Canta Bingo Karaoke

Cocktails, bingo cards & songs

By Laura Martínez

How many times have you sung “I Will Survive” out of tune on a Tuesday night with your mates? The next day is accompanied by a happy hangover as you remember what a fucking great time you had. An epic night out on the tiles where friendships are made or strengthened. I reckon that groups of friends need these moments of social bonding to keep the flame alive.

Romeo’s Motel & Diner brings the whole enchilada this summer for you and your mates to enjoy together.

First up we got Canta Bingo Karaoke, each Friday from 9 p.m. (26th June to 18th September). Being Concept Hotel Group, we’re not talking about your local bingo frequented by old-age pensioners. This is a glamourous bingo for the modern age, hosted in a cool hotel and embellished with the Group’s signature details.

The fun and games continue after the bingo at 11 p.m. in The Playroom, our version of The Cave Suite in The Executive Airport Hotel in Miami, one of those places created for bad behaviour adorned with leopard sofas and pole dance bars. This will be the scene of the most unconventional karaoke in town, hosted by Dame Lola Von Dage.

One of Planet Earth’s coolest karaoke bars is to be found in Scottsdale in Arizona. Called Geisha A Go Go, it has private karaoke rooms so that no one can see you making a fool of yourself, except for your friends. If there is one thing that Americans are good at, it is adapting a concept in such a way to make it seem as if it was invented in the U.S of A. However, like many other things, karaoke was created in Japan. The name comes from the Japanese words Kara (empty) and Oke (abbreviation for orchestra). The genius and inventor of the karaoke machine is called Daisuke Inoue, this man really should have a statue in his honour. Do yourself a favour and dress up like Bowie or unleash your inner Madonna with us. This one’s for you Daisuke!

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A Place for Lovers and Sinners

The return of the motel

By Laura Martínez
Photos: Simon Ray / Nicole Franzen / Ben Finchett

Watching movies affects the brain, as well as being highly responsible for our sentimental education, so it is inevitable that they also influence our choices as travellers.
Motels (the word motel was coined as a portmanteau contraction of “motor hotel”)
have witnessed plans being laid for crimes (Drive), illicit sex (Thelma & Louise) and obsessive love (Lolita). So when we see a motel, we can’t help but imagine what sordid adventures we’d have if we stayed in one.

This accommodation concept had its biggest boom between the 1950s and 1960s. Bikers and motorists parked up their vehicles and rested in cheap roadside motels, checking out the next day to continue burning asphalt. The most famous motel of this era is The Lorraine, in Memphis.
It was here, at the door of Room 306, Martin Luther King, the activist of the activists, was shot dead. Nowadays it is part of the National Civil Rights Museum, acting as a constant reminder of the fight for equality.

Motels have been around since the 1920s but their current resurgence in popularity has very little to do with their predecessors. The new motel is both comfortable and aesthetic, (although non-Americans find even the shabby curtains of a rinky-dink motel in Texas aesthetic).

Travellers previously slept in whichever place was the cheapest ( the cantankerous couple from the film The Florida Project comes to mind), but nowadays people look for motels that can be classed as a boutique, such as The Dive Motel & Swim Club in Nashville, the latest establishment by Lyon Porter (Founder of Urban Cowboy, a famous hotel/bed & breakfast in Brooklyn).

The Dive reclaims the motel’s aura of sexiness and romantic nostalgia, something with which many hotels cannot compete. Another example is “The Drifter” In New Orleans, a dazzling combination of tropical vibes, wrapped in an unmistakable architectural style: MiMO (Miami Modern), the regional style of architecture that developed in South Florida during the post- war period.

The Austin Motel (Austin, Texas) was created by Liz Lambert, who revamped a motel from the 1930s, giving it a groovy makeover. Motels are one of the bastions of American culture, but who said you can’t try a slice of Americana in Spain? If you happen to pass by Ibiza this summer, then you should definitely pass by the island’s first motel: Romeo’s Motel & Diner.
Concept Hotel Group’s sixth hotel will open its doors in June 2020, bringing you ever closer to an evocative experience.

Neon totems, a parking lot full of classic cars, appropriately bad-ass music, a diner that looks like it was taken straight out of Pulp Fiction, and a drop-dead gorgeous pool area. These are all essential elements for a top-end motel nowadays, but Romeo’s goes way beyond
the call of duty with some unrivalled extras: a chapel (for both real and pretend weddings) and rooms kitted out with the top of the range brands that are the hallmarks of Concept Hotel Group, including Marshall speakers and SMEG fridges.

For those crazy, crazy nights, Romeo’s places at your disposal the visual equivalent of Mötley Crüe’s dressing room: The Playroom. It is a lounge kitted out with a pole dance bar, private bar, leopard sofas and disco balls. This rogue’s paradise will play host to the wild and most unconventional karaoke in town, presented by Lola Von Dage each Friday.

Not all motels are in the States, but there are none are like Romeo’s.

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Addicted to Art: Art Paradiso

Art Paradiso: Light, art, action

By Laura Martínez

Iñaki Domingo and Alejandro Marote are the duo behind Altura Projects, the Madrid studio in charge of the Paradiso Art Hotel’s art department. They are responsible for the artistic initiatives that are held each season, and supervise the rotating exhibitions that are held in the hotel lobby.

