Hotels near Greek cities are set to see their first guests in significant numbers over the coming days. More importantly though, there are some very encouraging indications to be gleaned, given the broader circumstances, from the bookings for the height of the summer, i.e. in late July and throughout August from major resorts: They report occupancy rates similar to those of 2019, at least for the units that will be open this summer.
For the next few days – from Thursday until next Tuesday – emblematic hotel units in Attica such as the Astir Palace at Vouliagmeni and Grecotel Cape Sounio, as well as city center hotels such as the Grande Bretagne, and countryside units like the Elounda Peninsula All Suite on Crete say they are set to see high occupancy rates.
Obviously, the capacity of those hotels has been de facto compromised by the strict health protocols on distancing and in-house food service. However, it is remarkable that all available rooms at the Nausica unit of the Astir Palace (the Arion remains closed) are fully booked for Easter.
Other hotels that have been open for a few weeks now include those of the Mitsis and Aldemar groups.
As the season proceeds, many more units will be opening from mid-May and especially in June. For instance, The Westin Resort Costa Navarino and The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort of the Konstantakopoulos group, will open on May 19 and 23 respectively in Messinia, in the southwest Peloponnese. That will also include the 21 restaurants, cafes and outdoor lounge bars of the Navarino Dunes.
In Halkidiki, central Macedonia, Sani will open on May 14 and Ikos three days later, while the Astir Palace will open the Arion too. Before June arrives, more well-known hotels will reopen, such as the Lagonissi Grand Resort and Elounda Mare.
Bookings for June remain low for now, but are expected to recover from mid-May when the picture about traveling become clearer internationally. The acceleration of vaccination programs in most countries and the advent of summer with higher temperatures (driving people outdoors, which contains the spread of Covid-19) in the Northern Hemisphere are cited as reasons for major optimism.
This article was first published on ekathimerini.com.