘I was always looking for the right hotel for the acts – somewhere rock n roll stars would want to stay,’ he explains. ‘At the time, a Dutch company was looking to turn Pikes into a brothel. I’d stayed there and realised it could be the perfect place.’

Andy struck up an agreement to rent Pikes from Tony for five years, with the option to eventually buy. ‘It seemed like silly money at the time for what we were getting,’ he remembers. ‘When we took it over the place was serving frozen pizzas and burgers, so we brought in our own chef, got new beds and upped the staff numbers. 

‘Tony loved that we were bringing Pikes back to life,’ Andy adds. ‘Part of the agreement was that he could stay there rent free forever.’

Andy at the Club Tropicana bar (Picture: Pikes)
The Marrakech Suite (Picture: Pikes)

The club nights Pikes is now legendary for – whether you’re staying as a guest at the hotel or just visiting for the night – initially started as after parties. Andy would transform Freddie Mercury’s room, known as the Marrakech Suite, with its white stone walls and Moroccan vibe, into a space for people to hang out and dance.

‘We’d turn a chest of draws on its side for the decks, create a makeshift bar and invited the acts and about 100 people. It just went from there,’ he recalls. 

By the time the rental agreement was up in 2016, Andy agreed to buy Pikes – by then a successful hotel not just for rock stars – and Tony continued to stay, mingling with guests until his death in 2019.

How it’s going

Today, the Marrakech Suite is lovingly known as Freddies (still with the singer’s bed in situ at the back) and has evolved into a hub for the hottest DJs.

This year alone Goldie, Paul Oakenfold and Gok Wan have graced the tiny booth. And while there’s no doubt Freddies is intimate, if it all gets too much, there’s plenty of space for revellers to spill out onto, from the Sunset Terrace and Bar 39, to the Plaza Mayor, said to be the heart of the hotel, and leads to the azure blue pool area.

Fatboy Slim in the teeny tiny DJ booth (Picture: Pikes)
Pikes loves a disco ball (Picture: Pikes)
There are plenty of places to hang out (Picture: Paul Selvey)

A whole night’s holiday

After dark, Pikes may be chaotically charged, but by day, it’s a very different story – as I discovered on a recent trip. 

Walking through the hotel’s beautifully kept gardens with the hot Ibiza sun beating on my back, a clutter of well-looked after cats slink around. One of them, Romana – said to be the Queen of Pikes – sits regally in reception. 

At check in we’re met by our hostess Audrey, who shows us our room and delivers us to the iconic poolside area. We’re told all new arrivals get a free welcome cocktail from the bar – aptly named Club Tropicana – and we’re handed a very welcome ice-cold paloma.

Pikes today (Picture: Pikes)
It’s the little touches – from your welcome drink to your Pikes coffee cup (Picture: James Christiansen)

As birds chirp in the trees and the poolside DJ gently gets to work, there’s no escaping that this place is a world away from the super-size hotels – and sunbed hoggers – that have infiltrated the isle.

Here, huge day beds scatter across the tiles of the multi-level terraces surrounding the pool, and (sorry, not sorry), there’s enough for everyone.

Once bedded down, it’s hard to move again. To be fair it’s only a few steps to the pool for a cool dip, but with friendly staff on hand to take drink orders, find you some shade or simply have a chat, there’s really no need to do anything else. It’s a friendliness that extends between guests, as conversations about last night’s DJ to today’s plans, warmly permeate the air. 

I have honestly never felt more blissed out than after one day here – even after a big night (Picture: James Christiansen)
Bar 39 looks over the disco balls in the Plaza Mayor (Picture: Sayana Cairo)

Given the hotel’s A-list guestbook, it’s easy to assume that everyone will look like a superstar, but the reality is – and maybe due to Pikes over-27 ‘rule’ – guests come in all shapes and sizes. Everyone is welcome.

In fact, there’s only one thing that might get someone turned away, Audrey confides. ‘If they’re a c***’, she says matter of factly.

Being a guests means you also get to see Pikes in all its daytime glorious technicolour. In the Plaza Mayor, disco balls hang down and speckles of light dance off them onto the garishly pink walls and picture-perfect fuschia, violet and magenta flowers. Despite the vibrant, eye-popping colours that engulf us, the vibe is distinctly chilled. 

At breakfast, coffee is poured into a Pikes mug that sits on every table. As it flows, my server simply smiles and says ‘life is good, eh’. She’s not wrong. 

Chef xxx creates amazing dishes for guests(Picture: Sayana Cairo)

While a few decades ago the food might have been hit and miss, Pikes is now known as a place to eat as well as party. Portion-sizes are generous too – there’s no chance of going hungry. 

