In our new TOPHOTELDEVELOPMENT series, several well-known professionals in the hotel development sector share their viewpoints in today’s shifting hospitality industry. Read their thoughts below to learn a variety of strategies and approaches about the industry.
The boutique hotel, the hotels with a comparatively small number of rooms, is undoubtedly one of the emerging trends of the Greek real estate market.
The top performances of Greek tourism, with receipts in the nine months of 2017 being at the record level of about 13 billion euros, according to the Bank of Greece, combined with the large stock of old craft buildings “feed the wave” of this kind of hotels. It is no coincidence that on the world’s largest online booking site, has in the list of the five best accommodations in all of Athens, regardless of size and category, two boutique hotels, based on the verified comments made by their real clients.
In the historic centre and in the commercial triangle of Athens, more and more abandoned warehouses and old crafts spaces turn into boutique hotels.
The comparative advantage of these accommodations is that they maximize the traveler’s experience, have a distinct architectural character and personalized service. Their medium size encourages the exploitation of old warehouses or neoclassical buildings, as renovations are required, whose costs are usually manageable. As a result benefits are created for both owners and investors who place funds in the specific activity.
A.R.I.S. Architects S.A., a leading architecture and engineering firm, calls for a significant business opportunity, given the continued rise of tourism and the large stock of unused land/buildings in a very good location and in close proximity to tourist and cultural attractions. The cases of successful urban hotels are numerous. New design studies for the regeneration of entire urban blocks are currently being executed by ARIS Architects. One of ARIS’s finished hotels is also in the attached picture.
Inactive building stock is being re-used
The ever-increasing tourist activity of Athens combined with the increase in the length of stay of the visitors in the Greek capital, even if Athens is not a final destination but a transit, boosts the demand for accommodation. Consequently, the reconstruction and re-use of old industrial and non-industrial facilities is encouraged, with the new use being primarily hotels.
From both the state and the private investors, it has become clear that there are large-scale inactive building stock in the metropolitan centres of Athens and Piraeus, which can and must be activated and exploited.
This is also discussed and analyzed in the respective town planning and regulatory legislation, which includes, among other things, the removal of the industries, with the aim of better development and upgrading of these areas. We didn’t always used to have the right “legislative tools” in our disposal. However, during the last 5 years ARIS Architects has, accomplished many, otherwise impossible developments, due to the existence of the right “legislative tools” and our expertise.
Another parameter is of particular importance. The fact that most of the former industrial property is in a very poor condition, being abandoned for many years, reduces their valuation and makes the properties attractive to investors.