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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 15 July 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 15 JULY 2017 21 TRAVEL Dakis Joannou, DESTE and Yes!Hotels’ founder PHOTO: ALEXIA ANTSAKLI Guilty Flouting convention has been Dakis Joannou’s passion since he embarked on his artistic odyssey in the 1960s. Nowhere is this more visible than in his private yacht Guilty, launched in 2008. Joannou invited American pop artist and friend Jeff Koons to design the yacht’s exterior finish. Koons (whose fame includes selling the most expensive artwork ever by a living artist at auction - US$58.4 million in 2013), based his design on warship camouflage. A room with a view: Lycabettus from New Hotel Athens became the world's focus for all the wrong reasons, citycentre hotels felt the downturn and Yes!Hotels was no exception. New Hotel could hardly have had a more difficult rite of passage as it emerged on the Syntagma stage. With one of the largest market segments for Yes!Hotels being the US, room occupancy over that period dropped like a stone, and American customers, sensitive to US government travel advisories stayed away in their droves. Since 2014, with fewer scenes of Syntagma erupting in riots being relayed to the world, growth in Yes!Hotels' key target demographic, the Fully Independent Traveller (FIT) market returned. With the Greek capital enjoying stability in 2015 and 2016, FIT numbers look set again for strong growth this year. For a business that is continually committed to innovation, Stefania says future targets involve deepening the customer service experience and forming new creative partnerships - extending the contemporary art and design philosophy in new ways. "There's an opportunity for us to work with local communities more, and invite our guests to interact with those communities," she says, "make them feel they belong. It's about creating synergies with brands, local artists and producers." "In 2017 the word for us is simplicity," says Stefania. "Too often the industry makes travel complicated, gives too many options. Independent travellers today are looking to enrich their lives with transformational experiences, and seek fulfilment by sharing them with others. That enrichment is at the heart of what we do." IMMERSED IN KOLONAKI 2017 ushered in a makeover for Periscope, YES!Hotels' antidote to the run-of-the-mill central Athens hotel. The addition of a new lounge of cool blues, lush fabrics and a free 24/7 refreshment bar, has transformed this urban hideaway, just a two-minute walk from Kolonaki Square. While the hotel's underpinning design concept is that of a subterranean observation post, inviting guests to gaze and marvel at the life and culture of the Greek capital, above all, it's Periscope's 'sophisticated informality', a tranquil 'home from home' in the heart of Athens' most fashionable district, that delivers. With the National Archaeological Museum, Benaki Museum, and the Museum of Cycladic Art on the doorstep, along with highend shopping outlets, intimate boutiques and Kolonaki's famed cafes all a gentle stroll away, Periscope's guests become, albeit temporary, citizens of Athens' most cultured neighbourhood. If clean lines and tranquility are your thing, coupled with high quality and unobtrusive customer service, Periscope is the ideal base for anyone wishing to immerse themselves in the heart of the Greek capital. Michael Sweet was a guest of Yes!Hotels and gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art. PHOTO: F.VLASTARAS/R.KONSTANTOPOULOU FIGA in Hydra DESTE exhibitions in Athens and Hydra July - Sept 2017 ‘Liquid Antiquity’ Benaki Museum Video installation exploring the possibility of reinventing Classicism and its relationship to modern art. ‘DESTE Prize: An Anniversary Exhibition 1999-2015’ Museum of Cycladic Art A showcase of works by nine recipients of the Deste Prize from 1999 to 2015. The prize is awarded every two years to a Greek or Cypriot artist living in Greece or overseas. ‘Figa’ DESTE Project Space, Hydra A site-specific exhibition by US artist and sculptor Kara Walker. The Athens exhibitions run until 17 September, the Hydra show runs until 30 September.
08 July 2017
22 July 2017