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Poseidonion Grand Hotel: The Iconic Landmark of Spetses Island
by Kelly Fanarioti
Found at the heart of Spetses’ social life, the imposing building of the Poseidonion Grand Hotel stands proud for over a century. Also known as the “jewel of Spetses” because of its architectural style that is influenced by Côte d’Azur & French Riviera hotels such as ‘’The Negresco’’ and ‘’The Carlton’’, the hotel impresses even the most demanding visitor.
Following a full programme of renovation works in 2009, it remains an elegant edifice. With breathtaking views over the Saronic Gulf, fragrant lavender gardens, rustling palm trees, impeccable customer service and limitless attention to details, it provides discreet but authentic luxury – an aristocratic atmosphere of elegance and grace.
“If we do not have any disastrous developments, such as for example another serious comeback of the pandemic or any horrible developments relating to the war in Ukraine, then this year for sure will be the best we had in recent years. Our bookings in their great majority come from England and the United States. Bookings from Australia are also slowly being made to a very promising level. In addition, we have customers from France and also Greeks,” the General Director of Poseidon Grand Hotel Alexandros Papanikolaou says to NEO, stating emphatically that this year’s tourist season is expected to ‘break” even the 2019 record, when tourism in Greece had reached unprecedented heights.
“At last this year we can breath again. Just seeing all these people traveling from so far away to come to Spetses to have fun, to enjoy the sea and our food, makes us feel very good. Moreover, this movement of tourists is very uplifting for our psychology following the experience of the pandemic. We feel that we can now leave this problem behind us and rediscover normalcy with a sense of optimism and dynamism,” he continues, adding that up to the end of October, the hotel will be open, and the occupancy rate during the high August season will reach 95%!
In 1883 Sotirios Anargyros, following his business instinct, left Spetses and emigrated to New York, where he was employed by the big Thompson Tobacco Company, which he later inherited, as he was adopted by the owner. He then expanded his business and created a gigantic company in the field of tobacco which flooded the American market with its products.
In 1894 he came back to Spetses and a year later he returned to marry his second cousin Evgenia Anargyrou. The couple lived in America for three years, but his wife’s longing for Spetses made Sotirios to sell everything he owned and he settled permanently on his island. From the sale of his tobacco company, he got the astronomical amount in those days, of 650.000 dollars.
Amongst various projects, he built the Poseidonion Grand Hotel in 1914 which was a major push for tourism in Spetses, which emerged as the holiday resort of rich families.
Since then, the hotel has hosted world-renowned celebrities and has been awarded a few times for the high quality services it offers to its guests.
In 2014, the Poseidonion Grand Hotel celebrated its 100 years of existence. Extensive renovation works had begun in 2004, with the aim of preserving and restoring its distinctive architectural elements, as well as reinforcing the building’s unique atmosphere of understated luxury, elegance and class.
The hotel’s iconic central staircase is made of marble, with each step building on the previous – a rare and unique feature showing the craftsmanship involved in the construction of the building.
The hand-painted tiles found throughout the hotel are original, and date back to 1914. They were successfully maintained during the renovation process, and now decorate the floor of most of the public areas.
The roof of the La Cupola suite is based on the structure of a traditional caique, the typical local boat created by Spetsiot shipbuilders even today.
The wrought-iron railings of the Poseidonion’s verandah were recreated from the single example that was preserved out of the original set.
The hotel proudly serves only the finest gastronomy using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. It offers first-class beauty and wellness services and can host a variety of business and social events, from memorable conferences to fairy-tale weddings.
The Hotels’ farm, the ‘Bostani’, serves the needs of the hotel as well as a number of local restaurants, providing fruits, vegetables and organic eggs.
In addition, the cultivation of Aloe Vera has been successfully implemented, allowing the hotel to use this unique and nourishing ingredient in juices, smoothies and cocktails, as well as for the creation of natural cosmetics and hair products.
At the ‘Bostani’ guests can enjoy a farm-to-table experience, with the opportunity to taste the freshest produce grown at the hotel’s organic farm.
Visitors can watch as the chef and his team handpick ingredients straight from the earth and prepare beautiful, unique dishes packed with the scents and flavours of the local landscape. Guests are invited to take part in an al-fresco dining experience, immersing themselves in the culinary traditions of Greece in a unique outdoor setting.
For the past 100 years, as well as being a beacon of Greek hospitality, the Poseidonion Grand Hotel has also been a patron of many initiatives, supporting all the major events on Spetses and forming an integral part of the island community.
As Alexandros Papanikolaou says, today the hotel continues to support the cultural and economic development of Spetses, enlivening the vision of its founder by being at the heart of cultural, athletic and entrepreneurial initiatives on the island, with the secondary aim of promoting the island and Greece around the world.
“The Poseidonion Grand Hotel is proud to play a key role in the creation, organization and support of a number of events, which attract a large and ever increasing number of visitors every year, such as Armata Festival, Spetses Mini Marathon, Spetsathlon, A Weekend in Tweed and Spetses Classic Car Race,” he emphasized.
Guests also have the opportunity to visit a magical wellness destination, IDOLO Spa, giving themselves a unique holistic experience full of health and rejuvenation through a variety of beneficial therapies inspired by the Mediterranean.
Last but not least, the elegant Ciné Titania, an open air cinema run by the Poseidonion Grand Hotel since 2017, aims to recapture the experience of traditional Greek summer cinema and share it with a new audience, including both visitors and locals. Recently given a new lease of life with an extensive venue renovation, the cinema offers two showings per day from June to October and has reclaimed its place at the heart of the Spetses’ entertainment scene.