In Iñaki’s words, the studio’s main commitment is to offer quality experiences in the field of contemporary visual culture. What seduced them to the idea of being in charge of Paradiso’s artistic output was to disseminate the work of current artists and offer guests a genuine and artistic experience, as well as taking art beyond its natural boundaries, something they consider to be of great interest and importance.

When I ask them about their connection with Ana Dimitrova, director of the Adda Gallery (situated inside the hotel with the other gallery in Paris) they said that it came about in a very organic way: “We met Ana through our beloved Diana Kunst (the artist who was also part of our team when we began) and we immediately realised that both Diana, and the type of artists she works with, would fit in well at Paradiso Art hotel. We had a chat with her and she liked the idea so much that she agreed to take charge of the gallery” recalls Iñaki

They have already worked together for three years, bringing something new and exciting to both the guests and the island itself, as it is a place where culture and tourism don’t always go hand in hand.

As for taking art out of its comfort zone, these two visual art lovers are clear: “Art should not be restricted to museums, exhibition halls and fairs. We are experienced in consulting, curating and management in the world of contemporary art, and we can now add that we are bringing art to Ibiza’s well- known tourist areas.

The works of art exhibited in a hotel should be objects of interest in themselves rather than being part of the decoration, and it is important that the zones in which they are exhibited also maintain their own personality. In Paradiso, each area dedicated to art is independent but connected to the rest of the installations. Paradiso’s lobby will feature the works of Misterpiro, PeBe Estudio and Marcos Torres this season.

With regards to this season’s art initiatives, the guys from Art Paradiso have got some big surprises. “In addition to the three new exhibitions that will be held at Adda Gallery Ibiza and the Zero Suite micro-residency programme, where we will host 6 new artists, we will also launch the Paradiso Challenge, a proposal connected with the social networks that will invite our followers to participate creatively in a challenge that offers the possibility of winning two nights’ stay in the hotel’s Zero Suite. We have organised two workshops that will take place weekly throughout the season. The photography workshop gives our guests the opportunity to learn all the secrets behind taking great selfies with their mobile. The painting workshop will teach guests all they need to know about body painting techniques.” Art has never been so attractive.

Art in the lobby

Paradiso Art Hotel has become the meeting point for the island’s most inquisitive art lovers, so this season we will bring you the best in graphic and urban art for your visual pleasure. Step right up and see for yourselves!.

Mr. Piro

Misterpiro is one of Spain’s most outstanding urban artists. Andrés Sánchez-Ocaña, aka Misterpiro, defines himself as: “water, colour and above all, impulse.” His phenomenal artworks have attracted increasing numbers of brands into his multi-coloured universe, which has already seen him undertake customised collaborations with Nike and Levi’s. For his exhibition in Paradiso’s lobby, Misterpiro has been inspired
by Ibiza’s landscapes and its colours, from its deep blue waters to the chromatic variety of its incomparable sunsets..

PeBe Studio
Pablo Benito is the founder of PeBe Studio, based in Barcelona. The creative freedom that abounds in his projects has led him to create visual imagery that is instantly identifiable. His passion for architecture and interior design is reflected in his prints of some of Barcelona’s most mythical buildings, including Casa Batlló and La Pedrera. PeBe will bring his ‘Horizons’ series to Paradiso this summer. It is inspired by horizons and the “beginning and end” concept, mixing colour, geometry and dreamlike, surreal spaces together.

Marcos Torres
Marcos Torres is an Ibizan graphic artist with an extensive career in the art world, at both national and international level. His singular style is characterised through its strong bond with music, film and pop mythology, and the passion that he transmits to the viewer through a powerful and sensual aesthetic. Marcos’s artworks will close the exhibition season in Paradiso’s lobby, giving us the chance to see his instantly recognisable and characteristic visual narrative, dominated by a cult of colour that creates a visual impact.

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Gijsbert Hanekroot

Desde Abba hasta Zappa

By Laura Martinez
All photos: ©Gijsbert Hannekroot / Cortesía MONDO GALERIA

Nowadays, it is easy for concertgoers to see at least one or two photographers capturing the gig’s best moments. However, when Gisjbert Hanekroot started out his career didn’t exist as such. Things had to be invented on the fly.

He began in 1969 with a friend from school who wrote about rock for an underground magazine in Amsterdam. Gisjbert showed his friend a photo that he had taken of a Dutch band called The Outsiders, and they both realised that they should work together. The majority of the newspapers at that time included a youth section and they both started work for one of them. He was the first photographer for the paper, and he worked there for 6 years. Gisjbert remarked: “There wasn’t an exact moment when I knew that this would be my life’s work, the biggest American bands had already released their first and/or second albums, and were already touring Europe. There was so much work to do and I made things up as I went along, giving form to a profession that didn’t exist previously.”

There is a special space reserved in his treasure chest of memories for those artists with which he spent the most time on tour: a certain David Bowie, for example, whom he accompanied on tour for many years. He remembers the genial artist as a kind and intelligent person. Gisjbert published his incredible experiences in his book – “David Bowie: The Seventies”.

