In 1837 the Stephanos Skouloudis Mansion was constructed at Syntagma Square by the French architect V. E. Poitrineau. After the death of S. Skouloudis in 1928, the Mansion was renovated by the architect Anastasios Metaxas. For a short period it served as an annex to the Palace which was housed in what today is the Parliament building, and, later on, served for a while as the Prime Minister’s residence. In the early 1930s, the Mansion was bought by entrepreneur Konstantinos Kalkanis who demolished it and built the King George Palace Hotel in its place. The architect was Nikolaos Zouboulidis and the construction was undertaken by civil engineer Dimitrios Kalkanis. King George Palace was inaugurated in 1936. One of its first visitors was King George II. The building underwent several alterations, the last one by architect Ioannis Antoniadis in 1955. This intervention resulted in the addition of three upper floors and gave the building its final form in 1958. In 1988 the hotel was shut down due to the owner company’s debts and in 1995 it was acquired by the Bank of Crete. Following its acquisition by Eurobank, a lease agreement was signed with a hotel chain.
The hotel was renovated and operated from 2004 until 2012. In June 2013, following three months of intensive work for its renovation and refurbishment, King George -five star hotel- opened its doors as part of the “Hellenic Hotels Company S.A”, under the management of “Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.” The new owner’s aim is to offer visitors comfort, quality, an international ambiance and highlevel hospitality. The renovation cost exceeded two and a half million Euros. Alexandros C. Samaras & Associates S.A. were in charge of the hotel’s renovation. Asked about the project, Alexandros Samaras pointed out: “The renovation and upgrading of the King George Hotel was carried out with particular sensitivity and respect for its tradition. Our architectural interventions aim at reviving the glory and prestige of the hotel, highlighting at the same time its contemporary personality. Our objective is to reinstate the King George Hotel as a central milestone of Athens.’’ On the ground floor, the hotel includes a lobby, reception hall and reception areas. The other floors include a business center, three ballrooms of a total capacity of 400 persons, a gym and a spa. The Tudor Hall restaurant operates on the 7th floor. It is fully renovated, offering a magnificent and unique view to the Acropolis. The King George Hotel is comprised of 63 luxury rooms & 39 suites. The rooms occupy the two elevations of the building, as well as those of a large internal central patio-garden. The Penthouse suite occupies the last floor, along with its private swimming pool and a large terrace offering a stunning view to the Acropolis. The key, substantial architectural intervention by Alexandros Samaras and his team was the creation of an atmosphere, a style and a mood that are consistent with the hotel’s timeless quality and its contemporary personality. Through “editing”, they managed to convey the elegance and finesse of the Post World-War I period. The ground floor reception areas were fully renovated, integrating the spaces with the characteristic style of the King George. New wallpapers, new colorings, new flameretardant fabrics for the curtains, the headboards, the skirtings, the bed covers and other room furniture were used for the renovation of the hotel rooms. A garden with seasonal flowers covers the entire floor of the internal patio which offers a pleasant view to a good number of the hotel rooms. The patio’s windows are adorned by seasonal flowers. The Tudor Hall was brought back to its original character and finesse and special attention was given to offering its guests in the main hall and balcony an unobstructed view to the Acropolis and Syntagma (Constitution) Square. The hotel’s owners offered artwork from their private collections, obtained from international auction houses, paintings, tapestries, furniture and carpets, that are used for the decoration of the hotel rooms and public spaces.
Description: King George Hotel Renovation
Location: Syntagma Square, Athens
Architectural Design: Alexandros C. Samaras & Associates
Employer: Lampsa S.A.
Text: Alexandros C. Samaras & Associates
Lighting: apleton Papagiannopoulos Bros
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