Briefly outline your original ethos when first conceptualizing and launching the Nikki Beach concept?
The business started 20 years ago as a quiet garden by the sea located at 1 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. It was called Café Nikki to honor the life of my daughter Nicole, who was killed in a car accident when she was only 18. The garden housed a small café, butterfly garden, birds, sunflowers and grown trees, creating a magical, Zen-like space for people looking to enjoy and share memories with good friends and family. Guests who came by would tell someone else about us and so on, and the buzz started building. Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford and a very young Leonardo DiCaprio became frequent customers. During those early years, Miami was very busy with modeling agencies and the movie industry, and, as a result, celebrities found their way into Café Nikki. They fell in love with its energy and became loyal followers of our brand. This loyalty has followed us around the world. With the success of Café Nikki, a natural expansion to the beach area adjacent to the café took place, and Nikki Beach was born. We welcome celebrity guests, locals, tourists and jet setters at all of our locations, and everybody feels special. Our guests have one thing in common, which is an understanding of our brand. Our family’s commitment is to “Celebrate Life” every day. Our tagline, “Celebration of Life”, is our company’s mission and purpose. With 13 locations worldwide we’ve never really had to advertise traditionally. Our advertising strategy has always been “Tell only your best friends”. This is how we built our success. By word of mouth.
Following the success of your first operation in Miami Beach, what elements where you mainly looking for when choosing new locations for your expansion?
A carefully thought out process goes into these decisions and determining if a location meets all of our Nikki Beach requirements before we make any decisions is a long one. Our second location was in Saint Tropez, followed by Saint Barth. These two locations, along with Miami Beach, helped us create a detailed checklist of requirements for expansion. Now that we’ve opened Barbados, there are definitely more plans for expansion coming soon, so be sure to keep an eye on us. You never know where the next Nikki Beach or Nikki Beach Resort & Spa location will pop up.
What are the characteristics of the Nikki Beach culture and company policies that have most influenced the brand’s continued outstanding success?
We have an emotional purpose to do what we do. Our family and staff are committed to celebrate life every day and make it contagious. We never become complacent and we never settle. This is how we’ve operated the business for 20 years and plan to carry through for the next 20. Our unique approach to business, client acquisition and customer loyalty makes Nikki Beach one-of-a-kind. Our customers have a fine eye and understand our brand, and we are constantly striving to deliver the best time possible. Our job is to give every customer the best Nikki Beach experience, the perfect platform to enjoy life and to make them happy. We are all about the experience, so we never cut corners and are always thinking creatively to stay ahead of the game. We combine music, dining, entertainment, fashion, film and art to create our magic and each one of these elements is present daily in the way we run our business. Nikki Beach is about feeling alive and celebrating life with friends and family. Each one of these elements touch our sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste, hence our brand’s motto, “Celebration of Life.” This makes for a memorable experience that keeps our customers coming back time and time again.
What encouraged you to bring the Nikki Beach brand to Barbados?
Barbados is an exceptional island. We had our eye on the location from a business perspective for quite some time. Nikki Beach has successfully made our mark throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East, and has become recognized and well-respected worldwide for 20 years. Now, the overall strategy for the company is to grow the Caribbean, as we want a balance between both sides of the Atlantic. With a very successful location in Saint Barth, we were looking to identify our second Caribbean property and Barbados was the perfect one. My wife Lucia who is CEO of the company and I have been to the island a few times now and have begun going back regularly now that Nikki Beach has a home there.
What is your vision for the future of Nikki Beach Barbados?
We’ll mark the official opening of Nikki Beach Barbados with our White Party. This concept will become an annual event at the location, and is a highly anticipated evening across all of our locations. The idea actually first came about when Naomi Campbell hosted her birthday with a strictly all white clothing themed birthday party for the launch of Nikki Beach Saint Tropez in 2002. The concept was so good that it stuck. People fly in from various destinations to attend our sought-after White Parties. We’ve also already begun activating exciting events on a regular basis so there’s a lot happening on site. We’re hosting a Deluxe Pool Party every Saturday with DJ Jérome Barthélémy, doing our signature Amazing Sundays Brunch with Nikki Beach entertainment every week and Sundown Apéro every Monday to Friday at 4:30pm.