From the Π-shaped LED screen in the entrance displaying the names of visitors from different parts of the world to the retro-futuristic lobby with its statue of “The Seeker” – like a gigantic Mickey Mouse carrying a travel bag – and the spaceship-like reception desk, everything in the new, five-star Onoma Hotel by the Anatolia Hospitality group is designed to appeal to a modern and tech-savvy generation of travelers who explore first and then post on Instagram.
“We wanted to create a hotel basically for millennials that offers a personalized service and greets guests by name,” says owner Michael Chrysochoidis. From the check-in via cellphone to the technology that remembers your favorite cocktail for the next time you visit, Onoma is firmly rooted in the 21st century. There are also playful features like the basketball court out back, the telescope for stargazing, and the playroom on the mezzanine level, which is stocked with games such as pinball, ping-pong and PlayStation 5. It has an indoor pool and an open-air one on the roof.
From: €95/double with breakfast
Address: 24 Monastiriou
Tel. (+30) 2314.423.300
99 BOXES GALLERY
The ground floor of Bensousan Han, the oldest surviving inn in Thessaloniki, has been transformed into a modern gallery and renamed 99 Boxes. The space had originally served as stables 200 years ago and since the 1930s hosted a number of businesses, including a spice store, until it closed in 1980. It reopened in 2013 as a vintage furniture rental store used mainly for film productions. Now, the old spice shop’s 99 shelves – hence the place’s name – feature work by artists from all over the world.
“It is an open invitation to artists to come show their work, whether they are painters and sculptors or modern designers,” explains Stylianos Dokouz, the gallery’s artistic director. Exhibits include the unconventional clay houses of Sotiria Samara, which look like something out of a fairy tale, the colorful mosaics of Lili Stambouli, and an impressive painting of skulls by Italy’s Manuel Baldassare.
Bensousan Han, 99 Boxes Gallery
Address: 6 Edessis, Ano Ladadika
Tel. (+30) 698.424.4577
Hours: Mon-Fri 12:00-22:00,
ERGON AGORA EAST
Located on the city’s east side, as the name suggests, Ergon Agora East is a modern space dedicated entirely to the art of food. It has a 2,500-square-meter vegetable garden by the sea, a restaurant that uses the firm’s products, a pastry shop and all the different retail sections that you would find at a good supermarket: seafood, meat, spirits and wine, fruits and vegetables, and an area dedicated to Greek products. It is a gastronomic destination where you can shop, eat, meet friends, have a drink and recharge your batteries.
For all this to happen, the 2,500-square-meter former supermarket had to be completely overhauled and the front wall demolished so it could have an open view of the sea. It also took 3,500 plants to transform the outdoor area into a beautiful garden, which hosts themed food stalls and Docks, a bar with views of Mt Olympus. The garden encapsulates the entire endeavor’s aesthetic: a private space designed in such a way as to resemble a public meeting area.
Ergon Agora East
Address: 50 American Farm School, Pylea
Tel. (+30) 2311.119.222
Hours: Daily, breakfast 09:00-14:00
& lunch/dinner: 13:00-24:00 / Supermarket: 09:00-22:30
The newest addition on the Thessaloniki hospitality map, Vanoro is housed an Art Deco building from 1937 on the edge of the historic center that served as a tobacco warehouse until the late 1960s. It has 45 spacious rooms and suites decorated in minimalist earthy tones, and has made a point of providing comfortable beds, quality personal care products and free espresso coffee. The façade has been restored in its original style, while the interior is strikingly illuminated by a cool spiral light sculpture.
The hotel has a wellness and relaxation center, a well-equipped gym, a convenient conference hall and a lounge bar and restaurant, Anza, where talented chef Kiriakos Mitsopoulos presents creative Mediterranean dishes with distinctive Greek influences, like his carrot soup with shrimp and crispy prosciutto from Thrace. You can choose from one of 300 wines or a premium cocktail to go with your meal. The restaurant also serves breakfast, which consists of three à la carte options (Greek, European and Wellness).
Address: 6 Dodekanisou
Tel. (+30) 2310.553.283
NEW AEGEAN LOUNGE
The new business lounge unveiled by AEGEAN Airlines at Thessaloniki International Airport is at airplane walkway level and offers passengers the unusual treat of being able to board their flight directly. The lounge’s design is inspired by the clean, sculptural lines of traditional Cycladic architecture and aims to provide relaxation and an elevated experience. Covering over 500 square meters, it is more than twice the size of the previous lounge and has many different seating areas – from a central dining area to individual armchairs with a runway view. The buffet is made up mainly of locally sourced products and there is even an area especially designed to host presentations by local Macedonian wineries.
Thessaloniki International Airport
Hours: Mon-Sun, 04:30-23:00. Access to the lounge is limited
to AEGEAN Business Class passengers, as well as Miles+Bonus Gold and Star Alliance Gold cardholders.