Design: Dexamenes Seaside Hotel
"A postwar winery has been transformed into a barefoot luxury resort on one of the most unspoiled stretches of coastline in the western Peloponnese. Situated on Kourouta Beach near the town of Amaliada, the hotel is an ideal outpost for sun-seeking and exploring the regions offerings, which includes an abundance of wineries."
I am very drawn to ambitious hospitality projects, those that would have come with considerable planning and numerous logistical challenges, those that find themselves in extremely remote locations or preserving historical ones, those that are unique and striking in their design, those that are then documented properly and given an alluring identity through the treatment of their photography. And whether it costs $50 or $5000 a night to stay there is irrelevant to me, it's more about what went into bringing the idea of it to life.
Dexamenes is a brand-new boutique hotel in Greece.
Nikos Karaflos, the owner and visionary of Dexamenes, originally contacted K-Studio several years ago with an idea to transform an abandoned wine factory on the west coast of mainland Greece, into a hotel. After a long process of design, development and bureaucracy, today the conversion is complete and Dexamenes°° Seaside Hotel is open.
The history of Dexamenes°° dates back to the “Era of Currants”. Since the liberation of Greece in 1830, the cultivation of currants took on impressive dimensions and currants were the main export product of the Greek Kingdom. But when the “Currants’ Crisis” broke out in 1910 in Greece, the trade collapsed and there was a need to convert the unsold stock into alternative products, such as wine. This was when the first wineries and distilleries were created. Dexamenes°° was built on the sea so that ships could be loaded with wine directly from the tanks, before setting sail for the major overseas markets. The derelict, industrial structures that characterize the site were left relatively untouched since the 1920’s, sitting quietly on one of the most unspoiled and beautiful stretches of coastline in the western Peloponnese.
From the outset it was clear that the strong history and raw beauty of the existing buildings should not only be preserved, but be showcased in a design that would breathe new life into their walls. The new design compliments their brutality with elegant interventions and transform their austere functionality into a place of calm, comfort and relaxation. A complimentary palette of concrete, steel, timber and engineered glass ensures that new construction elements tread lightly, leaving the existing buildings relatively untouched and retaining their strong presence.
Read more about the conversion here.
Photography by Claus Brechenmacher & Reiner Baumann