Eagles Palace, True to Tradition, Halkidiki Greece.
Kostis Zafirakis | July 19th, 2016
The Tornivoukas-run resort which continues to attract A-listers as it steps into the modern age
Named after the glorious bird that symbolizes both the Byzantine Empire and the Greek Orthodox faith, and located on a spot of incredible beauty just 4k from Ouranoupoli, Eagles Palace is the pride and joy of the Tornivoukas family, which has been in the hospitality business for 90 years.
“Inspired by monastic architecture, the Eagles Palace hotel was designed by architect Giorgos Gotzamanis to embrace both the Mt Athos philosophy and the natural landscape.”
The family also owned the first luxury hotel in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, the Mediterranean Palace, which opened in 1925 and was destroyed by a major earthquake in 1978. Inspired by monastic architecture, the Eagles Palace hotel was designed by architect Giorgos Gotzamanis to embrace both the Mt Athos philosophy and the natural landscape. It opened its doors in 1973 and has counted among its guests eminent personalities such as the Minister-President of Bavaria Franz Josef Strauss as well as Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco.
One of the most famous VIP visits was that of Maria Callas. The Greek opera diva had visited the resort in 1976, accompanied by renowned pianist Vasso Devetzi and Costas Pylarinos, then regional governor of Thessaloniki. Her visit, fated to be her last holiday in Greece, was kept a secret from the press. The first to break the story was Yiannis Velidis, owner of the historic newspaper Makedonia and a close friend of Eagles Palace proprietor Giorgos Tornivoukas.
The hotel is now run by the family’s younger generation and they are doing new and exciting things. In May 2015, for example, the hotel invited Greek writers to the resort to pen inspired new stories, while it has also runresidency programs for photographers and visual artists. Forty newEagles Villas are also being developed, slated for completion in summer 2017.