Penny Zaglaridou: The premium experience of Astir Marina

Penny Zaglaridou: The premium experience of Astir Marina

Just before the revamped Astir Marina opens its gates to its exclusive guests, Penny Zaglaridou, CEO of Astir Palace, talks to Skipper OnDeck about the potential of this large project, which contributes to the creation of a cutting-edge tourism zone of high standards, placing the Athenian Riviera at the centre of global attention.

The new era of the Athens Riviera is taking shape. When do you think you will be welcoming the first yachts at the new Astir Marina?
The thoughts alone of nearing completion for this project, and the welcoming of our first yachts are bringing forward feelings of immense pride! After almost seventy years, Astir Marina is being upgraded and becoming the most modern, luxurious marina in Greece, ranking it amongst the top three home port marinas in the Mediterranean. A new era is being shaped, for Vouliagmeni and the country. Astir has always been a point of reference for Greek tourism and it is gaining further status, with a marina of such exceptional standards. We are expecting to welcome the first yachts during spring, and we are beyond excited to showcase our unique offerings.

Astir Marina Zaglaridouinterview 1

What is the central element/philosophy in the design of this major project?
Astir Marina has been designed with the element of “uniqueness” at the very core. Uniqueness underlines the overall experience, the service provided, its infrastructure, the design, and – mainly – its environmental footprint. Astir Marina has been designed and constructed to have the most positive impact on the human and natural elements of the ecosystem in which it operates. It is an innovative project of high aesthetics, with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art infrastructure that is also environmentally friendly. The marina incorporates elements of both classical architecture and modern design, harmoniously intertwined with the unparalleled natural beauty of the surrounding environment, which it actively aims to protect and preserve.

Astir Marina Zaglaridouinterview 2

You have called the new marina a high-standard innovative tourism zone. Could you tell us more about that?
The rigour, consistency, and transparency in the design and implementation of Astir Marina allow us to proudly present a project synonymous with sustainable tourism. And we would like to stress the element of sustainability, as the great challenge goes beyond design and functionality, extending to the “green aspect” of the project – how environmentally friendly it is, the ways in which it respects the surroundings, forming a legacy for future generations. For all of us at Astir Marina, sustainability is not just a trend or a “buzzword”. It is a necessity that, as far as we are concerned, was the decisive prerequisite even from the very first design stage. Key to the design of this project was its flawless, unparalleled hospitality, which must be delivered in the utmost sustainable manner.

  Astir Marina Zaglaridouinterview 6

How will the new Astir Marina strengthen the local community?
The Astir Peninsula and Vouliagmeni could never have reached international status, if not for the integral role of the local community; and this is a legacy we ought to preserve and enhance. We recognize our Corporate Social Responsibility by transforming the coastal promenade into an idyllic public esplanade lined with trees, lush vegetation and further green spaces for the entire community to enjoy. The Marina infrastructure is state-of-the-art, safeguarding the environment through its exemplary waste management and its underground parking which will do much to decongest the traffic in the area. Moreover, the tourist profile attracted are mindful and conscientious in nature, appreciating and respecting the local community, engaging with it in a mutually beneficial manner. Astir Marina may be exclusive, but it won’t be an “elite” destination for the few.

Astir Marina Zaglaridouinterview 5

Given that berths at the new marina will be reduced from 102 to 59, do you think this will cause concern among luxury yacht owners who are looking for excellent services?
It was a strategic decision to create 59 berths to ensure that the Marina can provide a premium experience for our guests. Our top priority is quality and our commitment to excellence is evident even in the smallest detail. Upon entering Astir Marina, a vessel will be embraced by an exclusive, high-end ecosystem of premium attentiveness. Our synergy with Ports de Monaco (S.E.P.M) is official and that alone is an indicative seal of excellence. Once the yacht owners have secured a berth, they will be guaranteed an unsurpassed service and an overall unique experience!

Astir Marina Zaglaridouinterview 4

 

Which major brands should we expect to see in the commercial section of the marina?
We are in the final stage of signing with A-level international brands, and we are excited about the progress of the discussions and meetings. We will soon be able to officially announce our partners.

Astir Marina Zaglaridouinterview 7

 

What are the messages you are receiving regarding tourism this year?
As the summer season will soon be upon us, early booking estimates received to date, are very promising. However, we should continue to be proactive and further strengthen Greece’s brand name as a destination. A quality tourism product that will always be a competitive choice and attraction for high-end travellers, who remain loyal to certain destinations and return, regardless of the circumstances. Greece enjoys unrivalled natural beauty and has established itself as a unique tourism brand, currently following a very bold and fresh strategy to make it an all-year-round destination. The next stage to further elevate Greek Tourism is investing in highly qualified personnel, specializing in premium, tailor-made customer service. If we secure excellence in customer experience, we can achieve long-term sustainability of our tourism product. I, for one, have absolute confidence in Greece’s potential in this regard.

Astir Marina Zaglaridouinterview 8

As published at Skipper OnDeck issue 69
INTERVIEW ELENA MATHIOPOULOU | PHOTOS CHRISTOS PETROPOULOS | RENDERINGS ASTIR MARINA

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