A new hotel refurbishment on the Greek island of Crete has revived this Aegean property. We find out more about the new-look Mitsis Rinela Beach Resort & Spa by Elastic Architects.
Greek dreams in Crete
Greek architectural studio Elastic Architects have just complete the second renovation of the Mitsis Rinela Beach Resort & Spa in Kokkini Hani, Crete. The property sits right on the stunning Cretan coastline, reaching the sandy shore, which has been carefully considered in the rethinking of this existing hotel. Elastic Architects are experienced in working in the hospitality sector, with former clients including AMAN, Accor Hotels and Marriott, so this is familiar territory for the Greek practice. With the overhaul of the Rinela Beach Resort, they decided to focus on the front of the hotel, the beach and outdoor areas. Their concept was to “elevate the hotel to an area of high aesthetics and hospitality. The design is kept simple and is highlighted by Greek elements that dictate the functionality of the spaces,” say the designers.
Given the hotel’s stunning location right on the beach, and the fact that holiday-goers to the Greek islands tend to spend most of their time lazing by the glittering Aegean sea, it is perhaps no surprise that much of the focus of this, the second stage of the hotel’s renovation, was focused on the common areas around the beach and pool. The beach was divided into five areas, and each of these areas was given its own unique identity. The designers used clever seating including daybeds, loungers, communal seating and semi-private areas to give guests there choice of beach or poolside zone. The bar occupies a central position in the outdoor area, dividing the patio in two equal parts, with the cafe and restaurant areas situated nearby.
A game of light and shadow
The designers took full advantage of the incredible sunlight that proliferates in this region of Greece to create an intricate display of light and shadow, that acts as another architectural element in the new vision for the hotel. Both the front entrance and the bar area have been articulated with a slatted wicker pergola, which creates a delicate display of light that filters through the cracks, casting shadows on the ground. The designers elaborated, saying, “The timber, the unobstructed views, the game of light and shadow, created by the wicker mesh, harmonize the outcome. The shadows created by the wicker pergola, highlight the textures and create an ever-changing environment. A contemporary resort is shaped through the need for functionality in combination with the natural landscape.”
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