Sun-drenched Santorini is known as the supermodel of the cylades. It´s multi-coloured cliffs soar over the turquoise caldera beneath and the island is world-famous for it´s magical sunsets, a celebrated daily rite of passage to those lucky enough to be there. What better place to host such an illustrious Historic Hotel Awards Ceremony?
This years ceremony was hosted by Yades Greek Historic Hotels and their two member hotels in Santorini, the Aigialos hotel in Fira and the Esperas hotel in Oia.
A full programme of events
The programme of events for all thirty finalists in the 2017 awards included two full-days of activities to immerse themselves in the rich history and the gastronomic and oenological heritage of the island.
The Chairman of the Historic Hotels of Europe, Ms. Barbara Avdis, opened the events with cocktails at the idyllic terrace of the Aigialos hotel, where the participants from all over Europe gathered together surrounded by the magnificent colors of the famous sunset. This was followed by an exquisite dinner prepared by Chef Konstantina Faklari and was paired with Santo Wines.
The following morning started with an inspirational seminar at the premises of Santo Wines designed exclusively by VSN Hub: “An Open Dialogue with the Ancient Greek Philosophy in the Business mindset. Aristotle as a business model Leader” was followed by Santo Wines wine testing.
Later in the day, distinguished Prof. Dumas, director of the excavations of Akrotiri Archaeological site since 1975, greeted the participants in person for an exceptional guided tour of the archaeological grounds and a discussion about the cultures that flourished in the Aegean islands in the past.
The Gala Dinner
It was in the evening that the long awaited Historic Hotels of Europe Awards for 2017 were announced during the Awards Ceremony Gala Dinner held at the prominent Selene Restaurant. Cocktails were served with Amalia Brut by Tselepos wines while participants gazed at the car exhibition prepared by BMW.
An exclusive degustation menu by Selene was served at the Gala dinner paired with outstanding Boutari wines, one of the finest winemakers in Greece.
The menu celebrated Santorini in the autumn, starting with a Bonito “Fasoalada” – a twist on the traditional Greek soup made with a white bean cream, carrot and celery. To follow, guests enjoyed a Greek salad tortelli with tomato, green pepper jelly, caper, feta cheese foam, dried olive with breadcrumbs and onion chips. The third course was Etouffe Pigeon cooked with local Vin Santo, sweet red pepper ketchup, beet, cibrio with apaki, baked carrot and leek. Finally, dessert was Santorini chocolate with a chocolate cream, biscuit, zabaione Vin Santo, caramelized pistachios and a sour cherry syrup.
Dinner ended with the exquisite and awarded Vin Santo wine of Santorini – a naturally sweet VQPRD of the island produced from the island’s white varieties Assyrtiko, Aidani and Athiri. The wine owes its colour to the grapes’ exposure to the sun for twelve to fifteen days and also to its ageing process in oak barrels.
Nominees and finalists from all over Europe received their Historic Hotels of Europe Awards and were warmly congratulated by their counterparts on what was a jubilant evening with a dazzling atmosphere.
All winners were emotional and touched, with many dedicating their award to their staff.
Barbara Avdis gave a thank you gift to Prof. Dumas, the owner of the Aigialos Hotel and also the owner of Selene Restaurant in honour of his thirty year contribution to the Greek gastronomy scene, all of whom received their gifts to a standing ovation and great applause.
Guided wine tour
The following day started with a guided tour at Boutari Winery of Santorini, visits to the island and lunch at the Aigialos hotel by Chef Konstantina Faklari paired by Chatzidakis wines.
The event came to an end over sunset at the Esperas Hotel in breathtaking Oia. Finalists and winners took part in a private wine-tasting session held by Sigalas Estate. Dinner on the dreamy terraces of the Esperas hotel and a toast with Ela Gold marked the closure of this year’s Historic Hotels of Europe Awards ceremony held in Santorini.
Historic Hotels of Europe wish to thank Yades Greek Historic Hotels, and particularly the Aigialos Hotel and the Esperas Hotel for hosting the events, Boutari Wines, Santo Wines, Sigalas Wines, Tselepos Wines, Chatzidakis wines and ElaGold as well as Trip2Taste, BMW Hellas, Taste3 Tea Obsession and VSN Hub for their full support.
A special thank to Prof. Dumas for honoring the Historic Hotels of Europe participants with his presence and guidance at Akrotiri Archaeological site.
All events were under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Tourism and the Greek National Tourism Organization.