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The Cavo Sidero resort in Crete development March 27, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Infrastructure, Hotels Greece, Tourism.
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Tourism investment of Cavo Sidero in Crete proceeds with planning of first holiday villages

27-03-08_cavo_sidero1.jpg  The development of Cavo Sidero in eastern Crete, one of the biggest investment projects in Greek tourism, has entered the final stretch following 14 years of bureaucratic and other obstacles.

Minoan Group’s Chairman and CEO Christopher Egleton confirmed yesterday the progress achieved and announced that the architectural firms of Alexandros Tombazis and Baldrich & Tobal have begun planning for the first village in the project, to be called “Grandes Bay.”

27-03-08_cavo_sidero2.jpg  The group has spent 40 million euros on the drafting of the business plan, while the total investment will amount to some 1.2 billion. It involves the creation of 7,000 beds in six tourist villages that will cover less than 1 percent of the overall 25 square kilometers. The project will create an estimated 3,500 jobs.

The company’s main stakeholders are Henderson Global Investors, the founder and CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management, Martin Gilbert, the President of American Express Global Network Services, Peter Godfrey, and Board Member of the Royal Bank of Scotland Colin Buchan, along with several British constructors.

Separately, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc announced yesterday the signing of a long-term cooperation agreement with TEMES SA for the operation of two new luxury resort hotels in Messinia, southwestern Peloponnese: The “Romanos Navarino Dunes Resort – The Luxury Collection” and the “Westin Navarino Dunes Resort.” They are located some 30 minutes from Kalamata airport.

The Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers (POX) has expressed its concern about the impacts on Greek tourism this and next season from the prevailing global economic uncertainty. The Federation referred in a statement to the considerable losses in world markets since the start of the year, along with oil price hikes and the euro’s appreciation against the dollar, which are negative factors for the country’s tourism.

POX calls for immediate measures to improve the competitiveness of tourism that is expected to absorb most of the impact of the euro’s appreciation. It is also calling for more intensive promotion of Greece, particularly in the emerging markets of Eastern Europe, and a fair solution to the issue of the operating framework for accommodation facilities.

Related Links > http://www.minoangroup.com/index.htm

A new stake partner in Greece’s Lampsa Hotel Company March 14, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Hotels Greece.
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Venture Ability has gained majority control of the Lampsa Hotel Company, the owner of Athens’s historic Grande Bretagne Hotel in Syntagma Square, after a public offer that ended March 11.

14-03-08_grande_bretagne.jpg  The Grande Bretagne

Venture, acting with Homeric Department Stores in the offer, bought 3.45 million Lampsa shares for 17.18 euros each, according to a statement late Wednesday to the Athens bourse. Together, Venture and Homeric now own 65.8 percent of Lampsa. Prior to the offer, they held 49.5 percent.

The offer valued Lampsa Hotels at 367 million euros, or about 3.4 percent more than the market value of the company the day the offer was announced on January 16. Lampsa, which has said it is seeking to expand into cities such as Istanbul, Sofia and Bucharest, also has a controlling stake in Belgrade’s Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Amathus Cyprus gets new website August 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Hotels Cyprus, Hotels Greece, Internet & Web, Tourism, Transport Air Sea Land.
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Amathus Public Ltd., the travel and transport arm of the Lanitis Group, has launched a new bilingual website, www.amathus.com, that leans more towards the retail travel sector rather than the activities of the public company quoted on the Cyprus Stock Exchange.

Leading features include links and special offers related to the Group’s hotels, Αmathus Beach Hotel Limassol, Amathus Beach Hotel Paphos and Amathus Beach Hotel Rhodes, the travel division, Let’s Go Tours and Let’s Go Plus in Cyprus, Amathus (UK) Ltd and Amathus Russia, as well as the airline and sea cruises divisions Αmathus Aviation & Travel in Cyprus and Amathus Hellas.

Other links include Amathus Tourism and the shipping and logistics subsidiary, Amathus Aegeas.

Although some recent financial announcements have been posted in the Greek section only, a quick link to the xak.com commercial site for further financial data will complement any shortcomings the site may have.

Greek hotels finally adopting star rating system August 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Greece, Tourism.
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A long-pending issue has finally been addressed after the intervention of Tourism Development Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia.

The Tourism Minister said yesterday that Greek hotels will finally enter the star rating system used internationally as a reliable criterion of the quality of service to tourists, overcoming an obstacle to the further growth of the country’s tourism industry.

