Thanos Hotels & Resorts is a privately owned, independently-minded collection of lifestyle hotels that conveys the energy, essence, serenity and style of the Mediterranean. For this interview, RLI spoke with Thanos Michaelides, CEO about how the company has evolved during the Covid-19 pandemic and what its hopes and goals are moving forward.
The first hotel launched in Famagusta around 50 years ago in the early 1970s and ever since the Michaelides family has poured its heart and soul into every inch of this award-winning company, building its exceptional reputation which is based on the delivery of highly personalised experiences, a hands-on culture of care and a pledge to never cut corners.
The Thanos Hotels & Resorts portfolio currently consists of four hotels, with three of these situated in the town of Paphos in Cyprus, with the other located on the Northwest coast of Cyprus in an area called Polis. Every property in the portfolio is an exclusive entity that has a welcoming, individual and distinctive personality.
Before the pandemic hit, the company had enjoyed a successful 2019 and early 2020 in not only financial terms but also guest satisfaction and company plan. Then of course everything began to change and the company has had to adapt and evolve in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“We also focused even more on direct marketing with our guests, along with extensively using digital marketing to maintain communication with our guests to be able to keep the business rolling as much as we could,” explains Thanos Michaelides, CEO of Thanos Hotels & Resorts. “I am a firm believer that adversity brings a lot of lessons with it and while it has been a tough year, we have learnt that we can be more flexible and that the pandemic has been a catalyst to bring forward certain trends in the market, these are some small positives we can take out of this extremely unfortunate period.”
During the time when the hotels were shut, they took this opportunity to carry out physical improvements to all of their hotels to ensure returning guests are once again satisfied and intrigued with their visit. Thanos’ has a lot of repeat visitors and while they always want to see what they expect from a Thanos property, the company also wants to surprise them as well, so the hotels were refreshed to strike a balance between these elements.
As the hotels are now open again and traffic is just beginning to reach something resembling pre-pandemic levels, the possibility of hotel expansion is now on the radar again, and Michaelides explains that they are looking to expand their portfolio and they are currently assessing a couple of opportunities in Greece at the moment. However he points out that it is vital for the brand to be able to find locations and properties that add value to the business and develop along the same lines as their other properties and not just expand and add properties for the sake of expanding.
“We develop our hotels with very strong personalities and character and they are very distinctive compared to their surroundings, and we are targeting people that are looking for that type of experience. Those individuals who want to make his or her choice for their holiday and not someone who just wants a nice hotel in a sunny environment. We market our hotels to people who want to make a deliberate choice,” explains Michaelides.
The business has had a strong focus on social media and digital marketing for a number of years, and what they have found is that last year and this year their hotels have recovered faster than the average in the industry, in Cyprus at least, and the Managing Director feels one of the main reasons for this is their successful digital marketing.
“We are a very human centric business and we put a lot of emphasis on our people, guests and team members and we want to grow the business together with guests and team members and creating a joint business based on experience, passion and growth,” says Michaelides.
From our discussion with Thanos it becomes apparent that the greatest challenge facing the company is to be able to always anticipate what their guests want and need and then to be able to offer them this in their unique style ahead of time.
“This is always the challenge that one has because the hotel business is not something that can alter every season like fashion; it is kind of a constant change. So the hotels have to evolve with our guests and the demands of our guests and the market in general,” he explains.
As the interview comes to an end, we ask Michaelides one last question, and that was if he had anything he wanted to put across… “I think looking back at the pandemic, we have been positively surprised by how loyal our guests are and how eager they are to come back to our hotels and this has been very rewarding after these turbulent months and gives us optimism and excitement for the future.”