Despite Headwinds, New Hotels Keep Springing up in Athens

New luxury hotels continue to open in the Greek capital, with businesses hoping to stay afloat until the pandemic-related slump ends.

More than 40 new hotels opened their doors in the center of Athens last year, as ever more chains and investors in the sector looked to position themselves in a particularly dynamic tourism market. Yet given that the return to normality in terms of revenues can’t really be expected before the third quarter of 2021, those who continue to open new units at this present juncture are definitely among the boldest in the sector.

The options are limited as long as the leasing contracts for the properties continue to apply, forcing units to operate at a reduced occupancy rate, so as to at least cover their operating expenses, while hoping for a rapid recovery.

For example, in the last few days, the Athens Capital Hotel – MGallery, belonging to the Accor Group, was launched. This concerns a property on Syntagma Square leased by the Lampsa group that had won a tender called by the former ATEbank employees’ fund. The five-star hotel has a capacity of 177 rooms and marks the return of the asset to hotel use, as it had originally operated as the King Palace Hotel in the late 1950s. In between it was used as the office building that hosted ATEbank’s headquarters. The investment for the refurbishment of the building came to 22 million euros.

This week will also see the opening of a new boutique hotel in Kolonaki, in a building owned by BriQ Properties. This is a €1.5 million investment by The Modernist chain that leases this property. It was once home to the Canadian Embassy.

There are more new arrivals expected by the end of the year in the market: According to Danos & Associates/BNP Paribas Real Estate, in the next few weeks another new boutique hotel, the Athens Ikon, will open on Mitropoleos Street, between Syntagma Square and Plaka. Before the end of the year the Hellenic Vibes hotel will open in Monastiraki, in a property acquired by Prodea Investments. 

In early 2021, a new four-star hotel will open near Omonia Square, at 10 Pireos Street. This is a former office building to operate under the name Omega Hotel with 50 rooms.

Another arrival will be The Cohort Athens at 93 Liosion Street, which is also expected soon.

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