Interview: Enrique Mandl, GM, Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay

George Sell By George Sell
Uploaded 19 June 2017

Enrique Mandl talks to BHN about opening a property he describes as a game changer for Ibiza's hospitality sector.

• Can you tell us how you got in to the hospitality sector and give us a brief career history?

"Hospitality is pretty much in my DNA now and I knew fairly early on that it's what I wanted to do. I initially trained back in 1994 at Hotel Im Palais Schwarzenberg in Austria and have since worked across various hospitality divisions - concierge, sales and marketing, operations and of course as general manager in a number of hotels. I've had a love affair with Ibiza for the last 15 years and have worked in many of the hotels across the island so I know it very intimately, hence my enthusiasm to launch Ibiza Bay. Prior to Ibiza Bay, I opened the beautiful El Lodge Ski & Spa Resort, in Sierra Nevada, Spain."

• When will the Nobu property in Ibiza open and what will differentiate it from other properties on the island?

"Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay opens on 30th June and will be 'like nowhere else in Ibiza'. That strapline came to us so organically because it really is the only way to describe the hotel. In terms of its location, design, offering and service levels, it's a game changer for Ibiza.  Its location - on the shores of Talamanca Bay - is unique since it's so close to much of the action in Ibiza, yet still neatly tucked away so that guests can experience tranquillity, should they wish. The culinary offering has already created such a buzz on island and internationally. Our opening bookings have been remarkable which just goes to show that guests have been starved of this level of quality in Ibiza. Every aspect of the hotel has been carefully curated and every brand collaboration from Nobu to Six Senses brings something unique to the table."

• Who will be your target guests at the property and how do you see the guest profile changing through the year? (Will the property be open year-round?)

"We're open from early May to mid-October. I guess you could say we're targeting the affluent bohemian but really we're open to everyone who appreciates great food, elegant design and a relaxed ambience. In my opinion we've created an exceptional guest experience to suit all lifestyles, whether you're after a soulful experience, nightlife and dining or a luxury family getaway. It's a chic Ibizan escape for grown-ups who have done Ibiza in every way imaginable and now want a level of sophistication and relaxation."

• Nobu was first known as an F&B brand - what will the hotel feature in this space? And will the restaurants and spa be open to non-residents?

"All our facilities are open to non-residents and already we are experiencing such excitement from the community who are eager to visit. Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay is revolutionising the resort dining experience. We will be offering a variety of international, innovative, and Ibizan inspired cuisines in one luxurious locale - nowhere else on the island offers this. Our guests won't want to eat anywhere else after eating here. Our four restaurants: Nobu, Chambao, Celicioso and Peyotito have been carefully handpicked to provide a holistic gastronomic experience. You can pick up super food salads in Celicioso, Ibizan delicacies in Chambao or modern Mexican in Peyotito. The pool bar will be quite extraordinary too - where on this island can you order Nobu cuisine to eat on a sun lounger!"

• How do you see the Ibizan and Balearic markets evolving over the next three to five years?

"As previously mentioned, I think Ibiza Bay is a game changer and with that, we've now set the bar for a new standard on the island. Naturally this will have a knock-on effect on clientele to the island as we're already attracting guests who would previously stay in a villa or even a yacht because they couldn't find a hotel to match their needs on the island. The market will only get stronger and I think we'll see more quality offerings to come over the next few years."

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