Spotlight: Cubanito Ibiza
20th August 2018
To the unknowing, the dazzling red and white harlequin flooring, high-rising palm trees, perpetually parked 54 Cadillacs, sepia posters of Cuba, and bolder-than-thou Art Deco architecture, is like any other picture-perfect neighbourhood in Miami, Florida. But, something quite extraordinarily creative is happening here, amidst the blissful landscape of sparkling sunsets, plush palm leaves, white sands, and turquoise waves.  And, it has our APLO jaws hitting the floor. You best wear your sweater, cause this one’s cooler than Jean Claude Van Damme partying in an Ice Cave.
We are, in fact, on Ibiza’s west coast, outside a new adults-only hotel, Cubanito. The new kid on the block, quite literally, Cubanito only opened its colossal sea-foam green gates to the public in May 2018. Since then however, Cubanito has been making one almighty splash in  the district’s whirlpool. Many of the surrounding hotels have purposefully recreated and restored the typical ‘Ibizan Country House’ design, which incorporates thick white walls, quadrangular modules, and horizontal ceilings reinforced by timber beams. This is a simple, yet sober, architectural design, but definitely not up to par with the thinking behind our good pal Cubanito.
Being part of the Concept Hotel Group means that, Cubanito adheres to a truly clever conceptual design which is unlike any other hotel in the district. Perhaps unknowingly, you and Cubanito have much in common: you both like to ‘stunt’ in front of your social circles, and prefer to stand out in the sea of show ponies that closely surround you. Never one to follow the crowd, Cubanito draws inspiration from Little Havana – a colourful and animated Miami neighbourhood where Cubans relocated to in the 1950s. Imagine adding a dash of Art Deco to a sprinkling of Spanish-colonial architecture, and there you have it! The perfect recipe for Cubanito’s special mix of urban cool, fifties kitsch, and Cuban roots.

Stepping inside Cubanito, which translates to ‘bad little Cuban man’ when typed into Google translate, one is immediately exposed to the rows of suites that sit pretty against the black and white tiled floors. This design feature perfectly mirrors the streets of Havana, where pastel houses are lined up like Spanish-style toy soldiers. The rooms, which range from Junior suite, Deluxe Junior and The Suite, depending on size, have been individually dressed to impress. In other words, no two rooms look the same. However, there is still continuity: all the suites are complete with a balcony and kitchenette, furnished with gloss cream Smeg appliances in similar pastel shades.
Entering the bedroom is like twirling onto the page of a J.D. Salinger short story (notably ‘A Perfect Day for Bananafish’). The focal point of the room is the stripped wooden bed that is backed by an old-world dividing screen. To create the Havana look, notice the reworked egg timer bedside tables and overhead ceiling fan.  Amidst all this, its clever retro touches continue to shine through, from the Marshall radio-loudspeakers and Bakelite dial telephones, which also evoke ‘50s Cuba. The kitchenette boasts a tastefully unexpected scene, which is unique to Cubanito: fire-orange walls clash with those of mint-green, juxtaposed with a pale lavender worktop. The kitchenette is simple, stylish, and leads out onto the balcony. Admire its swan neck chrome mixer tap, upholstered wooden cocktail bar, (complete with both light and dark rum — as you like it) and vintage-style accessories. Sliding into the bathroom, one becomes acquainted with the gold-tone decorations, walk-in shower, and palm fronded wallpaper — which is evocative of the flora outside. This too makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

So, this summer, as you’re guzzling Havana at your next garden party, barbecue, or boozy brunch, treasure the taste of the Cuban hills and the magnificent Caribbean sun, and spare a little thought for the Cubanito, - the bad little Cuban man of Ibiza. 
Words by Adam Fletcher


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