As you explore, every corner of the place is a nod to the legacy of Pikes. There’s the super-instagrammable pink tennis court from the 80s, complete with giant size rollerboot, then there’s the tiny bathroom just along from Freddie’s, with a tub filled with balls ready for a karaoke night.

The ball filled bath tub (Picture: Pikes)
The tennis court was made for Instagram (Picture: Pikes)

In our accommodation – which isone of the new Garden Junior Suite – a black and white picture of Debbie Harry hangs on the wall and bottles of ££ tequila sit next to the mini bar. It’s all so sleek, comfy and cool.

Outside sits a fully mod-con bath, just in case you fancy a soak in the sunshine.

The doors are also soundproof, so once you’ve had enough – if that ever happens – you can easily switch off for the night. 

The rooms are cool, sleek and comfy (Picture: Pikes)
Andy McKay says Tony PIke invented the boutique hotel (Picture: Pikes)
Guests are given their very own Pikes rubber ducks (Picture: Pikes)

As we’re staying we have automatic access to events – and once night falls there is rarely a dull moment. A bevvy of big-name DJs are taking over Freddie’s throughout summer, as well as a revival of Andy’s beloved Manumission event. 

Taking place every Monday, phone cameras are banned in a nod to the ‘old days’, when people had to simply enjoy the moment. It’s a far cry from the packed super-clubs smattered across the island where party goers stand zombie-like filming Every. Single. Thing. 

When I stayed, Roger Sanchez was Andy Manumission’s secret DJ. Next door, a pianist played singalong anthems, such as Wonder Wall and Let It Be, on Freddie’s old piano. In another area, a local DJ filled the floor, while on the Sunset Terrace guests made the most of the cocktail area and clairvoyant on hand. 

The grounds of the hotel are perfect to explore (Picture: Pikes)

It was a night that was so much fun, you really had to be there. And the best bit? When we were done, there was no taxi dramas or fears of fomo, as we could just head back to our rooms (and then go back out again if the desire took us).

Of course, staying at a place like this isn’t cheap. PRICES. But it’s worth it. So many people we met were repeat Pikes guests, booking up well in advance. As an Ibiza regular but a Pikes virgin, I can honestly say I have never felt more chilled or blissed out than after one day there, even after a big night.

And, I learned, if you happen to order a drink while the poolside DJ plays Club Tropicana, you’ll get it for free. (Think about it.)

The show must go on

The beauty of Pikes is that it is ever evolving. While we were there, tables were being moved from the restaurant area to the Sunset Terrace. Andy explains that since he took over Pikes he has ‘slowly been turning the hotel into it’s original form.’

And this is where his ‘does it feel magical?’ ethos really holds strong. Some of his latest purchases for the hotel follow the Sothebys auction of many Freddie’s belongings last year.

Freddie is a key part of Pikes history (Picture: Pikes)

As well as one of his suitcases which still had the Pikes luggage tag on, Andy also snapped up the shirt the singer wore for his 4st birthday at the hotel.

Then there was another splurge that’s set to become part and parcel of the decor.

‘I bought some of Freddie’s whicker furniture,’ Andy explains. ’It originally belonged to Pikes but he loved it so much he bought it off Tony 40 years ago and kept it in his conservatory.

‘Now it’s going back into it’s original home, the Sunset Terrace. Guests will be able to use it, as that’s what it’s there for. We want it to live and breathe in Pikes – as that’s the magic of this place.’



4 IBIZA ICONS THAT ARE WORTH A VISIT

Cafe Mambo – another place that started life as a rundown finca, Cafe Mambo has become synonymous with the legendary Ibiza sunsets. The perfect spot to watch the sun go down as you sip cocktails and take in the DJ set for the night.

Time and Space – known as the Ibizan Stonehenge, this 2014 art installation made up of 13 solid stone columns is believed to possess a special energy and is located on the cliff edge in the secluded bay of Calla Llentia.

Pacha – one of the island’s original superclubs, Pacha, with it’s famous cherry logo, turned 50 last year. While it can get packed on the dancefloor, you can also head upstairs to the outdoor terrace for a fresher, more chilled vibe.

Ibiza Old Town – overlooking the Med, the Old Town – aka Dalt Vila – is a UNESCO World Heritage Site steeped in history. With it’s winding alleys, cobbled streets and beautiful buildings, it feels a world away from the crazy pace of party hotspots, such as San Antonio.

Ibiza Rocks – opened in 1998 the hotel has become the home of the pool party and the place to go if you just want to have pure, unadulterated, daytime fun.

Room prices at Pike’s start from 209EUR per night for a “Pikes Room’ and 349 euros for Garden Suite. B&B included. 

For exclusive offers, customers can sign up to the Pikes newsletter here.


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