At the beginning of last year, many Greek and foreign investors jostled for a position in the downtown Athens real estate market. Significant projects of reconstruction of abandoned properties and their conversion, mainly into luxury hotels, had preceded.
In March the coronavirus struck sinking Greek tourism and plunging the economy in recession, causing a major blow to the real estate market. As a result, many of the new projects “froze”, while some investors who bet on quick returns left Greece.
However, investors who believed in the future of Greek tourism and the country in general never withdrew from the Greek market. Despite the difficult situation, most of the hotel projects that had started in Athens and the rest of the country are proceeding normally again, as well as the large investments, mainly in tourist infrastructure projects.
Common to all projects is the quality of facilities and services provided, as investors are well aware that the bar will rise. Estimates for an impressive tourism recovery from 2022 to 2024, but also for turning Greece into a 12-month destination, turned the country into a pole of attraction for billions of euros.
Major tourism projects now involve top funds from around the world, which through their investments give a practical “vote of confidence” in Greece and especially in Athens, which seeks to establish itself as a city break destination.
The protagonist is the Attica Riviera
The protagonist of the large investments in tourism infrastructure and in real estate is the so-called Attica Riviera, the coastal front, 70 km long, which starts from Mikrolimano in Piraeus and ends a little after the temple of Poseidon.
The upgrade of Asteras Vouliagmenis, which is managed by Four Seasons, was one of the first projects that contributed to the transformation of the Riviera.
Today, the Attica Riviera is transforming at a very fast pace into the Greek “Monaco”. At present, investments of 2.5 billion euros are already being implemented, which concern the construction of necessary infrastructures of high added value.
Among other things, they include the expansion of the PPA cruise pier, with a projected budget of 103 million euros, which will allow the hosting of large cruise ships, turning the port of Piraeus into a home port. The marina of Alimos, whose utilization provides for the development of approximately 18,000 sq.m. modern facilities in the land area (area of 21 acres), in order to create dining and leisure areas, hotel services, offices, storage and boat repairs, as well as commercial uses. Actor, which has undertaken the project, will invest 50m euros over 4-5 years.
The list of new projects also includes infrastructure projects in Elliniko, which are to be auctioned in the near future, including the creation of utility networks, the reconstruction – arrangement of streams, the renovation – upgrade of the beach of Agios Kosmas, for about 1 km. , etc.
The new marina of Vouliagmeni, part of the emblematic complex of Asteras Vouliagmeni, has an important contribution to the upgrading of the coastal front, which is entering the implementation phase and is accompanied by an investment of 48 million euros.
Arrivals that change the capital
There are several new hotel units that will start operating in Athens, by the end of the year and the first months of 2022.
The new Moxy: By the end of the year, the Moxy Hotel, located at Saroglio Megaron, at 65 Stadiou Street, near Omonia Square, is expected to open its doors. It belongs to the category of affordable branded hotels, while the Moxy brand belongs to the Marriott group. The € 20 million investment is being implemented jointly by Dimand, Prodea Investments and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and envisages the creation of a 200-room urban hotel. The building belongs to the Army Share Fund and the Officers’ Club. The lease period is 25 years with the option to extend it for another 25 years.
NYX Athens (formerly Esperia): The historic Esperia Hotel on Stadiou Street will reopen its doors, in 2022, as NYX Athens by Leonardo. The project has been undertaken by the Israeli company Fattal and the new five-star hotel will have, among other things, two new swimming pools and shading systems on the roof of the building, while at the same time important interior arrangements will be made. In addition, on the 9th floor will be located the main restaurant of the hotel with a view to the Acropolis, while on the roof an additional small dining area will be created by the pool. The hotel passed into the hands of Fattal after the relevant tender made by EFKA for a monthly rent of 95,830 euros for 30 + 10 years. The cost of the renovation is expected to exceed 10m euros.
