Nestled in the heart of Ibiza Town, presiding over the bustling plaza of Vara del Rey just a block from the port and with views of the 16th Century Dalt Vila, is Ibiza’s oldest hotel. Erected in 1933 by renowned master builder Joan Gómez Ripoll, Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza is a majestic colonial-style building that sits in a prime location.
Gran Hotel Montesol
Despite its beloved history and stunning exterior, recently the hotel had deteriorated into a crash pad for tourists on a shoestring budget. But, in 2015, Hilton stepped in and began the renovations that would transform the building into a five-star boutique hotel for young professionals and families. Part of the overhaul included the installation of a new sound system for the communal areas, but creating a powerful-yet-subtle system that would suit the hotel’s new look wasn’t a straightforward task. It would take a collaboration between an interior design company, local installers and Pioneer Pro Audio to find the solution.
It’s a very old building, Ibiza’s first ever hotel, so a lot of surprises were uncovered as the renovation progressed.Simeon Friend | CEO and Production Manager | The Shop, Ibiza
An unobtrusive but versatile sound system
Like most hotels during the day, Gran Hotel Montesol plays background music in its lobby, bar and restaurant areas. It’s fairly sedate and doesn’t demand much volume, but in the evening the hotel hosts DJs and live bands, during which time the sound system needs to ramp up considerably.
The challenge in incorporating a new system wasn’t just picking the right speakers though. The interior design of the building was being handled by revered Barcelonabased designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán, and it was important that the new system didn’t interfere with the aesthetics inside the hotel.
“We needed the system to be loud in some areas and quiet in others, but we couldn’t have massive speakers everywhere,” explains Eduardo Miguel, Gran Hotel Montesol’s Manager. “And of course, we needed it to sound great.”
The hotel turned to The Shop, Ibiza, an installation company on the island with vast experience of working in diverse venues including nightclubs and hotels. “We wanted an installation that could perform well as a distributed system in a hotel lobby whilst having enough headroom and space to perform proficiently whilst driven harder by DJs or bands,” explains Simeon Friend, CEO and Production Manager at The Shop. Friend had worked with Pioneer Pro Audio on several projects before, including the widely respected sound system installation at Sankeys Ibiza.
We didn’t need a concert sound system, but we needed a system that would give us great sound and still complement the decor.Eduardo Miguel | Manager | Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza
Balance in the space
Friend was keen to assemble the system using Pioneer Pro Audio’s XY Series. “It’s a system that we’ve had very good results with previously,” he explains. “The boxes create a high-quality, balanced sound and when coupled with the matching subs, they’re capable of delivering superb bass-heavy material that DJs and bands need.”
Initially the hotel wanted to explore the installation of speakers in the ceiling, but when Friend warned them that they wouldn’t get the higher power they needed in the evening, they went back to Lázaro Rosa-Violán for advice. “They told us the speakers could be visible and a little bit bulky without ruining the décor, which was really important to us,” remembers the hotel’s Manager, Miguel.
Friend opted for 10-inch boxes matched with 15-inch subs because, “they presented the perfect balance in the space of natural and warm sound with plenty of headroom,” he explains, although the challenges hadn’t ended yet. The hotel’s 80-plus years of age meant that numerous structural issues had to be overcome. “At one point we lost floor space due to a new cladding law,” recalls Friend. “We had to sink the subs into the wall by two thirds and plaster around them.”
The XY Series boxes are very well made, creating – in our opinion – a well balanced, professional quality sound.Simeon Friend | CEO and Production Manager | The Shop, Ibiza
A system that adapts as needed
The renovations at the Gran Hotel Montesol were finally complete in July 2016 and the sound system was turned on for the first time. “We were very happy with it,” says Friend. “With so many variables and changes along the way, it was a nice moment when it sounded how we intended for it to.” And how does it sound? “It’s a very clean, well balanced system – nothing bass-heavy as guests sit down to enjoy food and drinks.”
How did Friend find the experience of working with Pioneer Pro Audio again? “Very good. They gave us great support. The product arrived quickly and was available to install within a week of the client deciding on it. The result was exactly as we imagined: hassle-free, professional and sonically correct.”
When I heard the system for the first time I thought it was excellent. It’s outstanding. It’s crystal clear.Eduardo Miguel | Manager Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza