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The Leader in Premium Hospitality | Spiros Divanis

Spiros Divanis

CEO

The core of Divani Collection Hotels is its name and heritage. Built by Aristotle Divanis in 1958 to encourage tourism, Divani Collection Hotels are part of prominent heritage sites and vital scenic areas. Today, the Divani Collection Hotels is being led by Spiros Divanis, who has not only been mentored by the late Aristotle Divanis but also guided with the same love and passion. “I have been engaged with tourism since childhood, studying traits next to my father and working in rotation in almost every position within hotels,” says Spiros. “This inside knowledge led to my deep understanding of customer expectations and needs and how the industry works.”

While studying for his MSc at Imperial College in the 80s, Spiros used much of his free time to scout the standards and trends of the hospitality industry in a cosmopolitan capital like London. 

Upon returning to Greece, he started implementing the innovative ideas he picked up, elevating the group of hotels to address luxury market needs.

In 1993 Spiros worked on an acquisition plan and negotiated the financing for a significant take-over the company accomplished by acquiring Hotel Caravel. That was a major threshold for Divani Collection Hotels since it doubled its size overnight. Another milestone in the company’s 65-year history came in 1998. “I had the idea of purchasing an iconic property in the prestigious Athenian Riviera, renovating, expanding, and relaunching it as Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso. Its evolution in the decades since proved that decision right; it presented an opportunity to venture into other business areas, such as fine dining with various outlets, wellness and fitness, through the Athens Divani Spa & Thalasso Centre,” explains Spiros. “True to this vision, the Divani Collection Hotels are now well into their 7th decade and thriving, following the outstanding example set by their founder, Aristotelis Divanis, passed on to the second generation (and onwards to the third).”

The Divani Group has led the tourism industry in Greece for 65 years, owning seven luxury hotels in Athens, Meteora, Larissa, and Corfu and competing with international brands in Greece and Europe. The group is driven by constant renewal and innovation; it is famous for its 5* service and welcoming and “family” atmosphere, while it boasts dozens of international and national awards and distinctions. As one of the first Greek and most historic hotel groups, the name “Divanis” is synonymous with premium hospitality in the country.

Building A Brand

Spiros and his team aim to honor the term “Greek philoxenia” with trademark amenities, such as warm, personalized service and homemade Greek food, offering authentic flavors and traditional cuisine with a twist. The group’s motto is “Traveling to Greece means staying at Divani for a divine experience.”

To make the group more versatile, they have pioneered a model of interpersonal communication with their clients, consistently combining a home-like ambience with these top-notch services. Their key competitive advantage, thanks to which the guests, both Greek and foreign, have built affinity and trust with Spiros and his team, is being a family-owned and run organization. “The main objective of competing multinational hotel brands is profit, while for us, pride comes first. Internationally, we represent our country in our name; domestically, we already are a love brand,” he adds.

According to Spiros, the market is changing at a formidable pace. The customer perspective is rapidly transforming, and so must how they approach them. These are the new era challenges every hotelier who strives to upgrade their product faces. Concerning the local market, Athens has emerged as one of the top European destinations for both leisure and business, which constitutes a huge opportunity. “Ours is a supreme product requiring perpetual investment, renovations, upgrades, and expansions. We have readjusted our targeting to individual customers, offering a 360ο experience, including vertical expansion with outlets for high-quality dining, wellness, and leisure activities,” elucidates Spiros. “On the other hand, E.S.G. is growing increasingly important as a key driver of customer preference; we have made all necessary adaptations and take pride in being the first hotel chain in Greece to have signed UNESCO’s Sustainable Travel Pledge.”

Loyalty Programs

The Divani Group participates with all its hotels in GHA DISCOVERY, the number one inter-brand luxury hotel alliance globally, with 22M members and more than 800 hotels globally of more than 40 premium hotel brands. It is the most extensive loyalty program in the world for independent hotel brands, offering unique privileges and experiences to its members in over 100 countries. This year, the GHA DISCOVERY program was recognized at the Freddie Awards as the Best Up-and-Coming Hotel Loyalty Program Europe / Africa, as well as in Middle East / Asia.

“The key objective is to be able to offer all our services online and communicate with our clients in real time. To improve our Customer Experience and create more touch points for interaction with our customers,” states Spiros. “We are also working on full digitization of the customer experience, from booking to pre-arrival, check-in, in-stay, check-out, and post-stay. According to customer personas, the next step is to customize the customer journey in each step. We are already investigating solutions for 100% Connected Hotels. This way will offer more opportunities to upsell and cross-sell when the momentum is right, while also increasing awareness of our product in a captive audience that amounts to 3 million persons every year.”

Towards A Bright Future

Spiros and his group of luxury hotels will keep improving their services and adapting to customers’ rising and changing needs to achieve excellent Customer Satisfaction and enhance the people’s prospects through their work. “We will continue to showcase “Divanis” as a love brand for Greeks and a synonym of premium Greek hospitality abroad and raise awareness of our 360ο product proposition. Finally, increasing our profitability goes hand in hand with excelling our reputation in the industry,” says Spiros. “Our goal is to maintain the quality of our product and add new outlets in our portfolio that will maximize the customer experience and become more agile in internal procedures by building top-class and like-minded teams per hotel to always deliver impeccable results, adhering to our philosophy and corporate values.”

It is pertinent to mention the Divani Collection Hotels distinguished itself at the Greek Hospitality Awards 2022 by receiving a Gold award in the Best Greek Heritage City Hotel category for Divani Palace Acropolis and a Gold award in the Best Greek Hotel Brand category for the Divanis Group. The Greek Hospitality Awards is the most renowned awarding institution of Greek hospitality, held for the 8th consecutive year under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism and the GNTO. The award ceremony occurred on Friday, 21 October, at Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso.

" True to their vision, the Divani Collection Hotels are now well into their 7th decade and thriving, following the outstanding example set by their founder, Aristotelis Divanis, passed on to the second generation (and onwards to the third). "

Spiros Divanis

CEO

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