AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH YANNIS BELLONIAS
Hotelier, owner of Vora Santorini.
The Greek hotelier takes us for a tour of his artfully designed Santorini home, his life and aspirations about travel.
1) Do you spend the entire year in Santorini? We know that you are a
native islander but we are wondering if you spend wintertime in the
No, unfortunately i do not spend all year in Santorini. Although, I would love to and I try to go there as much as I can… In Santorini during winter you can enjoy the beauty, the calmness as well as the vibe and energy of the island… Moreover, the island during winter reminds me more the island that i know…, as the last years during summer it is totally different
2)We personally love contradictions. At Vora you managed to balance
island’s tradition and contemporary design. What is the importance of
Renovation and refurbishment of historic buildings especially in urban
Thank you! Yes, at Vora we tried to do exactly that and I am happy that it’s obvious. I believe that every destination has its own cultural heritage. Each guest chooses a destination among other things, for this cultural heritage, so they have to see that… Not only in the area but also in the hotel.
In addition, it’s our obligation to respect the roots of each location. Show to the thinking traveler all this cultural heritage of the destination through the architecture, the gastronomy, the knowledge of the staff about the history of the place…
Of course all these have to be combined with the needs of the traveler as it is nowadays…
3) How did the brand name Vora occured?
For me the name should be a symbol, and should characterize the project. It must have a related meaning. Since all greek related words were already taken, I had to research for a name that would symbolize the product and at the same time be an easy word to be pronounced for all over the world (since Santorini has guests from all the spots of our planet).
Vora in Catalan means “The edge” (where exactly our location is) and moreover in Spanish songs is used to describe the end of the sea…
Where we are at Vora, we are literally on the edge of the caldera and from our spots your eye can see the end of the sea…
4)Where do people, in your opinion, find sources of inspiration? Where
do you find yours?
For me always the inspiration was the island! Moreover, my trips. I get inspiration from the most unexpected area at the end of the world and I try to reinvent it or to transform in our “forms”, our architecture and landscape… I love travelling,and always my trips give me ideas or things that i would love to do… always adjusted of course
5)How would you describe your own perfect luxury experience?
The details! The details always make the difference. In combination to simplicity.
The details of the room, the details of the hotel overall (facilities, amenities, gastronomy, presentation…)
But they have to be presented in the right way. Also, the staff! The people who work have the final word in order to transform all of the above in a luxury experience.
6)If you only had 24 hours to get a taste of a hotel experience, what
would you recommend guests must do? (in and outside of the hotel
I think that each guest has his own personal standards on a hotel experience… Obviously they booked a particular hotel for their particular personal “needs and wants”
So, they have to see if the hotel they booked matches those criteria and accordingly rate it.
For me personally, besides the self-evident which is the hotel details and facilities, design, gastronomy and service, the most important is the overall feeling of relaxation. To feel good while you are there…
7)Do you have a vision for the future of travel?
I think that the majority of future travelers will be more sophisticated and more selective (now they are still a minority although the number is increasing year by year). They will know their needs, and they will select the appropriate hotel, or destination. I think that the massive tourism will be more and more decreased the following years and the individual travel and planning will be increased. People will seek for more quality in their holidays.