BUSINESS

Athens hotels reluctant to open

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Tourism

The government decision to allow the opening of hotels that operate throughout the year is proving a dead letter for now, as the majority are not going to open before early July, with few exceptions.

Most hoteliers, whether they have seasonal or year-round units, are waiting to see what arrival numbers from abroad are like after flights resume on June 15 from 29 countries. Their main focus will be on the liberalization of flights from all countries – with the exception of those with high Covid-19 figures – as of July 1.

Even the large, emblematic units in Athens are reluctant to open. For example, the major hotels of the Laskaridis group (i.e. the Grande Bretagne and King George in Syntagma Square) are mulling the resumption of operations in early July.

The group’s third unit, the Athens Capital Hotel, a member of the M Gallery collection, will be completing its complete makeover in about two weeks, but will definitely open after the other two.

Hilton Athens also remains closed, with its reopening plans pointing to early July. The Athens Plaza in Syntagma Square has remained unshuttered, as it was among the hotels allowed to stay open during the lockdown to cover the capital’s necessary hospitality needs.

The Athenaeum InterContinental on Syngrou Avenue is also considering reopening in the first half of July, along with the nearby Grand Hyatt and the New Hotel near Syntagma.

The Divani Apollon Palace opened yesterday at Kavouri, while the Astir Palace resort is set to open on June 12. Also among the first hotels to reopen will be the Electra Hotel Athens this Friday, followed by the Electra Metropolis on June 10 and the capital’s Electra Palace at end-June.

Thessaloniki’s Electra Palace, which is under renovation, is expected to open its doors at some point in the first half of July. At the same time, in early July, Thessaloniki’s landmark Makedonia Palace is also about to reopen.

Outside the main cities, Costa Navarino in Messinia is gearing up to start receiving guests at its hotels, The Westin Resort Costa Navarino and The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, as of June 19.

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