THE ILISIAN - the new destination in Athens

THE ILISIAN, the new city destination by Ionian Hotel Enterprises, is introduced today to Athens and its visitors. 

The historic building that housed the Hilton Athens for more than half a century, has evolved from a hotel into a multifaceted destination which brings together a new hotel and luxury residences under Hilton’s award-winning Conrad and Waldorf Astoria brands, a lifestyle members’ club, gastronomy, entertainment, wellness, and shopping, creating an ecosystem of experiences and connecting the world to contemporary Athens.

Its name, THE ILISIAN, is inspired by the historic Ilisos River and the surrounding Ilisia neighborhood, expressing the timeless connection of the new destination with the city, the area of Ilisia and its residents. THE ILISIAN conveys the cosmopolitan character that forms an integral part of the building's identity, while bringing to life experiences which are the essence of authentic and modern Athens. With respect for the city's cultural identity, THE ILISIAN seeks to blend contemporary international trends with the city's heritage, creating a meeting place for Athenians and visitors alike.  

The unveiling of the name and the experiences that THE ILISIAN will house were presented today during an event where guests embarked on a journey from the building’s opening in 1963 to the future of this landmark. 

The event was honored by the presence of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who commented in his speech: “THE ILISIAN becomes a bridge that connects the present with the past, leading the Greek capital to a more hopeful future. This very significant investment contributes to the vision of Athens as a welcoming year-round destination. Its modern operation will once again, in its own way, become part of the new image of a country that has new and great horizons. With the support of the state, and the visionary perspective of healthy entrepreneurship, which in turn trusts this country which is evolving."
The new destination was presented by Achilles V. Constantakopoulos, Chairman of TEMES S.A., the majority shareholders of Ionian Hotel Enterprises: “With great respect for the unique legacy of this landmark, we carry the responsibility of its repurposing so that it continues to be a beloved destination, creating lifetime memories. Our ambition is for THE ILISIAN to become a meeting point and source of inspiration, where international concepts harmoniously blend with its local character”.

On behalf of Hilton, Dino Michael, Senior Vice President & Global Category Head, Hilton Luxury Brands, spoke about the debut of Hilton’s luxury brands in Greece: “Athens has been home to Hilton for more than six decades, and we’re incredibly proud to be evolving such a key city landmark on the site of the iconic former Hilton Athens. The city is a perfect destination for today’s global luxury traveller, with a thriving cultural scene and a rich history – and the stunning location of the property overlooking the Acropolis perfectly complements the property’s modern luxury design. We are excited to begin welcoming guests next year.”
Furthermore, Prof. Nikolaos Georgopoulos of the University of Piraeus highlighted the economic and social impact of the new destination, presenting the results of the study conducted by the Department of Tourism Studies. 

It is a strategic investment which will reach €340 million including the acquisition of the building. According to the University of Piraeus study, the overall impact of THE ILISIAN up to its first five years of operation will exceed €1.25 billion. The impact on employment is of equal significance, as more than 800 direct jobs have been created during the construction period, while up to 800 direct jobs (almost three times as many jobs compared to the past) will be created during its operation. 

The event was moderated by Elli Hatzioti, former Hilton Communications & Public Relations Director for more than 30 years, and Isabelle Kountoure, Financial Times – HTSI, Style Director.

An ecosystem of experiences 
THE ILISIAN aims to showcase contemporary Athens and further contribute to establishing the Greek capital as one of the top travel and residential choices in Europe.

Marking its destination debut in Greece, Conrad Athens will feature 278 well-appointed guest rooms and suites each with expansive views of historic Athens, as well as a 400sq.m. mega suite. Additionally, 18 hotel residences have been developed as Conrad Residences, as well as 37 private residences as Waldorf Astoria Residences, on the upper floors of the building. 

THE ILISIAN will also be home to a lifestyle members’ club, as well as to multiple culinary and entertainment venues, curated shopping, leisure and wellness experiences, in partnership with acclaimed local and international brands and operators.

The design is based on the principles of sustainable development, applying best international practices for energy efficiency and aiming to achieve LEED Gold certification. 

The visual and architectural identity of THE ILISIAN preserves and highlights all the iconic elements of the building, such as the façades by well-known artist Yannis Moralis. 

The project’s lead architects are Athens-based AETER Architects. The local team also includes the structural engineers of the project: Statiki Consultants, F. Tsoulos and Associates, Helliniki Meletitiki and Retech, and MEP consultants, Skemma Engineers. Several international and local practices have undertaken the interior design of key components: AvroKO, Tristan Auer, Yabu Pushelberg, First Within, SBR studio, Mare Studio, ID-Lab and Vana Krimnioti.  Eleftheria Deko & Associates and Delta-Theta are responsible for the lighting design, Simon Rackham Landscape Architects are the landscape designers, Xenex are the kitchen and laundry consultants, T&A are the audiovisual consultants, G. Schubert is responsible for the acoustics, while DCarbon are the LEED Certification consultants. 
During the event, guests had the opportunity to explore the significant moments of a 60-year journey and relive personal memories. They also had the chance to experience the new destination through a series of animated art pieces designed by the internationally acclaimed stage director, choreographer and visual artist Dimitris Papaioannou, which brought to life the façade by Moralis and captured the spirit of a destination that honors its legacy and embarks on a new chapter.

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