“Oniro”, which means “dream” in Greek, is the name of a hospitality brand that entered the market in 2017 aiming to provide high-quality accommodation services to Greeks and foreign visitors.
“Above all, we strive to offer the utmost luxury to all our guests in a cool but sophisticated way. That is our ‘oniro’…,” says the Group’s general manager, Michail Takkos.
The man responsible for organizing, developing and positioning the new “Oniro” brand as a major player in the boutique hotels market in both Athens and Mykonos, Michail explains that “Oniro” caters to all its guests in style.
“I believe in Athens and we, like many property owners, are always putting forward the destination as the drawcard for our hotels…”
– Michail Takkos,
GM of Oniro Hotels
In this interview, Michail gives GTP Headlines details on the Group’s new properties that are to open this year and also reveals which other destinations are being reviewed for hotel investments in order to further expand the concept of “Oniro”.
- GTP: Michail, please share some career highlights with our readers.
Michail Takkos: I’ve been a part of the hospitality industry for over 30 years and among the first things that come to my mind are always the more difficult achievements that, however, tend to be the most rewarding. I am referring to “missions impossible” – as I like to call them – in my career. These “missions” include the opening of both Kenso Hotels on Mykonos and where I am today: being in charge of organizing, developing and positioning the new brand of Oniro hotels. These are definitely my career “highlights” so far…
But, to answer your question more completely, I started my career in hospitality from the lower ranks at the age of 16 and I worked my way up, while simultaneously earning an MBA and PhD in International Hospitality management.
Prior to my “missions” in Greece, I worked for companies such as the Hilton and the Ritz Carlton group in Asia, Australia and Europe.
- GTP: I understand that the Oniro Hotels Group already has three luxury hotels in its portfolio – one in Athens (Oniro City hotel) and two on the island of Mykonos (Oniro Suites and Oniro Mykonos). Regarding the hotels on Mykonos, what should guests expect during their stay?
Michail Takkos: First, guests should expect a very warm welcome from every single one of us at the hotels. We specialize in catering to all, especially families at Oniro Mykonos, through our family suites, kids club, children’s pool and activities. I also must add that we have the best gym on the island!
Our culinary offering is “back to the Greek roots”. Our executive chef, George Stylianoydakis, has set the standard higher than ever on producing a traditional Greek menu that is sure to be the talk of the town!
Above all, we strive to offer the utmost luxury to all our guests in a cool but sophisticated way. That is our “oniro” – which means “dream” in Greek!
- GTP: In regards to Athens and in addition to the Oniro City hotel, I know the Group is currently developing two more properties in the city center. Can we have some details on these properties?
Michail Takkos: Our new hotels will follow the name and the concept of the Oniro hotels, providing a haven of relaxation and a centrally located “doorway” to all the city has to offer. Businessmen and leisure travelers alike will be catered for in style just as we cater to our guests at our Oniro City Hotel in Kolonaki.
Oniros’ second property in Athens will open in May 2020, in a listed building of 1896 in the Thissio district, having gone through an extensive revamp. Following renovation works, the hotel will have 19 rooms and suites, a breakfast terrace, an indoor pool and offer spectacular views of the Acropolis.
Our third property in the Greek capital will be a boutique hotel on Mitropoleos Square that will include spacious luxury suites. The hotel should be up and running by the end of the year.
- GTP: The Greek capital’s city center is seeing more and more new hotels open. How will Oniro’s new properties differ from other accommodation options in Athens?
Michail Takkos: We have developed our own concept and we excel. We are proud of our guest satisfaction level, which can be also said for many of our colleagues and fellow hoteliers. Each and every concept has its own merits and addresses a certain audience.
We – to put it simply – as a core value of our hotels, build “relationships” with our guests. This I believe that is the main factor that makes us stand out from the crowd.
- GTP: Your hotels operate in Athens and Mykonos, two very “strong” tourism destinations in Greece. Does Oniro Hotels Group have plans to expand its brand to other destinations in the country?
Michail Takkos: We have so far concentrated on destinations that we believe can create a strong base for developing synergies between our hotels. At the same time, other destinations and concepts are under consideration. Destinations currently under review for the same reason include Santorini and Paros.
- GTP: With 2019 labeled as another good year for Greek tourism, how was the year for Oniro’s hotels? What are your expectations for the 2020 season?
Michail Takkos: Last year was a very good year. Not only for Oniro’s hotels but for Greece’s tourism in general. Now, regarding this year… about two to three weeks ago I would have given you a different answer than the one I can give now, as we are facing one of the most challenging periods in the travel industry in general. Currently, everything seems to be on hold and we are monitoring the situation on a daily basis.
- GTP: How do you see the hospitality sector moving in Athens in general? Can more be done in regards to the destination’s promotion?
Michail Takkos: We have seen a growth of new hotels during the last couple of years and more new openings are expected in the near future. So I see a strong demand in a wonderful city!
Regarding promotion, more can always be done in a city that has so much to offer. I must say that Athens has changed drastically in the last 10 to 15 years and can easily “compete” other European capital cities. One thing that we must get out is that Athens is not just a city that hosts the famous Acropolis. Athens welcomes visitors in the winter, spring, summer and fall. And yes, I mention summer because – let’s not forget – that Athens is a city with beaches literally 20 minutes from the center. I believe in this city and we, like many property owners, are always putting forward the destination as the drawcard for our hotels.
- GTP: As a hospitality professional, tell me a challenge in the industry that needs to be addressed.
Michail Takkos: One of the major issues we professionals face is, unfortunately, the shortage of professionals in the industry. The exponential increase in new hotel openings has seen a demand in personnel that is impossible to be filled by the current supply. Education is the key here and our institutions need to be strengthened in order to provide the professionals needed. As a professional, I believe and practice constant education for myself and my staff.
I do however hear that the ministry is looking to boost tourism education and training, so… I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
Managing innovation is another challenge that we are facing now. New techniques, new ideas and new concepts are constantly being developed. Here, the challenge is just to keep track and catch up! The process of constant improvement needs to be managed in a way that will be smooth in a hotel’s everyday operation.