Europe -  Athens, Greece

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Athens is the commercial and financial centre of Greece, situated in Attica on the southern tip of the Greek mainland. Given its rich history, monuments and buildings, the city naturally attracts the leisure segment, but it also attracts a substantial corporate market owing to its many government institutions. Athens has a somewhat broad seasonality whereby the strongest periods are spring and autumn, due to business- and conference-related demand. The summer months are less busy as people travel to the country’s island destinations, and winter is a very low demand period.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greek economy had been continuing its recovery and experienced more than three years of expansion. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the Greek economy contracted by around 10% in 2020 with only a partial recovery expected in 2021 and 2022. The impact of the pandemic on the tourism industry negatively affected Greece given the weight of the tourism sector in its economy.

In line with the stabilisation of the economic situation, the Greek tourism industry had been on the way to a strong recovery, and Athens had celebrated a comeback in recent years. Between 2014 and 2019, Athens’ RevPAR grew at a compound annual rate of 7%, mainly driven by rate increases reaching pre-crisis levels, until the global setback in 2020. Visitation to the city showed a very positive trend with total traffic at Athens International Airport reaching over 25 million passengers in 2019, up 6% from 2018, thanks to robust growth in international passenger movements. Athens was in the top 15 European destinations of 2019, according to the results of the eighth European Best Destinations (EBD) online competition. Performance in 2020 contracted significantly on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Between 2016 and 2019, most hotels in the Attica region were in the one- and two-star categories, representing around 55% of total room supply, followed by four-star (18% of room supply), three-star (15%) and five-star hotels (7%). The majority of hotels in all categories are located in the central district of Athens. New branded and non-branded boutique hotels are opening or under construction, primarily through the conversion of disused office space; however, barriers to entry remain extremely high in Athens and construction can potentially become very expensive given the volume of old and protected structures. The Athens pipeline over the next few years includes the 200-room Moxy Omonia Square in central Athens, which is expected to open at the end of 2021. The former Esperia Palace, also in central Athens, is expected to reopen as the NYX Athens in summer 2021. Israel-based Fattal Hotel company, widely known by its Leonardo brand name, signed a long-term lease agreement with the property owner EFKA, and has invested around €10 million in the renovation of the hotel. Moreover, Greek hotel management and consulting company Zeus International won the tender for the long-term lease of the Kaningos 21 hotel. Following a €3.5 million renovation, the hotel was scheduled to open in 2020 but should eventually do so in 2021.

Sales in the market over the last few years include the following. In 2017, the 102-room King George Hotel was acquired for €43 million (or €422,000 per room) by Lampsa Hotels. Moreover, the Athens Ledra Hotel was purchased for €33 million (or €105,000 per room) in June 2017 in a joint venture between Henderson Park and Hines. In 2019, the UK-based private investment company L+R Hotels acquired the 385-room Titania Hotel for around €50 million (or €130,000 per room). Although the Athenian market has remained relatively illiquid in terms of existing hotels changing hands, investment activity surged from 2018-20, with dozens of buyouts of standalone buildings recorded. The transactions mostly pertain to abandoned hotels or offices which have or are in the process of being remodelled and converted into fresh lodging properties. The majority of the new hotels feature limited room inventories (20-50 rooms) but there are some examples of larger scale developments in the centre of the city.

Change In Value For Market: (€Euro)

Significant Value Increase: Greater than +10%
Moderate Value Increase: Between +3% and +10%
Stable Values: Between -3% and +3%
Moderate Value Decline: Between -3% and -10%
Significant Value Decline: Less than -10%

For more information, please contact:

Sophie Perret, MRICS, MBA
[email protected]
  • +44 20 7878 7722 (w)
Nikola Miljković
[email protected]
  • +44 20 7878-7721 (w)
  • +44 7 593572865 (m)