The Story

The Story 2024-01-25T11:42:39+00:00

How it all started

Ariadne Beach hotel welcomed its first guests back in 1969.
The architect, Myrto Kostika- Parla (1931-2016), was awarded multiple times for her creations, one of which was the Ariadne Beach hotel.
In 1951, after graduating from Pierce College, Myrto entered to the School of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens. Until the end of 1950s, there were only 14 female architects in Greece. Τhe social stereotypes at the first decades of the 20th century, wanted the woman, as a person with a strictly predetermined role: that of a good wife, mother, and housewife. It seems that Myrto considered this as a key parameter in her choices, as she married Thanasis Kostikas, who was studying at the School of Mechanical Engineering and together moved to USA and started postgraduate studies at the University of Illinois. There, she studied with Mies Van Der Rohe, Ludwig Hilberseimer, James Speyer, following an extremely demanding curriculum that cultivated her architectural perception to a high degree.
After four years of studies in the USA , both Myrto and Thanasis were ready to come back in Greece.
Myrto Kostika-Parla, who lived and worked in Greece, when Greek women of her time were traditionally focused on family obligations, belonged to the successful female architects, who in her own way added – apart from the creative contribution – to the overall effort of equal opportunities and respect for women in the profession of architecture.
So, in 1965, she was asked to design one of the first existing hotels in Agios Nikolaos, Crete, the Ariadne Beach Hotel. She built 66 double rooms and 10 single ones. She took seriously the local regulations and provisions in force, the traditional techniques, the durability, the details of the construction and above all, the aesthetic rules and the rules of adaptation to the immediate natural environment of the place. In addition, she considered the preferences of her customers to be a vital factor in the design of interior spaces. Construction requires close and equal collaboration between client, architect and craftsman. Myrto preferred low-rise buildings, in harmony with the natural environment, seeking simplicity on a human scale, recalling the rich construction tradition of Crete. Stone walls and fences in the yards provide protection from sun and wind and create privacy without isolation. They allow and often frame the views towards the wonderful natural landscapes of the island. It is of great importance to Myrto that her clients feel satisfied and actively use the space she designs. Outdoor spaces are just as important. Its terrace and garden designs consider the geographical location, movement of the sun and prevailing winds, ensuring that outdoor seating is available regardless of the time of day or weather conditions.
Myrto sought out natural and local materials whenever possible, acquiring them through the local artisans who worked on the project. She sought to incorporate historical elements, either by reconstructing pre-existing structures, by re-locating the old materials elsewhere, or by introducing old morphological and functional elements into the newly built parts of her constructions.
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In 1998, two young architects and brothers, Manolis and Nikolaos Varkarakis, the new owners of the hotel, with respect to the initial architect, started expanding the hotel by building new rooms and common areas. It was important to them to keep the initial architecture style , local materials and aesthetics , so the new part of the hotel harmonized with the old.

Today, Ariadne Beach Hotel, has one hundred forty nine bungalows , pools, new restaurants, a spa and a gym, while the architectural model remains the same as the initial one. The use of Cretan rocks and wood make the new and the old part of the hotel to be combined with harmony and warmth.