By Nikos Krinis
The hospitality sector in Greece is witnessing growth in investments and this growth is further expected to continue with the opening of new hotels in Athens as well as different parts of the country.
The Athens Ledra Hotel on Sygrou Avenue was sold via auction in June for 33.05 million euros to Houston-based real estate developer Hines. The hotel is expected to reopen this year.
Moreover, the Greek capital’s hospitality sector recently welcomed the new Athenaeum Grand Hotel that opened its doors on 142 Sygrou Avenue, near the Panteion University.
Also on Sygrou Avenue is the new 13-room NHL Fix boutique hotel, the first unit of the new Neighborhood Lifestyle Hotels chain that is planning to open another three in Athens by the end of 2018. The chain’s second unit, the 18-room NLH Gerani boutique hotel, will open this year near Omonia Square.
In late May, Moussamas Bros AXE opened the fully renovated Holidays Suites Arnis Street boutique hotel, located near Michalakopoulou Street in Athens.
Furthermore, the former Lycabettus Hotel in Kolonaki has reopened as the 25-room Lozenge Hotel.
The Greek capital this year also saw its first (56-room) “smart” hotel, the four-star Kubic Athens, located near Omonia Square.
In addition, it has been announced that Marriott International will transform the existing 366-room Metropolitan Hotel Athens to the new Marriott Hotel Athens and open by 2018.
Meanwhile, according to reports, Hard Rock International, owner of one of the world’s most iconic and recognized brands, is said to be in negotiations for the creation of its first five-star hotel in the center of Athens. The hotel, which will have 200 rooms, is expected to open in 2018.
Out of Attica, the Tor Hotel Group of the Tornivoukas family, recently opened the five-star Eagles Villas on a plot next to the group’s five-star Eagles Palace resort on the Mount Athos Peninsula. The Tor Hotel Group also operates the Excelsior and the City Hotel in Thessaloniki.
Also in Thessaloniki, the Lazart Hotel, which is the new name of the five-star hotel formerly known as Les Lazaristes, opened its doors and began welcoming guests in June. The management of the hotel has been undertaken by Zeus International.
Following the official opening of the five-star Wyndham Grand Athens in March, Wyndham Hotel Group and Zeus International in May opened the 107-suite Wyndham Loutraki Poseidon and the 196-room Ramada Loutraki Poseidon resorts in Loutraki. The two companies will also revamp and rename the 346-room Mare Nostrum in Vravona and the 129-room Aqua Marina in Nea Makri. The hotels will be rebranded as the Ramada Plaza Attica Riviera and the Wyndham Garden Attica Riviera and will be in operation from 2018.
Also, the former Thraki Palace Thalasso Spa Hotel & Conference Center, located in Alexandroupolis, opened in late June as the Ramada Plaza Thraki and is now part of the Wyndham Hotel Group.
Thomas Cook Group plc, a leading leisure travel company, in July opened its second hotel in Greece under the Casa Cook brand on the island of Kos.
Accor, which has the Novotel and Sofitel in Athens in its portfolio, announced that it will expand this summer with an Ibis Styles hotel in Heraklion, Crete. Accor is also planning for a first Ibis hotel in Athens and a Novotel in Piraeus.
On Crete, adjacent to the five-star Nana Beach hotel, Karatzis S.A. has started construction of the new 120-room Nana Imperial in Hersonissos and operations are expected to launch in April 2018. In addition, Karatzis is also planning for another 350 rooms resort at a coastal property of 140 stremma in Ierapetra, Lasithi.
The Hersonissos Group of Hotels will construct the new 150-rooom five-star Abaton Resort and on Rhodes, plans have been announced for the development of an 187-room five-star hotel by Ammos SA in the area of Lindos.
Meanwhile, NBG Pangaea Real Estate Investment Company announced this month that it signed a franchise agreement with Marriott International to open Greece’s first location for the “Moxy Hotels” brand in Patra, Peloponnese. Greece’s first Moxy branded hotel will be housed in the former Moreas hotel, located across the city’s marina, a property owned by Pangaea.