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The name Plaza Mayor translates from Spanish to English, quite simply, as ‘main square’. Ever since we opened the doors to our very first guests in July 1980, our very own Plaza Mayor has been like the heart of hotel. Perfectly positioned in the centre of Pikes, it’s always been the space where people come together – whether coming from their rooms down to the pool, from the restaurant across to the Sunset Terrace, or from Freddies out into the balmy summer night air – and congregate over drinks, beneath the sun, stars and sky.

When Tony Pike first purchased the finca in 1978, the plaza you see today was a dirt-road driveway, that led all the way to the main entrance, which had stables to the left, the typical porxo (porch area) of an Ibiza farmhouse at the front, and a dliapidated building with no electricty or running water behind it. As he went about ripping down walls, stables, pig pens and more to create a more impressive entrance – also planting the two now-iconic bougainvillea plants that are the Plaza’s crowning glory today, framing the finca in thousands of fuschia petals – Plaza Mayor was born. It was just outside the original reception (the aforementioned stables; now the little space called Chez Fez), and it served as a communal space between the four existing hotel rooms, reception, the pool and the breakfast terrace.

Back then, while it did have a kitchen, Pikes didn’t have a restaurant per se. On occasion, tables would be set up in Plaza Mayor for Tony’s legendary homecooked lamb roasts – he’d invite locals, guests and friends for regular get-togethers, cementing the space’s reputation as a place to gather with friends. Over the years, as the hotel expanded, so too did our little Plaza. ‘Every spanish vilage has a Plaza Mayor, the nerve centre, with a post ofice, grocery shop, and that’s what I called the courtyard area in front of the finca,’ explains Tony in his memoir, Mr Pikes. ‘I put in a bar, a little beauty parlour, a massage table – some essentials.’ You can still see the doorways that once housed these beauty and massage rooms, on the steps that lead up into Freddies.

Over the years, Plaza Mayor has been painted white, yellow, orange and now pink, and it’s been the setting for some amazing scenes. There’s a gold plaque high on the wall that states: ‘ON THIS EXACT SPOT ON 27 JULY 1872 NOTHING HAPPENED’ – a testament to the dry wit with which the space has been designed, redeveloped and reinvented throughout its lifestyle. Of course, those in the know (and those who still retain the hazy memories) will tell you that plenty has happened on that exact spot! We know we say this a lot, but oh, if those walls around Plaza Mayor could talk..

There was the night Tony Pike hosted a dinner for famed Amercian singer-singwriter Joan Baez and 18 of her friends in Plaza Mayor. As Joan stood up and spontaneously broke into song, it inspired all her guests to dance (some say cossack-style, others say conga – does anyone out there remember?) down to the pool, leaving all their meals completely untouched (and their bills unpaid)! When the Pikes Restaurant officially opened for business, to the public as well as guests, it was the place where wildly dressed dancers from KU Club would boldly parade throughout the tables to entice guests to join their parties after dark every night, bringing good time vibes wherever they went.

1987, a place to mingle as guests flitted from the back terrace and the gardens to the pool and many different rooms. One of the most famous rooms at the time was the Marrakech Suite (now Freddies), where Freddie would take up residence and it was accessed directly from the steps of Plaza Mayor – how convenient! And when Freddie practiced belting out his vocals for the iconic track Barcelona from his room, the day before he performed it in KU, his incredibly powerful voice could be heard reverberating
across Plaza Mayor.

Plaza Mayor is where a best-kept-unnamed member of the Spice Girls got lost looking for ‘the loo’ (which are just to the left of the space) during an MTV shoot, and spent the better part of an hour (to her friends’ amusement) in a continual loop trotting in high heels between her dinner table in Plaza Mayor and the path that leads out from the Sunset Terrace and back into the Plaza. And it also became a wedding chapel of sorts, with numerous couples declaring their love for one another and exchanging vows and rings beneath the bougainvillea, on request.

Years later, when Ibiza Rocks Group took over the management of the hotel, Plaza Mayor was originally transformed into a dining space in order to host the hordes who were eager to sample our very first Sunday Roasts, over a decade ago now! It went onto become a permanent restaurant for many years (where our beloved cats would sneak in to convince their new friends for some scraps of food), a late-night-bar, a haunted hotel complete with a dancefloor at Halloween, and perhaps most impressively, it was the setting for some amazing live acts including Jarvis Cocker, Miles Kane, Paco Fernandez and the incredible Ronnie Scott’s jazz artists – and not forgetting our very own Pikes House Band, who continue to perform every Saturday night of course!

Since the days Tony laid the very first bricks at Pikes, the hotel has been constantly evolving, but one thing has never changed: Plaza Mayor is where friendships are forged and fun is always had! This season, we’ve decided to honour our heritage and go back to our roots, transforming Plaza Mayor back into the social hub it was always destined to be. Come one, come all, and join us for drinks, for Pikes Pizzas, for sunset cocktails, for late night conversations, for live music, for soundscapes curated by our favourite DJs,
and for a whole lotta fun this summer.

Open nightly from 8pm, check out our calendar to see what’s on and register for guestlist for access to our very own main square and make your own memories in the spot where nothing happened on July 27, 1872!

By White Ibiza

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