From jump Nikki Beach has been all the rage, flooding our social media timelines with images of bikini dipping and cocktail sipping. Is Nikki Beach where it’s at or is it all just hype? July’s party atmosphere and The Amazing Champagne Brunch was Dinner with G’s excuse to have our FIRST BRUNCH EVER while putting Nikki Beach to the test.
Take your cares to the (Nikki) Beach: The Controlled Chill
Nikki Beach is a highly curated “vibe”, describing themselves as “the first and original luxury beach club concept that combines the elements of music, dining, entertainment, fashion, film and art into one”. Nikki Beach has a unique history, a tribute to the owner & creator Jack Penrod’s daughter Nicole “Nikki” Penrod who died in a car accident in 1997. Nikki Beach began as Café Nikki, a small garden at Penrod’s Beach Club in South Beach Miami. Fast forward a few years and add a holistic love for entertainment and a dash of French beach club styling and you’ve got the world wide phenomenon which now includes beach clubs across the globe, hotels & resorts, lifestyle and special events and even hardcore charity work in the mix.
When you set foot in Nikki Beach the first image you see is a beautiful portrait of “Nikki”, you instantly feel like you’ve gone global. It all seems a little bigger than you, a feeling they work hard to create and consistently maintain.
Beachy Boho Chic is defined in this luxury pool deck/restaurant which exudes a relaxed formality. Crisp and clean comes to mind, it’s a relaxed atmosphere you want to dress up in.
This has been decidedly one of my favourite outings. Nikki Beach’s Champagne brunch is divided into two categories: Endless Champagne ($220) from 12 – 2pm and Brunch Only ($180) from 2 – 4pm. Being good Bajans we opted for 2 – 4pm Brunch Only cause we all know we ain’t getting there no time before 2.
The (endless) Brunch Buffet is a series of stations: Bread/Pastries, Rotisserie, Sushi, Salad, Waffle and freshly cooked mains for those who want something outside of purely breakfast options. In a highly saturated culinary landscape Nikki Beach’s brunch could be considered refreshing in its simplicity. Delicious and filling it perfectly suits the locale, not requiring too much thought or a basic knowledge of French.
The buffet also includes freshly made juices and a dessert plate. The orange juice was glorious it literally tasted like they shoved the entire orange in the bottle. Then there was what I would call “the Green Stuff”; avocado, rocket, and other “healthy things”. I didn’t come to brunch to be healthy so I didn’t touch it. Between the amazing brunch and the fresh juice there was little space for anyone to touch dessert but we tried.
One note, like the change in government watch out for the water bill. You may have to clearly state you want tap water because bottled is the standard and may add a surprising line item to your bill if you’re not prepared.
It’s all about the “Vibe”
Nikki beach is “Vibe” personified, hence why VYB (locally owned and produced rum cocktail drink) was chosen as the month’s table gift. If you don’t know it, go look it up…now you know it, go buy it!
Now back to Nikki, it’s not the food that makes Nikki Beach so special even though if it were terrible this would be a totally different review. It’s the element of fun they’ve painstakingly designed; roaming musicians, Coachella style DJs, and even the overall space. It’s an Instagrammer’s dream. Every element equals sharable joy, whether that’s just with your present company or your social media followers.
Alas, in their commitment to maintaining an almost a cookie cutter global brand aesthetic they end up leaving too little room for the beauty and influence of local culture.
The Burning Question: Are you really welcomed?
To the question of a “welcomed reception” to those of a certain “hue”. Many have openly asked or like you might be quietly wondering while reading this review. Are “we” really welcomed? I can say from the bottom of my heart no ill will or unwelcomed feeling has ever been exuded from the expert team at Nikki Beach. A fair mix of local and international staff all dedicated to maintaining the authenticity of the brand, wielding their club culture level of service with expertise and care foreign to the Barbadian palette.
If there is any negative aura prevailing I can honestly say it may be coming from people but none of those people are employed by Nikki Beach.
Cookie cutter or not, Nikki Beach has done a commendable job of maintaining their brand ethos. They’ve lured me in with food, service and just a lot of fun. I will definitely be back, budget allowing, and now I’ve gotten a taste and can rest assured in their quality control I have no worries about taking a bikini dip and a cocktail sip at Nikki Beaches across the globe.
- written by Georgina Callender
- photos by Michael Trotman