Hard Rock aims to tower over Athens

by | 14 Jul 2022 | Hotel Projects, Projects

Imagery courtesy of Hard Rock International and Gensler.

Hard Rock International is to partner with GEK TERNA Group to create a luxury resort and casino in the heart of the Athens Riviera.

Located within the Ellinikon development, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Athens is set to open in 2026.

Unique European destination

The resort will combine a five-star luxury hotel, a world class gaming floor, a premier meeting and convention space, a state-of-the-art entertainment venue, internationally renowned food and beverage, a luxurious Rock Spa and Pool Complex, and a high-end retail promenade.

The design of the project draws its inspiration from basic Greek elements such as the sea, the arts and ancient mythology, which it combines with the modern requirements of architecture and the harmonious integration of the project in its environment and location. Open spaces, gardens and water features are key elements of the project’s design, which architecture firm Gensler is undertaking, with total green open space covering close to 205,000 sq m.

High seas

The central tower draws its inspiration from nautical references, incorporating in its design the waves, the sails and the lighthouse. Built on three levels, the tower has three different orientations corresponding to the reference points located within the imaginary triangle that is formed around the project: the Acropolis, the sea and Mount Hymettus. Its iconic shape will serve as a symbol of the region and reference the importance of the connection between land, sea and sky.

The development brings a vibrant casino of just under 15,000 sq m, comprising 200 tables and 2,000 gaming machines. The Tower consists of more than 1,000 guest rooms and suites, totalling almost 3,500 beds overlooking the waterfront or views across Athens to the Parthenon. The project also includes the highest outdoor rooftop terrace in Athens, with a rooftop pool deck that consists of Bars, the Rock Spa and Body Rock Fitness.

Shows and shopping

The Hard Rock Live’s theatre is designed to entertain audiences of 3,000, while the stage extends to the exterior for outdoor festivals and concerts with an additional 7,500 seats. Inspired by the ancient Greek amphitheatre, the outdoor lawn aims to bring together culture and entertainment, bridging the Hard Rock brand with the Greek lifestyle.

An outdoor village with a variety of retail, high-end local and international restaurants, dining terraces and bar and lounge spaces encompasses the casino, while the conference and exhibition centre, which exceeds 23,000 sq m, provides a large expo hall, ballrooms, meeting areas and support spaces.

Premium spot

Jim Allen, Hard Rock International chairman, said: “We are thrilled to announce the partnership with GEK TERNA Group and further expand Hard Rock’s reach across the globe in the great city of Athens. This development will bring over 3,000 permanent jobs to the people of Greece and we look forward to bringing our unique brand of entertainment and providing an unparalleled experience for guests of all ages.”

George Peristeris, chairman and CEO of GEK TERNA Group added: “This development will create a premium tourism spot, expected to offer employment to thousands of people, yield significant revenues to the public sector, and add value to Greece’s brand. Along with Hard Rock we are realising a private investment of over 1 billion euros, reaffirming our trust in Greece’s prospects and potential.”

Long term partnership

The 30-year concession is a partnership between Hard Rock International (51%) and GEK TERNA Group (49%), with the latter also being responsible for the entire construction of the project, which is expected to begin within the first months of 2023 and last close to three years.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Athens is the newest addition to Hard Rock International’s extensive portfolio with venues in over 70 countries spanning 265 locations that include owned/licensed or managed Hotels, Casinos, Rock Shops, Live Performance Venues and Cafes.

A further 29 sites are due to join the portfolio over the coming years, according to the TOPHOTELPROJECTS database, including Hard Rock Hotel Cincinnati (2024), Hard Rock Singapore (2023) and Hard Rock Hotel Sao Paulo (2024).

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With a massive global presence, Hard Rock International is one of the world's most globally recognised brands. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, memorable dining experiences, Hard Rock Live performance venues and more.