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The winter can be a pretty brutal time thanks to the low temperatures and snow storms that tend to pop up. But it doesn’t have to be the worst time in the world. You can use that time of short days and long nights to get away from it all and take a vacation. And if you wanna get away from the winter, why not kick back at one of the great Nikki Beach locations around the world?
Nikki Beach is a concept that got its start in 1998 by entrepreneurs Jack and Lucia Penrod (who also happen to be husband and wife). The idea back all those years ago was to be the first luxury beach club that mixes music, dining, art, entertainment, fashion, and film into a go to spot for people to enjoy their vacations without even having to leave the property.
Being that it is over 20 years later and the Nikki Beach brand can now be found in 11 global beach clubs and 5 resorts/hotels around the world with a fashion division and a non-profit charity, it’s safe to say that the brand has become quite the success.
With pop events at the Cannes Film Festival every year and a fashion line with some of the top brands like Dom Perignon, Minuty and Perrier-Jouet to Rolls Royce, Chanel Beauty, Bottega Veneta, Missoni Home, Bape, Chopard, and Jaeger-Le-Coultre, Nikki Beach has become quite the vacation spot even beyond it’s gorgeous locale and luxurious hotel rooms.
Locations for the Nikki Beach brand can be found in such locales:
- Miami Beach, USA (Year Round)
- Saint Tropez, France (April – September)
- Saint Barth, Caribbean (October – August)
- Marbella, Spain (April – October)
- Koh Samui, Thailand (Year Round)
- Mallorca, Spain (April – October)
- Ibiza, Spain (April – October)
- Monte Carlo, Monaco (April – October)
- Dubai, UAE (Year Round)
- Costa Smeralda, Italy (June- September)
- Montenegro, Tivat (May – October)
- Porto Heli, Greece (April – October)
- Santorini, Greece (May – October)
For our money, going to spend some time at a Nikki Beach location during the winter is one of the smartest moves one can make. If you want to book a trip there, do it now. You won’t regret it. And if you want to get a better insight into the thinking behind the whole endeavor, check out this interview with Jack Penrod below.
Men’s Journal: Tell us a little bit about your background prior to creating Nikki Beach.
I began my journey in the hospitality industry with my very first job as a McDonald’s line cook. I worked my way up at the company and eventually became one of the largest franchise owners within the corporation. The success I had with McDonald’s gave me the opportunity to open several of my own bar and restaurant concepts in South Florida which was an incredible learning experience.
In 1984, I met my wife Lucia – who moved to Miami from her home in Nicaragua just 4 years prior. She joined my organization to run the exclusive Jockey Club of Miami. A year later, the City of Miami Beach invited me to come to help them change the average-age population from a retiring community to a thriving tourist destination. We opened Penrod’s, a beach club and entertainment complex in the city’s most famous address: 1 Ocean Drive. Lucia supported the opening as Project Manager and later PR Director. In 1995, we got married and have been partners in business and life ever since. Today, she’s the CEO of Nikki Beach Global.
Men’s Journal: Next, tell us about creating Nikki Beach, and your first location in Miami in 1998.
In 1998 my 18-year-old daughter Nicole was tragically killed in a car accident. We chose to honor and celebrate her life by transforming the former Penrod’s location into Nikki Beach, a venue built on the philosophy of “Celebrating Life.” The property combined music, dining, entertainment, fashion, film, and art among all white décor, teepees, and international cuisine, all designed with Nicole in mind.
Men’s Journal: You are considered a trailblazer and pioneer of South Beach. Tell us about Miami Beach when you first started operating Nikki Beach there, and how it has changed over the years since.
We didn’t have any intention of building a global brand when we opened our first location in Miami Beach almost 25 years ago. It started as a quiet garden by the sea called Café Nikki to honor the life of my late daughter, Nicole. The garden housed a small café, butterfly garden, birds, sunflowers, and palm trees creating a magical, zen space for people looking to spend time with family and friends. Guests who came by would tell a friend about us and so on, and the buzz started building. We’ve organically grown into a global lifestyle and hospitality company strictly through word of mouth and a contagious “Celebration of Life” mentality.
