Carved from an abandoned winery set directly on Kourouta beach, Dexamenes Seaside Hotel is a palpable slice of Greek trading history wrapped up in a stunning industrial setting. Opening in May, the reanimation by award-winning architecture firm K-Studio offers guests the singular hospitality experience of sleeping inside old wine tanks from the 1920s, which are now defined by a sublime, clean-lined aesthetic.
Ensuring that the location is at the forefront of the hotel concept, many of the 34 guestrooms boast a private canopied patio overlooking the Ionian Sea, while a bar-lounge, a taverna, a history room, and a boutique “Bakaliko” store selling local produce are together a tangible celebration of the region’s culture.
The ancestral property of Nikos Karaflos, Dexamenes is the realization of Karaflos’ long-held goal to create a hotel that honors the heritage of the site and its surroundings, while cultivating a stillness and simplicity to counteract the frenetic nature of modern life. A former alumnus of K-Studio, it is little wonder that Karaflos looked to his former colleagues to assist in reimagining and reshaping the modernist landscape of the property.
The hotel is characterized by the two parallel rows of concrete blocks that once held the wine tanks, which have been minimally restored to reflect the industrial integrity of the structure through the use of steel, engineered glass, and timber. Design-led spaces have been carved out of the austere structures with black steel framework, which meanders from inside each guestroom to canopied patios, and eventually all the way to the lounge, bar, and reception.
Standing at 30m2 a piece, the tanks were ideally suited to house the 34 guestrooms, which are a lesson in pared-down luxury defined by the unique patina of the exposed concrete walls and polished terrazzo floors. Floor-to-ceiling windows serve to augment the contrast between the cool, monastic interior space and the heat and exposure to the elements outside. A meticulously planned layout features an open wardrobe, a double bed with COCO-MAT natural mattress, and a single sofa, while a bathroom with a spacious shower and amenities sourced from Moda Bagno sits behind a wall of textured glass. A neoclassical beachfront villa also comprises two 60m2 suites, a room with three double bunk-beds, and a kitchen.
A tangible celebration of its architectural roots, the hotel is also enriched with cultural and localized experiences, which bring the whole region into focus. Considering that the Peloponnese peninsula is home to more wineries and grape varieties than any other region in Greece, it is little surprise that food and wine play an integral role in the concept of Dexamenes. Alongside the bar-lounge and taverna, the hotel’s open kitchen lab plays host to a wide range of local gastronomy courses and tastings, while those of a more spiritual nature will appreciate the open-plan studio, designed for yoga sessions as well as workshops hosted by local creatives and artists. Taking advantage of its spectacular natural setting, a wide promenade that seems to float above the sand takes guests to private sun loungers set in front of the tranquil waters of the Ionian Sea.
Set on the Peloponnesian coast’s Kourouta beach, the hotel puts guests in a secluded spot that’s also an ideal springboard for regional exploration. The town of Amaliada is just northeast, while the wider Peloponnese peninsula offers a plethora of archaeological sites, wineries, and historical cities.
Photography: Claus Brechenmacher & Reiner Bauman