Checking in at awesome Dexamenes Seaside Hotel, a new entry, member of the Design Hotels
I have often pondered over what it is that can really boost the charm of a hotel; making one talk for hours about it; making it something to reminisce about; desperately seeking for the opportunity to visit it again.
I have come to the conclusion that in those few hotels that there is such an atmosphere, the past, the present and the future seem to coexist. This aura is projected to the one actually staying there, as well as others who experience it through photographs, videos, etc.
An illustrious example is the Dexamenes Seaside Hotel, a really unique hotel I have recently visited. It simply ticks all three boxes. The past relates to the previous life of the place and buildings. The present concerns the experience it offers the visitor during his or her stay. The future has to do with its cutting edge design, putting it at the forefront of innovation and evolution of the hotel industry.
The amazing architectural project of Dexamenes Seaside Hotel
Situated at Κourouta, an area of the Peloponnese with undeniable natural beauty yet mainstream aesthetics, Dexamenes Seaside really constitutes a parallel universe. A design oasis was created where there used to be a wine factory with wine tanks made of concrete, a place from the early days of Greek industry that remained untouched for decades.
One of the most prominent architectural studios in Greece, the K studio team together with the visionary owner Nikos Karaflos planned and executed the project of the repurposing in an immaculate way. The rectangular tanks, resembling hollow concrete cubes, hermetically sealed on all sides, were converted into beach front suites, after they were cut open on the one side so as to gain unobstructed view as well as access to the sea. The same process was repeated for the tank behind the seafront one, thus creating a hotel of about thirty rooms.
For me, as a weekend visitor, the first impression was one of pure satisfaction for the fact that this old structure with its unique history was transformed into something so beautiful. From there on, a unique experience begun.
Being an avid admirer of contemporary design in all its forms, aesthetics plays a major role in my view of the hotel I’m staying. Ideally, wherever I turn my eye everything should be ‘correct’ by my standards. I was excited to discover the exquisite details of the interior design at Dexamenes.
The old walls with that patina that made them look like abstract art (Nikos karaflos the owner told us later that he had to make a great effort to convince the workers to keep them the way they were and not paint them brand new) the details, the materials, the greenery and the plants, all seem to fit perfectly the concept and blend in the landscape.
However there is a thoughtful mix of comfort and sophistication in the decorative style of the hotel that helps the guests relax from their first moments there. Coupled with the breathtaking views to the beach, you end up with the perfect escape plan.
Imagine an industrial-chic bungalow by the sea, with 70s modernist touches; its private terrace within steps from the famous vast sandy beach of Kourouta. The ambience of the place is really captivating. There were moments I thought I was playing in a French “Nouvelle Vague” movie. I just wanted to stay there and gaze at the mesmerizing views that kept changing throughout the day.
I happened to be there on the longest day of the year, so I enjoyed a glorious sunset before I headed to the restaurant of Dexamenes offering a small but inspiring menu of Greek dishes using local products. I was not lucky enough to attend the “ Kantharos gatherings”, evenings dedicated to wine-tasting and art, organized by the hotel and in collaboration with the curator Eleni Tranouli, at the area of the two cylindrical wine tanks (hope to do so in the future, though).
The second day of my stay, after I had my breakfast at the all-day bar of the hotel (choosing from a banquet, full of healthy options and homemade products as well as from an eggs a la carte menu), I decided to explore a bit more the neoclassical building that sits next to the block of the wine tanks and that, in the past, used to house the general manager of the factory. That was another revelation!
I stepped into the summer house of my dreams, the grand two-storey neoclassical sunny and airy Villa right on the beach, decorated in white, light grey and sky blue hues, ideal for family vacations.
Dexamenes is a really awesome place.