Diego Calvo – Style, hotels, and the world-leading fashion brands he works with
Words: Kerry Leigh Harding
Photography: Brett Rusell / Andres Iglesias
August 18, 2023
You can’t help but notice his unconventional style – a man who carries himself with confidence and charisma. A simple glance at him is all it takes to quickly recognise the things he is interested in and motivated by. Diego Calvo, CEO and Co-Founder of Concept Hotel Group, is a fashion devotee and the creative mind behind eight iconic hotels exhibiting an eclectic mix of art, music, fashion, film and retro design.
His visual approach to Santos, Grand Paradiso, Tropicana, Dorado, Cubanito, Paradiso, Romeo’s, and now Mongibello evoke nothing short of nostalgia, reminiscent of bygone eras. Unsurprisingly, his carefully crafted concept hotels attract world-leading brands like Armani, Loewe, Adidas, Versace, and Givenchy. And it all started with his profound love of the ever-evolving fashion industry.
Far removed from your stereotypical hotel owner, Diego’s style is a catalogue of character and colour. He laughs and describes his classic aesthetic as “old-fashioned in a cool way”. Undeniably, he is a fashion icon in his own right, thanks to his timeless Chelsea boots, renowned Ray-Ban Wayfarers and legendary collection of Hawaiian and Western shirts.
Diego communicates his entire essence with whatever he wears, perfectly capturing his deep admiration for the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. As he puts it, “Fashion is my way of expressing myself, and I convey my passions through my style. I love getting lost in vintage stores. I’m an avid fan of upcycling and giving a fresh lease of life to clothing that has already lived many lives. What can I say? I’m a romantic”.
In his innovative business endeavours, Diego has taken his obsession with fashion to expand and drive incredible revenue to his concept hotels. “Fashion changes and moves almost constantly – and I love that”, he says. “This inspiration alone got me thinking and gave me the idea of using our spaces for shoots and campaigns”.
Since birthing his idea, many designer labels and fashion brands have used his spaces. His mastery of interior design, flawless backdrops, and relentless commitment to visual perfection has put his hotels in high demand. I’m in awe as he tells me, “We host campaigns almost every day!
But, for him, fashion campaigns and photoshoots are more than revenue generators. They’re also a perfect way to showcase his curated concepts and connect with his target audience of art lovers, music fans, festival-goers, Instagrammers, and, of course, fashion people. He explains, “Everything we do must convey a message of colour, summer magnetism, style, and vibrancy – we love having collaborators and campaigns who share our artistic vision and embody our DNA”.
While Diego’s hotels have hosted some of the industry’s biggest names, including Donatella Versace and Dua Lipa for ‘La Vacanza’ at Grand Paradiso, he also collaborates with many others on a more personal level – “I attract brands related to me and my passions. I have a close relationship with Adam, owner of Phix Clothing in London. I’ve been a Spanish ambassador for a few years now, and we’re a perfect match. He creates amazing shirts with a vintage vibe inspired by musicians and the ‘70s. I also have Lois Jeans collaborating with us this year, one of the world’s first jeans brands, and they’re Spanish. Jeans, another item I wear all the time!”.
Being in the middle of ongoing fashion campaigns has motivated Diego and his tribe at Concept Hotel Group to develop new creative ideas and keep things enticing. So what’s next on the cards? ”Well, I would like to host my girlfriend’s favourite brand, Jacquemus. There will also be something extra special to look forward to next year, but I’ll keep it a secret, not to ruin the mystery”.
Meanwhile, Diego’s eighth hotel on the island is set to open on 14th July 2023. Mongibello, located in Santa Eulalia, pays homage to the Amalfi Coast from the effervescent 60s as well as some of Ibiza’s most impactful personalities, like Pino Sagliocco, Ricardo Urgell, and Charo Ruiz. The pristine setting recreates the quintessence of ‘Dolce Far Niente’ (‘The Art of Doing Nothing’ or his preferred philosophy, ‘The Art of Living’).
Here you’ll find Aperitivo Bar and La Terrazza Restaurant, run by Dante from New York, who won the 2019 World’s Best Bar. As of 2024, ‘The Wanderlust Restaurant by El Silencio’ will arrive. Known as the coolest restaurant group in Paris – the creators of Silencio Club and Silencio Des Prés, who landed on the island in 2021 to redefine the beach club concept with El Silencio in Cala Molí – promise to bring a brand-new vision for cocktails and street food to Diego’s latest enclave.