Xenodocheio Milos: In the autumn of 2021, the five-star boutique Xenodocheio Milos is expected to open in the heart of Athens, located in a neoclassical building behind the Old Parliament and specifically at 3-5 Kolokotroni Street. The building, which belongs to the Army Share Fund, was leased in 2017 with a lease term of 30 years, has a total area of 4,400 sq.m., while the accommodation will have a capacity of 43 rooms. The Xenodocheio Milos is managed by the Epoque Collection, while the ground floor will also house the Milos Restaurant.
Lighthouse Athens (formerly La Mirage): The Lighthouse Hotel, the former historic La Mirage Hotel, opens on July 1st on Omonia Square, following a major renovation in recent years. The hotel is leased to the Israeli company Brown Hotels, has a total area of 9,392 sq.m. and a capacity of 208 rooms. When it was built, it was considered one of the largest investments in the Center area. It was renovated for the needs of the Athens Olympic Games, but then went into decline, until it closed in July 2008. It is noted that Brown Hotels has already opened two new hotels in the Omonia area, the Brown Acropol and the DAVE Red Athens.
The Cohort Athens: The opening of The Cohort Athens, a new four-star hotel at 93 Liosion Street, is expected soon. The 100-room hotel is part of the smart hotels category, which attempts to combine hotel services – rooms, furnished apartments, restaurants and workplaces – under one roof, with particular emphasis on high-tech infrastructure. This hotel is owned by an investor from Lebanon.
82 Evripidou Hotel: Also, in the summer, 82 Evripidou Hotel, the new boutique hotel on Evripidou Street, in the center of Athens, is expected to open its gates, by the Israeli interests Ficus Investments and Brown Hotels. It is essentially the reconstruction of two five-storey adjoining buildings that are connected to each other with Stoa Manousaki at number 82 of Evripidou, within a plot of 470 sq.m. The new hotel will have a total of 63 rooms.
Athens Capital Hotel: In the center of Athens, the operation of the Athens Capital Hotel stands out next to Syntagma Square. The investment reached 22 million euros, while the management was taken over by the international chain Accor Group.
The investment of the real estate investment company Briq Properties also amounted to 1.5 million euros. It concerns a boutique hotel in Kolonaki, with the management being undertaken by the international chain The Modernist.
Glyfada Stars: The Glyfada Stars enter the final stretch after the recent approval received by the architectural study of the project from the Central Council of Architecture. Grivalia’s investment envisages the creation of a five-star hotel with a capacity of 400 beds, while according to the architectural study, 115 luxury rooms, 14 tourist suites, 12 suites, exhibition space and multipurpose hall, two restaurants, archeological walks, activities for children, and a rejuvenation center. The investment is estimated at 60 million euros, while the project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2022, but the restaurants will open as early as this year.
Dozens of new luxury hotels across the country
Estimates for an impressive recovery of tourism from 2022 to 2024, but also for the transformation of Greece into a 12-month destination made the whole country a pole of attraction of billions of euros this year will “welcome” dozens of new luxury hotels across the country .
Messinia: Temes is investing up to 250 million euros in the iconic Costa Navarino, further strengthening one of the top tourism projects in the Mediterranean. The new investments concern two luxury resorts. Specifically, Navarino Bay is building an underground luxury resort, which includes 99 suites and villas on a two kilometer seafront. Respectively, the Navarino Waterfront creates a modern lifestyle resort, with a seaside market, which includes 200 rooms, suites, and bungalows. At the same time, two new 18-hole golf courses are being developed in Navarino Hills, in an area of 1,500 acres.
Thessaloniki: In Thessaloniki, Grivalia estimates that in December it will have completed the upgrade of the Olympus – Naoussa building into a boutique hotel. The construction, which will cost 8m euros, is expected to be completed by the end of October.
Halkidiki: The emblematic Porto Carras in Sithonia, Halkidiki, once again opens its doors under new ownership. Specifically, visitors can visit the renovated premises of the five-star hotel Meliton 5, while significant improvements were made to the marina, with a capacity of 315 beds and the ability to accommodate large boats of up to 60 m.
Corfu: The preparatory works for the Kassiopi Project, in the area of Erimitis in North Corfu, are completed. The Kassiopi Project includes the creation of a luxury 5-star hotel with a capacity of 90 rooms and 76 suites, as well as luxury villas. It is an investment of the American NCH Capital, totaling 120 million euros.
