Serifos occupies a part of Greek mythology. Its name is connected to two heroes of the mythology, Odysseus and Perseus, while it is also said that the Cyclopes lived in its caves. It is the island of metal mines since mythology times turned exile location during roman times. It is still part of those places which preserve a greek aura which talks of past and looks to the future. In a previous life, Coco-Mat Eco Residences Serifos was a complex of miners’ houses, built in 1910, which has been recently renovated, respectful of both the local traditional architecture and contemporary eco-friendly practices.
Coco-Mat Eco Residences hotel is located in the Vagia beach. The decision to create it had nothing to do with a financial investment, but mostly, as Mr. Maltezos explains us, a desire to escape from the hard reality of a big crowded city, such as Athens, and seeing in Serifos a window for this purpose.
There is still authenticity in Serifos. You can find 60 virgin beaches. The location is 2,5 hours from Athens, making it also quite easy to reach. The so-called Iron Lady of the Aegean is intriguing and inviting at the same time.
The idea of eco luxury is indeed what the customer is looking for today. It is such an aspect when creating an hotel experience since guests today know better than ever how each of their movement has an impact on the nature and surrounding. Preferring eco-friendly properties, places that respect the environment and harmonise with what is around them, is therefore not an added value, but a necessity in order to create, especially when you pick off and unspoiled locations.
Following this philosophy at its core, Coco-Mat Eco Residences Serifos is bioclimatic, meaning that the ground simulates buildings temperature. Many other eco-friendly policies, such as recycling, energy saving and the elimination of single use plastic bottles of water, shampoo and others also apply to the residence.
Communicating with the surrounding nature and getting an answer back is also what moves Mr. Maltezos: ‘We receive positive energy from the beach and the ground. The sound of the waves work as a lullaby during the night, which is inspirational for us and guests.’
From a construction point of view, the architectural structure talks of Greece from every angle: the residences are realised in the typical local Cycladic architecture style.The re-use of recycled or ‘antique-like’ material was respected in every decision. Coco-Mat Eco Residences was indeed a complex of miner’s houses, built in 1910. The renovation took place with respect to the miners and the initial style constructions. Rust, instead of being discarded or ‘covered’ works as a decoration item in the building, expressing the charm of simplicity part of the structure.
Residences offer ocean view apartments, split between two levels. They provide one or two bedrooms, a lounge and kitchen area, and are equipped with COCO-MAT sleep systems (a natural mattresses filling technique which includes natural material like goose down, natural rubber or pure virgin wool) for a ultimate relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
Moving to the culinary experience, the menus are totally based on the Mediterranean cuisine. Every day fresh fishes, meats and vegetables from local producers are selected. In the breakfast buffet, guests will find handmade bread, pies, typical Greek flavours, that the chefs prepare early in the morning.The motto “health more than wealth” lead the hotel’s direction to make a conscious effort to provide as healthier food as possible.
I often wonder what the evolution of resorts in off locations like Serifos will potentially look like in the next years, and maybe perhaps modify. Mr. Maltezos assures me, saying that today what matters lays only in authenticity. Interaction with nature becomes the asset when booking an holiday. It is also a lot about space: people are looking for a place to live during their stay and not an average room that provides only “sleep”.