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 Damouhari, 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.
The Inn of Damouchari
From the first moment of its construction, during the flourishing period of trade, the building was the only inn of the place, hosting shopkeepers and hikers who arrived with their mules from all areas of Pelion. Later, it functioned as a grocery store and residence, but during the Greek civil war (1946-1949), the owner of that time Georgios Vontzos, was forced to abandon it permanently. With his wife Electra Vainopoulou, their children and a small boat he finally moves to Skiathos, one of the neighboring islands of the Sporades. Later, the building was rented to a local resident named Panagiotis Tsamis, hosting the winery and hostel of the village. It was pretty popular, mainly among 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 bought by a German merchant named Eckart Lau and his partner Ulrich Steiglander. Eckart often visited Greece looking for Greek traditional hand-woven and general loom-made linen, which he exported to Germany. On one of his trips to Eastern Pelion he fell in love with the small village of Damouhari and the stone house with the wooden terrace right in front of the port. In this very moment, the touristic development of Damouchari begins with the first German and Austrian travelers arriving in the settlement at a time when access was really difficult, without proper roads and electricity. In 1974 the famous, at that time, Austrian actress Romy Schneider spent her summer vacation in this cosy and particular German Hotel with her little son and an escort of ten women, who protected and cared for her and the boy.
The Total Renewal
The building became known among the locals and the visitors of the area, with the name "Ghermaniko", which was maintained by the new owners Paschalis Olkas and Apostolia-Victoria Vainopoulou. The couple bought in 2001 the abandoned, at that time, house from the German owners until then, proceeding immediately with its renovation. Its official operation begins in 2003 as a traditional accommodation now, after being given the characterisation "preserved building" by the competent public services. A new touristic season starts again in 2018 with the realization of a radical renovation of the building this time by the daughter of the family and current owner Katerina Olka. Together with the architect and artist Erastos Kampouropoulos, they have already kept and continue keeping alive and evolving daily the "Ghermaniko Project", part of which constitute the renovation and maintenance of the Old House. With Deep love, essential care and profound respect their only concern is the harmonization of tradition with simplicity, purity with warmth and comfort with functionality.