People: fresh hospitality at The Modernist with Kostis Karatzas
Hotelier Stories

People: fresh hospitality at The Modernist with Kostis Karatzas

Dimitris Kossyfas | 6 September 2021

Where do we find you these days?

In between Athens and Thessaloniki. We recently reopened our hotels and getting ready for another demanding new phase of the pandemic-affected hospitality industry. At the same time, I am planning the future of our brand and looking at new opportunities in Greece and the rest of Europe, with caution due to the market conditions but also great optimism for the future.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background

I was born in Thessaloniki and studied Civil Engineering at the Aristotle University, followed by an MSc in Emergent Technologies & Design at the Architectural Association in London, and an MBA at Imperial College Business School. I founded The Modernist in 2018, which was my first involvement with the hospitality industry. Also, these past years, I have been active in real estate, founder and director of The Greek Foundation, partner at Ergon Foods, and actively involved in various other projects in Greece and abroad.

The Modernist, Athens - Family Room
The Modernist, Athens - Family Room
The Modernist, Athens - Small Room

What’s your favourite food destination(s) in Greece and why?

Athens has a great diversity of food options, from authentic local places to high-end cuisine. I also really enjoy the amazing culinary experience of the Greek islands. Unique local delicacies combined with a rich gastronomic culture and simplicity of the environment.

What’s your favourite travel destination(s) in Greece and why?

The islands. Small and as far from the world as possible. They give you this unique feeling of being in another space and time, even if it’s for a few days. On the islands you can actually switch off.

Destination or restaurant you can’t wait to get back to

A small seaside taverna on an island for a late lunch.

Travel Food People - Psili Ammos, Patmos

Tell us a bit about the story behind your hotels

The Modernist is about contemporary hospitality that inspires curiosity and authentic experiences. Ethics and aesthetics course through everything we do, as an invisible thread that connects us to the world. We truly support our local communities and aim to create uniquely crafted, heartfelt and holistic experiences.


What’s your favourite spot of the hotel and why?

The rooftop of The Modernist Athens. It has the kind of magic that makes time fly, slowly. Lounge chairs, small tables and lush plants populate the timber-decked terrace and invite people to parallel play, work or meditate throughout the day, while taking in sweeping views that extend from the Lycabettus and the Acropolis across the rooftops of the capital all the way to the sea.

The Modernist, Athens - Rooftop

How has COVID-19 impacted your hotels?

Big. COVID-19 had a major impact on city hotels, and it will continue to affect them for a long time I think. We had to shut down both our hotels due to government restrictions. But also during the months we were operational, we were affected due to flight and travel restrictions, in regards to both leisure and business segments.

What are your current and future plans of your hotel?

The main plan is the expansion of The Modernist brand outside Greece. We have started looking into it more closely in the last few months and I hope that we will make our next step soon.

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