Royal Hotel Thessaloniki

Attentive staff and a lavish setting make Royal Hotel Thessaloniki the perfect base from which to explore one of Greece’s most vibrant and historic cities

“We’re number one because of our incredible staff,” explains Timos Karmpourounis, Marketing Manager at Royal Hotel Thessaloniki, a luxury retreat on the outskirts of the Greek city. “They are the secret to our success. We invest in characters, most of whom have worked here for more than 10 years and see the hotel as a home. They take care of it as if it were their own business.”

The hotel, which weathered the economic crisis that saw so many others go under, has survived and thrived as a result of this unique staff-centric philosophy. “We managed to retain 90 per cent of our staff and not cut their wages,” says Timos, with some pride. “The investment has paid off. Guests know us all on a first-name basis – even though we’re not a small family-run hotel.”

Now with 40 team members and most of its rooms renovated recently, the hotel is flourishing. Three new conferences rooms have been added to the property and tennis courts have been built nearby. “Tennis is becoming quite popular in Greece, and we had some fields nearby so we thought it would be a nice idea,” says Timos, with a laugh. “Guests can rent any equipment they need and
reserve a court for as long as they want, and we have professional coaches on hand.”

For those who prefer to relax, the hotel’s pool area has a mellow atmosphere, with loungers, cocktails and soft jazz music. A leisurely dinner can be enjoyed from the poolside restaurant, which offers sparkling night-time views of the lights of Thessaloniki. The hotel is also conveniently positioned close to the airport and within easy reach of the city’s sites and attractions, making it the perfect base for exploration. “It is very easy to drive here and there is so much to for guests to see and do,” says Timos. “You can visit Thessaloniki with its traditional markets, ancient ruins and cultural highlights.”

Then there are the popular cosmopolitan beaches of Halkidiki, which stretch along the peninsula, with their soft white sand and crystalline waters, and the incredible Mount Athos in the distance. “It’s a great way to explore the region,” says Timos. “Our welcoming staff are full of recommendations, and will do anything to make sure guests enjoy their stay.”