What is that makes Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas a true Greek masterpiece?
Set along its own sun-soaked private beach and nestled in lush gardens, Daios Cove already sits in a location fit for the gods. However, it takes more than luck to make one of the world’s favourite five-star resorts. We spoke to the hotel’s owner, Dimitris Daios, to find out what went into creating this exceptional Cretan hideaway.
You hold a Master’s Degree in Engineering and are a Vice Chairman at Daios Plastics. What made you want to become involved in the hospitality industry?
I have always been attracted to travelling and exploring new destinations and experiences. That subconsciously involves experiencing new cultures and the way people treat foreigners that visit their countries. There is something magical about this process that has always captivated my imagination and intrigued me to the point that I dreamt of being involved -in an undefined fashion at that time – in the hospitality industry. Engineering on the other hand, has always been my passion. Developing and operating hotels combines the best of both worlds and I was privileged enough to get involved from the very early days of our venture in the hospitality industry. It has been fascinating, intriguing and fulfilling ever since.
What attracted you to this particular plot of land?
Real estate involves rational and sentimental decision making. We, as a family, have been searching and researching Greece for the ideal plot to build the Daios Resort as it was imagined and dreamt. Several criteria, like accessibility, proximity to the airport, airlift, the destination itself and its reputation were all in play. However, the very first moment we set foot at the Cove we fell for it. It is the sheer beauty of the Cove that is so compelling; its magnificence when you are standing on the beach and look at the rocks, the turquoise waters and its flora. We all knew that we could develop a special resort that would provide the setting for our guests to form memorable moments with their loved ones.
“It is the sheer beauty of the Cove that is so compelling.”
– Dimitris Daios
What makes Daios Cove so special, how does it differ from other properties?
There are many elements that make places special. The surroundings, the architecture, scents and magical moments like sunrises or sunsets; all of these elements can be found in abundance at the Cove. The setting is breathtaking from the moment one arrives. Stunning architecture that blends into the landscape is the first thing one notices. The beauty and the aesthetics of the Cove are overwhelming and soothing. Crystal clear waters and the serenity of the place is what makes you lose yourself at the Cove.
Above all however, it is the people who cater for our guests that make the difference. They are genuinely positive and cannot do enough to make our guests feel comfortable and happy at the Cove. For us ‘holidays’ translates to “Holy days” and that is exactly how we treat the days people choose to spend with us.
What is the best way for guests to arrive in style to your hotel, and what is the most luxurious room?
We took extra care to select the fleet of private cars and drivers that meet our expectations and respectively the high expectations guests have from the Cove. A fleet of Mercedes S Class cars and luxury vans are at the disposal of our guests and can be booked prior to arrival with our dedicated reservations team.
Coming to the most luxurious room, the Mansion stands out. It has been added in our portfolio only two years ago and boasts 600 square metres of indoor space, ample outdoor space and a heated outdoor pool that offers ultimate privacy, a private spa with an indoor heated pool and a Technogym lined gym all on three floors. The interiors have been designed with utmost care and the trained eye can easily spot designer furniture from Flexform, Maxalto, B&B Italia among others. It is a crown jewel that we are all very proud of.
“Coming to the most luxurious room, the Mansion stands out…It is a crown jewel that we are all very proud of.”
– Dimitris Daios
What is your favourite thing to do at Daios Cove?
I would actually need to go through a long list of favourable things to do at the Cove! Starting from early in the morning, breakfast by your own pool would be high on the list. Trying some of the smoothies would be next, followed by joining our Beach House where one can relax listening to the sound of lapping water from the sea. Enjoying treatments at our signature GoCo Spa or massages at our outdoor cabanas would also be highly recommended. Afternoons are always great to join our skipper for a ride to Spinalonga and explore the surroundings from the luxury of our purpose built Technohull speedboat.
Evenings are meant to enjoy some great delicacies from the hands of our talented chefs. A stop at our awarded Ocean restaurant, or at our Taverna, is not to be missed. Elegant live music and drinks can be always enjoyed at the Beach House, where we launch this year our collaboration with the Clumsies, the Athenian based 6th best bar in the world. Our Cocktail menu this season will be talked about!
