Patina Maldives' dynamic luxury pockets derive inspiration from its coastal context
by Pooja Suresh HollannavarFeb 14, 2023
•make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend
by Zohra KhanPublished on : Aug 22, 2022
Nestled atop rocky cliffs of the Cretan coastline and peering over the pristine emerald waters of the Aegean Sea in Greece, the ACRO Suites seek to become one with the boundlessness and untamed beauty of its context. A wellness resort composed of 49 sea-facing suites and villas, a spa, a restaurant, a cocktail bar, and a yoga centre, the project is conceived with a bohemian flair and the idea of using elemental forms and aesthetics to resonate with nature. The hospitality architecture and interior design of the luxury resort are the brainchild of sisters Danae and Konstantina Orfanake who are also the co-founders of the property.
Acro is derived from the Greek word "άκρο", which means 'edge'. Taking off from there, the resort's morphology reveals single and double storey forms leaning out of the rough terrain, their sandy exteriors appearing like clusters of hilly rocks perched atop the cliff. Described as "a microcosm of well-being", the space invites guests to immerse themselves in the culture of self-care and to reconnect with themselves.
The villas and suites of the property are conceived to create an impression of a cocoon tucked away into the thick of nature. Carved around the waterfront’s edge, the interiors offset the sea though the intervention of private infinity pools with sunbeds, extended terraces, and botanical gardens. Separating the indoors from these recreational pockets are floor-to-ceiling glass walls that let natural light in. Inside, the living spaces are characterised by soft tones reflected in the use of timber framework and furnishing, a combination of plastered and rough stone walls, marble surfaces from Ancient Phaistos, and bespoke lighting. Bereft of any artwork adorning the surfaces or deploying extra accessories to visually flush the indoors, the spaces are pared-back and in tune with the resort's overall homogeneity.
One of the highlights among these units are the Cave Suites that sit in a luxe trance within the cavern-like enclosures carved out by Cretan sculptors. Heavy textured stone defines an overarching mouth of these caves; the opening also becomes a portal to view the picturesque Aegean Sea.
Another distinguished space within the resort is its spa (conceptualised as a Bath House) by Greek architecture studio Utopia Hotel Design, and interior designer Manos Kipritidis. It draws its inspiration from the traditional Byzantine hammams and their idea of rejuvenation and cleansing – particularly tapping into the notion that purifying the body is equivalent to purifying the soul. Combining a dry sauna, an outdoor pool, a heated pool, and different therapies to cater to tailor-made treatments in addition to a materiality marked by a neutral colour palette and natural elements, the space is curated to enable guests to savour self-appreciation and well-being.
As the resort design's key focus is towards understanding the art of yoga, an elaborate Asana Yoga Shala completes the spa’s offerings. A large open space featuring a stone-clad floor and a semi-circular tiered bamboo ceiling that looks out to a panoramic view of the idyllic outdoors, the centre is referred to as Acro Suites' best wellness facility. Here yoga sessions are hosted daily for the guests at the resort.
Other facilities within the resort include Cremnos Restaurant and an all-day bar and lounge called The Circle, where guests enjoy unparalleled views of the sea and the landscape while they gorge on delicacies from the Greek island and its local farms. Settled in a setting where palm trees, tactile stone walls, and organic water features claim the space, expansive portals further blur the boundaries between indoor and the outdoor realm.
If one decides to classify ACRO Suites under a category, the result would perhaps be just like its name and disposition where everything seems to sit on the edge. Having simplifed the notion of luxury, exclusivity and comfort, the resort pulls guests from afar, particularly attracting them for its boho chic ambience and the art of appreciating consciousness and well-being.
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