Exclusive: Marriott Will Return to Athens After a Nearly 4-Year Absence
The new Athens Marriott Hotel is expected to open by 2018.
The world’s largest hotel company will once again have a presence in a city that seeks to reinvigorate itself after years of economic turmoil.
Marriott is expected to announce an agreement with Chandris Hotels today to renovate the existing Metropolitan Athens with a $15 million transformation. Guests could be welcomed to the new Marriott Hotel Athens as early as 2018. Chandris currently operates five hotels in Greece—though the Metropolitan is its only property in the city.
The new Marriott hotel is located in a busy area of downtown Athens that recently has seen a lot of urban redevelopment. It faces the Renzo Piano-designed Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, a new public park and arts complex that now serves as the home for the National Library of Greece and the National Opera.
"The hotel is well placed to benefit from the planned development of the area into an attractive waterfront Riviera, and this serious investment demonstrates our confidence in the future of the city of Athens and our strength as a company,” said George Paidoussis, president of Chandris Hotels.
Marriott now counts 13 hotels and resorts in Greece, including eight Luxury Collection properties—the highest concentration of the brand in Europe. Within the past year, Marriott also opened two Autograph Collection hotels on the island of Crete.
On Dec. 31, 2013, Marriott’s 30-year contract to manage the Athens Ledra Marriott expired when the company and the property owner decided not to renew after years of economic recession in Greece. After Marriott pulled out of Athens, the Ledra continued to operate but eventually closed earlier this year.