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The world’s most famous beach club turns 20

Nikki Beach
Photograph: Courtesy Nikki Beach

Before Las Vegas had its pool parties and New York had its clubby brunches, Miami had the day club. Our fair city has been popping rosé bottles before noon since 1999 when Nikki Beach—with locations in Saint–Tropez, St. Barth’s and other celeb hot spots around the globe—opened its doors right here in South Beach. This month, one of the world’s most famous beach clubs turns 20 years old. In true Nikki Beach fashion, it’s celebrating the milestone with an epic brunch party this weekend that’s sure to go straight into the night. Before then, we caught up with Lucia Penrod, who together with her husband Jack, opened the storied club. From the wildest requests and the celebrities who’ve partied there to the most popular item on the menu, Lucia fills us in on the 20 things we need to know about Nikki Beach.  

1. Rosé is a big deal.
“Rosé Saturdays are our biggest day for rosé, and we go through thousands of bottles over the course of a year!”

2. It’s more than a beach club.
“Today, as Nikki Beach marks 20 years, the brand has grown into a global, multifaceted luxury hospitality company with 13 beach clubs and five hotels and resorts.”

3. It wasn’t supposed to be a nightclub.
“Nikki Beach was initially created when we planted a beautiful Zen-like flower and butterfly garden that housed a small café to pay homage to Nicole’s life. Guests who came by would tell someone else about the brand and so on, hence the brand’s mantra: tell only your best friends.”

4. Celebs can’t get enough of Nikki.
“We’ve had everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio and Madonna to Michael Douglas and Sting visit our Miami location, plus dozens of others. Saint Barth’s New Year’s Eve celebrations have included performances by John Legend (2016), Mariah Carey (2018) and this year Kygo takes over as headliner.”

5. And they tend to stick around in more ways than one.
“Our White Party theme pays homage to the legendary soiree Naomi Campbell hosted in 2002 for the opening of Nikki Beach Saint Tropez, with an all-white dress code for her birthday. All of Nikki Beach’s locations host this signature White Party annually to kick off their season, and it has become one of the most coveted invitations for international jetsetters.”

6. Celebrating life is their motto.
“We taught the world that four-hour lunches, drinking champagne barefoot while wearing a bathing suit and listening to incredible DJs while sunbathing on the beach or by the pool is the norm at Nikki Beach. ‘Celebrating Life’ is a worldwide birthright and we created the perfect platform to do it.”

7. Brunch was an accident...
“When we initially added in the brunch offering, we did it to handle the number of people coming through the doors in the best way possible. It’s crazy how an organic idea became something that our brand has become synonymous with.”

8. ...and now it’s their most popular offering.
“Our Amazing Sundays brunch are incredible. We offer a delicious, globally inspired menu that draws inspiration from all of our locations around the world, so there is something for everyone’s taste. We offer a myriad of stations and dishes ranging from savory prime rib and whole roast pork, to live paella stations with fresh seafood, pasta, custom omelettes, house-pickled vegetables, Nutella waffles and the most decadent desserts.”

9. Plus, it’s still an incredible deal.
“It was priced at $29.95 and now, almost 20 years later, it’s $49.95.”

10. People actually do eat at Nikki Beach…
“We have quite a few dishes that have become favorites but amongst the top are our world-renowned sushi boats.”

11. ...and they love their food like they like their vibe: sexy.
“People love the Sexy Salad that consists of lobster, shrimp and crab meat.”

12. There’s more than one best place to lounge.
“My husband Jack designed the venue so that every cabana, table and bed are in very desirable locations. But I will say that pending the time of the year, we’re at mercy to the sun as it shifts slightly. In the winter, the north side cabanas are the best while in the summer, it’s the south side cabanas.”

13. They serve more than rosé.
“The mojito is Nikki Beach’s signature drink. It’s always a crowd-pleaser.”

14. New Year’s Eve is always guaranteed to be a spectacle.
“The team creates an incredible New Year’s Eve celebration every year music, live entertainment and delicious food. We always top off the night with a fireworks show on the beach, which is the only one of its kind. This year’s theme is the Roaring ‘20s.”

15. But sometimes things do go wrong.
“One memory I have in Saint Tropez is that one day it started raining so the DJ quickly played the song, ‘Singing in the Rain’ while our staff started to dance around carrying umbrellas and towels. The party vibe kept going with the song, ‘It’s Raining Men’ and the staff came out with shots for everyone. The entire restaurant went wild and started to dance in the rain. The rain added a surprise element of fun to the day.”

16. Other times, stuff just gets plain weird.
“One of the most over-the-top champagne deliveries happened at Nikki Beach Saint Tropez for one of our favorite customers. We promised the guest that he would fly, and fly he did. For the day, we rented an aerial bucket truck that we placed alongside the pool, and then we hit it with a wood structure and tissues matching the colors of the flag of where he was from. For the show, the guest was elevated 16 meters above the pool with a superhero costume and accompanying music. That day, he ordered 2,000 bottles of champagne.”

17. But you can always expect a good theme.
“We have such creative teams and we do themes well. Some of my personal favorites include a Topsy-Turvy Mad Tea Party, where we decked out every inch of the property with larger-than-life décor. Our Father’s Day ‘50s-inspired brunch was also a memorable one. We had real swing dancers and vintage records playing. Camp Nikki Beach was another fun one. We got the whole crowd in the sand for races and grownup games.”

18. Anniversaries are a huge deal.
“Our 10-year anniversary party was a fantastic event. We topped off the evening with a fashion show hosted by Valentino, who was in attendance.”

19. And they’re celebrating number 20 with a book…
“We collaborated with publishing house Assouline on a hardcover coffee table book for our 20th anniversary. The cover features the brand’s Celebration of Life tagline with an image of a larger-than-life teepee, which carries significant meaning for our family: a reminder to stay grounded and close to the earth.”

20. ...And an original song!
“In line with the brand’s 20-year theme, we released an original song titled ‘Forever Young’ was released. The motif of the upbeat, happy song is in harmony with Nikki Beach’s sought-after musical culture. It was written and performed by France’s The Voice, Alexandre Carcelen, composed by Nikki Beach’s very own Patris Gero and coproduced by Nikki Beach’s Philippe Paris. It also includes musical overlays by Nikki Beach’s world-renowned saxophonist, Jimmy Sax.”

  

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