The NJV Athens Plaza hotel, located on Syntagma Square in the Greek capital, this year completed its renovation program, which surpassed 5 million euros.
According to the hotel’s general manager, Vana Lazarakou, the project, which began in 2014, included refurbishment of all guestrooms, common areas, restaurant and lobby, while the hotel also fully upgraded its internet service to handle customer WiFi demands. The hotel’s revamp works included the addition of its New York-style, two-storey, 160 square-meter Presidential Suite on the seventh floor.
“Our hotel is going through one of its best times ever despite a rough start this year due to high competition as many hotels have opened in Athens,” Lazarakou told journalists during a press conference on Thursday.
“The competition helped us come up with a strategy for our markets and 2019 is proving to be a very good year for the NJV Athens Plaza,” she said.
The hotel’s occupancy rate for 2019 is expected to reach 74 percent.
According to 2018 figures presented by the hotel’s account director, Dimitris Sklavenitis, the hotel last year increased its average room price and total revenue by 12 percent compared to 2017.
The nationalities that recorded the highest growth in 2018 were Canadians (up by 66 percent), Chinese (up by 58 percent) and Americans (up by 30 percent).
“2018 was a great year for Athens and for us and expectations are high again for 2019… We managed to increase our average room price by 6 percent compared to 2018 and also keep revenue on the same levels,” Sklavenitis said.
The nationalities with the highest increases during the January-October period this year are the Chinese with bookings up 61 percent from last year and the Japanese, up by 22 percent.
In regards to early bookings for the 2020 season, Sklavenitis said that according to demand from mid-March and onwards, it seems that 2020 will reach the levels of 2018 and even better.
“Next year, at least for downtown Athens and Syntagma Square, is expected to be another great year,” he said.
It was also mentioned that 25 percent of the hotel’s guests are repeat visitors.
“Our aim is to give our guests an unforgettable stay and experience,” Sklaventitis said.
NJV Athens Plaza cares and supports society, the environment
During the press conference, NJV Athens Plaza CSR Manager Roza Tsirigoti, presented the results of the hotel’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) 2018 report, which also included the targets for 2019.
“Our CSR initiatives are well known both in Greece and abroad and we are proud to be a hotel that does not belong to any international hotel chain and that every action we take is an act of love for society and the environment,” Tsirigoti said.
According to Tsirigoti, the hotel’s 2019 targets have been largely implemented and include reduction of water consumption by 5 percent per night, of energy consumption by 3 percent per night and of waste production by 15 percent per night.
The hotel also carries out a number of community service initiatives such as providing meals to the underprivileged; providing goods, through accredited NGOs, to homeless, elderly and refugees; and partnering with local suppliers and supporting the circular economy as a healthy model of sustainable development.
In support of the circular economy, the NJV Athens Plaza this year launched another action, inviting its guests to donate clothes they do not need in specially made boxes located on every floor of the hotel.
“Our guests have embraced this initiative… We collect quite a large amount of clothing and then donate it to either the Archdiocese of Athens or the Fabric Republic (clothing management system) in support of the circular economy,” Tsirigoti said.
Moreover, Tsirigoti informed that the NJV Athens Plaza is also helping with the cleanliness and tree-planting of the National Garden in Athens, next to the Greek Parliament building.
“We see the National Garden as our garden,” Tsirigoti said.
The NJV Athens Plaza is the first European hotel member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC); the first Greek city hotel to be certified as sustainable under the Agenda 21 principles, in accordance with the EarthCheck Evaluate Plus; and the only hotel in Athens with the “We do Local” quality certification seal.
Owned by the Vardinoyannis Group, the NJV Athens Plaza is an independent hotel with 162 rooms and 18 suites. It is a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts, a leading independent hotel brand, representing more than 700 distinctive hotels, resorts, residences, and unique hotel groups across 85 countries.