Thanos Michaelides, Managing Director, Thanos Hotels & Resorts
The name Thanos Hotels is renowned worldwide as a byword for excellence in hospitality. Can Faik talks to Thanos Michaelides about his current projects and plans for the future.
Thanos Hotels & Resorts is a privately owned, independently minded collection of lifestyle hotels that conveys the energy and essence, serenity and style of the Mediterranean. The Michaelides family has soulfully crafted every award-winning inch of the company since the late Alecos Michaelides opened his first hotel in Famagusta in the early 1970s.
What was your background in hospitality prior to launching Thanos Hotels?
My family has been in the hospitality industry since the early 1970’s. Growing up in the business gave me the opportunity to learn the many angles that make up the exciting world that is the hospitality business.
What does your current position involve?
I am the managing director of our hotel group and I oversee the business, strategy and development of the business. I am very keen to be aware of what is happening in the hotels themselves as it is the core of what we do. I am very fortunate to be part of a talented team that make the hotels a place where people return to and create memorable experiences.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy seeing the people in the hotels smile, both team members and guests. This, for me, is the ultimate benchmark of a job well done.
What are the complexities of meeting the demands of shareholders, fulfilling the growth of your management team and delivering the brand’s values to the guests?
The shareholders are very much aligned with the company’s vision and strategy. It is always a balancing act between growth, investment needs in the existing properties and shareholder satisfaction. All shareholders embrace a focused approach of growth where value added can be generated and where there is a fit between the opportunity and the Thanos Hotels ethos.
What will Thanos Hotels have to do to stay one step ahead of its competition, especially in the boutique hospitality sector?
There are many new trends at the moment and life is becoming more complex. We need to stay focused on our core values and not chase after every new trend. We need to identify long lasting shifts in guest behaviour and apply ourselves to best serve the needs and dreams of those choosing to stay at our hotels.
What are Thanos Hotels Unique Selling Points?
We embrace the Mediterranean way of living, this defines what we do and critically how we conduct our business. We feel that we are an organisation that evolves around people and it is important to us create hotels that guests, team members and the local community embrace.
What is next for the Thanos Hotels as in new openings?
We have acquired a 272-key hotel in Paphos in June 2017. We are currently developing plans for development and repositioning of this hotel. We are planning to offer a new type of experience and create another unique and authentic hotel.
Are Thanos Hotels looking at any countries in particular for new openings?
We are looking primarily at the Mediterranean space, where we can best develop and differentiate hotel and guest experience.
Where would you love to open a Thanos Hotels?
I would love to open a resort on a deserted island in the Mediterranean.
What kind of equity will be available to finance all of these new builds and acquisitions?
For future projects we are always going to participate with equity from the current shareholders and at the same time welcome equity participation from other investors.
What are the personality traits that define a successful and happy hotel proprietor, in your opinion?
Light-heartedness, generosity and creativity.
Have you noticed any particular trends in hotel design?
I see a lot of convergence in what is considered a contemporary aesthetic, and this makes for a similar and familiar hotel look.
How important do you feel hotel design has become when launching a new hotel?
Design is very important in launching a hotel because it is the most important differentiating factor before one has visited the hotel. It is the visual communication tool that will define the expectation of the prospective guest.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I enjoy the fact that hotel business is an environment in constant flux. It allows for exciting opportunities as well as the possibility of making someone happy.
Where currently ranks highest on your travel wish list?
Japan ranks highest in my list. It’s a country with incredible beauty and a very distinct culture.
Let’s finish with the issue of personal and work life balance. How do you aim to achieve a good balance and what do those closest to you think of your attempts?
There is never enough time for either work or personal life and family. It is a triangle with ever changing sides. Overall it is important to try to keep a balance, however this is extremely difficult as the needs and wishes of every part of the triangle appear to grow exponentially.