Just before the announcement of this year’s winners of the “Hotel Design Awards”, we discussed with Dimitris Antonakos – CEO of the fair 100% Hotel Show – among others, the history and his vision behind the contest, and the current trends in the hotel design sector.

How and when were the Hotel Design Awards launched?

The Hotel Design Awards were launched in 2015, as an action parallel to the 100% Hotel Show. The warm welcome of this Exhibition by Architects and Boutique Hoteliers made us wanting to give back some of this positive energy. And what is better than an action that would provide the platform for promoting the most inspiring hotels, and the talented architects that designed them.

What do you think about its evolution in recent years, and what is the feedback you are receiving from architects?

The response is increasingly dynamic, with the architects now pursuing their participation in the competition. We have in fact demonstrated with the objective assessment of all participations that the results are not only credible, but also enjoy acceptance by an audience as demanding as architects are.

What are the selection criteria of the projects participating in the competition and what is the process?

It is a fairly simple process: after submission of the proposals, we proceed with an initial assessment and we then bring the final shortlist before the Jury. The criteria are varied, since in addition to the rules of Architecture and Design we put emphasis on the functionality of space, the facilitation of the operation and the shaping of the travellers’ overall experience.

The show has a special approach to architecture and design, which indisputably has coincided with the general growth of the Greek tourism product. How important is good architectural design in a modern highly demanding hotel?

It is one of the most critical points for the success of a hotel. Good Architectural Design sets the scene for the overall operation of the accommodation facilities and significantly affects its entire management and the customer’s satisfaction. The Design underscores the unique experience of the space, creating memories that can even transform into reviews to boost hotel sales. In summary, the overall design of a hotel affects its overall business.

What are the prevailing trends in hotel design in Greece and what are main differences with tourism facilities abroad?

We no longer talk about trends since new hotels are designed to serve individual concepts that make them unique. This also gives a boost to the creativity of Architects who can create more “unique” accommodations. And this is exactly the trend we see abroad. Greece is in fact a strong player in the global hotel market.

What luxury hotel design trends do you see emerging in the coming years?

The emphasis is on the experience. Design is now considered a non-negotiable necessity, which means that the luxury traveler seeks the experience. This is why Architects nowadays cooperate with specialised Hospitality & Concept Makers, who give form to the experiences which the space must serve, aiming at commercial success, profitability and the customer’s satisfaction.

What are your future plans for the Hotel Design Awards and what do you hope their evolution will be?

The Hotel Design Awards institution is constantly growing. Our goal is the openness and general promotion of Greek Hotel Design abroad. In fact, last year’s big winner of the Hotel Design Awards was selected and then presented an architectural hotel room proposal at a 1:1 scale in the Hotel Show Dubai, all expenses covered. This openness and the institution’s ties with international design are even stronger this year, with the winners traveling to Lake Orta in Italy, to attend the customized “Fantini Workshop”, giving them the opportunity to meet the company’s designers and top executives.

*The Hotel Design Awards contest was launched in 2015 and is an integral part of the 100% Hotel Show annual fair. The contest’s main objective it to highlight the decisive role of proper design in hotels nowadays, through the evaluation and presentation of selected projects. Eligible to participate in Hotel Design Awards are: Architects and Architectural Offices from Greece and Cyprus for projects that have been created (both realized and unrealized) all over the world, Architects and Architectural Offices from abroad for projects that have been created (both realized and unrealized) in Greece and Cyprus.


courtesy of 100% Hotel Show


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