IMARET // A paradise in the Heart of Kavala

published in: Travel By Tina Komninou, 22 July 2010

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photo by Costas Voyatzis // Courtesy of Yatzer.com

There are some exclusive boutique hotels that have a history and an importance behind them and there are others that have created a new world of ambience, atmosphere and absolute top rate service quality. In the small case that there is a marriage of these two factors you have achieved greatness. We are very pleased and proud to present one such greatness, one which draws a smile to all that have been with the mention of its name ‘IMARET’.

photo Courtesy of IMARET

photo Courtesy of IMARET

photo Courtesy of IMARET

This boutique wonder is sited in the picturesque site North of Greece called Kavala. As many avid Yatzer readers will remember we had the honor to be invited to this sanctuary as guests of the "PARADOX" exhibition of the much talented Vasilis Zografos. Of course we had heard aspects and details from past IMARET guests regarding this building, but what we saw up close and personal and what we experienced is a whole different story. Our story is unique as we merged Zografos' art world to the architectural and symbolic world of Mohamed Ali Pasha.

photo Courtesy of IMARET

photo Courtesy of IMARET

This building site carries a lifetime of history within its architecture and looks to the future when concerning its guests. This development was built in 1817 by Mohamed Ali Pasha. Mohamed Ali Pasha’s parents died at his very early age and he was adopted by the keeper in Kavala. He then married in to a wealthy family and used its wealth to stand by his land. In 1801 he was knighted kinghood by the Sultan, and became a very positive and active member of the revolution of 1821. He was solely responsible for the strong foundations and the re-strategizing situation of Nilo. Mohamed Ali Pasha died in Alexandria in 1849 and up to this day he is known as the great leader of Kavala with the outmost respect.

photo by Costas Voyatzis // Courtesy of Yatzer.com

photo by Vasilis Zografos

The Imaret development was built by Mohamed Ali Pasha in 1817 to serve as a teaching seminary school. This it did up to 1902 and from 1902 – 1923 it acted as a charitable retreat providing sleeping headquarters for 60 people, libraries and teaching classes together with daily food. From 1923 onwards the Imaret was used throughout the years as a restaurant, museum and coffee shop. It was being neglected and abandoned. Luckily that changed thanks to one woman ‘Anna Misirian’. Mrs. Misirian understood the historic symbolism of this estate and ached for its demise, hence with great love and admiration she restored these historical grounds and converted the greatness of Imaret into one of the most exclusive boutique hotels in Greece.  Through this renovation the site has been brought back to life with grandness and greatness. Mrs. Misirian has never neglected its original use and has created a spiritual heaven within these great walls.

photo Courtesy of IMARET

photo by Costas Voyatzis // Courtesy of Yatzer.com

As an exclusive hotel the grounds call for outmost respect. Every paving, wall finish, floor detailing, landscaping that has been designed makes you take notice and respect it. When you walk around the reception and the exterior grounds, you know that you are somewhere great, even if you do not know the history of the site. It is the ambience and the precious finishes that give out this importance of respect. The exterior surrounding views looking out are heavenly and the grounds have an aristocracy when you are walking around the gardens and under the arched hallways.

photo Courtesy of IMARET

photo Courtesy of IMARET

photo Courtesy of IMARET

Once inside you get captured by the warmth and the calmness of the atmosphere. There is a presence of exclusivity and privacy making you feel that the grounds are only there for your use. Throughout the spaces the concept is the same, tranquil, glorious, comfort and elegant.

photo Courtesy of IMARET

The presence of water is strong and in the Spa you really go back to the 1800 bathing rituals. Inside these quarters you create a magical world were you relax and emotion takes over you with no thought, no worry and no inclination of any kind.   The vaulted ceilings emphasize this dramatic essence of calm which create a strong contrast with the flowing water.

As an exclusive boutique hotel each bedroom has its own character. Everyone is unique at the Imaret and no one will be treated as a cookie cutter guest. In this world of a thousand nights each visitor experiences the fairytale in their own ways. The bedrooms carry you away into another era with the existence of glorious sculptured fireplaces, luxurious chandeliers, vaulted high ceilings and the warmth of Persian rugs on the floor. Opening the door to your night quarters you are greeted by bowls of rose pedal water on the floor to rest your feet before you lie on your bed to close your eyes and dream of your fairytales.

photo by Vasilis Zografos

photo Courtesy of IMARET

IMARET is a true calling for all who are true travelers seeking for the elegance, the élites, the magical, the unforgettable, the different the glorious and the unbelievable dream. These quarters make you truly let go and simply only feel.  There is no conclusion for this article just the quote of the dedicatory Arabic engraving which still exists in one of the entrances writing:

‘May this building be immortal as the sky is endless’

MAY IT TRULY BE.

Thank you Mrs. Misirian for keeping the immortality alive.

Discover IMARET through the pictures that follow

photo Courtesy of IMARET

photo Courtesy of IMARET

photo Courtesy of IMARET

sources:

IMARET

  • friend
    irene | 2010-07-22 10:44:29

    Wow....that's just beautiful!

  • friend
    yatzerina | 2010-07-22 11:01:46

    We all have the need to escape to a nice destination, to a beautiful hotel. What if we discover 2 things in ONE!!!A destination called IMARET!!!! It truly feels like home. The unique hospitality, the ambiance, the piece mind it creates you, the good energy, the relaxation, the smile of the man who works in the gardens, the discretion of the ladies who enter in your room, the perfect service, the "real" food... all these and many more symbolize IMARET! Congratulations to the woman, Anna Misirian, who is behind this Vision...and to her team!!!

  • friend
    Anil | 2010-07-22 11:56:29

    looks stunning!

  • friend
    yolanda | 2010-07-22 14:44:03

    great presentation...!!! nice work babe!

  • friend
    Tanneke | 2010-07-23 15:58:37

    Nice to see some authentic and original design! Thanks for posting!

  • friend
    LittleLayD | 2010-08-02 12:40:57

    Absolutely Gourgious!

  • friend
    Stergios | 2010-08-02 14:06:56

    The problem with Imaret is that it is not Ms. Misirian's private villa, it is a historical monument and part of the heritage of the people of Kavala and all Greece, that should have remained open to all visitors, not just guests. Ms. Misirian had it her way, in a fashion reminiscent of the villains of the Wild West. But imagine what a precedent she sets. Imagine the Athens Acropolis "yielded" for 99 years to Sheraton or Hilton so that it could be transformed into a "paradise" hotel in the heart of Athens. I am sure the views from the new Acropolis Hotel will be stunning!

  • friend
    Antonis | 2010-10-18 15:44:45

    The best hotel I've ever been. Don't pay attention to negative comments. This is because Ms Misirian takes good care of her clients and doesn't let tourists to bother them strolling in the monument. By the way, Imaret does not belong to the people of Kavala but to the State of Egypt which leased it for several decades to the Misirian family. And no, it should not be open to all visitors. Imaret is a fairytale place and must be respected as such. If you have the chance to go there, don't hesitate! It will be the best experience of your life!

  • friend
    Dred G.borral | 2011-06-09 09:41:56

    indeed beautiful:) πρἀγματι ομορφη i've been there τον περασμένο Μάρτιο:)

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