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My «Fetish» Hoteliers. Alan Faena & André Balazs

My fetish hoteliers.
Alan Faena and André Balazs, the masters of the hotel social club

By Pablo Burgués
Photo: María Andreu

Interview with Diego Calvo CEO and Founder of Concept Hotel Group, who’ll chat with us about two hoteliers that have inspired him when it comes to creating his hotels.

Good afternoon Captain, why do Alan Faena and André Balazs fascinate you so much?
Because they were among the first to define a new concept of hotels, establishments that are more than just simple places in which to rest. They created hotels for people to meet and socialise in, places were something is always happening: exhibitions, catwalks and concerts for example, turning them into energetic cultural and social nerve centres.

OK, let’s start with Alan Faena, please explain to our uneducated readers (and our even more uneducated interviewer) who is this guy and why we should respect him?

Alan Faena, who could be defined as an artist-entrepreneur, is a hotelier and real estate developer who is also heavily involved in the design of his projects. When he was 19 years old he created his own fashion brand Via Vai, which was a huge success in Argentina, the place of his birth. After selling the brand towards the end of the 90s, he entered into the world of real estate where he has worked with the giants of design and architecture including Philippe Starck and Norman Foster. One of his most impressive creations is the Faena District in Miami, an entire cultural neighbourhood created from scratch, and in which we find ultramodern buildings, restaurants, hotels and even a forum for major events related to the art world. And as if this wasn’t enough Alan Faena, he is also crazy about rock ‘n’ roll, just like me. Total respect!

Fuck yeah!
So why should we be envious of Andre Balazs?

André Balazs is another one of those people who seems to be a glutton for punishment. He owns some of the coolest and most successful hotels in the world such as the Chateau Mormont (Hollywood) and The Chiltern Firehouse (London) and is the founder of Standard Hotels Both are on the must-do lists for celebrities, artists, fashion designers (they say that even the Queen has to wait to get a room). One of Andre ́s quotes explains what I love about this guy: “The details, or better still an endless sequence of them, are what makes a project work”. I always have this mantra in mind when I create a new hotel. But in addition to his role as an entrepreneur, you should also envy Mr Balazs for his reputation as a playboy who has had flings (confirmed or merely suspected) with A-listers including Sharon Stone, Cameron Diaz, Naomi Campbell, Renée Zellweger, Daphne Guinness, Uma Thurman and Kylie Minogue.

Have these two gentlemen influenced the decorative and conceptual sides of your hotels?

Yes, of course, the importance of socialising is present at our Paradiso Art Hotel, a lively and bustling place that hosts concerts, performances and fashion photoshoots to name but a few. Regarding decoration, the red and white umbrellas that will surround the pool of our new hotel, Romeo’s, are a small tribute to the Casa Faena Miami Beach.

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Rock&Roll All Night

ROCK NIGHTS: 15 AÑOS DE GUITARRAS Y NOCHES SALVAJES

By Marcos Torres
Photos: Rosa Scipion / Cristal Saints

“No fuckin’ way!” said Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand, when told there was karaoke in the bathroom with a jacuzzi full of coloured balls.
A minute later his jaw drops as he enters the crowded bathroom of Freddie Mercury’s former suite at Pikes, the home of Rock Nights in Ibiza, and it takes him exactly five seconds for him to grab a mic, dive into the jacuzzi and start singing Love Will Tear Us Apart with dozens of sweaty Rocknighters chanting along their glasses raised.

There are few moments which better define Rock Nights’ philosophy and DNA. It is a fiesta that is up close and personal, with no quarter given. It doesn’t matter if you are a famous singer, a world-renowned DJ, a supermodel or actor, everyone is treated the same. You could say that there are only two things that matter, the music and the atmosphere, and at Rock Nights they both merge into one, something that few events are capable of.

This legendary party, founded by Diego Calvo before being led by himself and the lovely Leyla Art, has always aimed to create a great atmosphere with a boss soundtrack that pays tribute to rock ‘n’ roll culture. 

As Poison said: We don’t need nothin’ but a good time! And all of this takes place in Ibiza, no small feat if you consider that the party has earned its name in the Mecca of electronic music and clubbing. It’s time to take your hat off, nod twice and conclude that the mere fact that Rock Nights takes place in Ibiza is worthy of X-Files episode.

Even though the island is world-famous for electronic music, there is also a huge appetite for rock ‘n’ roll on the island with a crowd eager for something different to a regimented, 4/4 beat. Rock Nights has remained faithful to its roots over the course of 15 years of kick- ass parties. Its essence is more authentic than ever thanks in large part to the extraordinary symbiosis between the event and its venue. Rock Nights has found the perfect home at Pikes Hotel, a unique, and original setting in the hills, far from the tourist zone and a place where absolutely everything can, and does, happen.

Before landing at Pikes, the party was held in the majority of Ibiza’s clubs (from small venues to large discotheques), as well as taking the stage at some of Spain’s biggest festivals and leaving its mark in clubs across Europe, always leaving behind steaming dance floors, memorable nights and epic hangovers.

Summer 2020 sees the party celebrate its 15th anniversary, a decade and a half of dancing, laughing, drinking and partying. 15 years of stories that wouldn’t even fit in an encyclopedia. Furthermore, how would you describe in print the faces of the tourists milling around in San Antonio bay when they saw a boat full of Rocknighters dressed as pirates with The Smiths playing at full blast? Or the sound of a Harley Davidson entering the dance floor while “Born To Be Wild” spins? How about the bouncers laughing when the agent of Ana Obregón (Spanish celebrity) asked about the VIP area and Diego came to the door dressed as Jack Sparrow and swigging from a bottle of cava saying that the word VIP doesn’t exist in the Rock Nights dictionary?
Rock Nights is held every Thursday at Pikes from 11th June 11 to 17th September, and as we can’t describe the indescribable, you’ll just have to come to the party and see for yourself.

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