Mykonos: Kalesma is the new five star hotel of Mykonos that starts operating this year. It is located in Ornos in an area of 18 acres and has a capacity of 25 suites and two villas. The amount of the investment amounts to 25 million euros. The hotel will offer specialized services, such as personal chef and trainer, villa butler, but also exclusive information about the “secrets of the island”.
Grivalia owns the 378-bed resort in Kalo Livadi, Mykonos, an investment of 100m euros, whose building permit is estimated to have been issued in the coming weeks. The project will be completed in the summer of 2023, but the hotel is expected to open a year later.
Santorini: After a brief opening last summer due to the pandemic, the Santorini Sky Hotel is essentially the new addition to the popular tourist destination. It consists only of villas designed to face the sea. The hotel is made of local materials and in such a way as to have as little environmental impact as possible.
Paros: The new Cosme hotel in Naoussa, Paros, is expected to start operating this summer. The hotel is located on the beach of Agioi Anargyroi and has 40 luxury suites, main pool with restaurant, beach club, wellness center (SPA) and gym. The hotel is developed by Kanava Hotels & Resorts.
Kyllini: The planned large tourist investment worth 240 million euros in the area of Kyllini will be financed by a German investment fund. The investment includes hotels, tourist houses, infrastructure, including a spa, as well as a state-of-the-art marina.
Chania: In Chania, the new five-star hotel with a capacity of 405 beds stands out, with the installation of a 100 KW photovoltaic station, at Begleri in Marathi, Chania, which the company A. Vasilaki SA plans to implement. The investment has already received the “green light” from the Central Council of Architecture.
Also, in the city of Chania, the Israeli interest Belvedere MEPE leased from the Technical University of Crete three historic buildings located on Kastelli hill above the port of the Old Town of Chania and will be converted into a luxury hotel, in an investment estimated at 18 million euros.
One of the largest tourism projects, Costa Nopia, in an area of about 1,000 acres in the area of Nopigia in the bay of Kissamos, is promoted by the Cypriot group Leptos (Leptos Group). The project includes the creation of a luxury complex tourist complex with 2 hotels, tourist houses, marina, golf course, but also entertainment and trade facilities. The € 303 million investment has already been included in the fast track strategic investment scheme since October 2020.
The largest investment of IKOS Resorts is planned in an area of 140 acres in the bay of Kissamos, with the aim of building a luxury hotel. It is noted that both the Andreadis family and large investment funds from abroad have a strong position in Ikos Resorts.
Heraklion: Two new five-star hotels in the city of Heraklion are in the works by the company MS White Hospitality, which has already received the green light from the Municipal Building Service to proceed. Both new hotels are about changing the use of existing buildings. The first is located at 77-79 Kalokairinou Street, while the second is at the junction of Apokoronou and 1770 streets.
Lassithi: One of the largest tourism projects in Greece, called the “Ellinikon of Crete”, is Elounda Hills, which is expected to be the flagship of tourism on the island. The more than 600 million euro investment of Russian interests Mirum, which has been included in the status of fast track strategic investments, is to be developed in an area of 84 acres in the area of Elounda. Mirum plans to build a five-star hotel with 200 beds and other tourist facilities, including 340 holiday homes and a marina.
At the same time, Mirum has a second investment in Lassithi. In a seaside area in Vathi, he is going to create Park Residences. The investment concerns the construction of a luxury hotel complex of 200 beds, as well as villas.
The new luxury hotel Numo Ierapetra Beach Resort in Ierapetra started operating on April 28. The five-star hotel of the Troulis Royal Collection has 132 rooms and suites, as well as a variety of facilities such as restaurants, swimming pool, bars and fitness center.
Rethymnon: This year the new five-star Minos Ambassador opens its gates. Located in Rethymno and has 50 room/suites, restaurants, pool, bar, and spa. In fact, it will be connected by a bridge with the existing Minos Hotel, which belongs to the same company N. & H. Vourvachakis SA.