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People: the secret of country living by Konstantinos Markidis
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People: the secret of country living by Konstantinos Markidis

Dimitris Kossyfas | 10 June 2021

Where do we find you these days?

In Nafplio, working at the estate on prepping for the new summer season, as well as enriching Opora with new facilities. During the downturn we had the opportunity to extend the estate for more private experiences with a new swimming pool and three new rooms. We’re now experimenting with private dining and wine tasting, with kitchens within the vineyard. It’s all happening!

 

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m driven by nostalgia and style, not so much by technology. In whatever I do, I tend to focus on romanticism. For example, all of the collectible items that decorate the rooms at Opora are from my personal collection.

Although I studied Business Administration in the UK, my passion was hospitality. My first attempt was at a water splash park at Oropos where I started working with my father. In 2014, I opened a I Fratti, a deli restaurant in Kifisia, Athens, which was an immediate success. Within the first 6 months, I managed to get my investment back.

How did the idea about Opora come about?

My wife, a pilates instructor, and I wanted to tour around Greece and collect the best produce to export to Germany. That’s how we started thinking about the brand Opora (fruit in Greek), which Maria Athanasiou later on went on to design. The idea though was quickly abandoned on a Sunday noon at a family gathering with some friends from France. Instead, we started talking about developing properties in Mani. Given that we owned a 30 hectares estate just outside Nafplio, we decided to start renovation in 2015. We had the vision but Jenny Tsoulakou, our lead architect, also helped a great deal!

Opora Country Living, Nafplio - Oporonas Country Room II
Opora Country Living, Nafplio - Outdoor Pool
Opora Country Living, Nafplio - Oporonas Country Room I
Opora Country Living, Nafplio - Oporonas Master Country Living
Travel Food People - Opora Country Living, Nafplio

What’s your food destinations in Greece and why?

Hydra. Very nice destination and traditional. Very good aesthetics overall, with a gorgeous restaurant during sunset (Konstantinos to send a note) and some good wine. Take a boat to Hydra, then a 10min walk from Metohi to the restaurant. As simple as that.

We also love some of the smaller islands in the Cyclades, like Koufonisia, and Kimolos. That’s where we meet people, make friends and go back again.

What’s your favourite spot at Opora?

I usually prepare a cup of coffee and go out to the olive tree grove and wander around. Agriculture is starting to become a thing in Greece too – finally! The new extension of the estate is named The Farm Area so we’re striving to go towards that direction.

How has COVID-19 impacted your hotel?

Privacy, safety and hygiene was first and foremost. But most of our processes were catering to that, even before the pandemic. And we were lucky that it didn’t affect bookings.

Personally speaking lockdowns impacted me very positively. I took some major decisions, like selling my father’s business, and was now able to implement plans at Opora. We are building on quality, not on quantity.

It’s all about the people. Not the buildings. Who is going to manage and run this? That’s what I’m also trying to pass on to my son, Mikelis – the personal touch.

Cover image: Konstantinos with his former dog Elli

Travel Food People - Opora Country Living, Nafplio
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