Travelers to Thessaloniki that are looking to stay in a hotel that completely understands the needs of guests and offers custom-made experiences through smart technology, will find exactly what they are looking for at ONOMA, a new and innovative “Personalized Smart Living” Hotel.
Located in the heart of Thessaloniki, ONOMA is open to all and is a place where everyone can have a personalized smart living experience, the hotel’s general manager, Anestis Michaloudis, tells GTP Headlines.
“This is not just another 5-star hotel in Thessaloniki. ONOMA is a hotel where all of our guests can be themselves and we are there to ignite their creativity and inspire their curiosity,” says Anestis, a Greek hospitality professional with over 20 years of experience in the industry.
The 83-room ONOMA is the third hotel of the Anatolia Hospitality group, a Greek company that currently has two fully renovated privately-owned Anatolia Hotels in Thessaloniki and Komotini; and also manages villas and luxury apartments on the islands of Mykonos and Lefkada.
In this interview, Anestis, who also holds the position of COO of Anatolia Hospitality, explains the ONOMA hospitality concept and also introduces the Group’s properties.
Commenting on the operation of hotels in coronavirus (Covid-19) times, he underlines that Anatolia follows more than just the typical health and safety protocols, as it operates under the philosophy of always focusing on the satisfaction and safety of its guests.
Referring to the health protocols for hotels launched by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19, Anestis tells us that Anatolia took a step further.
- GTP: Anestis, please share some career highlights with our readers.
Anestis Michaloudis: It’s been 20+ years from the day that I fell in love with the hospitality industry. During those years I had the pleasure to work on some very exciting projects and also in some exotic and challenging destinations. Costa Navarino, which I spent 6 years from the opening of the property until 2016 and Phuket Thailand, which I did my first Task Force with Starwood. In Egypt, I spent almost 2 years in Cairo at a fantastic property: the Le Meridien Cairo Airport and after that at an unusual destination, Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka. My journey continued to Mumbai, India and the historical JW Marriott Juhu where I did my second Task Force. My last destination, before joining Anatolia Hospitality, was Warsaw, Poland, and the Sheraton Grand Warsaw, which was the pilot hotel of the rebranding of Sheratons worldwide.
- GTP: You are the general manager of the ONOMA hotel, Anatolia Hospitality’s latest addition in Thessaloniki. Please tell us how this new hotel differs from other accommodation options in the city. What exactly is ONOMA’s concept and which are its competitive advantages?
Anestis Michaloudis: ONOMA is the first “Personalized Smart Living” Hotel. Just like our names, ONOMA Hotel (which in Greek means “name”) is unique for every guest. ONOMA hotel wishes to know every guest personally and understand his or hers needs in order to offer custom made experiences through smart technology and innovative services. ONOMA is not just another 5-star hotel in Thessaloniki. ONOMA is a hotel where all of our guests can be themselves and we are there to ignite their creativity and inspire their curiosity. ONOMA is Anatolia’s new and pioneering hospitality concept that utilizes modern design, new marketing trends and tools, always focusing on the guest.
- GTP: Just how difficult is the handling of a new investment (in hospitality) in these challenging times?
Anestis Michaloudis: Handling any investment is challenging. Now imagine handling an investment during these unprecedented times and especially an investment in a sector that Covid-19 had a huge impact on. For sure it’s not easy, and at this point I would like to congratulate Michael Chrysohoidis and the Chrysohoidis family, our CEO and owners for being so bold. With this investment, Anatolia Hospitality shows the dynamic it has in the market and also the long term vision of the company. By taking the decision to continue the project and the investment we are telling our future guests, that we are here, we listen and understand them and that we are going to take care of their needs no matter what.
- GTP: Anestis, you also hold the position of Chief Operating Officer at Anatolia Hospitality Group. Can you tell us what kind of changes did the Group have to implement in all of its properties for them to open and operate smoothly after Greece’s lockdown?
Anestis Michaloudis: First of all, the whole world is facing this new normality for the first time. There are certain protocols that the local legislation is demanded to follow, but we did not only implement those. We also looked around and tried to think outside of the box on what we can do extra and above this, in order for our guests to feel and be safe. In general, I can say that we, in the hospitality industry, incorporated all those measures a bit easier than other industries, since sanitation, cleanliness, usage of gloves and sometimes masks also was part of our daily routine in order to keep our properties safe and clean. The difficult part for us – and for our guests to digest – was the fact that we had to take out certain elements and amenities from our rooms such as cushions from the couches, having towels and bathrobes foiled etc. These changes make the rooms look a bit strange. But as we all say, health comes first.
- GTP: How many properties does Anatolia Hospitality currently count? Can you give our readers an introduction of them?
Anestis Michaloudis: With ONOMA, Anatolia Hospitality is going to have 3 hotels. Anatolia Hotel in Komotini, with 53 rooms, is a true jewel for the city. Modern and elegant, it appeals to every type of traveller to the city. Anatolia Hotel in Thessaloniki, with 69 rooms, is a convenient, elegant and stylish establishment right in the heart of the financial, commercial and nightlife district. And of course we now have our “new born” ONOMA, also in Thessaloniki. Our group also has the Anatolia Villas Collection, located in 2 different destinations. In Lefkada we operate the famous Villa Veneziano, an amazing property overlooking the Ionian Sea and the Scorpios Island. We also operate on the island of Mykonos, the Villa Petrolefko in Ornos. A stunning villa with breathtaking views of “Little Venice” and the windmills of Mykonos, providing the luxurious privacy that someone is looking for from a property like this, but also the space and the location to enjoy the lifestyle of Mykonos. On Mykonos, we also operate the Senses Villa in Elia. These are spacious and luxurious white-washed villas, featuring idyllic views of the Mykonian Sea! Our villas offer an excellent choice for accommodation and facilities, distinguished by the vivid colours, elegant decoration and the beautiful unique touches of the well-known Cycladic art and architecture.
- GTP: In your opinion, what do you think will be the long-term effect of Covid-19 on the hospitality industry?
Anestis Michaloudis: We are all still trying to measure and understand the impact that this pandemic will have on our industry. Personally, I believe that people will tend to use automation solutions for their interactions. For example, if we speak for the hospitality industry, guests will look for properties that offer them the option for the self-check in and mobile keys. These are areas that we are exploring with ONOMA as well and will be part of our guest’s experience. Guests also, will be more cautious on where they stay, preferring more and more 5-star properties that will offer them a high level of services and have also certain policies and procedures for cleanliness and sanitation. Previously, a big part of travellers did not pay attention to the small details and this is the reason that they were looking for the cheapest option and even renting apartments for their stay. This type of clientele will surely turn its interest to hotels and especially 5-star properties because they will know that they are going to get a high level of services.
- GTP: As an industry professional, what would be your best piece of advice for travelers in these times?
Anestis Michaloudis: Greece has done an amazing effort to keep the spread of Covid-19 low and I can say from experience that in foreign countries those efforts were highly appreciated and recognized. Usage of Personal Protective Equipment is a must for travellers and they have to make sure to wash their hands on a regular basis. Then make sure that they stay in a property that follows more than just the typical health and safety protocols, a property that is reliable and also a property that did not lose its character because of the pandemic. So, I’d say: “If you are looking for a destination and a property to travel at this moment and fulfill all the above requirements, then Anatolia Thessaloniki and ONOMA Hotel are the best solutions for you!”