The Electra Metropolis belongs to the Electra Hotels & Resorts Group, a group with 51 years of history and tradition in hospitality and tourism. It is a Greek company, with high quality hotels in Athens, Thessaloniki and Rhodes. These iconic hotels all wrote, and continue to write, their own chapters in the story of Greek tourism. For half a century they have offered refined luxury and elegance, and have been renowned for their carefully selected staff, the excellent service they offer and the aesthetic integrity of their five-star service.
Each new hotel is a destination. Each hotel is built with one priority - respect for its guests. These hotels are in themselves part of the very reason we choose to travel, to experience, to stay somewhere. And when we are staying in a city that has shone throughout the ages, the hotel should simply follow the city’s myth, and play its part in expanding it.
Hospitality: Φιλοξενία (the Greek word for hospitality) comes from “φιλώ” which means “love” and “ξένος” meaning “stranger”. Since ancient times it has been used to describe the process of taking care of a stranger - an obligation, a sacred duty and rule imposed by the Olympian Gods, especially Zeus Xenios, also known as Zeus. From the times of Greek mythology to the present day, the concept of hospitality has always been very much a part of who the Greeks are, and it continues to evolve today. And the new jewel of Athens, which is based on the values of “Electra Hotels & Resorts”, is part of this age-old Greek tradition.
Architecture: There are a few names whose work made a mark on Greek twentieth century architecture and who influenced its course. Patroklos Karantinos (Istanbul, April 10th, 1903 - Athens, December 4th, 1976), a master of style, introduced the modernist movement to Greek architecture. We owe some of the finest school buildings in the country to him, and he also designed the beautiful Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki and dozens of other private and public buildings. Finally, he made a huge contribution to the great dialogue with modernity that began in Greece during those difficult times.
And it was Patroklos Karantinos who designed the Electra Metropolis building, which for decades housed one of the most important Greek ministries, the Ministry of Education, and is now is a truly impressive hotel.
Design: The architectural firm Paris Liakos & Associates and the architect Maria Katsaros-Vafeiadis (MKV Design), known for her work in various parts of the world, undertook to transform one of the most historic buildings in the centre of Athens into a unique hotel. The cornerstones of the project were respect for the history of the city centre and for the building and its symbolic place in the city. Furthermore, it was an opportunity to pay tribute, via the Retro Chic aesthetic, to the building which marked the history of modern Athens. Together, they worked to create a space where the accommodation and dining facilities would give a boost to the heart of Greece’s capital and which would be a trailblazing example of today’s interior architecture and design!
Art: We have installed two emblematic pieces of art in the building to set the tone for its new era. The atrium of the "Electra Metropolis" is adorned by two extremely interesting and very large scale artistic works. The first, by the Greek painter Alekos Fasianos, shows a unique universe of silver bees soaring in the blue Greek sky, flying up the full internal height of the building and drawing the visitors’ gaze. The second is a composition of worked marble plaques - albeit a composition that tests the limits of artistic projects. This composition pays tribute to similar modernist interventions in other buildings in Athens, such as the Moralis’ vertical surface at the Hilton, Molfessis’ unique reliefs at the French Institute and Kitsikis’ work on the OTE Tower. An exemplary transformation of an abandoned building such as this, automatically becomes a model for the future restoration of other buildings in the country.
Past: Whatever you've heard about Athens and its continuous history which runs from the 5th century BC until today, will just be a story if you do not uncover the secrets hidden in the depths of the Electra Metropolis. A unique surprise awaits you if you go down to the basement where the conference rooms and Spa are located. The ancient city wall, a remnant of the city’s most glorious era, passes right through here. Indeed, a portion of it survives intact today and links the Acropolis with this neighbourhood in our minds. The Themistoclean Wall which encircled ancient Athens and was the longest fortification in the city, actually passes through the basement of the Electra Metropolis. Don’t miss it.
History: Another reason why the Electra Metropolis is unique is the treasure hidden in its depth. The church of Agia Dynamis is literally situated right between the columns of the hotel building. It was built in the 16th century, probably on the ruins of the Temple of Hercules, son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon. There are dozens of myths surrounding this small chapel, such as stories about the ammunition which was hidden there in the 1821 revolution, the mysterious tunnel that connects its basements with all of Athens, reaching to the Ilisos waterfall, the secret cave in its bowels and the myths about the underground life of the building in antiquity. In honour of all these stories, the chapel was restored by Electra Hotels and will soon be open to visitors. Yet another reason to visit the new Electra Metropolis.