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The Jewel of Spetses: 100 Years of Living History

The Jewel of Spetses: an honorary and succinct title, indeed, yet heavy with responsibility; a building that brims with history, tradition, charm and mystery. Most people know immediately what the title refers to and it is only a few, a mere few, who wonder what it is all about. Poseidonion Grand Hotel is a legend and has been one from the very beginning. On its inception one century ago, it became the symbol of hope, making a difference and bringing about change. A legend built by a visionary, whom the “Island of Scents” was blessed to have as a benefactor. Sotirios Anargyros, the man behind the idea of Poseidonion, was a well-travelled merchant and successful entrepreneur, a proud Spetsiot descended from an illustrious naval family and close friend of Greek political leader Eleftherios Venizelos, with whom he envisioned the spiritual development of the Greeks; a man who looked to the future and, as an immigrant who flourished abroad, knew what making one’s dreams come true is all about. The name given to this masterpiece was not chosen randomly. It praises the God of the Sea and acknowledges the island’s bond with the water element and its maritime tradition. Even Poseidon’s traits -his power, supremacy and the awe he inspired to the seamen, who appealed to him for an uneventful and safe passage – complement the building’s philosophy. The real essence of hospitality was an integral element of the building concept and Poseidonion’s true purpose of existence and all that it symbolises are inextricably bound to the meaning of this word. Simply consider Greece in 1914, a country that was struggling to stand on her feet after the signing of the end-of-war treaties and amidst the clouds of World War I, and then picture this imposing, aristocratic resort hotel, the first in the Greek countryside. Undoubtedly, Poseidonion was a bold step towards development, particularly for the Greek countryside which was so deeply in need of it. It took incredible insight to come up with such an imposing edifice, offering a variety of amenities so wide that cosmopolitans and the wealthy Athenians, politicians and bluebloods would be compelled to leave the urban centres behind and visit Spetses. Sotirios Anargyros possessed just the right acumen to make everything happen. A cosmopolitan himself, always ready to fight to reach his dreams, he managed to put Spetses on the travelling map of the Greek bourgeoisie, and put a pin on the veranda of Poseidonion , whose breathtaking atmosphere soon became the talk of the town. His triumph wasn’t limited to bringing the upper classes and, along with them, economic growth to the island, as the multitude of artistic and cultural events held at the Poseidonion cemented its position as the place where ideas are born and initiatives taken; a place that encourages enlightenment, development and evolution.

This year, 100 years after its birth and 10 after its rebirth, this unique institution graces again proudly and brightly the Poseidonion Square on Spetses, overlooking the blue waters of the Saronic Gulf. This rebirth brought a true legend back to life so it could continue to set the tone for the island and help it sail forward, as it did for so many years. Poseidonion continues to be the hub of several multifaceted and multidimensional initiatives and events, promoting Spetses more than ever and supporting its development. The hotel’s renovation was a step forward with regard to issues of pivotal importance for the island; the local and cultural development, the preservation and promotion of tradition and seamanship are only a few of the very important issues for which Poseidonion still stands tall, making its weighty and symbolic presence felt in an attempt to promote them. The Poseidonion is a lot more than just bricks and mortar; it represents values, history, tradition, and most of all the people who believe in these values, respect the history, love the tradition and have devoted themselves to promoting them. At long last something is moving in Spetses and Greece; it is a palpable growth bearing only optimistic messages for the future. Through a 100-year course Poseidonion Grand Hotel has managed to maintain its original vision and character that demands it be at the head of initiatives and move forward as one with the island of Spetses. At the same time it remains a welcoming home with hospitable hosts, who look after their guests in the best possible way. A home whose awe-inspiring exterior disarms guests but whose interior transforms into an aristocratic lounge and a hospitable home that provides all modern-day amenities with luxury tinging even the minutest detail.

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