“I was born in the hotel industry,” says Dionysis Vithoulkas, whose father immigrated to America but moved back to Greece when Dionysis was just six years old. His father and uncle opened their first hotel—then called Poseidon—in 1986. More than twenty years later, Dionysis and his brother Kostas joined the family business and opened their first resort on the island of Zakynthos, often referred to by its Italian name Zante. “Zakynthos is a very green island with fantastic beaches,” Dionysis explains. “But it’s not a place where you come for the Mykonos lifestyle,” he adds. “Here it’s more about tradition, a relaxed atmosphere, and exploring the beaches and wild nature.”
The island has a rich history, too. Named for an ancient Arcadian chief, it changed hands many times over the centuries, ruled first by the Athenians, then the Romans and various Italian dynasties, including the Venetian Republic, before being ceded to the French, becoming a British protectorate, and finally returning to Greece in 1864.