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Historic Xenia Property in Heraklion, Crete, Returns to Rightful Owner

Photo source: / Antonis Gennarakis

Photo source: / Antonis Gennarakis

The Xenia property at Karteros beach in Heraklion, Crete, and once known as “Xenia Motel”, has been reclaimed by the Public Properties Company (ETAD) following a coordinated operation with the area’s local police.

Part of the renowned Xenia hotel chain, Motel Xenia is a complex of seven buildings dating back from 1961, designed by the well-known Greek architect, Aris Konstantinides. It is located next to Karteros beach on a plot size of ​​2,570 sq.m. and once hosted 42 double rooms (84 beds).

According to ETAD, the property, which has been characterized as a historical preserved building, for decades had been occupied by a number of squatters, while similar attempts to reclaim the site had no result.

Photo source: / Antonis Gennarakis

Photo source: / Antonis Gennarakis

“As the owner of the Xenia Karteros, ETAD SA will take all the necessary measures, according to its legal rights, to protect its property both with the assistance of the police authorities and private security companies,” ETAD said in an announcement, underlining that the company is prepared to take legal action against anyone who attempts to reclaim the property again.

ETAD said that its aim is to overcome any loopholes and make the best use of the property to put an end to the image of abandonment that the area has undergone over the years.

“As a typical example of the first tourism infrastructure in Greece in the 1950s and 1960s, Xenia Karteros is an important cultural and tourism chapter for the country, which unfortunately has remained unused for many decades,” ETAD said.

Xenia history

From 1950 to 1974, the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) carried out a program of hotel and motel construction to boost Greece’s tourism development.

The logo of the Xenia hotels.The Xenia hotels were characterized by their high quality and aesthetics and constructed within the framework of a tourism policy that aimed for Greece’s economic development.

Built in prime locations, they strongly bore the mark of the inspired Greek architect, Aris Konstantinides, and perfectly adapted to the Greek landscape as if they had always been there. They had an ideal positioning, combined indoor with open-air spaces, internal patios and courtyards, large windows, balconies that offered the best views of each location.

Over 40 “Xenias” constituted a unique network of complexes that boasted excellent architecture and construction.

Today, surviving examples of the Xenia hotels have been substantially altered or have fallen into disrepair.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.
  1. Hash Reply

    I remember them from 1970….. when I worked in Tourism industry….The famous logo Xenia….I still remember it…sad to see it like this…. especially on the beach front..

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