Suite Wine? Abandoned Winery Ruins Reborn as Luxe Hotel

An enterprising hotelier bought a rusted-out century-old wine factory on Greece's Peloponnese coast. Here's how he turned it into a beachfront retreat where you can sleep in a wine-vat suite
Suite Wine? Abandoned Winery Ruins Reborn as Luxe Hotel
Enjoy your chai! The wine tanks–turned-guest rooms flank both sides of a massive central vat. (Courtesy of Dexamenes Seaside Hotel)
Jul 13, 2020

Sure, a getaway to a regular old-fashioned resort would be plenty fine right now. But while we're fantasizing, how about an intimate stay inside a wooden wine barrel? Or for those who'd find that over-oaked and under-comfortable, there's a new option for eno-adventurous vacationers: Immerse yourself for a night in a concrete wine-tank suite. One of 34, to be exact, at an abandoned wine factory that’s been converted into the industrial-chic Dexamenes Seaside Hotel near the town of Amaliada on Greece’s Peloponnese coast.

“Dexamenes has been a personal vision for many years,” Nikos Karaflos, the hotel’s founder, told Unfiltered via email. “Since 2003, when my family bought this site, its conversion into a platform for original and holistic experiences was a great personal challenge.” The site was, even more originally, a platform for wine, a facility built in the 1920s for the Autonomous Currants Organization, whose currant wine was shipped all over Europe. (In Greece and other countries, "currant" refers to the raisins of seedless Vitis vinifera grapes, not the red and black berries used to make jam and crème de cassis.) “The winery worked until the early 1980s,” Karaflos continued. “Immediately, I fell in love with the brutal beauty of the existing buildings, the vibes they were emitting, their history and their significance for the local economy and culture.”


Courtesy of Dexamenes Seaside Hotel / Photos by Claus Brechenmacher and Reiner Baumann

Dexamenes Seaside Hotel Dexamenes Seaside Hotel Dexamenes Seaside Hotel Dexamenes Seaside Hotel Dexamenes Seaside Hotel Dexamenes Seaside Hotel


To help plan out his hotel, Karaflos worked with Konstantinos and Dimitris Karampatakis of architecture firm K-Studio, and the three surmised that the factory’s empty wine tanks—each about 300 square feet—could house cozy suites. After years of planning and delays, the revitalization of the campus began in what had been the winery's enology labs and administrative offices. “When we opened the doors of this building, we found the chemistry labs left almost untouched,” said Karaflos. “[There were dusty] test tubes, glass bottles and technical manuals in French.” But Karaflos saw in that structure the outlines of a beachfront villa, and made it so. The factory’s former engine room was later converted into the hotel’s restaurant; in the spirit of the endeavor, Greek wine is the focus of the cellar.

The repurposing of the old industrial hulk is intended to preserve and showcase all facets of the location’s vinous history. Materials were reclaimed and reimagined from all over the property: The pipes funneling juice and waste around the winery became handrails, and its original clay bricks were fashioned into the restaurant’s terrace. “The design was a long, arduous but quite creative process,” said Karaflos.

The hotel conversion doesn’t mark an end to the site’s winemaking history, but a new beginning. “In our courtyard zone we have planted a vineyard, and this summer we will harvest its first grapes,” Karaflos said. “We will make our own wine, but not in big quantities.” Completing the connection between currant times and the present.


Enjoy Unfiltered? The best of Unfiltered's round-up of drinks in pop culture can now be delivered straight to your inbox every other week! Sign up now to receive the Unfiltered e-mail newsletter, featuring the latest scoop on how wine intersects with film, TV, music, sports, politics and more.

Unfiltered Art Artists Design Oddities

You Might Also Like

A Gentleman's Pour: Taylor Fladgate and New ‘Kingsman’ Film Launch 90-Year-Old Port

A Gentleman's Pour: Taylor Fladgate and New ‘Kingsman’ Film Launch 90-Year-Old Port

The Port producer is partnering with English filmmaker and Kingsman director Matthew …

Nov 19, 2020
Around the World in Sherry Days: Fortified Wine Makes a Voyage Around the World

Around the World in Sherry Days: Fortified Wine Makes a Voyage Around the World

Two barrels of top Sherry have spent three months sailing aboard the Spanish navy vessel …

Nov 16, 2020
Vanished Grapes and Burrowing Burglars: Wine Crime Unseen

Vanished Grapes and Burrowing Burglars: Wine Crime Unseen

A Canadian vineyard and an English wine shop are the latest victims

Nov 13, 2020
Talkin’ Dom: Carmelo Anthony Hosts Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J, Chris Paul and More on ‘What’s in Your Glass?’

Talkin’ Dom: Carmelo Anthony Hosts Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J, Chris Paul and More on ‘What’s in Your Glass?’

As the post-season NBA bubble deflates, Anthony talks social justice—and bubbly—with A-list …

Nov 12, 2020
Move Over, Cabernet: Napa Winery Tries Out New, Disease-Resistant Grapes

Move Over, Cabernet: Napa Winery Tries Out New, Disease-Resistant Grapes

Rutherford’s Whitehall Lane planted Camminare Noir and Paseante Noir to deal with the …

Nov 3, 2020
Jack Daniel’s v. Bad Spaniels: Trademark Battle Between Dog Toy Maker and Entire Bev Industry May Head to Supreme Court

Jack Daniel’s v. Bad Spaniels: Trademark Battle Between Dog Toy Maker and Entire Bev Industry May Head to Supreme Court

The Tennessee whiskey has been locked in a yearslong legal dispute with a company that …

Oct 30, 2020