Less than a month ago, we noted that Greece's hospitality industry had turned a corner after a rough few years, and that hoteliers were taking advantage of new opportunities for development. Marriott International, which just became the world's largest hotel company last month, saw such an opportunity, and has signed a new agreement with Chandris Hotels that will bring the Marriott brand back to Athens after an absence of more than two years. The Athens Ledra Marriott, the last Marriott-branded hotel in the city, closed in December 2013.
This time around, the former Metropolitan Athens Hotel will undergo a $15-million renovation, and the new Athens Marriott Hotel will have 366 guestrooms when it opens in 2018. “We are excited to work with Chandris Hotels, which has a strong history in the hospitality industry and shares our vision for innovating. We are also proud they selected us as their first collaboration with an international brand,” Carlton Ervin, Marriott International’s CDO for Europem said in a statement. “Their plan to significantly refurbish this hotel highlights our shared confidence in Greece’s dynamic travel and tourism industry.”
The hotel is located on the busy artery Syngrou Avenue, opposite the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, a cultural complex designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano that houses the National Library of Greece and the National Opera.
“The hotel is well-placed to benefit from the planned development of the area into an attractive waterfront Riviera, and this serious investment demonstrates our confidence in the future of the city of Athens and our strength as a company,” said George Paidoussis, president of Chandris Hotels, which currently owns and operates five hotels in Greece.
“We considered many brands and selected the one that we felt most closely reflected our strategic direction and standard of excellence,” Paidoussis said. “The future of business hotels in the face of fast-evolving technology depends on networks of loyal program members and Marriott’s is by far the world’s leader.”
The announcement comes less than a month after Marriott International completed its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. The transaction created the world’s largest hotel company, with Marriott International operating or franchising more than 5,700 properties and 1.1 million rooms, in over 110 countries. In Greece, Marriott’s distribution now totals 13 hotels and resorts, including eight under The Luxury Collection brand, making Greece the country with the highest concentration of Luxury Collection hotels and resorts in Europe. Over the course of the last year, Marriott also opened two Autograph Collection hotels on the island of Crete – Domes of Elounda and Domes Noruz Chania.