About Time You Met: Tony Truman, Co-Owner of Ocean Beach IbizaBy Angelica Malin
An Ibiza mogul, and owner of some of the biggest and well-known hotels and restaurants across the White Isle, Tony Truman knows a thing or two about setting up businesses. After successfully opened Ocean Beach Ibiza a number of years ago, Tony has recently opened his latest venture Wiki Woo Hotel. We recently caught up with Tony and chatted about what he loves most about Ibiza, Ocean Beach’s legendary day parties and his latest opening:
When did you first visit Ibiza? And what did you most love about the island?
I came to Ibiza when I was only 15 years of age in 1983, and even though I was very young I was with some older kids who they took me to all the best clubs like KU and Amnesia and I instantly fell in love with the place. Back then at that age the clubs were so off the wall and spectacular: like nothing I had ever seen. All the people were of all ages all having fun and this is something I remember very well.
You’re owner of Ocean Beach Ibiza & Wiki Woo, Kiss My Fairy, Skinny Kitchen, Apolo Hotel, and Ocean Mania to name but a few – how did you first start your entrepreneurial journey?
I actually first started a month before my first Ibiza trip in 1983: I held a river boat disco party on the Thames in London at the age of 15. All the kids from school came and loved my party so that’s where Tru’s Do’s parties were born. From then on I held regular parties in various locations, and I continue to keep throwing parties to the present day with my 35th anniversary party of Tru’s Do’s only being held 2 weeks ago at Ocean Beach Ibiza. It’s safe to say Ibiza gave me a lot of ideas!
What do you think holiday makers look for now when visit Ibiza?
Fun, fun, fun, without being ripped off. They like to experience things that they can’t usually find in the places they usually live. I think people like the fact that Ibiza is full of like minded, happy, party people and they know there is so much variety to choose from in terms of nightclubs, beach clubs and amazing restaurants as well as stunning scenery. This tiny little island in the middle of the Mediterranean has everything.
Tell us a little more about the Wiki Woo Hotel – what was the idea behind the opening?
We wanted to create something a little different; something that is a little bit weird and wonderful and very memorable. I’ve travelled a lot over the years and stayed in lots of cool hotels, so I wanted to create a happy, cool vibe that people would love to come and stay at. So far this summer has been amazing for the Wiki Woo, but we still have lots of plans for it that will make it even more different – so watch this space. It’s also in the most stunning location with a backdrop of the Ibiza sunset every evening; it’s a great place to come and just eat, drink and be merry even if you’re not staying at the hotel.
What is different about Wiki Woo Hotel compared to other hotels on the island?
When you see the hotel you instantly see the difference. I personally have never seen a hotel that looks so aesthetically distinct, but in a very stylish way with attention to detail in mind. Also, the people who run and manage it are my best friends – it’s very approachable and friendly and you’re made to feel really welcome rather than it feeling like just another corporate hotel chain with managers who potentially don’t have the same passion for the business. We like to make everyone feel really welcome and this is the perfect approach I feel.
Tell us a little more about the day parties at Ocean Beach Ibiza – what can people expect?
Daytime parties are back big time and the island now seems to be following suit as to what we’ve been doing over the last six years. Loads of people love the daytimes more than the night, and here at Ocean Beach Ibiza we don’t rely on headliners and instead focus on providing a visually stunning venue, wow factor entertainment and, of course, the best service possible which we feel is super important for our clients to make a regular return, which they do.
What’s the best piece of advice for someone thinking/hoping to own a business?
Have very deep pockets as it’s not cheap to start up here, and be very very patient as the laws on the island are very tight and you can experience severe delays in approvals and permits, so don’t expect it to be easy. Finally, the key success is location, location, location – whatever you may be doing
How do you juggle all your establishments?
Simple answer: key personnel – this is the lifeline of all of our companies. We are reliant so much on key managers, partners and staff running and operating everything for us. Again, this is not easy especially the bigger you get as we now have about 600+ members of staff to oversee, and things can get very hectic from time to time, but with good people at the helm it makes it a lot easier.
Where do you like to visit to let your hair down?
Haha I am bald! My hair has been let down and run off years ago, but one of my favourite things to do is to take a boat to Formentera, or a day by the pool at Destino is also up there with my favourite things to do on a day off.
What are your favourite bar and restaurants in Ibiza?
Wow so so many to choose from! I find that you need to choose the right bar or restaurant for your chosen occasion and there is such a variety on the island. However, if I had to choose for a night out I really love Heart, it’s such a cool place to chill, eat and then party. They’ve done a wicked job with that venue I love it; it has everything all in one.
Photo Credit: Heart
Why do you think Ibiza continues to attract seasonal and new holidaymakers year on year?
It’s an institution and now it’s like a pilgrimage each year for most people, even if they come just for a couple of days. So many people visit it multiple times, and most of my mates come at least once or twice every year without fail. As for new people, I think lots more come now as there’s such a variety of stuff to do. Years ago it was all about the clubs, but now with so much to offer, it appeals to everyone of all ages and its just getting more and more popular each year. Honestly, there is no place on earth like it.
What do you have coming up in 2018?
We’re not opening up anything else in 2018 as we’re now mid season, but in 2019 I’m sure you will like a couple of new things we will have on offer. All will be revealed very soon so, again, watch this space. For the next few months it’s still party season, then come late October it’s time to put my liver into an incubator and give it a much needed rest – as well as spend as much time as I can with my precious daughter Kiki back in London.