Any obstacles that you had to overcome to grow the hotel? Did you learn any lessons along the way?
Hotels and resorts are complex real estate animals. They involve firstly overcoming the obstacles and hurdles of actually developing the asset and bringing it to the world and further developing a world class service and operations that allow guests to enjoy their “Holy Days” free of any distraction.
Obstacles and hurdles can be always overcome if one chooses the right team to ride the storm together. There are always complications and surprises along the way. However, having a team that understands and foresees such hurdles makes the journey more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Do you have a favourite dish at the three restaurants?
Being much of a foodie and an avid explore of good taste, flavours and texture, I wouldn’t do justice by selecting one dish. After all, we go the extra mile when we develop our menus each year to make sure we use the freshest ingredients, the latest cooking techniques and plenty of imagination to bring the best Crete has to offer to the limelight.
Having said that, the awarded Ocean restaurant serves some of the finest, most elegant, subtle combinations of Mediterranean haute cuisine. Our Taverna offers brilliant mouth-watering Cretan dishes while the Beach House will be offering excellent dishes to share this year.
What are some amazing things that your Concierge can arrange?
There is a multitude of things one can enjoy on Crete! It is an island that was home to one of the first civilisations. It offers great historical places to visit such as Knossos and Phaistos.
Our concierge would be happy to arrange guided tours that are fascinating for both adults and kids. For the more adventurous, our exclusive collaboration with Landrover provides a great opportunity to explore the mountainous areas in the luxury of the latest Landrover models. Guided tours offer the opportunity to see and experience the wild side of the island.
A guided boat trip on our brand-new RIB boat would thrill those who love exploring the surroundings in the luxury and safety that Techohull offers. Avid golf players will not be disappointed by the newly redesigned 18-hole, Cretan Golf club that is only 20 minutes away from Daios Cove.
Mountain biking, hiking, surfing and kite surfing, diving and snorkelling can all be arranged at ease by our Concierge team. The Cove is an excellent base to explore the island and live those memorable moments that we are all seeking.
“For us ‘holidays’ translates to ‘Holy Days’ and that is exactly how we treat the days people choose to spend with us.”
– Dimitris Daios
What type of guests does the hotel attract?
Daios Cove attracts an international audience. People who visit us are well travelled, enjoy exploring destinations, cultures and food. They are people who look for new experiences while enjoying the comfort Daios Cove’s team provides at every step. We are proud of having built a very solid guest basis and we are indeed very happy to see them coming year after year with friends and families to the Cove.
Will any other Greek destinations be added to your portfolio?
We are indeed keeping our eyes and ears open for opportunities ahead. We are however looking for the place that will make our hearts beat as it did when we had firstly set foot at the Cove.
Where do you like to travel to most in the world? Do you have any other favourite hotels?
I have always loved travelling. Cities have always captivated me as well as remote resorts in hidden destinations. I am fascinated by hotels and resorts that push the boundaries when it comes to the food and beverage experience as well as those that are three steps ahead of the guests thinking of the slightest detail to make the stay of the guest most enjoyable and memorable. To name a few I would say the Bowery hotel and Nomad in New York are among my favourite city hotels while the Aman resorts and several family owned resorts are among my favourite.
What does the future hold for Daios Cove?
The Cove is a canvas. It is evolving with our guests and our guests are evolving with us. We go the extra mile when it comes to food and beverage and this is manifested by the awards we have gathered for our restaurants. Our new exclusive collaboration with the Clumsies has developed a Cretan inspired menu and brought cutting edge techniques to beverage making at the Cove. I am also particularly proud of the Wellness beverages we are launching this year.
Furthermore, our fresh collaboration with one of the most renown wellness operators in the world bring the GoCo Spa to the Cove. We are developing our wellness programmes that would allow people to detox, work out, take care of their bodies and minds under the guidance of world class experts. A resident Indian yoga master will provide a regular programme of yoga and meditation classes, and massage therapists will deliver classic and modern treatments.
Developing a residential part covering the secondary home market is also within our future planning. It is indeed exciting times for the Cove.