During the early years, Miami was very busy with growing modeling and movie industries, and as a result, many celebrities and tastemakers found their way to Café Nikki. With this success, a natural expansion to the beach area adjacent to the café took place, and Nikki Beach was born. We changed the way people celebrate life, replacing the nightclub scene with an equally exciting daytime concept. Guests fell in love with the energy and became loyal followers of our brand. This loyalty has continued as we’ve expanded globally with many of our clients traveling to visit our locations around the world.
We’ve made a number of changes to all our concepts over the years, adapting with the times, but we still see many of our original clients coming to the properties, often with two or three generations visiting together. No matter how many years pass, we will always be dedicated to celebrating life.
Men’s Journal: Where does your tagline “Celebration of Life” come from?
When we lost my daughter Nicole in a car accident, we chose to celebrate her life by creating a venue built on the philosophy of “Celebrating Life.”
Men’s Journal: How did the expansion of a small cafe honoring your daughter’s life become the global brand Nikki Beach is today?
It’s been almost 25 years since we opened our doors at the first Nikki Beach location in Miami Beach. Today, Nikki Beach Global is a multifaceted luxury lifestyle and hospitality brand comprising 11 global beach clubs, 5 resorts and hotels, a fashion division, special events, and Nikki Cares, a 501c3 non-profit charity. This is all due to the success of our very first location, incredible word-of-mouth marketing, and our dedicated clients that return year after year. After opening in Miami, many of our regular guests suggested we open other locations around the world – the demand was undeniable so we made the decision to organically expand.
Men’s Journal: Tell us a little about the Nikki Beach locations around the world – any favorites, or particularly special locations?
This question is like asking if I have a favorite child! Lucia and I are based in Miami but we travel to many of our locations throughout the year. We typically spend a lot of time in Saint Barth during the winter and visit Saint Tropez in the summer. I could never choose a single favorite. Each location has its own unique aspects inspired by the local culture and each property holds a special place in my heart.
Men’s Journal: Nikki Beach has hosted so many star-studded events and world-renown events – any particular memories or celeb anecdotes you can share?
We mark the official opening of our locations each season with our signature White Party. It’s highly anticipated among our regulars across all of our locations. The idea first came about when Naomi Campbell hosted her birthday party timed to the launch of our Saint Tropez location in 2002. She requested that all guests wear white and it was such a hit that the concept stuck. People fly in from locations around the world for these celebrations every year.
Men’s Journal: What is ahead for Nikki Beach as a brand – any new markets or concepts you would like to expand?
We spent over 20 years building our brand and as a result, our beach club division is incredibly successful and very unique. We eventually saw a turning point after opening a few beach clubs adjacent to or part of a hotel and decided to launch our own resort and hotel division.
We now have a more mindful hotel expansion plan for the next 20 years with a few exciting openings in the pipeline. We will always grow consciously in order to deliver the barefoot luxury experiences that we’ve become known for, but the demand for our resorts, beach clubs, and hotels across the world will definitely support our continued growth.
Men’s Journal: Why should travelers visit Nikki Beach when they are visiting the cities where Nikki Beach is located – what makes Nikki Beach so special and different from any other location in the world?
Much of our success can be attributed to our six signature elements – music, dining, entertainment, fashion, film, and art – which we seamlessly intertwine to create the magic of Nikki Beach. Each element is present daily in the way we run our business, creating an atmosphere that caters to foodies, culture seekers, art enthusiasts, and fashionistas from across the globe.
Our staff wakes up every morning ready to embrace our core mission – to Celebrate Life – and to encourage our guests to do the same. This positive energy combined with an unparalleled level of luxury service is what makes Nikki Beach a home away from home for our guests and why they’re always excited for their next trip to Nikki Beach.