Join us for a first look at Nōstos Serifos, a new Cycladic hotel that blends luxury and sustainability with a personalized touch.
If you’re looking for a serene and authentic getaway in the Aegean, look no further than Serifos island, where you’ll find the brand-new Nōstos Serifos hotel. Owned and operated by Bianca and Harrys Spyridakos, this establishment boasts a minimalistic, eco-friendly design that reflects the essence of the unspoiled Cycladic spirit.
How it all started!
Nōstos Hotel encapsulates the legacy of Harrys’ grandfather, who used to own the establishment. Pappous (Grandpa Giorgos), also known as “The Ancient One,” believed in the true, unpretentious spirit of hospitality, which he manifested with his ever-present warm smile. Nōstos re-introduces a fresh hospitality concept with an authentic Cycladic essence, in line with the legacy of Pappous.
Hospitality, therefore, runs in the family. With years of experience in the hotel industry, Harrys and Bianca decided to work on their dream of owning a hotel together. Nōstos Hotel builds on the legacy of Harry’s grandfather and promises to offer an unforgettable journey of exploration and discovery.
Meet the Owners: Harrys and Bianca
Harrys was born in Athens and has been in the hospitality industry for 25 years. He studied at Glion Hospitality Management School in Montreux and has worked in hotels both in Greece and abroad since 2005. Bianca, on the other hand, was born in Switzerland and raised all over the world, including Luxembourg, Turkey, and Malaysia. She studied at École Hôtelière de Lausanne and interned at Mykonos Theoxenia in 2009, where she met Harrys. After getting married, having two children, and running a wellness business, they decided to pursue their dream of owning a hotel together.
When asked what inspired them to open a hotel on Serifos, Harrys said, “The fundamental elements that drew us to Serifos are its rawness and its light. Bianca and I immediately loved the under-the-radar vibe of the place. My family ties (my grandfather was born on the island, specifically in Koutalas beach) were another factor that played a role. We got married in Serifos in 2015 and somehow we kept coming back although we live permanently in Switzerland. Now we have a pretty good reason to do so every year :)”
Conscious Hospitality at its Finest
One of the standout features of Nōstos Serifos is its commitment to sustainability. From the use of natural materials in construction and design to modern technologies such as solar panels with a net metering system and thermal building insulation, the hotel has gone above and beyond to reduce its environmental footprint.
In addition, Nōstos Serifos has partnered with Swiss-based Climeworks to capture CO2 emissions from the air and store them permanently and safely underground. As Harrys explains, “Regarding the sustainable aspect of our operations, we simply choose to be part of the solution, not the problem. We follow our daily habits of making conscious decisions on the impact that our actions have and we elevate our efforts by investing in technologies that minimise our environmental footprint. For us is a way of life, especially one that we are used to, living in a country such as Switzerland. At this point, I need to add that our company – Spyridakos Group – was the first SME (small-medium enterprise) in Greece that was funded by the EU Recovery and Resilience Fund, to facilitate the green transition of the existing building that Bianca and I acquired. To our knowledge, no other hotel on the Greek islands shows such commitment to lowering its environmental impact. “
But it’s not just the eco-friendliness that sets Nōstos Serifos apart from other hotels on the island. According to Bianca, “Our underlying philosophy is that fine hospitality does not have to come with a 5* price tag. But it should definitely feel precious.” The hotel offers amenities such as Jacuzzis and a gym that are typically found in much more expensive properties, all while keeping prices reasonable”.
The biggest challenge the owners faced was the renovation of the existing building, which was an operational hotel. “We had a huge dilemma of what to keep and what to change in order to create spaces that correspond to the elevated experience that we wanted to create,” said Harrys. The hotel’s immediate plans include renovating the rooftop, which has a spectacular view of the Aegean and Sifnos.
Minimalistic Design with a Cycladic Twist
The interior and exterior design of Nōstos Serifos is a testament to the owners’ commitment to authenticity in hospitality. The hotel’s architectural concept was the work of C-O Lab, an architecture practice based in Athens and Serifos. The vision of Olga Ktena and Maria Panagiotopoulou, the two architects behind the design, was to reconnect the hotel’s interior with its surroundings by incorporating natural tones and materials such as wood into both construction and design.
The aim of the design was also to create a communal lounge and breakfast area that works as a meeting and relaxation point for all visitors. “We want guests to feel intimate and relaxed from the moment they arrive, by checking in at the lounge,” says Bianca.
The exterior entrance and reception area were completely redesigned, and a central, irregularly shaped bar-type island with plants in the center was designed in the outdoor area. The interiors boast new built-in sofas, a communal large table, and a coffee station that can be freely used 24 hours a day. The hotel’s style is inspired by the Cycladic landscape and architecture with an extra touch of luxury and comfort. The ceiling is created by a grid of wooden planks arranged in four different levels, giving a sense of depth to the top.
A Guest Experience that Feels Like Home
Nostos Serifos aims to provide a guest experience that is both luxurious and sustainable. “The experience we want to emulate is the same one you have when you stay at a good friend’s house,” says Harrys. “We want to offer a guest experience that is as frictionless as possible. And we believe that this is achievable through a combination of on-point face-to-face interaction and use of technology.”
What’s next for Nōstos Serifos
“We will utilise technology to tackle traditionally mundane tasks of the industry – such as filling in a registration card – before guests’ arrival with online check-in, so that we are able to focus on what matters most: connecting with people. No reception desks, no check-in queues. Additionally, we will introduce a messaging platform so that guests can have any inquiries answered even if they are not at the hotel.”