“After almost one century, repurposing the building was also very significant for the people, especially the older ones, that used to remember the place from their childhood as a working factory, in its full glory. It was like reviving history in a different way with a different use.”
We’re in great company with Nikos Karaflos, Imagineer of Dexamenes, a well deserved title for someone who took his previous studies, professional background and worldly travels, and created a new-generation, award-winning, conscious-luxury resort that focuses on hospitality as an experience through art, wine, nature and local culture.
Inspired by his homeland in the western Peloponnese region of Greece, Nikos took a 1920’s abandoned wine factory along one of the most unspoiled stretches of coastline, and transformed it into a platform of hospitality, cultural activity and conscious wellbeing.
In this episode, Nikos shares the significance of this project to his family’s past, his personal passions, and the hopes and dreams he has for his children and the generations to come that will sustain this sense of place.
[1:30] Nikos explains how a multifaceted career - having studied engineering, worked in architecture and now transforming hospitality, has led him to the title of “Imagineer.”
[5:10] It takes one thing to design a hotel, it’s another to run it - as Nikos learned how to create a space and experience for guests’ physical needs, intellectual needs, needs to learn more about the region, the culture, the history.
[7:30] How an abandoned wine factory came into the hands of the Karaflos family and what a childhood of studying the property’s history in school and playing on its sandy beaches, inspired a sense of mystery and intrigue for Nikos to one day preserve.
[10:30] From the black currants or “raisins” trade era, to the need to convert the excess supply of grapes into wine, this century old wine factory stands as a landmark of this region’s agricultural past and present.
[18:30] Ever wonder what it is like to stay in a wine tank with the light from the sand and sea pouring through the steel cutout door and the rich color of the grapes still staining the walls?
[23:20] Nikos found a trusted team in K-Studio, a local yet world renowned architecture firm, whose restoration of the buildings themselves made sure to reduce and reuse materials in their intentional interior design and landscaping, bringing in nothing artificial to the sense of place.
[31:15] What happens when you go beyond local cuisine and wine pairings, into the world of gastronomy curated with contemporary art and performance art? An immersive experience that you can only be a part of at Dexamenes.
[36:10] With Ancient Olympia just down the road, local winery tours of Mercouri Estate and Brintziki Estate, shopping at the open air farmer’s market, and Greek mythology focused hikes through Folio Oak Forest, there is much to explore around western Peloponnese.