An interview with Nick Geronimos, owner of The Good Life Greece, for ‘Uniview’, 2015
When Nick Geronimos arrived in Greece, just before the 2004 Athenian Olympics, he had already managed multi-million budgets (CEO Pharmacy Guild 1990-1999, MediBank Private 2001-2003) with staffing in the hundreds.
So why move to Greece?
“For the challenge,” he says going on to describe how he and his three sons set up the first Athens Backpackers (2004), then Athens Apartments (2006), Athens Sports Bar (2007), Athens Studios (2008), Athens Laundromat (2008) and The FishCafé (2009).
Then you moved to Syros, why to an island?
“When we arrived in Athens our goal was to provide accommodation for English speaking people that would provide all the things travellers need which the usual hotel model didn’t include, at a great price. Our business grew. People would stay with us on their return from island trips and we listened to that feedback. Essentially they loved the beaches, the food, the swimming and the sun, but certain things were lacking in the experience. The Good Life Greece grew out of that research.”
What is different about The Good Life Greece?
“Most people visit the Greek islands to enjoy the clean beaches, clear waters, great tavernas, budget prices and perfect weather. It’s been the basis of Greece’s popularity as a holiday destination since the sixties.”
So what was it that Nick and his sons found lacking?
“The old hotel model produced identical rooms in rows, aesthetically damaging to the landscape. Visitors are left to discover for themselves the beauty of the islands. We wanted them to enjoy the traditional stone houses, to eat food from organic vegetable gardens as islanders do. There are amazing Greek wines, music that will change your
life - how will you find them?”
“The Good Life Greece was set up to give you the best possible holiday…
We renovated old stone houses by the seaside, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, on the most peaceful Cycladic island, Syros. Close to Athens, free from cruise ships and package tours but open all year round. We filled our guests fridges with amazing wine, organized fresh bread and organic meat deliveries, and set up open sea swim days, cultural tours of Ermoupoli, hiking days, free bikes for children and parents, a help-yourself-vegetable garden and chicken coop – anything our guests wanted to do - we set it up.”
“But comfort came first…
Being sustainable and off-the-grid for energy and water is important, but people want comfort. Bedding, linens, good coffee machines, washing machines, great views for outdoor dining, they matter too. We call it ‘Humble Luxury’, being surrounded by the beauty of the sun setting over the sea as you drink perfect wine with your friends and family listening to Hatzidakis. That is happiness. Aristotle said certain things created the Good Life, happiness through simplicity and nature were the essence. Old fashioned, maybe, but holidays are for re-charging. Only nature can do that.”
We can't forget a massive thank you to the guy who built The Good Life Greece. Nico and his team's efforts are the reason we are proud to invite the world to stay with us.
Looking great in your Good Life hat Nico!