hen we arrive, we find Ricardo Urgell standing by the door of the former El Divino,soon to be reincarnated as Lio. He is checking over the sign, making sure it is properly lined up with the doorway; as in every other aspect of the business, he likes to make the final decision himself.The renovation work has been going on for the last twelve months. Time after time, he has rejected tiny details as falling short of perfection, driving architects and builders to distraction. But now that the project is reaching completion, the workaholic can joke about it with me.“I chose the name Lio because I had so much of it during the conversion,” lio being the Spanish word for stress, chaos and annoyance. But lio also means mayhem or action. And there should be plenty of that every night from now on. We step onto the patio with its unique panorama of the port and Old Town. This where luxury yachts are expected to tie up in the future.
A huge oblong glass pool extends along the outer railing. This can be covered over and transformed into a catwalk. At both ends, there are raised platforms. “The whole area has been designed to resemble a ship with forecastle and quarterdeck,” explains Ricardo. While the raised sections have a bar and a Japanese restaurant with open kitchen, up to 30 artistes will be entertaining the guests each evening on the lower level. “We will be performing cabaret here every night,” says Ricardo with a smile.
Inside, there is a lounge, a large bar and an elevated VIP area, from where guests have a view in all directions. It looks as if the whole thing will be a sensational attraction. So the ‘night-life pasha’ would once again appear to have come up with a winning formula. Sure it was a lot of lio, but it was worth it. Anyway, we are very excited about the opening in mid-June.