house of the white heart A new revolutionary art space in Ubud
THE CELEBRATED INTERNATIONAL BEACH CLUB HAS FINALLY MADE ITS WAY TO THE ISLAND OF GODS, AND WE RAP WITH THE OWNER ABOUT HIS
FORMULA FOR BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL ENTERTAINMENT EMPIRE
By now you will have heard of Nikki Beach, which recently opened its doors at Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort. Taking over huge billboard signs on some of the main roads in Bali, this upscale beach club is said to be unlike any other on the island, and is ready to change Bali's party scene in a big way.
“Nikki Beach is a lifestyle, more than just a beach club. We are also a family owned and operated global luxury lifestyle and hospitality brand,” explains founder and owner Jack Penrod.
First opened in 1997 as a garden by the sea called Café Nikki in Miami Beach, Florida, it's purpose was to celebrate the life of his daughter Nicole, who passed away in a car accident. Then in 1998, the café expanded into what is known today as Nikki Beach.
“Nicole was the most kind, outgoing, caring and beautiful person for me. After a long time in deep mourning and completely heartbroken – a feeling which never really goes away – I knew I had to honour her life, which we did through Café Nikki and now Nikki Beach,” recalls Jack.
Over the years, Nikki Beach has become the ultimate place to celebrate life, meshing entertainment, dining, music, fashion, film and art into one. It has also become the paramount place to be seen at, since famous stars and jetsetters flock the beach club, including Rihanna, Woody Allen to George Clooney. “Nikki Beach was born to celebrate the life of my daughter Nicole, and we did not have any plan for a global brand. However, the magic between our family concept and our customers created a demand. So we decided to strategically expand Nikki Beach worldwide while keeping the core message behind the brand, which is a celebration of life, by ensuring each location combined the elements of everything that Nicole loved,” explains Jack further.
Now the brand has spread across Europe, Asia and Africa, in exactly 12 locations, with Bali its newest addition. There's even a Nikki Beach Resort & Spa in Porto Heli, Greece, and Koh Samui, Thailand. The beach club chain also has several pop-up locations, at Park City, Utah, during Sundance Film Festival; Cannes, France, during Cannes International Film Festival; and in Toronto during Toronto International Film Festival.
With so many Nikki Beach sites to choose from across the globe, Jack ensures that each one stays true to what the beach club is all about, without ignoring the local culture or ambience, especially in Bali.
“We split the concept 70/30. Seventy per cent of the menu, design, music, and themed events are the same across all locations, while 30 per cent has to reflect the culture of the area. The entrance of Nikki Beach Bali is very Balinese,” he says. Jack has visited Bali a number of times, although mostly to carry out site inspections of Nikki Beach Bali. However, he's looking forward to coming back with his wife and kids, and exploring the island properly.
Although he could be regarded as the king of entertainment and nightlife, behind all the glitz and glamour Jack is a humble family man. When he's not busy visiting various Nikki Beach locations worldwide or taking care of business, he admits he loves to go on vacation with his family, either to his home in the Bahamas or the family farm in North Carolina, where he teaches his 12-year-old twins how to enjoy nature.
This family-core foundation is also perhaps why the Nikki Beach brand is still going strong today. Part of their philosophy is having fun with your family and friends.
“Even though our company has grown tremendously, the sense of family and camaraderie within our staff is the same as it was when we opened our first Nikki Beach back in December 1998. I have seen our staff grow up with my family, because we have built a culture of family unity, common goals, friendship and teamwork. I've seen Nikki Beach employees get married, have children, buy their first homes, and get grey hair. It's such a wonderful, unique and beautiful thing to see,” says Jack.
The swanky Nikki Beach Bali is all geared up for its grand White Party on December 6 and a fun New Year celebration on December 31, and of course many more joyful and fascinating events in 2015. The brand has successfully transformed the way people party around the world, so it is inevitable that Nikki Beach Bali will make big changes to the island's party scene – all thanks to Jack and his empire. So Bali, be prepared to wake up, celebrate life and make it contagious.
"...the sense of family and camaraderie within our staff is the same as it was when we opened our first Nikki Beach back in December 1998. "