ECONOMY

Revamped Elounda plans to spend 20 million euros more

Hotel venture Elounda plans to upgrade its hotel facilities in Crete in preparation for high-end tourists, Spyros Kokotos, head of the company and honorary president of the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises (SETE), told Kathimerini. According to Spyros Kokotos, the Elounda Mare Hotel was revamped and modernized this year. Forty private pools and bungalows were reconstructed as well as three restaurants. At the same time, 50 rooms in the central building were converted to 30 apartments. The central reception area at the new Peninsula Hotel at Porto Elounda was completed. Of the two restaurants constructed, one is managed by Jacques LeDivellec, who has two Michelin stars. Greek-American architect Theo Kalomirakis designed the indoor swimming pools with fireplaces, a genuine Turkish bath and a 50-seat home theater. The private golf course was also extended. Elounda plans to invest 20 million euros in the next three years expanding the hotel complex, including modernizing and rebuilding existing facilities. It also intends to construct a sea therapy facility, a conference center able to take in 250 participants and a complex of 10 villas which will be connected to the sea therapy center. «The completion of the modernization program will result in three hotels targeting three different groups of five-star clients which will be able to function independently of each other. They will be able to share facilities such as the seven restaurants with their different cuisine, the home theater, the golf club, the children’s playground, the conference center and the spa,» Kokotos said. Kokotos’s children play a key part in realizing the modernization program. Elder son Fotis uses his engineering skills while younger son Ilias is involved in sales. Daughter Marina is still studying in London. Kokotos said he and his wife will be limiting their involvement in a few years from now in order to create room for the children. He said the vision of Elounda started 30 years ago in an area which combines ideal climatic conditions with unique physical beauty. Thirty years ago, he said, the concept of servicing high-end tourists was inconceivable. However, there are people who work 350 days a year and wish to pamper themselves for 15 days. He said these people are willing to spend for these 15 days if it is worth the money. Elounda echoes Greek elements, according to Kokotos. For example, the commercial centers in the hotel complex are designed along the lines of the central square in a Greek village. Quality is the key, not the number of rooms. Kokotos said this could be the answer to the new conditions in the local tourism industry created by Greece’s entry into the eurozone.