News this week from one of Crete’s most successful beachside developments tells of the expansion of SeaScape Luxury Residences at Agia Pelagia. The new development by Heraklion businessman Dimitris Markakis was warmly received by travelers headed to one of the island’s most sought-after destinations, so the announcement of this new expansion comes as no real surprise. Agia Pelagia is a former fishing village transformed into a beach lover’s Mecca over the past few years because of its special geography. SeaScape’s second phase aims to complete a harmonious enclave in a very special tourist community.
Phase One of the SeaScape project opened in the Spring of 2018 as a luxurious and sparkling open-plan apartment community just 50 meters from the bay at Agia Pelagia. Phase Two of the project has been designed by the same brilliant Crete architect, Lefteris Tsikandilakis, who brought the original vision of Makrakis to life. Our Laura Kohlenberger reported on the opening in early June of 2018. The original accommodations included 15 spacious upscale apartments arrayed around two amazing infinity pools and a luxuriant pool bar. Tsikandilakis’ renovation designs for the surrounding older apartments (below) transforms the luxury retreat into a “one of” village hub for discerning travelers.
These SeaScape Luxury Residences are located in an idyllic spot just meters from everything Agia Pelagia has to offer. Guests can choose to stay in private luxuriant surroundings at SeaScape, or they can venture out into one of the most picturesque, convenient, and vibrant seaside towns in Greece. SeaScape Luxury Residences are next to the Agia Pelagia village center, in an ideal location to explore the boutique shops and the local tavernas. As a personal recommendation, I can tell you that the beach at Agia Pelagia is one of the top three spots for snorkeling or swimming we’ve found. This is particularly true if the traveler wants access to the best tavernas and seaside bars, while enjoying a kind of private paradise. Like I suggested, the special geography of this village affords a lot more value than just sunbathing and dinner buffets. Agia Pelagia is Crete seaside living at its best.
Last year I interviewed Lefteris Tsikandilakis to find out more about the overall vision of this amazing self-catering boutique resort. When I asked the architect about the difficulty of making individualized accommodations into an integrated eco-design, he expressed SeaScape’s guiding purpose this way:
“It is obvious that every residence is unique, but that wasn’t necessarily the principal design purpose. In this particular project, we had to deal with 2 challenging plots with sharp slopes, their integration in an already developed building, and the need for these plots to be configured in the best possible way. The sea view, the orientation and the scope for the internality of the plot, were principal elements that defined the spatial design.”
Tsikandilakis went on to talk about how the guest was always the first consideration. I had knowledge aforehand from talking with owner Dimitris Markakis, that the concept of incorporating the neighboring apartments was always a consideration. Now that we see Tsikandilakis’ design concepts, it’s clear that the successes of SeaScape are not by chance. The head of marketing and sales at SeaScape has also shared with us the boutique resort exceeding initial expectations for bookings. And in my view, small resorts like this are a big part of the sustainable future of Crete. I’ve made no secret of this in my analysis of all-inclusive resorts and the general trend toward catering to huge tour companies like TUI. As for further discussions with Mr. Markakis,
“”Seascape Luxury Residences” redefines the meaning of “Cretan hospitality” with the addition of 15 new residences with differentiated comfort and innovative design. Every guest here will experience luxury and truly relaxing vacations in the heart of the cosmopolitan village of “Agia Pelagia”. The additional residences feature a unique architectural design that combines simplicity with stylish luxury. The modern decoration aesthetics accentuate out thems of ultimate tranquility and relaxation that every guest needs and expects during summer vacations.”
SeaScape occupies a specific place in the recommended accommodation mix and balance developmentally. SeaScape, and ideas like it, accentuate rather than detract from the local charm of Crete. With fantastic taverns and other local businesses dependent on quality touristic flows, apartments and self-catering vacationing should represent the preponderance of Crete stays. They still do, but the trend points to an imbalance soon. Refined luxury that presents as eclecticism, that is imbued with forward-thinking ergonomics, this is sustainable where many other ideas simply are not. My assertion here is supported by volumes of research done regarding how guests adapt to more sustainable hospitality. Looking at Instagram shares like the one above from a SeaScape guest, reflects my wide of the argument for a revisitation of what “vacation” once meant. The success of this new luxury apartment accomodation is a testiment too.
The study, “Tourists’ Adoption of Self-Service Technologies at Resort Hotels” showed through their technology acceptance model (TAM) studies how tourists are more than willing to adopt self-service concepts and technologies in certain areas. Again, the question of balance is paramount to understanding the model set in place by the developers at SeaScape. A full-service bar and other amenities are high on the list of what guests want, just as participating in traditional features of Crete’s touristic product are also highly desirable. Self-catering as a trend on Crete is also reflected in the success of Airbnb, in this 2017 report from hotel solutions (hs), and in this story at The Independent on responsible travel.
The new SeaScape will feature 15 new apartments configured into single, double, and family abodes further arrayed around the central pool, activity, and sunning area. For future visitors to Heraklion Prefecture on Crete, SeaScape is offering a 25% pre-season booking discount for all their apartments.