The highly anticipated opening of Club Chinois in the ultra-chic Ibiza Gran Hotel was the hottest ticket in Ibiza’s chic nightlife scene. Bringing a bold, sophisticated and decadent feel to this intimate clubbing space, the immersive experience of the ‘Chinois’ spirit has arrived here in Ibiza. Influenced by the glamour of the 1930’s Shanghai supper clubs, the opulent Chinois brand was first launched in London as Park Chinois in 2015. Keen to find out more about its ethos and what we caught up in an exclusive interview with Jose Corraliza, Head of Island Hospitality, the team behind the Chinois brand as well as many other leading Ibiza beach clubs, hotels and restaurants.
Jose is amongst the elite in terms of directorship of leading nightlife and dining hotspots. Having worked all over the world with the likes of Cirque du Soleil, Jose’s love for Ibiza began in 2014 when he moved to the island and quickly gained a reputation for his artistic direction and management of some of the very best venues. His passion and in-depth understanding of the spirit of Ibiza has been integral to the creation of Club Chinois. Jose explains, “It is not enough to simply bring a leading brand to Ibiza and expect it to be a success. Ibiza has a unique quality and a powerful essence of its own. The Club is an undeniable homage to Ibiza’s sacred hedonistic heritage which we very much respect.
Having been here for many years I understand the expectations of the people who live and visit here. Ibiza now has one of the finest offerings in the world in terms of dining and nightlife, so the people here quite rightly have high expectations. Club Chinois aims to create its own community who will return time and time again for our unique Ibiza experience.”
Upon entering the club (open from 11pm to 6am) you are struck by the opulence of the Chinoiserie décor designed by the award-winning Parisian studio, Laleh Assefi. The club delivers a beautifully feminine and refined feel where East meets West. Expect a multi-sensory journey created by world class sound, lighting and surrounding walls comprising of 360-degree high tech screens where you are immersed into another world. Each night the spirit of the evening will reflect the performing artist so expect something different each time you return. Club Chinois promises to bring together the finest electronic music by different artists including THEMBA, Satori, Luciano and Sven Väth amongst others.
Compared to huge Super Clubs, Chub Chinois offers a relatively intimate space for around 1,000 people. Experiencing close-up performances from leading DJ’s is exhilarating and Jose explains, “We wanted to create a special vibe. The feeling of community and inclusion is a priority for us. In addition to headline acts we want to nurture local talent giving them an opportunity to perform. From 1 July we will be open 7 days a week and we aim to open throughout the winter too. This will be a year-round concept which we intend to adapt to the seasons.”
After a 2-year hiatus of nightlife, we are now spoilt for choice on the White Isle. Questions have been raised about the changing nature of the island and a move towards an increasing ‘VIP’ culture which many find challenging. Jose (also a former President of the Ibiza Leisure Association) is at the forefront of discussions regarding the health and future of the hospitality industry here. “I have worked all over the world and there is no place like Ibiza. Yes, there have been changes over the years and the previous spirit of bohemia has perhaps become more refined but will never be lost. Ibiza now has a leading gastro offering as well as some of the best hotels and clubs in the world. I believe our VIP offering is not based on money or status, it is about offering the very best service, entertainment and experiences. The pandemic gave us all the opportunity to reset and refocus. There is a very supportive community here and an increasing drive to protect and preserve our island. It is increasingly recognised that we also have some of the finest beaches, nature and countryside. Visitors are not just arriving on the island to party. Ibiza is so much more than that. We are doing our best to support local charities and preservation societies across the whole of the Island Hospitality group. We are ecologically minded and also very conscious of sustainability. We must protect the magic we have here.”