Published on : Thursday, October 11, 2018
Among olive groves on a verdant hillside on the Greek island of Zakynthos is the new Olea Suite Hotel. Designed by Athens and Stockholm-based architectural studio BLOCK722, the five-star hotel was conceived as a sanctuary of earth and water in harmonious dialogue with the surrounding nature. Here, guests can enjoy the comfort of the understated luxury between modernist elegance and tropical sensibility.
The seamless integration of guest suites and communal spaces cultivates, as the architects explain, “a unique sense of freedom and mindfulness resembling the deep state of relaxation one feels when floating”.
Taking advantage of the unique hillside location, both the suites and main communal areas are facing south in order to soak in the Mediterranean sun while also enjoying panoramic views that take in the rolling hills and the Ionian Sea beyond.
Architecturally, the resort combines the spatial purity of modernism, exemplified by stark cubist volumes, with a tropical aesthetic of thatched roofing, colored-washed walls, and bamboo screens. The selection of earth-toned colors, materials, and textures, interwoven with hidden gardens and age-old olive trees, evocatively reflects the surrounding nature while the ubiquitous water elements throughout the resort in the form of pools, ponds and streams conjure the Ionian Sea that looms in the horizon.
The hotel’s 93 suites come in a variety of sizes, from 36 to 105 square meters, and feature private sun-splashed terraces or balconies blessed with breathtaking views with the larger suites also offering shared or private pools.
The restaurant is enchantingly enveloped by bamboo screens and illuminated by a central skylight, while the outdoor dining terrace impresses not only with its panoramic views but also for its thatched roof whose straw overgrowth evocatively sways with the breeze.