The decision amends a Presidential decree of 2002, redefining the technical and operational standards required for the rating. A new, more flexible system is to be adopted, adjusted to Greek conditions. It actually takes the rating’s emphasis off the technical to the operational characteristics of hotel units, thereby focusing on the quality of the services on offer.

This is an application of the law about spa tourism, opening the way for all the various types of hotels to enter the system; until today it was only 60 percent of the country’s 9,000 units that could join the system.

An international tender continues, expected to reach 10 million euro, for the accreditation of the bodies that will conduct the rating of hotels in accordance with the Ministerial decision. The process is progressing rapidly and soon Greece will acquire a single, modern and objective and universally recognizable rating system for hotel services.

Re-opening of Capsis Resort in Crete July 17, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Greece.
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Great Hotels of the World announces re-opening of Capsis Resort Crete; €25 million transformation sees former convention centre become VIP resort

Great Hotels of the World (http://www.ghotw.com), representing some of the world’s finest independent hotels, is delighted to announce that 5* deluxe The Capsis Resort Crete, in Heraklion, on the island of Crete, officially re-opened in May with a completely new and unique concept, especially for Greece.

The hotel, previously a resort convention centre hotel operating under the name Capsis Beach Hotel & Sofitel Capsis Palace Hotel & Convention Centre, has undergone a complete transformation, costing €25 million (approx £17 million), to re-emerge as an exclusive VIP resort.

Changing the name to The Capsis Resort Crete, the new complex consists of two main hotel buildings, three private neighbourhoods with bungalows, suites, maisonettes and villas and an exclusive all-suite hotel with more than 50 private pool-maisonettes and villas. The four sections are all either totally renovated or brand new and accommodation is assigned silver, gold, platinum or diamond status.

The new Oasis neighbourhood offers the gold collection of accommodation and includes lagoon-pools surrounded by bungalows, maisonettes and bungalow-suites. It also incorporates the Sofitel Capsis Palace Hotel which is the resort’s luxury boutique hotel offering. The sea-front platinum collection Thalassa neighbourhood, meanwhile, offers guests private in-suite check in and accommodation with private pools. It also houses the ‘Villa Emerald’ incorporating a private pool, bar & billiard room, living room, dining room, office, three bedrooms, private hammam and butler service.

The diamond collection all-suite hotel is an exclusive new venture featuring luxury suites, maisonettes and villas complete with private Jacuzzi or pool, in-suite check in, a hotel spa, restaurants and bar. Close by is also the exclusive 512sqm ‘Black Pearl Villa’ which builds on the Villa Emerald’s offering adding a home cinema, private pool and sea decks, an indoor and an outdoor pool.

In addition, the resort complex is home to a brand new and exclusive children’s Minoan amusement park; Greece’s only amusement park built within a hotel complex. Aimed at 4-14 year olds, the park is inspired by Greek Mythology with the aim that children enjoy themselves through activities which also teach them about the mythology of Ancient Greece. Facilities include a labyrinth, climbing walls, tree houses, an ancient Greek boat, trembling bridge and many more.

Located on a spacious private peninsula, the resort is also home to a variety of other facilities, including three private beaches, seven restaurants, eight bars, seven main swimming pools, two chapels, a spa, water-sports centre, shops, business facilities and meeting rooms. Operating an environmental protection plan, it is also home to a private zoo, Botanical Park and produces its own flowers, vegetables, herbs and fruits used at the hotel taverna for Cretan cuisine.

For further information and hotel reservations, please contact Great Hotels of the World on 0800 032 4254 or http://www.ghotw.com/capsis-resort

Athens welcomes her visitors July 17, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece Athens, Greek Taste Local, Hotels Greece.
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Are you looking for a hotel in a nice area of Athens as well as an authentic Greek place for food and entertainment?

In Athens, visitors can find traditional Greek, horiatiki, salad, ouzo and a comfortable bed for the night within a walking distance from the Acropolis. Everything a traveler needs, from hotels, food, entertainment and shopping to Museums and archaeological sites, is within walking distance of Syntagma Square.

The famous Syntagma Square is near some of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, such as the Plaka and Psiri, and most iconic attractions, including the Acropolis and the Herod of Atticus Theater.

For three-star hotels in the area, we recommend the Hotel Cypria, tel 210 3238034, www.athenscypria.com, which has Aphrodite’s Bar next door; the Arion Hotel, tel 210 3240415, www.arionhotel.gr in Psiri; the Athens Central Hotel, tel 210 3234357, www.centralhotel.gr, where select rooms have views of the Acropolis; the Hotel Acropolis Select, tel 210 9211610, www.acropoliselect.gr, which boasts Italian furnishings and art inspired by ancient Greece; and the Hotel Philippos, tel 210 9223611, www.philipposhotel.gr, whose modern rooms are steps from the Acropolis.

