The Guardian – Ibiza icon Tony Pike dies aged 85

Ibiza icon Tony Pike dies aged 85

Hotelier epitomised hedonism of the island where he held raucous parties for celebrities

Matthew Weaver

Mon 25 Feb 2019 16.29 GMTLast modified on Mon 25 Feb 2019 16.34 GMT

Tony Pike pictured in 2015 at his hotel in Ibiza, Spain
 Tony Pike pictured in 2015 at his hotel in Ibiza, Spain. Photograph: David M Benett/Getty Images

Tony Pike, the hotelier who epitomised the hedonism of the holiday clubbing island Ibiza, has died at the age of 85.

He had been suffering from prostate and skin cancer. His death was announced on his Facebook page, Pikes Ibiza, accompanied by the message “Your legend will never die”.

Pike founded the Pikes Hotel in San Antonio in 1978. It went on to became a much-mythologised venue for raucous parties and a favourite hangout for celebrities.

Ibiza icon Tony Pike dies aged 85 Cont.

Pike was described by the Guardian last year as the “ringmaster for 30 years of celebrity debauchery”.

Also the hotel secured its reputation as the centre of the Ibiza party scene when it featured in a video of the 1983 Wham! hit Club Tropicana.

Similarly a bare-chested Pike appears at the start of the video in a straw hat and welcoming guests to the pool side of his establishment; before George Michael sings about a place where you can “brush shoulders with the stars”.

The hotel also hosted an infamously bawdy 41st birthday party for Freddie Mercury in 1987. The guests included Grace Jones and Julio Iglesias.

Pike, recalling the party, said: “Money was no object. Freddie sought sanctuary in the hotel and wanted a party to remember. But when I asked him about the budget he just laughed and said there was none.

“We could freeze the swimming pool and have skating elephants if we wanted. He just wanted it to be wild.”

Ibiza icon Tony Pike dies aged 85 Cont.

In 2008, Pike sold the hotel to its current owners, Ibiza Rocks. In 2017 he published his account of the running the hotel in his book, Mr Pikes: The Story Behind The Ibiza Legend.

Celebrities who enjoyed Pike’s hospitality were quick to pay tribute. Likewise Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, tweeted that Pike was “larger than life and twice as entertaining”.

Furthermore the actor Leo Gregory said on Instagram: “From my early days on the island staying at Pikes, where he got me out of a scrape or two, to the last time I saw him in December he was always full of life, love and mischief.”

The Twitter account for the Ministry of Sound nightclub described Pike as an “Ibiza icon”.

Mr Pikes: The Story Behind The Ibiza Legend

Ibiza icon Tony Pike dies aged 85