The destination of more and more “luxury” hotel chains is Greece, and Athens in particular, in recent years, as major international ultra-luxury brands choose the capital and our country to expand their network.
The arrival of luxury chains in the country also positively affects tourism revenues as they welcome high-income tourists, while at the same time the average room rate increases as the most luxurious units “go up”. and the rest in terms of room price. It is telling that according to the trivago Hotel Price Index, the average price of a room in Athens increased in May to 173 euros by 31.6% compared to last year.
As noted by the outgoing President of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), Mr. Yannis Retsos, in response to a related question from ot.gr, many foreign luxury chains are in the country while d others are preparing to come. Regarding prices, he added that in 5-star and luxury hotel units, the price “gap” between Athens and other European capitals has narrowed a lot in recent years. As such, the need to develop the hotel product is still relevant.
What are the new “arrivals”
It should be noted that in recent years a number of foreign ultra-luxury chains have entered our country. Examples include Aman Resorts, which took over the management of Amanzoe in Porto Heli from August 2012, and Four Seasons, which took over the management of Asteras Vouliagmenis in the spring of 2018. In particular, the second changed the status of the Greek hotel market.
Some of the world’s largest hotel chains have also developed or plan to develop their luxury brands.
Hilton and TEMES
For example, the Hilton group, very present in Greece with the Curio Collection by Hilton, etc. brings the luxury “names” Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts to the renovated TEMES property in central Athens (the former Athens Hilton).
In Costa Navarino de TEMES, Marriott, which is already present in our country with many brands (Autograph Collection Hotels, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts, etc.) has entered the W Hotel in the Luxury category of brands that ‘he owns
TEMES, justifying the designation “locomotive” of Greek tourism, is also the operator of other luxury chains in our country. Thus, in Costa Navarino, another chain of luxurious and famous hotels, Mandarin Oriental, will operate from this summer, which will manage the new Costa Navarino complex located in the bay of Navarino.
The award-winning Mandarin Oriental hotel group owns and operates some of the most luxurious hotels, resorts and residences in the world. Starting its activity in Asia, it has become a global brand, under the aegis of which 36 hotels and 8 residences operate in 24 countries.
Another arrival of a major luxury brand, One & Only which, after Montenegro, is expanding its presence in Europe, with three investments in Greece. One & Only Aesthesis will open in October 2023 in the former “Asteria Glyfadas” on the Athens Riviera, on a 21-acre estate. It is an investment by Grivalia Hospitality, which includes 127 rooms, suites and private villas, while its facilities will include the Chenot Spa. The One&Only Kea on Gias Island is also set to open in 2023, while the luxury villas surrounding it are already on sale. The company has already announced a new complex, the construction of which will begin in Mykonos.
In 2026, the internationally acclaimed luxury chain Banyan Tree of the Accor Group will debut across Greece in Europe, and even in Aitoloakarnania. This is the large Varko Bay investment by RND Investments amounting to 182 million euros which will be developed in the municipality of Aktiou-Vonitsa, opposite Lefkada. The project includes a hotel with 116 luxury villas and 45 branded residences. It will have three restaurants and bars, as well as a tourist marina with the possibility of mooring yachts up to 40 meters. The Banyan Group operates more than 60 hotels worldwide, with more than 50 projects planned by 2025. Accor has a strong presence in the Greek hotel market with the chains Angsana, MGallery Hotel Collection, Novotel Hotels, etc.
In the “Elounda Hills” investment project which, in its full development, will amount to 500 million euros, includes hotels, villas, residences and other tourist facilities and the first works will begin soon, in Aimed to be completed in 2027, the only major hotel will operate under the “1 Hotels” brand of Starwwod Capital Group.
It’s not there yet
However, there are still many luxury chains that do not manage units in our country, but may appear in the years to come as a series of hotel projects are underway. For example, announcements are expected soon on the companies that will take over the management of the two TEMES hotels in Elliniko. According to estimates, these will be channels that have not yet been present in our country.
However, among the luxury chains absent from Greece are the Ritz-Carlton, St. Ergas, JW Marriott and EDITION by Marriott. Also missing for now is the Rosewood Hotels & Resorts chain, which operates 30 unique luxury hotels in 18 countries with 25 new properties under construction. The chain is expected to open in 2024, Rosewood Munich in Munich, Rosewood Amsteram, Rosewood Rome etc.
Even outside the Greek market, Six Senses, a flagship brand of Intervontinental Group (IHG) which has a significant presence in the Greek market along with other brands, is also famous.
A more sustainable luxury tourism
It should be noted that according to the leaders of hotel groups, luxury tourism is the most resistant to difficult situations as seen by the pandemic because it was the first market to recover. As LAMPSA (Britain, King George, Athens Capital MGallery) Group Chairman Mr. Chloe Laskaridis said during the Delphi Forum, luxury tourism is the most resilient as found in the pandemic as c It was the first market to recover and it is one of the markets that remains resilient now with inflation.
“Athens has room for further development of the specific market, there are not many high-end products. There is space. As for the average price of hotels in the city, it is far behind. There is certainly a future. But the city will also have to transform to attract customers. It is certain that Athens in the next 5 years will also change significantly in this part of the market and there will be new product categories.” , added Ms. Laskaridis.
For her part, Mrs. Konstanza Sbokou-Konstantakopoulou, General Manager of Phaea Resorts, pointed out that by moving to a more expensive tourist product, in luxury, we can have more effective investments increasing revenues and turnover. SP. Sbokou also noted that today the perception of Greek tourism has changed, it has entered the luxury tourism map. The infrastructure has improved somewhat and has contributed to large companies turning to Greece
Finally, he felt that Greece is in a more mature phase to develop its own luxury brands that will appeal to travelers with special requirements, who are looking for authenticity and not just luxury.