Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.
Europe’s finest developers, architects, interior designers and real estate agents gathered in Mayfair, London for the announcement of the winners of the hotly contested European Property Awards. The awards, the world’s most prestigious property competition, cover properties in the residential and commercial categories. Judging is carried out through a meticulous process involving a panel of over 80 experts covering every aspect of the property business. The judges not only look for the most impressive and innovative projects, but also examine and scrutinize the sustainability and eco-friendliness of every property and development.
Galal Mahmoud Architects won the award for the best hotel in the ‘interior design’ category for its work on the Myconian Korali, Kyma and Naia in Greece. The company, completed the renovation and refurbishment of the high‐end luxury boutique destinations, giving each its own individual character. Working closely with the Daktilydes family, the owners of the Myconian Collection, the brief consisted of constructing the brand‐new Naia establishment as well as dramatically transforming the existing Kyma and Korali hotels.
Adopting a contemporary and fresh approach to the Greek Mediterranean, Galal Mahmoud drew inspiration from Mycenaean and Cycladic cultures to aid him conceive a new concept for the location’s overarching architectural vision. Combining old and new to create timeless elegance, escapism and spaces to connect to the beautiful natural surroundings, the K Hotels are highly unique with each destination embodying a different theme.
The Naia seduces with rustic stonewalls, four‐poster beds, panoramic verandas and private pools that blend seamlessly with the ocean’s horizon line. Generous proportions and handsome design carefully considered to the finest detail come together to create unparalleled comfort and atmosphere.
Equally stunning, the Kyma is an all‐white two‐story hotel with ample spaces and scenic balconies with spectacular views overlooking the arid landscape. The spirit of Mykonos is present in every shape, every contour and even the very fabric of the hotel. A place of open spaces and clean lines, Galal Mahmoud has remained true to classic ideals of beauty: shades of royal blue that contrast with the purity of white.
Meanwhile, a more contemporary and fresh aesthetic was adopted for the Korali where urban-inspired furniture and colorful fabrics fuse together to create a more vibrant ‘art de vivre’ approach. Some of the items were custom‐designed and produced by famous local manufacturers such as Artemide who created the ‘Achineo’ (sea urchin in Greek) bedside lamps, specifically designed for the interior setting of the hotels.
Others were directly sourced from well‐known design brands giving all the three locations a signature and personalized feel. With great affection for Greece, and the island of Mykonos in particular, Galal Mahmoud and his team were proud to be a part of this large‐scale and extensive project.
About Galal Mahmoud
Born to Egyptian parents with an English grandmother and Lebanese citizenship, Architect Galal Mahmoud lived in France for several years, after fleeing the civil war in Lebanon with his family in 1976. He graduated from the Ecole d’Architecture de Versailles in 1986, in Paris the following year. In 1996 he founded GM Architects in Beirut, specializing in the luxury hotel and upscale seaside resort markets, and branched to Abu Dhabi, UAE in 2006.
About GM Architects
The firm specializes in the field of high-end tourism, notably, the creation of luxury hotels and resorts. It is one of the largest such firms in Lebanon. The company employs 35 professionals including architects and interior designers and is managed by architect Galal Mahmoud and partners Randa Chahine, Anwar Hajj and Elie Waked. The practice has offices in Beirut and Abu Dhabi and is active worldwide.
Past and current projects
GM Architects is working on a Sofitel resort in Morocco, a Sheraton resort in Senegal, private residences in Mykonos, Greece and Cape Town. It is also responsible for the master planning of the Moulay Yacoub thermal station project in Morocco.
It completed projects in France, Northern Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean region. GM Architects specializes in high-end hospitality and residential architecture and interiors, though its expertise has grown over the years to encompass urban analysis and landscape design. The practice is growing in demand, especially for large scale projects offering a holistic and comprehensive design management service. It continues to build its focus on developing its expertise within the overseas market.
GM Architects is among the few architecture and design companies in the Middle East to be listed with Accor, Rotana, Marriott and Rezidor.Add to Favorites