On April 29, ON Residence, the new 5-star boutique hotel on the beach of Thessaloniki, officially opens its doors, an investment of 20 million euros.
Created by the partnership between Grivalia Hospitality and the family hotel business TOR Hotel Group, the luxury boutique hotel takes its name from the legendary restaurant Olympus – Naoussa, which returns to the seafront of Thessaloniki 28 years later, reviving the glamor and luxury of another era.
With the ambition to redefine the standards of luxury hospitality domestically and internationally, ON Residence consists of 7 floors, 60 rooms, the historic restaurant “Olympos Naoussa”, the Tiger Loop cocktail bar, indoor green courtyard, modern gym, but also a specially designed space for business meetings and events.
It should be recalled that the specific property passed into the ownership of the two companies for 5.46 million euros in 2017, after a relevant tender in which Grivalia Hospitality (65%) and TOR Hotel Group (35%) participated jointly.
It should be noted that the total cost for the reconstruction of the building eventually increased by 20% as “we went through a period of high price increases, it was a project where one could not predict what to do and in addition we had material delays due to the pandemic,” as mentioned yesterday in the context of the project presentation.
Focus on the high level tourism
“In 2015 we decided to invest in the field of tourist real estate with an emphasis on real estate that could attract a high level of tourism,” said Mr. George Chrysikos, founder and chairman of Grivalia Hospitality, adding that Greece is probably the best travel destination in the world, but there is a shortage of high-end tourism infrastructure, and a large number of well-known international chains are missing. “With this in mind, we decided to turn to this type of investment in selected urban hotels, but on the condition that we will have the best property and we found the best partner in the Tornivoukas group and the Tor Group.
The project was very demanding and this type of investment is different from the others we have made so far, it is much more demanding because we created the product from the beginning, these properties can not be found easily, they involve greater business risks, a large number of licenses , duration of construction, specific details in the construction of these properties. ON Residence is better than we had envisioned and we want it to be a point of reference again for the local community and for the field of luxury hospitality in our country.”
Being one of the most important investors in the field of luxury hospitality in Greece, Grivalia Hospitality has in its portfolio under development or operation 6 premium hospitality projects worth 450 million euros, which upon their completion will exceed 800 million euros.
A century of historical presence
“Our city has huge potential and can become a top destination that can attract visitors for both business and leisure tourism,” said Mr. Konstantinos Tornivoukas, CEO of Tor Hotel Group. “We are handing over Olympus Naoussa two generations after the period that ended in 1994, and we want it to be a new hangout for the people of Thessaloniki. ON Residence and the restaurant Olympos Naoussa are not just a luxury hotel and restaurant. It is a revival of a monument with a huge history, a dedication to the city of Thessaloniki that will change its tourist map.”
TOR Hotel Group is a Greek, family hotel business with a long tradition of 97 years in the field of tourism. It was the first company to create and operate a luxury hotel in Thessaloniki, the historic Mediterranée which opened in 1925 until the great earthquake of Thessaloniki in 1978. Today, the group has more than 400 employees, consisting of five award-winning hotel units in Northern Greece, all top in their class.
67 new jobs
For the reconstruction of this historic partially preserved building, modernization and expansion works were carried out, as well as maintenance and reproduction works of its special decorative and architectural elements, according to the suggestions of the Ephorate of Modern Monuments and Technical Works of the Ministry of Culture and Sports at all stages. In addition, it is noted that during the works a total of 350 people were employed, while for the operational needs of the hotel 67 new permanent jobs were created.
The project team
With elements reminiscent of Belle Epoque and Neoclassicism, the building’s glorious past provided the basic guidelines for the project team, which consists of:
– the architectural firm Divercity Architects and Dimitris Thomopoulos who worked together for the project
– the award-winning architects Nikiforidis and Cuomo who undertook the design of the surrounding area
– the office of Nikos Fletoridis which undertook the elaboration of the implementation of the architectural study
– All the maintenance work of the special decorative and architectural elements was implemented by the company “AEINAES”, while the interior design was elaborated by the French decorator Fabienne Spahn who wanted to give a renewed classic – art deco style, enriching it with a discreet luxury, matching the character of the building.
The history of the building
In 1926, Nikis Street on the seafront of Thessaloniki welcomes an ultra-elegant building, designed by French architect Jacques Moshe.
We are at the beginning of the 20th century, seven years after the catastrophic earthquake of 1917, which shook the city. Thessaloniki, with its intense dynamism, is rapidly being reborn from the rubble of the earthquake, having distinguished architects by its side, who will give it special samples of the era of neoclassicism, the belle epoque and the interwar period, to highlight it again, this time to the glamorous capital of the Balkans. And they succeeded!
In 1927 the new mansion on Niki Street, by Jacques Moshe, is the new jewel that will be added to the architectural sights of the city. Its personality and ultra-elegant decoration immediately make it stand out among the imposing buildings of Thessaloniki and from the first moment it becomes one of the city’s favorite places.
Its close proximity to the legendary five-star hotel Mediterranee by Georgios Tournivoukas on the coastal promenade will play a decisive role in its course, since very soon the heart of the city’s civic life and those who visit it will begin to beat.
The Olympos – Naoussa restaurant
The ground floor of the new building houses the creation of the partnership of two companies that was to change the course of the gastronomic history of Thessaloniki, Greece and the Balkans, while over the years it makes a name as one of the best restaurants in Europe.
Initially on the ground floor there was a beer hall / wine tasting room consisting of two rooms: Olympos and Naoussa.
It was preceded in 1920 by the merger of the “Olympos” brewery, which in 1926 was acquired by Karolos Fix, with the “Naoussa” beer hall-ice cream parlor, in which five businessmen participated.
The restaurant Olympus – Naoussa, with owners Emmanouilidis, Sfikas, Georgakopoulos and Tselidis, started operating in 1927. The two rooms of the brewery are merged, while the French name: Olympos Naoussa Restaurant, is preserved.
The restaurant is available for dining only by reservation, while specialties such as lamb fricassee, spinach puree, bouillabaisse with fish and shellfish, mussel pilaf and braised beef with eggplant puree become a strong reason to visit.
With impeccably orchestrated service, the guests enjoy the excellent atmosphere of the venue and Olympos Naoussa quickly enters the trio of venues frequented by the Thessaloniki elite, along with the Mediterranee Hotel and Flokas.
With decorative elements reminiscent of the belle epoque and neoclassicism, the high-ceilinged rooms are dressed with impressive wallpapers and plaster representations, handmade furniture of unsurpassed design star in the spaces, while earthy color tones and luxurious fabrics adorn the interior.
The famous Viennese chairs become one of the familiar elements of the restaurant, which maintained its reputation at the top for seven decades.
During the German Occupation, the space functioned as a cabaret and music hall, while its function as a restaurant was restored in the early ’50s.
The reputation for the exquisite delicacies that were served goes beyond the borders of Thessaloniki and Greece. In 1961 the French gastronomic company Dreicers awarded the restaurant the prestigious diploma “De Luxe Dining League”.
As early as 1958 the building had passed into the ownership of Hatzidimoulas, who hailed from Naoussa.
In 1967 the building was bought by the shipowner Ioannis Karras, while in 1985 it was bought by the Bank of Crete. From 1992 to 1994 the management passed into the hands of the employees. At that time it was characterized as a monument – a work of art by the Ministry of Culture
For decades it was a hangout for prominent personalities and politicians, such as George Papandreou, Konstantinos Karamanlis, Giscard d’Estaing and many more.
In 1994 it closes its doors permanently, leaving behind the glamor of a landmark era for the city and Greece. But now… it has been reborn
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