Nicolaza Que Pasa is part of the dynamic team behind Bali institutions Motel Mexicola, Da Maria, Luigi’s Hot Pizza and most recently, Tropicola, the island’s coolest new beach club.
Originally from Mexico, Nicolaza was born with a writer’s curiosity and a desire to travel. She left her hometown of Guadalajara at age 19, moving to Playa Del Carmen, part of The Mayan Riviera. At the time, this place was one of the most glamorous and fun party destinations for the rich and famous. Nicolaza worked for Grupo Habita, one of Mexico’s leading hospitality organizations and it was whilst there that she met people from all over the world. Many job opportunities came up, in the United States and Europe, but they weren’t quite the tropical paradise she was aiming for. Then life presented her with the Greatest opportunity, in what she called ‘the promised land’ – Australia. It was there that she lived happily for 9 years and built her first Mexican restaurant, Rojo Rocket.
In 2006, while she was living in Australia, Nicolaza came to Bali for the first time along with her business partner, Australian native Adrian Reed, looking for adventure, parties on the beach, good vibes and spicy food. She was missing the vibrancy of Mexican resort life – the exuberance, the joy and the dancing on tables, so Adrian suggested she celebrate a birthday by partying in Bali and she fell instantly in love with the island. When the opportunity arose to move there and be a part of Motel Mexicola, she grabbed it with both hands.
“Motel Mexicola started as a crazy mission,” says Nicolaza Que Pasa. “We wanted to create a place with no off-season, that would be like a forever summer, 7 days a week, all year round. We created a beautiful, wild piece of Mexico that has never lost its energy. For me, Tropicola is an extension of that energy, just that without a nationality, it is somewhere you know and that feels just right… We want our clients and friends to experience THAT memory of an amazing tropical place… Tropicola, is what it felt like… Tropicola is customized for everybody that wants to have fun… Beautiful clean lines and bright colours of 80’s inspired pool clubs.”
It is this heartfelt and infectious dedication to creating a happy and fun atmosphere that infuses Nicolaza’s approach to business. She believes strongly in the spirit of an establishment and that the happiness and wellbeing of the people who work there. If they are having fun, that energy transfuses into every aspect of the place and guests are swept up in it. One of the fundamental aspects of Bali that she originally fell in love with is the friendly enthusiasm of the people and their ready smiles, and this is what makes the island so perfect for creating places where people can come to relax and seek happiness.
“Bali is an island where the minute you land, you start to relax,” continued Nicolaza. “Everything is centred around being relaxed, which I think is great. I see hard working people from New York, Melbourne or Perth come for their quiet time and to unwind. But I also think that once people feel relaxed and less stressed then they want to have some fun and let their hair down! Seminyak is turning into this bubble of fun. I think that is the future of Bali – fun!”