Right on the beach, yet not far from the center, Athens’ new luxury temple is nearing its opening: The One&Only Aesthesis Resort, which revives the glamour of the 1950s and 1960s. In the finest retro design and with ambitious sustainability goals.
The One&Only Resorts Group, known for its exclusive destinations, is coming up with a highlight this year in Athens, which is already being billed as THE new opening of 2023. With good reason. Because the One&Only Aesthesis is not only the company’s first Greek resort. It is also one that opens up countless possibilities.
City, beach & top design
The complex is located directly on the spacious beach of the suburb of Glyfada, but only a few kilometers from the center. And it breathes new life into the golden age of the Athens Riviera. From the style of the buildings and the surrounding nature to the elegant retro-chic interior.
Behind the architecture of One&Only Aesthesis is a consortium of three local Greek firms: K-Studio, AUDO and A6Architects have worked together to ensure that the resort combines noble nostalgic flair with the most modern comforts. The luxurious interiors (with the exception of the beach club) were designed by the renowned British specialists from MUZA Lab.
What the collaboration of all involved has produced is something to be proud of: Midcentury design at its finest. With high ceilings, soft colors and accent patterns that create an authentic Greek feel.
The 127 private rooms, suites and private villas are designed to put the focus on the surrounding nature. From the outside quite simple elegance, inside guests can expect high-quality coziness with lots of wood, woven leather, linen and stone.
Beach-Club & Private-Pools
Those who prefer to swim in the private pool will find what they are looking for, as will those who long for the sea. The One&Only Aesthesis offers a 1,600-meter-long beach promenade and a retro-chic beach club. There, guests and residents can enjoy relaxing hours on the deep blue Aegean Sea from dawn to dusk.
The design of the new luxury retreat bows to the history, culture and mythology of Greece. With its combination of Greek heritage and authentic Athenian charm, the resort looks like a tribute to the glamorous lifestyle of earlier times. After all, Glyfada was once considered an up-and-coming competitor to the legendary French Riviera vacation destinations back in the 1950s. And with current plans and investments, Greece is currently putting a lot of effort into bringing the Athens Riviera back to this same glamor.
“Neighbor” natural wonder
Moreover, a major plus of the One&Only Aesthesis is its proximity to a fascinating natural wonder: Vouliagmeni-See is fed with seawater via an underground system of flooded caves, while a freshwater spring reduces its salinity. Because of its constant heat and high hydrogen sulfide content, it has been used as a spa since the end of the 19th century.
In order to preserve the nature of this destination surrounded by historic monuments, great importance was attached to sustainability in the planning of the One&Only Aesthesis. Existing buildings were not demolished, but carefully restored. All existing trees on the site were only temporarily removed to be replanted later.
One&Only Aesthesis focuses on environmental protection
Around 200,000 new Mediterranean and native plants with low water requirements will be planted on the site. Their irrigation will be provided by a special system that will reduce water consumption by 30 percent. The resort is also committed to saving water at the taps, which will reduce consumption by 25 percent compared to conventional taps.
In constructing One&Only Aesthesis, the architects relied on certified sustainable raw materials from the region, as well as recycling and reuse strategies to reduce construction waste.
Bioclimatic Design and thermal insulation will ensure the lowest possible heating and cooling requirements and make the buildings energy efficient. In addition, electricity consumption is reduced through the use of photovoltaics and use of LED lighting.
The greening of 15 percent of the available roof area is also on the agenda. This is no simple undertaking in a region where sun and heat are extremely hard on exposed plants. That’s why particularly hardy native plants are to solve the problem.
In the two restaurants of the complex, only products from sustainable and local production will find their way onto the plates. Packed in a tasty journey through the cuisine of Athens with Greek meze, seafood and meat, but also vegan delicacies.
At the Chenot Spa at One&Only Aesthesis, meanwhile, guests can expect treatments inspired by the region’s traditions, which – combined with the latest scientific findings – are designed to offer an authentic Greek wellness experience. It goes without saying that the resort also has a state-of-the-art fitness center with indoor and outdoor areas.
In any case, the beautiful project is expected to meet the specifications of the LEED and SITES sustainability labels. “Our partner Grivalia is a leader in Greek real estate investment and is committed to honoring the site and creating a legacy for the future,” emphasizes CEO Philippe Zuber of Kerzner International, which owns the One&Only Group.
Grivalia Hospitality founder George Chryssikos is convinced that “the modern city resort Aesthesis will be a unique high-end destination in the Mediterranean all year round.”
Athens’ new temple of luxury
The destination Athens certainly speaks for itself. Those who treat themselves to a vacation in the new resort can choose between luxurious relaxation in a beach hotel, sailing tours, Athens’ colorful city life and the fascination of the Acropolis, a world cultural heritage site. In addition, the beautiful nature and the bays of the Aegean attract excursions and hikes.
One&Only’s focus on sustainability is also evident in the still-new Mandarina Resort in Mexico. And in Greece, in addition to the Aesthesis, the group will present another brand-new highlight of its portfolio this year: The villa resort One&Only Kéa Island, which is just a short boat ride from Athens on the Cyclades island of Kéa, is also scheduled to open in 2023.
Text: Elisabeth Schneyder
Bilder: One&Only Resorts