Designing Luxury with MarBella Elix

By Christina Tsangaris

MarBella Elix is an inspirational new 5* property in a previously undiscovered area of Greece. As the third hotel to join the MarBella Collection portfolio and the brand’s first property outside of the island of Corfu, MarBella Elix will be perched above the beautiful, Karavostasi Beach in the Parga region, looking West towards Corfu and Paxos.

The brand new hotel is built into the sloping mountain with every room looking out over the ocean. The architecture is designed to reflect the natural location, mirroring the sandy cliffs and the surrounding area of astounding natural beauty. The interiors lend themselves to a family-friendly resort, with expansive communal and dining areas and comfortable resting places, perfectly situated to admire the unspoilt surroundings. 

Architectural Inspiration 

The architectural inspiration behind MarBella Elix was to create a hotel with contemporary simplicity, paired with breathtaking views. The project was spearheaded by Konstantinos Kydoniatis whose idea was to blend the existing landscape into a premise built with tiered levels suitable for couples and families alike. The existing traditional Greek building was radically redesigned, in order to serve the contemporary needs of a 5* hotel. The designers used high-end technology to ensure the building was constructed with the needs of a luxury traveller in mind, whilst at the same time achieving a high level of sustainability. 

“Blending the architecture with the bordering landscape, whilst building on a steep-sloped plot was a challenge, but it is what makes this hotel so magical. A combination of old and new and a touch of Greek flair now serves the needs of a 5* hotel that is contemporary, chic and peaceful.” Konstantinos Kydoniatis, Architect-Engineer for MarBella Elix, F&K Kydoniatis & Partners.

Inspiration Behind The Interior Design 

The overall brief for Marbella Elix was to redesign and recreate a traditional Greek property into a 5* modern resort for families and couples, upgrading both premises and amenities seamlessly transition between the traditional and modern. 

The transformation has been meticulously planned to play on the outstanding views of the Ionian Sea, ensuring the property is fully equipped for both couples and families to a premium luxury standard. Designed and created by Dimitris Thomopoulos and Konstantinos Kydoniatis, the style focuses on three key elements; the breath-taking ocean-view scenery, the proximity to the once-inaccessible vast coastline, which is now easily reached by a small path and the local architecture elements of stone, marble and wood. 

“The inspiration behind the design comes from the breath-taking view of the infinite sea and the surrounding environment. The design of this 5* hotel is now a reflection of the existing materials and styles of traditional Greece, combined with a constant reminder of the beauty of nature.” Dimitris Thomopoulos, Designer for MarBella Elix, Dimitris Thomopoulos Architects. 

Accommodation 

The hotel’s luxury accommodation will appeal to guests who appreciate natural beauty as an essential element. Here, nature is celebrated and the property has been created around nature herself with the sea views at the heart. Adding a twist of something rare and unique to the area by redefining the traditional architecture of Epirus through minimal and clear lines. A key feature of this design are the natural materials sourced from the local area. Using these natural elements adds a sense of place throughout the 146 spacious and contemporary guest rooms and suites. 

Lobby and Dining 

The lobby and dining area was conceived as a viewpoint. An uninterrupted line of vision flows directly from the entrance of the restaurant to the vast sea views, with a green filter created through a structure of plant life, to emphasise the natural synergies and surrounds. 

The main restaurant follows the design approach of the lobby area, with natural light and plant features throughout. The à la carte restaurant is unique with its luxurious and distinctive darker tones, creating an elegant and authentic feel. 

Architecture and Local Surroundings 

MarBella Elix is unique to the current MarBella Collection properties as it uses typical Epirus traditional architecture, where the buildings follow the natural landscape. Marbella Elix blends into the surroundings using built-in tiered levels that appear to come out of the steep slope landscape. This creates unobstructed views to the forest and Ionian sea. The rooftops have been used to create large 25 – 30 sq. mt. private pools for guests staying in upper-level rooms, tying in natural elements such as stone claddings to reflect the architecture of nearby towns.

By Christina Tsangaris