The emblematic ON Residence, a partnership between TOR Hotel Group and Grivalia Hospitality, is one of Greece’s most anticipated hotel arrivals, breathing new life into the centre of Thessaloniki. We found out more about this historical renovation…
The lights at the historic Olympos Naoussa are about to turn back on. Thessaloniki will welcome, not only a legendary restaurant that brings back the glamour of a bygone era, but also a unique hotel that aims to redefine luxury hospitality in Greece’s co-capital. A true seafront jewel in the heart of the city, with unobstructed views of Thermaikos bay, ON Residence marks a new chapter for the TOR Hotel Group, one of Greece’s most established hospitality firms, operating since 1925. In addition, its opening is a vote of confidence in the tourist market of northern Greece by leading investment fund, Grivalia Hospitality.
The iconic restaurant, Olympos Naoussa, was the heart of Thessaloniki’s jet-setting society for decades, acting as a favourite hangout for celebrities and politicians such as former prime ministers George Papandreou and Constantine Karamanlis, Giscard d’Estaing and many more, until its closure in the mid-90s.
“Now, Olympos Naoussa returns to the city of Thessaloniki. Our vision to revive the historic restaurant, and together with the Tornivoukas family, to create a hotel destination of unparalleled beauty and a high level of service is close to completion,” said George Chryssikos, CEO of Grivalia. “We are certain that all visitors will love and embrace it, as we did from the first moment.”
The main restaurant, Olympos Naoussa, will be on the ground floor, along with a beautiful inner courtyard, the cocktail bar, Tiger Loop, a modern gym, and a specially designed mezzanine ideal for business meetings and events.
ON Residence will have 60 beautifully designed guestrooms and suites. Characterised by high quality materials and bold designs, the guestrooms are designed to create an expression of timeless chic. With the brief of classic design meets calm luxury, the rooms are decorated in natural colour tones with touches of light pink and green.
For Konstantinos Tornivoukas, CEO of TOR Hotel Group, ON Residence is a key project for the company and for Thessaloniki itself. “After the violent shutdown of the Mediterranée Hotel by the catastrophic earthquake in 1978, my dream has always been to be able to return to the city’s seafront with a project that would have the dynamics of the legendary hotel founded by my grandfather in 1925,” he told Hotel Designs. “When the property that housed Olympos Naoussa, which was connected to the Mediterranée due to their close proximity and similar history, went up for auction I considered this more than a business opportunity. It was also an act of gratitude from our family towards our beloved city to restore this historic restaurant, and at the same time create a hotel of high standards that would turn the page for luxury hospitality in Thessaloniki.”
With a luxurious design that connects the past with the present, the property that houses ON Residence was based on designs by renowned Greek-Jewish architect Jacques Mosse and was built in 1926. It is a typical example of Thessaloniki’s eclecticism during the interwar period, with elements reminiscent of the Belle Époque and neoclassicism. The important and delicate past of the building essentially provided the guidelines for its restoration process, completed by the architects Diversity Group and Dimitris Thomopoulos who collaborated on the project. The preservation of the façade and the decorative elements of the building were completed according to the instructions of the Ministry of Culture. The architects took extra care to not only bring to the surface all the features that made the building unique, but also to carefully combine them with contemporary elements, always guided by the aim to achieve a harmonious coexistence. The award-winning architects Nikiforidis and Cuomo took on the design of the surrounding communal areas, while the office of Nikos Fletoridis was responsible for the architectural study. The interior design was done by French decorator Fabienne Spahn, who wanted to give a renewed classic art deco style to the project, enriching it with a discreet luxury that matched the character of the building.
“On my first visit to the place, I felt that I was at the house of ‘Sleeping Beauty’,” said Spahn. “Bringing the place back to life using modern design elements but fully respecting the building’s architectural heritage was a big challenge. It reminds me of wonderful brasseries in Paris with their neoclassical charm.”
The important gastronomic heritage of Olympos Naoussa, and its influence on Thessaloniki’s food culture were the guiding principles for the hotel’s namesake main restaurant. The elegant interiors blend beautifully decorative elements from the past and from European bistros, juxtaposing them with a modern, urban aesthetic. In addition to the refined ambience inside the restaurant, the visitor is invited to discover a hidden evergreen courtyard, a rare oasis of relaxation in the bustling city centre of Thessaloniki. The restaurant is led by executive chef Dimitris Tassioulas, the main representative of a new and highly dynamic generation of chefs from Northern Greece, with important and award-winning projects, such as Sebrico and Thria, which Sunday Times Travel magazine awarded the title Gourmand’s Destination in 2019.
The F&B offering is completed by Tiger Loop, a cosy cocktail bar with art deco elements. Here, black, gold and deep red dominate; the space is full of movement and energy. The catalogue is curated by the award-winning bartender and entrepreneur, Achilleas Plakidas. Known for creating popular venues such as Gorilla and Mahalo, here he is called to give a cosmopolitan twist to the drink menu.
Both of these collaborations show the culture that ON Residence carefully builds, aiming to function as a connecting link between people and experiences. At the same time, it underlines the commitment of the hotel to develop these synergies that will continue to promote the culinary identity and the unique cultural character of Thessaloniki.
Main image credit: ON Residence