Features Mann Overboard

Introducing Avant Mar, Naoussa

Photo courtesy of Avant Mar

A chic new boutique hotel, Avant Mar has opened its doors on the charming island of Paros, often dubbed “the best all-around Greek island” with a reputation as one of the friendliest islands in the Cyclades.

A stone’s throw from the charming fishing village of Naoussa, Avant Mar exemplifies the quintessence of relaxed Greek living and strikes the balance between contemporary design, traditional architecture and informal yet elegant hospitality. The restaurant opening alongside Avant is Matsuhisa Paros. This eatery brings internationally renowned Nobu-style cuisine to the Cycladic Island for the first time.

Avant Mar was built in a “village within a village” style, with a stylish community of 38 rooms and suites.  Paros is hailed as being a traditional, peaceful island that exemplifies the essence of Greece, rich in natural beauty and home to historic villages, bougainvillea-laden alleys, endless golden beaches and secret coves waiting to be explored.

Set The Scene

With the hotel’s name inspired by post-modernism and the “Avant Garde” movement, Paros has been revered since ancient times thanks to the Parian marble that created some of the world’s great sculptural masterpieces, such as the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory of Samothrace. The island played a pivotal role in crafting the architectural identity of the Aegean Islands, which remains a lure for travelers to both Paros and the Cyclades as a destination. Translating literally as “in front of the sea,” Avant Mar is located right on the shores of the Aegean waters and stretches across Piperi beach – hailed as the most charming beach on the island – and offers thoughtful service, inspired gastronomy and bespoke experiences for all tastes. It is also just a four-minute walk from vibrant Naoussa and is easily accessible from both Paros and Athens by plane, or from the ports of Piraeus and Rafina by high-speed ferry. Once in Paros, Avant Mar is a quick 15-minute drive from the port of Parikia.

A Nautical Design Aesthetic in Harmony with The Cycladic Landscape

Each of the hotel’s rooms, seven of which are luxury suites with private plunge pools, are a contemporary interpretation of nautical style incorporating Greek heritage elements. An ode to the island, white marble is a star feature throughout the design, while the dominance of light colors and natural passages of light and air in the interiors create an atmosphere of relaxation and well-being, intended as an extension of the natural palette of Naoussa’s landscape. Each element works in harmony with the island, such as flooring comprised of asymmetrical white marble slabs and off-white joints, designed as a modern version of the traditional paving found in settlements across the island. At the heart of the hotel is a 55-metre-long swimming pool, designed to create a sense of union with the nearby sea.

Throughout Avant Mar, interior accents draw from traditional Parian architecture such as arches, recesses, geometric patterns and imperfect shapes. Curved surfaces and embossed elements – complemented by shades of blues of the sea, white of the traditional Cycladic houses, and the golden shade of the sand – create the Avant Mar color palette, a concept designed by Chadios Architects.

Matsuhisa Paros – the New Gastronomic Hotspot of Paros

Avant Mar welcomes the globally acclaimed cuisine of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa to Paros with the opening of Matsuhisa Paros. Adding to the existing 14 locations worldwide, this is the first taste of Nobu-style cuisine on the island, set within a beautiful Mediterranean garden by the sea. Encompassing an inviting open kitchen concept and a vibrant sushi bar, the atmosphere at Matsuhisa Paros is cosmopolitan and buzzing, with a resident DJ. A modern Japanese aesthetic blends seamlessly with the architecture of the restaurant, with gentle curves and wooden cylindrical frames to bring together the space.

The gastronomic offering is complete with all-day dining restaurant Thymes, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner by the pool in “bistronomy” style. In another special corner of the hotel, sweet-toothed guests can find Fig’s pastry shop, serving traditional Greek sweets and pastries.

Wellbeing Rooted in Ancient Greece

The wellness area at Avant Mar evokes the ambiance of the ancient thermal baths of Asklepios, a temple dedicated to Asclepius, the god of medicine and healing. Just as light, air and water were considered to have healing powers in ancient Greek times, the semi-outdoor design of the hotel’s tranquil wellness area has been based on this principle. Treatments can be enjoyed outdoors, and there is also an open-air theatre for yoga and Pilates.