Considered as one of the top 10 islands in the world, Santorini owes its fame to its atypical architecture and its magical landscape, the Caldera view. But not only. Its spectacular combination of lavas that offer red, black and white sand beaches, its fresh food and typical recipes that will make you live amazing dining experience, its relaxed and quiet atmosphere, its breathtaking boutique hotels, suites and villas… As many factors that make the island one of the fanciest holiday destinations.
LlifeInternational has just spent a few unforgettable days in Santorini, in order to discover one of the latest hotspots, the Art Hotel. Located in Pyrgos, this establishment freshly opened (summer 2015) is a combination of art, design and fashion, perfect to enjoy farniente in style. Art hotel consists in ten suites only, all well separated, and an adult-only policy, which made us feel like we had privatized this little corner of paradise. Its interior design, based on the colors red, immaculate white and blue, monochromatic and always enlightened, is highly minimalist but not impersonal. The hotel also owns its own art gallery and shop, both promoting high-end work from local artists and designers, to delight artficionados and fashionistas.
In a nutshell, Art Hotel is a perfect spot for those who seek unique concepts of luxury hospitality.
Aside with enjoying serenity and cocktails from our private plunge pool (Summer Mood Suite), mingling with interesting, creative, international travelers around the main swimming pool, we also interviewed Rosenberg George, the PR and Communication manager, and Katerina Mavroudi, PR and Marketing executive for Aqua Vista Hotels group, about the hotel’s design, marketing and communication strategies.
LI: Could you introduce briefly the hotel?
K.M: The hotel opened its gates for the first time in mid-June. It belongs to the Aqua Vista Hotels group, a group of boutique hotels located in top locations all over Greece. Art Hotel is a gem of Santorini, where art is celebrated and where our guests can socialize and experience pure luxury and comfort.
LI: Who was in charge of the interior design, with which recommendations? Can you explain the omnipresence of the red color?
K.M: Ms Alina Ksolakakis, Managing Director of Aqua Vista Hotels, was in charge of the whole interior design. She decided on the red color to symbolise passion, passion for art, for well-living.
LI: Was it more a personnal excentricity of the owner or a real marketing strategy to make it a cultural/creative hotel?
KM: The vision and aim of Aqua Vista Hotels is to provide alternative, extraordinary and unique hotels to all guests., along with amazing accommodation experience. Art Hotel was an innovative project and we strongly believe this is the absolute alternative accommodation option in Santorini. Art and design travelers also represent a niche demand that obviously was not satisfied, so we seized the opportunity.
LI: By the way, can you tell me a bit more about the current exhibition?
KM: At Topos Gallery, the exhibition is called ” A moment on today” and consists in painting pieces with a feasible change of structure. The artist, Eleftheria Rapanaki, used some of her personal experience, moments and standards as a source of inspiration. With an optical expansion perspective over the entire superstructure, perception transforms from an actual experience to a deformed experience. Moments of the past are captured in a non-figurative way with the sentimental value of today.
Furthermore, all our suites are decorated with marble sculptures, from Grigoris Kouskouris, an artist with his own marble workshop in Santorini. His creations represent the complexity of the human brain, the human mutation through the stages of the butterfly, the effort of the human to be lost in the infinite, and much more…
LI: Who is the main target of the hotel supposed to be? Is reality different from theory?
KM: Any customer who loves art, design, beauty, calm, luxury is welcome. We have a no-children policy and are stated as a “gay-friendly” hotel. Urban, tasteful, cultured travelers are definitely our guests!
LI: The hotel just opened its door, have you already reached some of your goals in terms of brand awareness, shares on social media, and most important, holiday bookings?
K.M: Even though the hotel just opened, our sales and marketing team has been working on this project for the past year and we are proud to say that the hotel is already well-known and the volume of our bookings is high. However, we still have to work hard as we have much more goals to reach i the future.
LI: Could you describe your marketing and communication strategy?
K.M: Social media and online tools are becoming more powerful as time goes by so of course we use them in the best possible ways. Also we also work and believe in “traditional” marketing strategies, that’s why Aqua Vista Hotels participates in major tourism events every year, such as WTB, ITM, LTX, etc. By participating in these events, we promote our portfolio of hotels to travel agents, tourism professionals all over the world. We organize family trips, competitions, etc. as we believe our best advertisers are people who already have experiences our hotels and hospitality.
LI: The hotel seems to shoulder a big role in making clients get to know each other and mingle, or at least it is what you communicate about. Why do you think it is important to gather people together and how Art Hotel succeeds in it?
K.M: Socializing is part of the decor and those who are interested in meeting new and fascinating people will love art hotel. We believe that it is important to gather people who share same passions together, to make their holiday even more specific, rich, unforgettable. We allow them to dicuss their points of view about art.
LI: Does the group plan to expand and develop the brand Art Hotel in other countries (the concept is quite singular and easy to reproduce and adapt)?
K.M: Indeed, expanding the brand Art Hotel in other countries is one of our future plans. The concept is unique but we have the needed experience to reproduce it. However, it is a must to find a beautiful and atmospheric location as Santorini island.
LI: If it wasn’t clear enough, how would you describe the hotel in 3 words?
K.M: Creativity, pure luxury
A big thank you to George, Katerina and the whole Art Hotel’s team.
LlifeInternational LIKED : the design, the concept, the service, the atmosphere, the view from private pool, the hospitality, the gift offered to every guest (a little piece of marble design made by a Grigoris Kourkouris)
LlifeInternational DISLIKED: lack of entertainment
LlifeInternational’s RECOMMANDATION : capitalize more on the core values of the brand by developing an event strategy, ex.: organize weekly events on food, art, design, inside the hotel or as a “full-day lifestyle tour of Santorini” for guests only, in order to create a real community spirit around similar passions.
Images Credit – Copyright: Art Hotel Santorini | Christos Drazos Photography | Antonis Eleftherakis Photography