Charley Caradas is joint owner of the new nightclub Mirage in Puerto Banus.
The club opened in April of this year and has been talk of the town since.
Boasting a customised FunktionOne sound system, 10 point Megatron CO2 system and 10 metre high HD video wall – Mirage has all the mod cons of any Ibiza superclub. Plus the group’s stellar line-up of top acts including Little Wayne, Paris Hilton, Tom Zanetti and Jason Derulo as well as a weekly Friday residency from Ministry of Sound Marbella Collections’ DJ Colin Francis has ensured Mirage is packed week in, week out. We had the pleasure of catching up with Charley to find out more about the brains (and beauty) behind the outfit.
SO CHARLEY HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE ALMOST GOTTEN THROUGH SUCH A SUCCESSFUL FIRST SUMMER AT MIRAGE?
It feels amazing I’m extremely happy with how the season has gone, I feel like Mirage is firmly on the map now thank god.
WAS THERE ANY DOUBTS IN YOUR MIND THAT IT MIGHT NOT ALL COME TOGETHER LIKE IT HAS?
Erm no I wouldn’t say I had doubt in the club as such. I knew it was going to look stunning because we simply wouldn’t have opened our doors until it filled our expectations. I also knew that we had a fantastic line up for the summer and an amazing team so all these things I was extremely confident on!! The thing I worried about most was tourism!!! Is Marbella going to have a good summer?! This was my main worry, I knew if the port was busy the club would sell itself.
HAS IT EXCEEDED YOUR EXPECTATIONS?
It reached my expectations!! This was my dream for a VERY long time so I had extremely high expectations for Mirage, to exceed them would have been pretty much impossible but it definitely reached my expectations which is amazing.
WHAT WAS YOUR PERSONAL VISION FOR MIRAGE?
To bring some class back to the port! I wanted people to walk into the club and think WOW. I envisioned a beautiful extravagant club that’s comfortable but also has the ability to go off!!!!!! And that’s what we got!! I’m going to offend other club owners by saying this but the clubs in the port have become a bit tacky they spend little to no money on the main things that make a club a club, like the sound system and entertainment and we wanted to raise the bar and I truly believed we have done this.
HOW LONG DID THE CLUB TAKE FROM INITIAL INCEPTION TO CREATION?
Awww too long. We signed in October but the builders were over confident so they didn’t start till January. And if course we were waving the last of the builders off on opening night 28th April!!!! Standard for any build!! I’ve done enough projects now to know it doesn’t matter how much time you have to build – it could be years – they will still be finishing off the day you open!
DID ANYTHING GO WRONG?
Nothing major considering the size of the project to be honest. The builders, Continental Design, have done an amazing job. There was of course points during the building stage where I wanted to punch a few of them but again that’s standard for any build. All said and done they were hands down the best I have worked with on a project and bare in mind this really was a huge project so plenty of places they could have messed up but they didn’t they produced exactly what they promised and the whole team where really lovely to work with. No question of a doubt I would use them on my next project.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE NIGHT SO FAR AT MIRAGE?
29th of April the night after opening night. Opening night was a bit of a blur we had all moved into the club the final few weeks of building stressing over the final touches so when we finally opened we were exhausted and manic busy making sure everything ran well. The second night 29th we had Andrea Olivia and I remember standing in the far corner of the club with my business partners looking at our new baby absolutely packed looking beautiful and going off. Everyone was dancing and having a great time and I got that full feeling in my chest where I felt proud we had done what we set out to do!!! It was a wonderful moment.
YOU HAVE GOT TO MEET A WHOLE HOST OF FAMOUS FACES – WHO DID YOU GET ALONG BEST WITH AND WHY?
Yes I have met quite a lot of famous faces this year some that we booked as artists and others that simply came to party at Mirage but I’m not really one to talk to them. The most I do is get a quick picture with them! Anyone that knows me knows I’m not a chatty catty with people I don’t know I have very little interest in it but my business partner Phil is king at this and I’m more then happy to leave him to it. I do love Wally Lopez I know he is not as famous as some of the artists we have had but he is just a really lovely normal dude. We have booked him a few times and I just love his attitude a genuinely lovely guy and a wicked DJ.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET TO GO TO YOUR BABY – MIRAGE?
