Joann Plockova • Photography by Claus Reiner •
February 12, 2020
Perched on a hill, nestled among ancient olive trees with views of the Ionian Sea, the 93-room Olea All Suite Hotel on the Greek island of Zakynthos merges soothing colors and materials with a property-spanning, 43,000-square-foot pool to marry guests to their environment, as well as a more serene state.
“The most important thing to us was how the guests experience their surroundings,” says lead project architect Vasiliki Moustafatzi of Athens-based firm Block722 Architects+. “The design aims to bring guests in sync with nature and its elements, connecting the indoors with the out in a seamless way that helps them unwind and explore the resort in its entirety.”
Starting at the reception where two glass pendants float above the oak- and marble-clad desk, the resort combines a modern, clean design with a light, earthy palette and natural materials that include bamboo, stone, textured plaster, and rattan.
“[The hotel] places a big emphasis on wellness to create a mindful experience,” she says. “Our goal was to create a dreamy haven that blends key aspects of Mediterranean architecture and design with a dash of tropical modernism.”
Sanctuary-like guestrooms, which dot the resort in small successive volumes, reveal their views through large openings. Several suites include private swimming pools or direct access to the lake-like pool, the central artery of the hotel. Fittingly, it follows the shape of the property, acting as “a calming, transforming power of water flowing freely through the veins of the resort,” says Moustafatzi. Shaded by the preserved olive trees and pergolas, island-like lounge areas border the pool, encouraging guests to soak up the tranquil surroundings.
“Our intention was the complete absence of boundaries between the resort’s suites and the communal spaces,” she says, “cultivating a unique sense of freedom and mindfulness resembling the deep state of relaxation one feels when floating.”
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