History of the building
The traditional hotel Ghermaniko is housed in one of the oldest buildings in the area, which has been intensively active throughout the last century.
The two-storey property was built around 1910, at a time when Damouchari, with its natural harbor, unique to the whole area, served as the supply station for Eastern Pelion. Its thorough refurbishment in 2018 (interior and exterior) respected totally the building's unique architecture giving it a fresh tone of crispness and youth.
It is fully made of Pelion stone and wood and this is one of the main reasons that makes its interior particularly durable, cool even at the highest summer temperatures and hot some cold spring or autumn nights. For deeper comfort, all rooms have air conditioning for cooling and heating, while the fireplaces in some of the studios can make the atmosphere even more intimate.
From the first moment of its construction, at the time of commerce, the building has been the only inn of the area, accommodating sellers and travellers arriving with their mules from all parts of Pelion. Later, it functioned as a grocery store and residence, but during the Greek Civil War (1946-1949), the owner at that time Vontzos Georgios was forced to abandon it permanently. With his wife Electra Vainopoulou, their children and a small boat moves permanently to Skiathos, one of the neighbouring Sporades islands. The building was then rented out to a local resident named Tsamis Panagiotis hosting the wine house and inn for the fishermen, who used its large terrace to spread their nets and dry them in the sun.
The first hotel
In 1969 the building was purchased by a German dealer Eckart Lau and his partner Ulrich Stiegleder. Eckart was visiting Greece frequently in search for greek traditional handmade textiles and generally clothing items, made on loom, which he was exporting to Germany. On one of his trips to Eastern Pelion he fell in love with the small hamlet of Damouchari and …
In 1969 the building was purchased by a German dealer Eckart Lau and his partner Ulrich Stiegleder. Eckart was visiting Greece frequently in search for greek traditional handmade textiles and generally clothing items, made on loom, which he was exporting to Germany. On one of his trips to Eastern Pelion he fell in love with the small hamlet of Damouchari and the stone-built house with its wooden terrace right in front of the port. It is at this very moment that the touristic development of Damouhari begins, with the first German and Austrian travelers reaching the settlement at a time when access was particularly difficult, without any roads and electricity. In 1974, the famous during that period Austrian actress Romy Schneider spent her summer vacation in Ghermaniko Hotel together with her little son and a companion of ten women who guarded and cared for her and the boy.
The total renewal
The building becomes known among the locals and patrons of the region under the name "Ghermaniko", which was also maintained by the new owners Olkas Paschalis and Apostolia-Victoria Vainopoulou. The couple bought in 2001 the abandoned, at that time, house from the german owners until then, proceeding immediately with renovating it. Its official operation commences in 2003 as a Traditional Hotel, after having been declared Preserved House. The new touristic season ends in 2018 with a radical this time renovation of the building by the family's daughter and current owner Olka Katerina. In each room have beed given names of people who are inseparably related to the history of the hostel, while essential care has been to harmonize tradition with simplicity, purity with warmth, comfort with functionality.