Interview: Charley Caradas and the opening of MIRAGE
MarbellaAzul.com’s Roz James was delighted to catch up with Charley Caradas this week to discuss the launch of her new nightclub in Puerto Banús, which will be called “MIRAGE”. It opens on Friday 28 April and will be offering a wide range of amazing entertainment.
We met in the very comfortable Boardwalk restaurant on Marbella’s Paseo Maritimo, which Charley and her twin sister Kara own, to hear about this amazing new addition to Marbella’s nightclub scene.
Charley, tell us how you started out and what made you choose this venture?
For as long as I can remember, it’s been my dream to own my own club and later retire to a farm.
I managed the La Sala Beach Club in Puerto Banús for four years and then helped open the La Sala restaurant. I managed the beach club during the day and then the restaurant at night. My goal was always the same – to one day get my dream club. I later invested in the La Sala Beach Club, becoming a partner.
When the venue which is now Aqwa Mist became vacant, I spoke with the La Sala Group to see if they would be interested in investing in a nightclub. I then asked Phil Savage who owns Ultima Promotions (the number one promotions team on the coast) if he wanted to be my partner in the venture – with me running the club and him the promotions. I had been friends with Phil for a while and I knew, in order to make this work, I needed his expertise in promotions. Luckily he was up for it and a great partnership was born. When we started Aqwa Mist, it was our intention to make it the number one club in Europe. But due to some of our investors interference with the design, it didn’t quite work out that way.
For five years, myself, Phil and Igor our floor manager who is a God send, worked extremely hard to make Aqwa Mist successful and we won an award for ‘Best Club of the Year’. This was against all the odds, because the design wasn’t really how either of us had envisaged it. And of course, the location was a little difficult. But with a great deal of work, we made it a success.
As proud as I was of Aqwa, it still wasn’t my dream club and it got to the point where we really had done all we could with it. I wanted bigger and better!!!
So, why this venue?
I always had my eye on Glam (as the club was previously known), it was a dream venue due to size and location but it always seemed out of reach. Then about three years ago Phil started running the promotions of Plaza Beach and of course made a huge success of it. This was what opened the door to communications for MIRAGE. The owner of plaza is the same owner of the club and after seeing what Phil had done at his beach club he was open to us taking the club. The position is the key to this club. We have a prime position at the east end of the port, close to Plaza Beach and right next door to the taxi rank.
So, what is planned for the opening?
The opening weekend will start on Friday 28 April. We have so many artists and a lot of entertainment planned. On Friday – DJ Colin Francis and friends. Saturday – Andrea Oliva Disciples. Sunday – Kinky Malinki Lauch Party. Monday – Aces.
It will be amazing! For information & reservations Tel. +34 677 644 737 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What should people expect from Mirage?
The design is very chic. Gold and black brings Las Vegas and Dubai levels of luxury. We have used high end materials throughout to deliver the most extravagant and visually impacting venue in Marbella’s club land.
We have the greatest audio sound system available – “funktion One”, beautiful chandeliers and a 10 point Co2 Megatron, diverse and fully adaptive lighting with an integrated cutting edge laser system and a huge 10 metre wide HD video wall as a backdrop to the breathtaking elevated brushed gold DJ booth.
But it doesn’t end there. The best thing about the club is that we will have an RnB room and a House room (effectively two clubs in one), separated by a retractable acoustic glass wall. The retraction of this partition and “Mirage” transforms into a giant 800 m2 lavish super club.
This type of business is constantly changing. What make MIRAGE different?
There are two Super VIP rooms – One has a Large gold jaccuzi with a waterfall dropping into it. The other one is called the “Dark Room” and it has large sofa areas with private bathroom facilities. Many of our clients love the noise of the club and the atmosphere, but still want to be left alone.
We will be offering world renowned DJs, international artists, leading promotions, events and in house visceral performances. The highest levels of services, not just at weekends, but throughout the week. And theme nights, so the dancers will blend in with the themes. Pablo Melgar, one of the most popular saxophonists on the coast, will be there each night to wow you.
We won’t be having the same thing every night. Every night will be well thought out and different. We will change it up, perhaps offering four different DJs in one night. So, every time you visit, it will be different and very exciting.
What is the best thing about owning a nightclub?
I love the club atmosphere. People are at their happiest when they go to a club. There isn’t anything more amazing than when the club is really busy and you look out onto the floor and see everyone jumping up and down with their hands in the air. It is an amazing feeling! Plus it’s extremely important to be in business with people you trust and respect. I’m very fortunate with my partners in MIRAGE, Phil and Igor are both great friends of mine they are hard working determined and ambitious and luckily the best at what they do.
It’s exciting, but scary at the same time. It’s make or break time for us now. But, we haven’t compromised in any area and we intend to offer the very best experience. I’m really confident it will be a huge success.
What is your season and opening hours?
The club will be open from 28 April until the end of October. It will be open from 1.00 am to 6.00 am during the week and from 1.00 am to 7.00 am at the weekend. We are also planning to open during the winter as an RnB club, but we will let you know more about that nearer the time.
Are there any drink specialities or anything else?
There will be a wide range of exclusive whiskys – as they are currently really popular.
We will also be offering Shisha. It’s everywhere at the moment. It is a huge industry, but you have to get the quality right – and we have. The pipes have to be properly managed and flavours can’t be mixed. It also has to be cleaned regularly. So, for that reason, we have employed a specialist in Shisha to do it properly. We have a large population here who love the club scene. Some come just for Shisha, because they don’t drink. So it needs to be the best.
Why did you choose the name MIRAGE?
Names are not my speciality. So, it was over to Phil, who is amazing at this. MIRAGE says to me dream-like and luxury. It just seemed to fit.
What else would you like people to know about the club?
We will be offering valet parking and we will also be offering a service where you can arrive in your own car, have a great time at the club and then be driven home in your own car.
The club is luxury all the way. Our clients will experience a top class, stylish club with amazing entertainment. We will try to be lenient on dress code however, we won’t accept fancy dress or beach attire. You should dress to impress, as you should when you go to a club.
We have a huge security team who are professional and well trained. Our staff are not allowed to drink, so they will be professional at all times, remaining aware and ensuring the client has the best experience. We also have Igor, the most amazing floor manager, who will make sure everything runs as it should.
Thanks Charley for your time and we wish you every success with MIRAGE.
If you are not able to make the opening then MarbellaAzul.com will be showcasing some remarkable images here after the opening weekend.
Calle Gray D’Albion