The legendary A-list celebrity hotel boss Tony Pike – dubbed the Hugh Hefner of Ibiza – has died at the age of 84 after a battle with cancer.
The five-times married hotelier shot to fame in the 1980s after launching Pikes Hotel on the party Spanish isle, with his celebrity friends including the likes of Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss.
His hotel once hosted Freddie Mercury’s notorious 41st birthday in 1987, described as at the time as one of the craziest the island has ever seen, with dwarves walking around with trays of cocaine and 350 bottles of Moet and Chandon champagne quaffed by guests.
Wham! used the venue as the setting for their famous Club Tropicana music video and Mr Pike once boasted of sleeping with George Michael.
News of Mr Pike’s death was announced via the Pikes Hotel’s Facebook page late last night, with a caption accompanying a photo of him simply reading: ‘Anthony John Pike (Tony). 1934-2019. RIP. Your legend will never die x.’
In July 2018, Pike launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for cancer treatment, writing: ‘I am 84 years old, and I have prostate cancer and skin cancer. People think I am a multimillionaire because the hotel is sold. The opposite is true.’
A-list celebrity hotel boss Tony Pike – dubbed the Hugh Hefner of Ibiza – has died at the age of 84 following a battle with cancer
The ramshackle old finca, which dates back to the 15th century, founded by legendary party boy and former hat maker Tony Pike in the hills behind San Antonio has played host to dozens of stars over the years. Freddie Mercury loved it so much he ended up living there
The five-times married hotelier (left) shot to fame in the 1980s after launching Pikes Hotel on the party Spanish isle, with his celebrity pals including everyone from the late Freddie Mercury (right) to Kate Moss
Tony Pike (left) boasted of sleeping with George Michael (right) and hosted a legendary three-day birthday party for Freddie Mercury. He has died aged 84 after cancer battle
He went on to explain that he needed ‘dendritic cells therapy ASAP,’ a relatively new form of alternative cancer treatment.
British-born Australian Mr Pike originally landed on Ibiza while backpacking. He fell in love with an English girl he met there and they settled down on the island.
He opened the San Antonio hotel, which is housed within a 15th-century stone mansion, in 1978.
After the venue was finished, a music industry type visited while scouting for a video location. He loved Mr Pike’s property and decided to film the whole thing there.
His band was an up-and-coming British duo called Wham! and the video was for their hit 1983 single Club Tropicana.
In his memoirs, Mr Pike – who appears in the video as a straw-hatted barman – claimed that he and George Michael had downed drinks before making ‘tender and passionate love’.
He said he was ‘surprised’ at this turn of the events ‘because I’m gay’.
The hotel went on to host a string of wild parties including Freddie Mercury’s infamous 41st birthday in 1987
Some 500 people were invited but 700 showed up for a party that would end up lasting three days.
Speaking of the bash a few years ago, Mr Pike said: ‘Money was no object. Freddie sought sanctuary in the hotel and wanted a party to remember.
Mr Pike is seen in Wham!’s famous video when he appears as a straw-hatted barman serving the ‘free’ drinks referred to in the song
Other Pikes Hotel guests have included Grace Jones – with whom Mr Pike went on to have a year-long affair. He once described her as having an ‘aura like a rainbow’
Location, location, location: Wham! used Pikes as the setting for their Club Tropicana music video
‘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.’
Mercury loved the hotel so much that he lived there for a few years and, after the star died, Mr Pike kept his large bedroom suite intact.
Other Pikes Hotel guests have included Grace Jones – with whom Mr Pike went on to have a year-long affair. He once described her as having an ‘aura like a rainbow’.
Mr Pike’s disappointed girlfriend is reported to have chased the singer around the pool with a carving knife when she found out about the fling.
Kylie Minogue, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss are also believed to have considered Mr Pike as a friend while the likes of Spandau Ballet, Led Zeppelin, Jon Bon Jovi and Boy George all visited over the years.
In 2008, he sold his beloved hotel to Andy McKay and Dawn Hindle, the partnership behind the Ibiza Rocks, Ibiza Rocks Hotel and Mallorca Rocks brands.
After purchasing the property, they gave it a full renovation, but made sure it didn’t affect the character of the place. They even turned Mercury’s suite into an in-house nightclub called ‘Freddie’s’.
Big-name DJs love Pikes Hotel so much that they happily sign on for a whole summer at the tiny club. Pictured is Fatboy Slim wowing revellers at the hotel
Everything inside the suite has been kept the same – with a space cleared for the dance floor and a DJ booth installed.
According to ShortList, Mr Pike joined the Navy at the age of 12 but jumped ship in Australia after sailing under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
After making a fortune in a business venture, he ended up in Ibiza in 1978 and instantly felt ‘like I’d come home’.
He saw an advert for a 500-year-old farmhouse and decided it ‘could be the greatest place in the world’ – despite having been described as uninhabitable in a Spanish advert.
After years of hard work, including a pick axe and jackhammer to make a swimming pool, he had transformed the property and after Wham! used it in their video, it became a hit.
He was seen as one of the main attractions, topping up drinks and taking guests out on his yacht.
Last year, Pike published a memoir titled Mr Pikes: The Story Behind The Ibiza Legend.
Recounting the moment he first clapped eyes on his infamous hotel he mused: ‘I spotted a 500-year-old finca near San Antonio for sale in a tiny real estate office. Price on application.
‘The property was set in a couple of acres and for sale at six million pesetas (around £40,000 back then).
‘We drove up to see it and found an abandoned house, with an original olive mill and flour mill, but no water or electricity. I had a feeling about it, though. I felt the house had an irresistible charm to it, but I wanted to improve the look of it. I could see the potential…’
News of Mr Pike’s passing quickly garnered thousands of responses on Facebook, with hundreds of fans expressing their condolences.
Jade Power wrote: ‘I imagine you’ll be partying up there with all the other legends you made friends with over the years. RIP Tony, thank you for the memories.’
While Danny Rampling added: ‘Very sad news to wake up to bless Tony Mr Ibiza, will miss his stories and laughs we had together over many years RIP.’
Pikes hotel issued an official statement on Monday evening reading: ‘Our deepest sympathies and thoughts are with his family and we are respecting their privacy at this time.
‘All the team at Pikes have been been touched by the tributes we have seen from those who knew him both on the island and far beyond and we will be taking our own time to reflect and decide how we will celebrate the life of Tony and keep his wonderful memories alive at Pikes.’