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As COVID-19 Closes Greek Hotels, More Keep Opening, Hoping

Ευρωκίνηση

(Photo by Eurokinissi/ Dimitropoulos Sotiris)

With almost no demand for rooms during the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 30 hotels in Greece will be auctioned off to any buyers willing to take a chance tourists will return some day, and as chains and investors are taking that risk.

Banks are moving to sell off the hotels that failed, with some on the block for as little as 1 million euros ($1.19 million) through the platform Landea, said Kathimerini in a report.

But many of those prices were set before the full effect of the pandemic hit, the hotels having already shuttered and with fears many more will follow as they either didn't open this summer or didn't get enough customers to make money.

In 2019, more than 40 hotels opened in the center of Athens with the country then in another record tourism year and so many people coming the competition from short-term rental sites such as Airbnb not deterring them.

So far, the leasing contracts are still applying despite the hotels getting far fewer customers than expected, the companies operating them hoping to break even or stay above water until the pandemic is over and people are willing to travel.

The Athens Capital Hotel - MGallery, belonging to the Accor group, has just opened as the summer season ended and few prospects for the autum with international air travel still hurting or limited.

The five-star hotel has a capacity of 177 rooms and had operated as the King Palace Hotel in the late 1950's before becoming an office building. The ownes poured 22 million euros ($26.16 million) into major renovations.

A new boutique hotel is opening in the upscale neighborhood of Kolonaki, where the rich play, in a building owned by BriQ Properties, a 1.5-million euro ($1.78 million) investment by The Modernist chain leasing it, the report added.

There are more new arrivals expected by the end of the year in the market, the paper said, citing Danos & Associates/BNP Paribas Real Estate which said the boutique hotel Athens Ikon, will open on Mitropoleos Street, between Syntagma Square and Plaka. Before the end of the year the Hellenic Vibes hotel will open in Monastiraki, in a property acquired by Prodea Investments. 

In early 2021, a new four-star hotel will open near Omonia Square, at 10 Piraeos Street. This is a former office building to operate under the name Omega Hotel with 50 rooms. Another arrival will be The Cohort Athens at 93 Liosion Street, which is also expected soon.