By Matina Harkoftakis
A vote of confidence in the domestic tourism product has been given in recent years by strong global hotel groups, who consistently choose our country to proceed with new investments, showing a particular preference for Athens. It is indicative that from 2017 until today, 2002 branded rooms have been added in the capital, a capacity which is expected to multiply in the coming years due to the new accommodations that are scheduled to open in the center, Elliniko and the southern suburbs. Of the total 2002 new and rebranded hotel rooms, most entered the market in 2018, of which approximately 52% are in the 5-star category, 26% in the 4-star category and 14% are 3-star.
One in 5 rooms named
According to data collected by GBR Consulting, currently 1 in 5 hotel rooms in Athens, covering geographical areas such as the center, north, south and western suburbs, is operated under a branded label with an international appeal . This is also reflected in the fact that around 8% of Athenian hotels are part of a global hotel group, while in 2017 the penetration rate for hotel rooms was around 17% and the rate for hotels at 7% . This means that during the last five years, the supply has recorded a significant increase. According to market data, from 2017 to date, 8 new branded accommodations have opened in the center of the capital, such as the Academia of Athens in Akadimias, a Lebanese investment in which Marriott’s Autograph Collection made its debut, Athens Capital in Lampsa in Syntagma with Accor’s Mgallery brand, Brown Hotels’ Dave Red in the old KKE offices in Veranzerou, Accor’s first Ibis Styles in Vouliagmeni, in the old offices of “Eleftherotypia”, Marriott’s Moxy, Dimand’s investment in Omonia , Selina in Theater Square and Wyndham Athens Residences in Metaxourgeio. In addition, during the same period, an additional 7 hotels were renamed and relaunched with an international brand, such as Athens Marriott, Brown Acropol, Kubic House and Lighthouse Athens in Omonia (Brown Hotels), the Grand Hyatt Athens that took its place Ledra Marriott as well as 2 properties of Convo hotels in Kallithea and Neo Kosmos. It should be noted that the survey did not include the Four Seasons of Asteras, the Dolce Attica Riviera of Wyndham in Vravrona and the Evereden of Vincci in Anavyssos as they are not located in the center.
On the other hand, 8 hotels are no longer under the umbrella of a well-known international group compared to 2017. These mainly include the accommodations of the Best Western brand, which 5 years ago had a total of 8 hotels in Athens, while today it only operates one. This should include the Hilton, which currently remains closed, but the property, after the completion of the renovation works, is expected to return to the market under the Conrad brand, an international brand of the Hilton group, itself when the residences will bear the Conrad Residences and Waldorf Astoria Residences brands.
71 new hotels were opened
As far as the total number of new hotels that have opened in Athens in the last five years is concerned, the number is 71, which are mainly located in the city center. New accommodations account for 20% of all Athenian hotels and 14% of rooms. Most of them were included in the 4-star category and 32% in the 5-star category, while now 12% of the rooms operating in Athens are new. After all, four-star hotels still hold the lion’s share of the capital’s potential. It is typical that from 60 in 2017 they increased to 90 this year, which is attributed to the positive balance of new hotels as 26 opened while only 8 left the market. The number of five-star hotels also increased, increasing from 24 to 34, with the result that today Athens has 5,539 4-star rooms and 7,101 5-star rooms.
In July 4 deals
However, the summer season also started strongly in terms of deals, as 4 deals were closed in the domestic hotel sector in just one month. Specifically, the 4-star Village Resort & Waterpark on the Cretan Peninsula was acquired by Marita Karatzis’ company, which snapped it up before it went to auction. This deal comes two years after the acquisition of the now five-star Sentido Unique Blue Resort by the AKS group.
On July 18, 2022, TAIPED officially handed over Xenia Kythnos to Israeli investors Michal and Avraham Ravid, who signed a contract for the right to use the hotel and the 2 thermal springs for a period of 99 years for almost 3 million euros. The project, with the name Genesis of the Royal Baths of Kythnos, has a total budget of 25 million euros, providing, at the same time, the creation of luxury villas and an open public park.
In addition, the 381-room Club Med Gregolimano of Evia, previously owned by the Chinese Fosun, was transferred to the French Hova Hospitality while its expansion is being planned, a project that will cost 20 million euros. Finally, the hotel arm of Attica acquired Tinos Beach, a hotel of Thanasis Martinos, for 6.5 million euros, 6 months after