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Grecotel, leader in its market

Created in 1981 by the Greek Daskalantonakis family and the hotel group TUI Hotels & Resorts, each of which owns 50% of the company’s shares, Grecotel has since become one of the leaders on the chain hotel market in the country. Positioned on the upscale and luxury segments, its supply covers all tourist destinations in Greece.

Key Facts :

  • Hotels:  20
  • Rooms: 4,565
  • Positioning: Upscale/Luxury
  • Founded: 1981
  • Founder: Nikos Daskalantonakis and TUI Hotels & Resorts

In 1974, when Greek tourism was booming, Nikos Daskalantonakis decided to enter the hotel business. A native of Crete, he chose that island to open his first hotel. From this first property sprang the hotel group Grecotel S.A. in 1981 at the initiative of the Daskalantonakis family and the German group TUI Hotels & Resorts, each of which owns 50% of the business’s shares. Known as the first company specializing in hotel and resort management in the country, Grecotel debut in the Greek hotel industry with three owned properties positioneded on the upscale and luxury segments.

The two owners then expanded their supply to Corfu, with the acquisition of the Corfu Imperial Grecotel Exclusive Resort, before strengthening its presence in Crete and opening in Peloponnese. The group then pursued its growth by opening to new business segments, such as the urban hotel industry. For the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, the company had a 15 hotel portfolio, owned and affiliates.

Since its beginnings, Grecotel grew to become one of the leaders on the Greek hotel market, particularly on the resort segment with an annual average occupancy rate of 78% for some 1.8 million nights. Today it manages 20 owned properties, representing 4,524 rooms, and has six other affiliated hotels, representing close to 1,000 rooms. Overall, the group commercializes some 5,524 rooms and 10,750 beds. Positioned on the upscale and luxury categories, its supply is concentrated in Greece’s major tourist destinations, such as Crete, Corfu, Mykonos, Attica, Kos, Rhodes, Peloponnese and Halkidhiki. In particular, Grecotel was able to resist the economic crisis that hit Greece in recent years, despite reducing its supply by two properties in 2011 and 2012.

A segmented offer

Over the years, Grecotel implemented a precise segmentation of its portfolio, which is now composed of Grecotel Exclusive, Grecotel Luxury Resorts, Grecotel Family Resorts, as well as city and resort hotel partners. The Exclusive Resorts are seaside properties selected for their design and architecture. The collection includes the Amirandes in Crete, Mykonos Blu and Mykonos Blu Villas in Mykonos, Cape Sounio in Attica, Mandola Rosa in Peloponnese (also a member of Leading Hotels of the World), and Corfu Imperial in Corfu. In another genre, Grecotel Luxury Resorts brings together luxury properties that stand out for their charm and local dimension. It includes the hotels Creta Palace, Club Marine Palace & Marine Palace Suite in Crete, Eva Palace, Olympia Riviera Thalasso and Olympia Oasis in Peloponnese, as well as Kos Imperial Thalasso in the city of Kos. As their name suggests, Grecotel Family Resorts are adapted to the specific needs of families and leisure travelers, but with upscale services and appointments. This segment includes the El Greco and Plaza Spa Apartment in Crete, Daphnila Bay Thalasso in Corfu, Lakopetra Beach in Peloponnese, Payal Park in Kos, Rhodos Royal in Rhodes, and Pella Beach in Halkidiki.

In addition to its owned properties, the Nikos Daskalantonakis’s group manages 6 partner hotels in urban destinations by the sea such as Athens, Larissa, Alexandropoulos, Kalamata and Crete. On January 1st, 2013 these represented a total of about 1,000 rooms and 2,000 beds. Some of the hotel-partners target business travelers and have a supply adapted to their segment, with, in particular, infrastructures for meetings and conventions. Several properties correspond to these criteria: the Pallas Athena and the Vouliagmeni Suites in Athens, and the Larissa Imperial in Larissa. Finally, properties in partnership with the group Grecotel also include four-star resorts that are positioned more on the leisure tourism segment, such as the Meli Palace, the Astir Egnatia Alexandropoulis in Alexandropoulis, and the Filoxenia in Peloponnese.

Since its inception, Grecotel has made innovation one of its growth engines by developing offers adapted to each customer profile. It was thus the first group to open an All-Inclusive property in Crete in 2000, before launching a product especially dedicated to couples in 2005 at the Grecotel Eva Palace. Grecotel also took up the challenge to promote rural tourism by opening the Agreco Traditional Farm in the village of Adele in Crète, a center dedicated to local products and agriculture. Sustainable development has been a core value in the company’s growth strategy for several years; it was among the first Mediterranean hotel groups to implement environmental audits to meet European standards at its properties and to create a division entirely dedicated to the local environment and culture within its structure.
The group also created the Privilege Club in a very early effort to develop customer loyalty, a major theme today in the hotel industry that is currently facing problems with online distribution. The club was founded in 1996 and currently has more than 130,000 member-families, for close to 390,000 members, and accounts for more than 22% of revenues generated by sales of the group’s rooms.

Continuing growth

Today, Grecotel continues to grow on all the segments of its activity and recently opened an upscale boutique hotel in the Greek capital, the Pallas Athena, at the beginning of the year. 2014 also marks the launch of two other hotels to complete Grecotel’s portfolio: the White Palace El Greco, a five star hotel in Crete, and the Caramel Grecotel Boutique Resort, in the native city of the group’s founder, Rethymno in Crete.

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