He also speaks well of his experience with The Rolling Stones in his book “From Abba to Zappa”. This book contains a superb photo in which Gisjbert himself appears. The photo, taken by Jagger, is of a pack of photographers who were waiting to take a picture of the band’s leader. Gisjbert continued: “Keith Richards made me laugh so much, I remember when we first met him, I was accompanied by a journalist who conducted the interview and we were both very nervous. Later on, in his memoirs, he mentioned that he always kept a gun under a cushion for uncomfortable interviews!”. Gisjbert also travelled with Lou Reed (to whom he dedicated his new book) on various occasions, and mentions Neil Young as another of his favourites.

When I asked him what makes a photograph immortal he replied: “There are two things of equal importance – the timing and the moment, one cannot exist without the other. It also helps if the person that you are photographing is immortal in themselves”. Ain’t that true Gisjbert! If it’s between taking a picture of Lou Reed or our drunk mate in a dive bar, I know which one I’d prefer!

The “Sleeping With Rockstars” exhibition, held in Dorado Ibiza Suites in 2017, featured photos from both Gisjbert and Terry O’Neill, who went to the great photo studio in the sky last year. We had the pleasure of interviewing Terry for the first edition of Stories.

Gisjbert will be visiting us at the end of August 2020 and will leave his arsenal of legendary photos to be exhibited. We can’t wait to catch up with him and hear more tales of rock ‘n’ roll history.

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“We are design tailors”

Por Pablo Sierra

Andrea Spada and Michele Corbani are the two masterminds who have brought the dreams of Concept Hotel Group into reality: by designing the Group’s 5 hotels (to date), and its head office. These two natives of Italy settled in Spain in their youth, (Andrea lives in Madrid and Michele in Pamplona), and they haven’t stopped working since. They have created restaurants, offices, commercial establishments, public areas and private homes. We spoke with Andrea to find out about the day-to-day of Ilmiodesign, the name they chose for their company when it was founded ten years ago.

Q: Italy is the cradle of art. Do you think design is part of your country’s character?
A: Being from Monza, a city that is located very close to Milan, and the cradle of furniture manufacturing, design is something that has stayed in me since I was a child. I still remember when I was twelve, and they took us to see the Zanotta factory, a global company in the manufacture and furniture design sector. Italians, in general, have internalised the concept of design. I remember that my family would take the classic Cube radio, designed by Marco Zanuso for Brionvega, on our summer holidays. It is a revered design piece now, but back then it was a common household appliance.

Q: I read that you and Michele met while on an Erasmus exchange in Salamanca (Spain). Did you know back then that you were going to team up creatively?
A: The Polytechnic of Milan had the great idea of sending only five students to the Faculty of Fine Arts in the University of Salamanca, and it is there that me and Michele met. At the time, we were full of happiness and youthfulness, and we did not think about working professionally in the future, and, in addition, as partners. The idea arose when we returned to Spain. After working and maturing in several studios in Madrid we decided to start our own company. We named it, Ilmiodesign, as a statement to say that we were finally designing projects that we would undertake ourselves.

Q: Would you say that designing the interior of a hotel, an office or a dwelling is like telling a story?
A: Yes. However, designers always need a good client on the other side of the fence, someone who transmits what they want, their concerns and desires. We consider ourselves a design tailor who stitches together tailormade suits for our clients. Neither me or Michele would want to become a ready-to-wear shop.

Q: What are the first steps in this creative process?
A: After making contact with the client, we believe that getting to know the space we will be working on, in situ, helps us a lot. The next step is to sit around a plan and compare and contrast the visions that each one of us has for the project. We usually end up arguing after this first phase because it is an almost natural release that reveals how much we are interested in the project, along with the excitement of developing something new. We then leave the ideas rest on paper and come back to them a day later. This is how the sketch starts, and the ideas created will be turned into reality.

Q: Do you always design the furniture for your projects, or do you comb the market until you find the perfect piece?
A: We like to design pieces because we think it is the way of providing that exclusive touch to our work, through small details, as well as making each project different. But, at the same time, the Salone del Mobile in Milan is unmissable for us in order to get the latest news and trends, and transfer them to our projects before other studios.

Q: Were the projects that you developed for Concept Hotel Group made individually, or did you already have some general ideas that define the Group’s personality?
A: Every time we develop an idea for Concept it is a new and special adventure. The story they tell us is always different, fascinating and stimulating. We like to be asked to switch gears in the design of each hotel. It is a great personal challenge, and gives us the possibility of investigating new hotel trends. In addition, we love Ibiza, especially in winter when we visit the island for a couple of days to see the works. It is a quiet, relaxed island. For someone who lives in a city, a walk on the beach is worth a lot.

Q: You have recently been in New York for business. How does this city, considered by many to be the best in the world, inspire you?
A: New York is a mythical city like few others in the world. On our last trip we visited a lot of hotels, all of them were interesting. The city invests a lot in design and the results are amazing. In New York, the best professionals in our sector compete to carry out their own ideas. We are also close to achieving this with our work.

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