Every room at Pikes has its own unique story – and undoubtedly, its own secrets – but there’s one room in particular that holds a very special place in our hearts thanks to its starring role in the pop culture film clip that turned our little hotel into a global icon. It’s Room 16 that holds this honour – a classic Pikes room that remains quite true to its original design, and a space that also happens to have been the second
room to have ever been built in the finca. Talk about heritage!
Set deep in the heart of Pikes, at the top of the charming little staircase behind Freddies and accessed via the bougainvillea-draped private balcony that overlooks the candy-pink Pamelas courtyard, Room 16 was originally numbered 2 – look closely and you can still see the very small and faint outline of the original number carved into the wooden door frame. It was constructed as soon as Tony Pike booked his very first guests into the hotel back in 1980 – he checked them into his own dwelling, which was then Room 1 (now 17) and moved next door, which at that time he called the Bougainvillea room, for quite obvious reasons.
By 1983, Pikes had expanded to eight rooms and Tony had just completed the installation of the very costly pool. It had been a project that ran over time and over budget for the hotelier, but with high hopes that it would eventually pay for itself by appealing to new guests – little did Tony know just how quickly his own investment would prove successful! One fateful day that very same year, a man called Simon Napier-Bell came asking to see ‘the boss’, explaining that he was the manager of a pop group in London, and he thought the hotel and pool would be perfect for a video clip they wanted to film.
The record label had a limited budget (don’t they always!) and were planning a 10-day production with the young pop duo. Once Tony had negotiated the price to rent the entire hotel, the deal was on and just two days later, a 19-year-old George Michael and a 20-year-old Andrew Ridgeley strolled into Pikes in a real life meet cute that was probably not unlike the film clip’s first scene. The rest, as they say, was history and now the Club Tropicana video is one of the most iconic clips ever made, cementing Pikes’ reputation in pop culture history and immortalising Tony as the Panama-hatted barman.
While most of the rooms were filled with cast and crew, Room 16 (aka 2) was reserved for filming. It’s the space where we see a very youthful George and Andrew packing their bags, moussing their hair and shaving their youthful faces to return to their ‘day jobs’ as pilots, in addition to Pepsi and Shirley transforming into preppy air hostesses (as they were called, back in those days). With different angles, it looks like the clip was shot in multiple suites but in fact, it was all in that one little magical room.
In case you want to speed through for a recap: At 2.51 minutes, we spy pilot George shaving his oh-so-youthful face in the mirror, before throwing a Wham single into his suitcase on the bed. At 3.00 precisely, Dee C. Lee and Shirley come into shot, getting ready for work. Almost immediately afterwards, at 3.02, a very fresh-faced Andrew Ridgeley appears in the circular mirror, checking his highlighted locks are up to flight industry standards. At 3.48, the clip cuts back to Andrew straightening his tie, while singing along to the ‘cooool, cooool’ backing lyrics, before Dee C. Lee and Shirley reappear, ready for work at 3.59. All in all, it’s just a few minutes but what iconic minutes they are!
Fast forward to 2011, we decided to renumber all 26 rooms clockwise, so that it just made more sense as you wandered around Pikes, thus naming this legendary bedroom as Room 16. And while some things have changed – mattresses, pillows, soft furnishings and the like – others remain the same, such as the mirror, bedframe and bathroom foundations (built by Tony’s very own hands).
These days, many of Room 16’s guests say they love waking up, opening the door and stepping out onto that balcony to look out over the bougainvillea and into Pamelas to watch the day unfold. At night, the area below comes alive, and the balcony is a great place not just for people watching, but for sipping cocktails as you get ready for a night in Freddies. Since it’s located right above the restaurant and the club, it can get a little noisy in peak season but so far, no one’s complaining – in fact, we’re told they’re generally in the thick of it all, making the most of the room’s central location for bathroom breaks, costume changes, Instagram moments and much more.
Staying in Room 16 is like sleeping with history – why not recreate your very own Club Tropicana mirror moments when you stay here? As George sang: Pack your bags and leave tonight, don’t take your time, gotta move your feet, don’t you miss the flight! Summer’s coming – book your stay in Room 16 now!