The National Herald had the pleasure of speaking with the new owner of Aeolos Bay Hotel located on the island of Tinos. Elizabeth Foskolos is a Greek-American, who decided to return to her native island to take over the hotel her grandfather owned and operated in the 1980s and 90s. She was thrilled to tell our readers about the beautiful island of Tinos and her amazing hotel.
The National Herald: Please tell us about the inspiration behind the name of the hotel.
Elizabeth Foskolos: Our Hotel was named after Aeolos, the Greek god of the winds, because the summer breezes are characteristic of Tinos island. The hotel is situated in front of one of the most visited beaches where the land curves inwards, which is why “Bay” also accompanies the name “Aeolos”.
TNH: What differentiates Aeolos Bay from other hotels in the area?
EF: Aeolos Bay differentiates itself from the other hotels in the area because of its strategic location. Even though it is a few minutes’ walk from the center and the port, it is situated on a quiet corner overlooking the Aegean Sea and several Cyclades islands. Also, Aeolos, has a stunning pool and pool bar which can accommodate all kinds of entertainment. Our guests have the option to swim at the beach, which is literally right in front of the Hotel’s entrance, or swim in our pool, which also contains filtered sea water. Most of the rooms have a fantastic sea view, with the Mykonos lights shining in the distance. Aeolos also offers various cuisines suited for all tastes inspired by traditional foods and local producers. Of course, live music and dancing accompanies the special events.
TNH: Tell us your story. Why did you choose to stop renting out your grandfather’s hotel?
EF: The Hotel was built by my father’s family back in 1982 and his family ran it until 1997 when they decided to rent it out. In 2015, after I finished my graduate studies in psychology at Columbia University New York, the economic crisis was at its peak in Greece. At that time, I decided to go back to the ‘patrida’ and fight for my family business as it was literally on the edge of bankruptcy along with most businesses in Greece. So, ever since last year, the hotel is back in my family’s hands as a healthy, growing business. But as a true Greek-American, I would love to come back to my beloved New York at some point and start a business there, too.
My mother is also a Greek-American. She grew up in the United States but met the love of her life in Tinos – where they were eventually married and had a grand reception at – you guessed it – Aeolos Bay!
TNH: How has the new ownership changed the culture of the hotel and how guests and newlyweds are treated?
EF: Ever since we took back our hotel, we try to take personal care of all of our guests. As a family-run business, our mission is to treat our guests like they are part of our family, embrace them, and bring them into what we consider to be the true meaning of ‘philoxenia’.
TNH: What are some excursions and activities the hotel can help organize for newlyweds and their guests to enjoy on Tinos island?
EF: Our most popular excursions include guided tours to the graphic villages and the pigeon houses throughout the island, as well as the hiking paths and the gastronomic and wine tasting events held at our local wineries.
TNH: What is your pitch for Tinos island and, more specifically, your hotel, to couples looking for wedding venues in Greece as well as other tourists who are starting to debate which of the Greek islands to visit (or to get married on!) this summer?
EF: If someone is debating what Greek island to visit or to celebrate their special day, Tinos is certainly the answer! It is only two hours away from the port of Rafina in Athens. But most importantly, Tinos is a ‘blessed’ island characterized by the Church of Panagia Megalohari which attracts visitors from all over the world. This church is known for its many miracles so people come throughout the year to offer ‘tamata’ (a form of votive offering). Tinos is also very artistic; it is the home of the largest school of marble sculpture in Greece which is why you will see beautiful handmade marble statues scattered around the island.
TNH: If a couple decides to get married at Aeolos Bay, what should they expect?
EF: The couple can expect a beautiful landscape, beaches, and various gastronomic tastes for them and their guests. We wish all the couples coming to have their wedding at Aeolos: ‘I ora I kali’ because every new start lights the road of the couple’s happiness for all their lives.