For dining out, our picks include the Plaka Restaurant, Kidathineon and Geronta Streets, Plaka, which specializes in Greek oven dishes; Paradosiako, an ouzerie at Voulis and Nikodimou Streets that prepares a curry-flavored sausage called soutzouki and a top-notch Greek salad; and Taverna Tou Psiri, 12 Aeschylou Street, which has one of the best lamb chops in town.

To hear Greek music, we suggest Perivoli Tou Ouranou Club, 19 Lysicratous Street, Plaka, or swing by a bouzoukia night club for a lively club scene.

Enjoy a spa in Thessaloniki’s best hotels July 10, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Greece.
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Hip professionals or stressed-out couples requiring some R&R need look no further than Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city.

This cosmopolitan city is ideal for a spa break to recharge the batteries and enjoy the long summer ahead. There are four hotels to choose from that offer some luscious spa treatments for those in need of chilling out. 

Central Spa at the City Hotel. The four star City Hotel has opened its doors to the sensual world of Elemis. The Central Spa offers treatments from around the world for both women and men. The spa’s signature treatment is Elemis Deep Tissue Muscle Massage which is ideal for those stressed-out professionals as it relieves stress and muscle tension.

A three night break at the City Hotel starts from £370 per person to include return scheduled flights with British Airways, which flies five times per week to the destination, accommodation in a double room and private transfers from and to the airport. This spa break is available through Amathus Holidays www.amathusholidays.co.uk .

Spa Treatments Fit For Royalty. The four star Egnatia Palace Hotel is a well preserved 1930s Art Deco style building in the heart of the city centre, just in front of the historical square of the ancient Roman market, surrounded by Byzantine churches and monuments. The hotel’s Thalasso Spa offers a variety of treatments using the goodness of the sea and it’s by-products such as shells and pebbles. The signature spa treatment is based on a Nuvola bed. This is a special waterbed where a seaweed wrap and a special aromatherapy treatment is combined with Shiatsu massage for face and body ending with a relaxing rub down, using hot volcanic stones and sea shells.

A three night break at the four star Egnatia Palace Hotel is priced from £221 per couple including accommodation in a double room, on bed and breakfast basis, and all taxes. Offer valid until 31/12/07. Flights are available with Olympic Airlines which flies five times per week to Thessaloniki from Gatwick. Prices start from £140 per person plus taxes. For more information on Egnatia Palace or to book the above package visit www.egnatiapalace.gr .

Nikopolis Hotel Thessaloniki. This five star hotel is located within five minutes of the city’s international airport and a short drive away from the centre of town. It is a luxurious paradise surrounded by exotic gardens combined with an ultra modern interior. The hotel’s Aqua Club offers an Elemis Spa with its signature treatment being the Elemis Skin Specifics Facial which is the perfect skin facial.

A four night break is priced from £391 per couple including an American buffet breakfast and taxes. Offer valid until 31/8/2007 . Flights are available with Olympic Airlines which flies five times per week to Thessaloniki from Gatwick. Prices start from £140 per person plus taxes. For more information on Nikopolis Hotel Thessaloniki or to book the above package visit www.nikopolis.gr .

Electra Palace Hotel. This five star hotel is situated in the heart of the city centre on the famous Aristotelous Square. Its views stretch up to the blue waters of the Thermaikos Gulf. The city’s major attractions; the White Tower, Byzantine and Archaeological Museums are within walking distance. The hotel’s spa offers a variety of treatments with its signature one being the Holistic Massage. A 90 minute exhilarating experience; this is a massage from feet to face.

A four night break is priced at £490 per couple for a double room including American buffet breakfast, all taxes and complimentary entry to the Electra Fitness Centre. Flights are available with Olympic Airlines which flies five times per week to Thessaloniki from Gatwick. Prices start from £140 per person plus taxes. For more information on Electra Palace Hotel or to book the above package visit www.electrahotels.gr .

For more information on the City of Thessaloniki visit www.tha.gr . There are five direct flights by British Airways and Olympic Airlines from Gatwick each week with ticket prices starting from £140 per person plus taxes. This can be booked online on www.olympicairlines.com . Alternatively British Airways offers flights to Thessaloniki from £125 per person one way.