In view of the post-COVID-19 era, many new hotels are being developed in Athens, introducing an upgraded guest experience that centers around experiences and high aesthetics.
Despite the disarray the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the tourism industry during the past few years, Athens seems to preserve its charm and keeps attracting different kinds of investors.
In fact, the city’s touristic development is so fast-paced that Athens is soon expected to stand among the top city break destinations in Europe, showcasing a new daily life, even for its residents. As things go back to normal, a lot of hotels are going to open in Athens in the period ahead, many of which will be housed in old, abandoned buildings downtown, enhancing the city landscape and creating more points of interest for visitors and residents alike.
In their interview at Lifo, Destsetters are pointing out a few key points that will determine the development of hotels in Athens in the following years or, at least, that will indicate the way to a “friendlier” approach to entrepreneurship and the daily life in the city as well.
What is happening right now in new hotels in Athens?
At the moment, Athens may be under an extremely intense stage of reνοvation, as after the first – and hopefully most difficult – phase of the pandemic, accommodation and F&B business activity is higher than ever, with more and more hotels “being born,” which marks a new era for the city. From simple buildings that turn into apart-hotels to some of the biggest hotel brands worldwide entering the scene for the first time, it seems that the city is ready to host more travelers than ever before and introduce them to its great history and modern culture.
How are all these hotels going to survive and what will differentiate each one of them?
“Distinctive design, personalized experiences, and a concept-driven logic are the three main pillars that will reshape the hotel market in Athens. At the same time, an upgraded accommodation type is introduced, which revolves around differentiated experiences and high aesthetics,” states Zenios Zeniou, Concept Maker at Destsetters. This is when the term “concept” starts having a leading role in our conversation about the strategy of new hotels.
Hotels built to serve a specific purpose and target specific audiences detach from the logic of mass development and create their own narrative, which will make their design and the experiences that travelers will live in them unique. Experiences that draw inspiration from the hotel, the city itself, and the personality and culture of the investor. Besides, the goal of modern hotels is not to offer simply a well-predefined accommodation but a hotel with a unique philosophy, which will combine the diverse features and options of the city. It seems that, finally, the culture of “copy-paste” and boring homogeneity is coming to an end.
What is the new logic behind the hotel development in Athens?
“It is a given that hotel development in Athens is on the rise right now. This is very pleasant, as abandoned buildings “come back to life,” giving the whole city a sense of renovation. However, there is still a big gap in hotels with special storytelling and upgraded facilities, which will focus more on the overall experience than just a good night’s sleep. Athens is one of the richest destinations when it comes to civilization and culture, and new hoteliers have to take that into consideration and incorporate it into their hotels,” explains Nikos S. Morantis, Strategy Specialist at Destsetters, and naturally, the exclusively Greek word “meraki” comes to mind.
Hotels shouldn’t be approached as “buildings with beds” but as temporary homes for travelers that will make them truly feel at home. This is the essence of Greek hospitality. And when all this is combined with local gastronomy – since the modern hotelier no longer chooses bacon and makes sure to offer authentic local recipes – the essence of local spirit is reinforced, even at the ultimately modern-designed hotel.
In addition, hotels should always try to take it a step further. For example, how many of us have a trampoline in our houses? Probably none of us! However, if instead of a boring spa, the hotel had a playroom for adults, this would be something truly unique, a special experience, and possibly the main reason to choose it,” adds Nikos, bringing to the table an interesting idea, especially if we consider how stressful our daily life is.
And how will hotel development benefit the residents of the city?
“New job positions, more options for entertainment, since hotels include interesting restaurant and bar outlets, and enhancement of the city’s potential on an international level,” answer Nikos and Zenios simultaneously, making us wonder with their statement. They quickly explain that a city with solid accommodation infrastructures attracts a bigger travel audience and enables it to get to know the city and invest in it and its residents.
For example, if a city has hotels with organized and high-quality meeting rooms and boutique hotels ideal for digital nomads (i.e. for people who choose to work remotely from different cities of the world), the chances of business investment and expansion rise significantly. The most important is the opportunity for the development of a healthy, multi-cultural background, which will give new stimuli and ideas to the residents of the city, helping them expand their horizons.
Even though the topic of hotel development in Athens seems simple, talking in depth with people who experience the industry makes you understand its importance and influence on shaping the city landscape and its residents’ culture. Moreover, by reviewing the development of the hotel landscape in Athens, it is clear that a lot of important work has to be done. The conclusion, however, is optimistic, since we can expect a completely refreshed city, with advanced entrepreneurship in the hospitality industry, in the years to come.
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Hotel Concept Development is the most upgraded service of Destsetters that aims to create unique hotels, with high-profit opportunities and proper operation, but also with recognizable features that will help them stand out from the competition.
Considering the location of the property, the owners' desires, the competition as well as the relevant demand, we undertake the specification of the characteristics and the strategy of the project, in order to create a signature hotel that meets the needs of travelers and has real profit prospects.
Our team partners with new investors, hoteliers, consulting companies, and architectural teams, providing them with a whole hotel specification that will offer all the necessary research and hotel know-how, identifying the commercial characteristics of the new accommodation and defining the elements of its strategy, which should be reflected in the designing and concept of the property, striving to create a successful business.