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Made in Ibiza: Tony Pike, hotelier, playboy

Tony Pike and his eponymously-named Ibiza hotel reached great heights of fame, like its many famous guests.

Tony Pike has had a full life. On Ibiza, he is most well known as the man behind Pikes, the place where famously Wham filmed Club Tropicana.

A long list of celebrities have stayed there to grab some of its magic, with a diverse mix of people from Julio Iglesias to Kylie Minoque and Carl Cox on the patron list.

For revelations of the saucier side of his life, with the many women he has known and even George Michael, you'll have to read his recently published book. Here he talks of his relationship with Ibiza and his life.


What does Ibiza mean to you?

‘In a word, freedom. 40 years ago there were few controls and you could do as you wanted. I mean, there were controls but it was harder to enforce them, so people got away with a lot more. I don't like to be told what to do so it was perfect for me.'

What is your favourite memory of the island?

‘The first time I saw Formentera; it was like the Bahamas, only better, because the Bahamas is just a group of sand keys. Formentera is only small, but it's very hilly and very picturesque and the water is absolutely crystal clear.'


Never far from a lady or two, Tony loves women

What changes have you seen since you first arrived on Ibiza and what did it teach you?

‘Well, when you live in a place you don't really recognise changes and whether it was like it was, but of course it is not like it was. I've been here 40 years, everywhere changes.

'Millionaires are the unhappy ones and the paupers the happy ones, because they've got nothing to lose.'

The people here are peasants in the true meaning of the word peasant, and they are all about barter - money doesn't interest them. They say, “what will you give me for it” which when you think about it is quite nice because money doesn't influence.

Money really is the root of all evil. I've learnt a lot about money and what it does through Pikes and it's true that the millionaires are the unhappy ones and the paupers the happy ones, because they've got nothing to lose.'

What to you are the three most special things about Ibiza and why?

‘The people, the people are natural, as I said, it's not all about money which is a change.

The other major thing is the climate. The climate is incredible here. I couldn't live in England. I came here after being shipwrecked, which had been forseen by an astrologer. I believe it was a kind of destiny, but one that I caused, not God. I'm an atheist anyway.

'I have always loved and respected women and treated them really well and never done anything wrong to them...well, I haven't been that faithful, but that's because I'm a sex addict.'

Pikes is my political statement to the world. It's open to both the millionaires and the paupers; there weren't many places that were like that when I started here and it became a thing Ibiza was known for.'

Boy George called you the real Hugh Hefner - is that a fair assessment?

'Yes, though there's a big difference with Hugh Hefner and me in that he has used women to make money. I have always loved and respected women and treated them really well and never done anything wrong to them...well, I haven't been that faithful, but that's because I'm a sex addict. Some people are addicted to drugs and alcohol, for me it's sex.'

'I would say that without thinking I am anything special, I've left my mark on Ibiza for sure: people know Tony Pike.'

What does the opposite sex mean to you?

‘Everything. I love ‘em. I love ‘em to bloody bits. Because I was tortured as a kid by my brother, who sexually abused me. I didn't really think about women before; I just wanted freedom from the abuse. I said to one woman, “I'm a sex addict” and she said “what does that mean Tony?”. I said “well, I'll be very nice to you, I'll never abuse you, but eventually I'm going to have you”'.

If Wham hadn't found Pikes, do you think life would have been very different for you?

'No, because I'm a go-getter and I would have made a go of it, but that was a big lift for me and shot me to fame very quickly. It put me into the music business, which I knew nothing about because I've always been a sailor. In that game, you're fighting for survival, there's no pop songs and things like that.'


Tony with Matt Trollope his chief collaborator in getting the Tony Pike story on paper

You've known a cavalcade of famous people, do you think it takes a certain type of person to be famous?

‘No, it takes a person of integrity, straight up. You've got to believe in yourself and you can't be impressed by idiots. I don't try to like them [famous people]. Freddie Mercury [on his first visit] came up to me and said “where's the boss”, I said “I'm the boss”, and he said, "no, I mean the real boss" and i said, "I just f***ing told you, I'm the real boss, you c***."'

What is your main advice for life?

‘I think it's important to be yourself, don't exaggerate and only stick to facts. Don't “grandiose” yourself, because if you are a good person, it'll come out.'

If they were to construct monument of you, what would you choose?

‘[Laughs] Without being stupid or vulgar, I don't know mate, but I would say that without thinking I am anything special, I've left my mark on Ibiza for sure: people know Tony Pike, not only for my sexual exploits, which are not something I'm proud of, but I'm not ashamed of either.'

The book Mr Pikes: The Story Behind The Ibiza Legend is available now, with a special large format coffee table version featuring photos from Tony's life available on 1 June 2018.