Greece’s push to bring in as many foreign investors building or fixing luxury resorts to attract well-off tourists is blossoming around the country but since 2019 there’s been one in an abandoned wine factory on the Peloponnese.
Unlike new constructions that tend toward traditional white and blue designs, many adaptations of Greek traditionalism, the Dexamenes Seaside Hotel has turned wine tanks into wine suites, with ultra-modern looks.
It’s located on the west coast of Greece in the town of Amaliada, near Pyrgos.
“Its lines are industrial and angular, the colors rusty hues that call to mind grape-juice stains. The hotel’s aesthetic is an entirely novel approach to Greek hospitality, and pays homage to the country’s long wine-making history,” said Travel and Leisure.
“The factory was once very important for the local economy,” said Nikos Karaflos, the owner and manager of Dexamenes. “I was born in this area – I want to preserve the culture and history of this place.”
The Peloponnese was known for wine production beginning in the 1860s when France’s industry collapsed because of a phylloxera epidemic of insect pests destroying grapes.
The French vineyards were back fully in the early 20th century and Greece’s fell back because of an unstable agricultural market, the site noted, and by the 1980’s the Dexamenes factory wasn’t being used.
In 2003, Karaflos and his family purchased the site, and in 2013 he partnered with the Athens-based architecture firm K-Studios to plan the renovation, good timing too for Greece’s wine industry gaining recognition.
“The first thing you see when you enter the grounds of Dexamenes are two enormous silos in the center of a reflecting pool. These structures were once used to store grape must; now, with their roofs removed so the stars twinkle overhead, they serve as spaces for private dinners, wine tastings, wellness events, and art installations,” the site said.
The 34 rooms, called WineTank suites, are housed inside concrete vats once used for fermentation; each one has clean lines and minimal décor, with the pipes that once channeled the wine still visible.
And, of course, there are Greek wines galore for dining and tasting and a whole section devoted to natural and biodynamic Greek bottlings at dex.Machina restaurant, inside the winery’s former production center.
“As for the wines from the original Dexamenes factory? Karaflos and his family finally finished the last of them last year. There are new Greek wines to save for the future,” the report added.