Latest Hipaway News
Apr 19, 2019
Courtesy of Hip Away Villas With direct flights from several European cities, the Greek Islands have always been a popular summer holiday destination. And Hipaway Villas is the glamorous star of the country, due to its portfolio of pitch-perfect villas and holiday rentals. Each property has been andpicked for its aesthetic appeal, distinctive architectural design or privileged location - and in many cases for all three. From glass-fronted villas, to pine-fringed back gardens, cascading infinity pools and roaring fire pits, their collection of properties inspires awe. The villas range from slick modern interiors to homey and traditional, each one featuring the requisite dramatic candy floss-pink Greek skyline, as the sun melts into the sea. Private chefs frying up crispy calamari and lime, secluded beachfronts, pulsating local bars and banana boat rides through the whooshing waves, are all among the activities and opportunities that are easily accessible from various villas across the islands. And all the expected locations of Mykonos, Paros, Santorini and Chania, as well as some of the more exclusive islands, the likes of Skiathos, Ios, Serios, are included. Villa Kanapitsa Skiathos island Courtesy of Hip Away Villas Each property is different in its style, depending on the character of the property, expect to find unique brands housed inside, from Greek-made Korres to urban-chic Aesop. The uniting quality is that each one stands out from the crowd. At every bend, the Hipaway team is in direct contact with the villa owner. Moreover, throughout the course of creating each holiday, the team will inevitably have nurtured a close one-to-one relationship with the clients, who can expect a friendly, personalised service throughout. And thanks to the team's intimate knowledge, not only of the property itself but also its particular location, they can provide suggestions and advice throughout your stay. To learn even more about the company, we spoke with Joanna Papadopoulou, the ineluctable owner and founder of Hipaway Villas. Lia Seafront Villa on Serifos island Courtesy of Hip Away Villas 1. How did the company start, by whom and what year? I was trying to find an alternative, authentic vacation houses around Greece and I simply couldn't. It was then that I decided to start the company. This was back in 2008 and it was my aim to create something unique, away from the clutter of some of the other companies I saw on the market. I wanted to present a different Greece, representing the soul of the country as I knew it. And I wanted to offer the public something they had never had before and were as exigent in our demands for them as we would have been for ourselves. As a former graphic designer, I have a well- honed eye for beauty, and I am known to be exacting about what I want. My goal was to bring places and people together. To help them discover the true beauty and authenticity of Greece and its hospitality, and of course, always in style. Drakothea Villa on Mykonos island Courtesy of Hip Away Villas 2. How has the travel industry changed over the course of setting up and running Hipaway Villas? The Greek market is by now flooded with vacation rental properties. But the problem is that most of them are bland. So, if you want something different and don’t know where to look, it is very difficult to find. That is what is missing in today’s tourism, and this is the niche we set out to fill. Faros Villa on Serifos island Courtesy of Hip Away Villas Without question, achieving this is a team effort. This company is certainly not just me, but also the rest of the Hipfamily. We work together to find houses in the best locations and to provide the ultimate vacation experiences we can offer. To achieve this, it's down to our one-to-one relationship with the owners, as well as clients, built on personalised, service as well as honesty, reliability, and trust. 3. Specifically, how has travel and tourism changed in Greece? Since launching Hipaway villas, travel in general has changed overnight because of the mass options available thanks to the internet (Airbnb, booking.com etc). Travelling and searching for accommodation has made it easier to discover a variety of options, so travellers are no longer limited to traditional hotels. As a result, low-key destinations have become visible as a travel option available to all. What is still missing though is the personalised relationship, and eclectic proposals that make the client feel special. Vatoudi residence on Serifos Island Courtesy of Hip Away Villas 4. How do you choose your villas and what sets apart Hip Away Villas selection of properties from its competitors? Being an adventurous nomad myself, filled with curiosity about the world, I wanted to share this passion for Greece with others. Each house, each island in Greece is unique and that is what I want my clients to discover. My purpose is to bring places and people together. To help them discover the true beauty of Greece. Villa Kanapitsa on Skiathos Island Courtesy of Hip Away Villas All of the houses we pick have a story to tell and then, it is up to us to promote it accordingly. This is what differentiates us from the competition. We give them life. Each house is carefully selected, not just for its general aesthetic appeal, but also for its architectural design, original inspired interior, natural setting and distinctive character. There has to be something about it that is particular and undiscovered, which of course usually also reflects the owner. Berdemiaro Villa II on Tinos Island Courtesy of Hip Away Villas 5. Tell me about some of the extras and experiences you can arrange for a client? Anything that defines Greek hospitality. For us, authenticity is paramount, from local cooks using local products and recipes. to serving a fish caught in the sea that day, these are the elements that resonate with us and our guests. 6. What are the best words a client can say to you after staying in one of your properties? We’ve had a client who after booking with Hipaway villas for 5 years, confessed to us with much guilt, that they have kept us a secret from their friends because they don't want the property to get booked up. Another personal success is that clients keep coming back to us without having a destination in mind, and may pick a house first, due to its style and appeal. 7. Tell me about some of the most impressive properties in your portfolio?