I’m there 5 nights a week working, I’ve got drunk once in there as it was my mates hen party but I was still supposed to be “working” that night. I haven’t had a night out in the club yet.
DO YOU GET TO LET YOUR HAIR DOWN OR DOES IT FEEL LIKE WORK?
No I don’t let my hair down!! I’d like to sound much cooler and say yeah I’m the life and soul of the party but that would be the biggest lie I ever told. I’m zero fun at work!!! I’m the figures women I do the door on weekends and big nights to make sure the door makes the money it should make and the rest of the time I’m doing everything to do with the money.
IT’S QUITE RARE TO HAVE A WOMAN AT THE HELM OF SUCH A BIG AND SUCCESSFUL NIGHTCLUB – DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE BREAKING BARRIERS FOR WOMEN IN THE CLUB SCENE?
I’d like that to be true I doubt it actually is but it would be nice if I was. I can tell you now it’s not a job for the faint hearted – club life is hard.
HOW DID YOU COME TO GET INVOLVED IN NIGHTCLUBS IN THE FIRST PLACE?
I always dreamed of having my own club and then my previous employers agreed to invest in a club so I asked Phil my friend at the time to do it with me, him running the promotions and me the club. He agreed and both of us was gifted shares to make the project a success which we did and after 5 years once we had achieved everything we felt we could we sold our shares and myself Phil and Igor left to buy our own club.
YOU WON THE MARBELLA AWARD 2016 FOR YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN NIGHTCLUB AQWA MIST – DO YOU THINK MIRAGE COULD WIN THIS YEAR?
Yes both myself Phil and Igor were very happy to have won that award it was great. Especially as myself and Phil had sold our shares at the end of last summer knowing we had done all you could do with Aqwa and winning that award was the proof of that. I can’t see how Mirage couldn’t possibly win the award this year!! Mirage makes Aqwa look like a school disco we have had an undeniably incredible summer so yes I do really hope we win this year.
HOW WOULD YOU AND THE TEAM CELEBRATE IF YOU DID?
It would definitely be a very proud moment if we do so we would have to have a big night in the club with all the staff.
ARE THERE ANY PLANS TO OPEN OVER WINTER?
We are playing it by ear at the moment 100% we will have Halloween party but after that we will see. We’re definitely up for staying open at weekends November and December but we’re waiting to see what the port is like before making our final decision. If we decide to open then we will open New Year but if we close November and December I don’t think we will bother. We will just re open next year either in March or April.
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO RELAX AFTER SUCH A BUSY SUMMER?
Well this winter is going to be very relaxing because I’m also closing my restaurant The Boardwalk which I own with my twin sister. Normally The Boardwalk is open all year round but we decided to close this year so I’m super excited to spend quality time with my twin and my nephews. We’re all going on holiday to Borneo in November and I’m so excited for Christmas because again normally we are sorting the restaurant stuff but this year we can just enjoy, my elder sister just got married so the family has expanded it’s going to be nice to just be together. I’m also really excited to be able to go to bed every night with my boyfriend that’s a real crappy part of nightlife you only go to bed with your partner on your night off. So I’m excited for this and to have movie nights with him and the dogs. I’m such a sad drip I look forward to the basic things for the winter.
WHAT ABOUT 2018 – ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL PLANS IN PLACE YET?
We will have an amazing line up for the club but nothing pinned down yet.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN MARBELLA AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT IT MOST?
I been here 17 years now I love so many things about it I love that it’s seasonal so we have a manic period then a chill period nothing’s 9 to 5 in Marbella, life is never boring and I think it’s absolutely beautiful place to live I just love it here.
YOUR FAMILY ARE ALSO SUCCESSFUL VENUE OWNERS – WHATS THE SECRET TO YOUR SUCCESS?
I think we’re all strong women we don’t take no for an answer and we’re very hard working. These are obviously important aspects to being a success but I’m also a firm believer in what goes around comes around. We are very aware that we are blessed and so we do a lot of charity work all year round for both orphans and animals. I believe this balance plays a part in our success!!! It’s important to give back I don’t believe there is anything more unattractive then a greedy person I hope to always be successful but I will never be greedy.
To book tickets and tables for any upcoming Mirage event (check out our calendar for the full monthly line up) or visit www.miragemarbella.es or call/whatsapp: +34 678 250 596