Shaner/CS JV targets Greece with Marriott brand debuts

The six-month-old joint-venture of Shaner Italia, S.R.L. (a division of U.S.-based The Shaner Hotel Group focused on operating hotels in the Mediterranean) and Greece-based CS Hospitality has targeted Greece for greater hotel development and will operate the newly constructed Academia Hotel in Athens, part of Marriott's Autograph Collection, and the Moxy Hotel in Patras.

Both hotels are on schedule to open by mid-2019. The properties will mark the debuts of the Autograph Collection in Athens and Moxy in Greece as a whole.

“The appeal of these hotels lies in their unmatchable 'genetics,'” said Shaner President Plato Ghinos. “Both properties are of superior quality in premiere locations with numerous market drivers.”

While Greece has struggled with “very difficult economic conditions” in recent years, Ghinos said, hospitality indicators are mostly positive. “The tourism market has flourished with more than 30 million visitors per year. Our plan is to offer the best accommodations and services in key markets.”

Shaner already has a “firm foothold” in Italy, Ghinos added, so the Mediterranean is a logical and ideal growth market for the company's international growth goals. “With a robust tourism market, the region is poised for economic growth and travel,” he said, echoing earlier comments by Shaner Hotel Group CEO Lance Shaner, who noted, “Tourism as an industry is expanding, and hospitality will be the major economic force in Southern Europe.” 

Athens' First Autograph Collection Hotel

Located at the crossing of Akademias and Omirou Streets in central Athens, the new-build Academia of Athens Hotel will have 60 guestrooms and a rooftop garden facing the ancient Acropolis.

“Athens is the commercial and tourist center for Greece, making an Autograph Collection [property] a perfect match for the area’s travelers,” said Ghinos. “It is a very high-end product with amazing views and centrally located at the Constitution Square, with a nod towards the rich history and culture of the country.”

Soft brands, Ghinos added, have a global appeal. “We are big believers in this concept, as evidenced by this being our sixth soft brand in three different countries. We constantly are collecting and evaluating guest feedback, and what we are hearing is loud and clear: today’s consumer actively is seeking this segment.”

Greece's First Moxy

The Moxy Hotel in Patras, a reinvention of the former Moreas hotel, also marks the brand's debut in Greece. The hotel is located in the Peloponnese, one of the country’s largest ports and university towns. This, Ghinos said, makes the millennial-centric brand a good fit for students and those embracing the generational mindset. 

In addition to those two openings, the JV is planning additional Moxy Hotels and other branded product in the country in the near future. 

The upcoming hotels will boost Shaner’s portfolio of more than 50 owned and managed hotels across the U.S., Italy and the Bahamas. The group’s properties operate under Marriott International, Hilton, IHG and Choice Hotels International brands. Shaner currently has two hotels in Tuscany, Italy—the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Hotel in Barga and the Grand Universe Lucca—in its European portfolio. CS Hospitality, meanwhile, operates hotels under Marriott International brands throughout Greece.