A Muse of Luxury Hospitality, Signature – “Wow” Stories

*My article A Muse of Luxury Hospitality, Signature-«Wow» Stories was originally published on Luxury Hoteliers Magazine (2nd Quarter 2017 – Page 44) and International Luxury Hotel Association https://www.luxuryhotelassociation.org/2017/07/a-muse-of-luxury-hospitality-signature-wow-stories/ . It […]

A Ritz-Carlton “wow” story

A pioneer hotel chain that adopted this experiential marketing storytelling principle early on is Ritz-Carlton hotels. Ritz-Carlton’s website section Stories That Stay With You, which comes with […]

Δ. Σιμόπουλος: Ιστορίες φιλοξενίας και σύμπαντος στον ίδιο ουρανό που έβλεπε ο Δημόκριτος και ο Πρωταγόρας

1992. Ο επίτιμος διευθυντής του Ευγενιδείου Πλανηταρίου κ. Διονύσιος Σιμόπουλος θα βρεθεί σε μία κρουαζιέρα στο πλοίο Stella Solaris μαζί με ένα από τους πρώτους επτά αστροναύτες, τον Scott Carpenter, […]

9 Muses, Paros: The Blessings of a Greek island in a Small Aegean Home


‘Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.’ Henry James

The bold aroma of the eucalyptus has reached the sea to blend with the salt of the waves. In the kitchenette of your room, octopus and fish soup are prepared, from the fishes that one of the habitués of the tavern at the beach that you visited the previous night gave you and with ther recipe that the owner of the studios gave you. It is the time when the golden sun flirts with the sand, the cicadas are tired and whistle lazily, an old man has fallen asleep under the dew of the stone in the midday sun and you.. you open your book to get lost in a story. The whole island is quiet. It is there, and it is the place where you see the most beautiful seascape of your life, drunk with the local Parian wine that you enjoy on the large veranda of your room, authentic hospitality and island beauty.

9 Muses is a home distinctive of all those elements that you have thought of your island home: white minimalism, beguiling simplicity, courteous attitude, homey feeling and widely open windows to let the sea breeze in. Comprised of nine single-room apartments with all the amenities that the modern traveler wants (free wifi, fully equipped kitchenette etc), 9 Muses represent your dream home in the Aegean where less is more and hospitality love is always the answer. Located in a peaceful environment, so close to the markets and yet so far away from them, the studios are the ideal retreat of serenity, ideal both for families and couples.

9 Muses is also an archetypical example of a hospitality enterprise that promotes the important «non- master narrative» of tourism to which great significance has been recently ascribed:

Each country, society, smaller place has its own cultural signifiers. The patterns Athens- Parthenon, Paris- Eifel Tower, London- Big Ben are elucidative portrayals. They are the topics of the master narrative.

Notwithstanding, there is an obscured view of the place equally important, evenly unique. All too often, however, these prevailing cultural icons exclude from their narrative gulfs the prevalence of the ‘small accounts’, which are, ultimately, the most meaningful indicators of identity that within their materiality and meaning the family, regional and national history are preserved.They are factors instrumental in creating knowledge and meaning for the place and its people. They are the ‘small narrative heroes’, which eventually do configure the big picture.

For example, we do all know the history of the Parthenon. However, what we do not know is where the offerings of the sailors for successful journeys are situated in the temple. In this way a new horizon of meanings is opened up in research.

The perceptual schemes Athens- Parthenon, Paris- Eifel Tower, London- Big Ben constitute the master narrative, the notion that Bruner (2005, p. 4) defines as «a perceptual framework that works as a filter which excludes as much as it includes, and offers the tourist an interpretive frame within which to understand the destination culture.»

The master narrative provides a map of senses, a memorandum that if you want to experience romantic Paris, you have to visit Eiffel Tower. Eifel Tower is a memorandum of understanding for the city of Paris and it is the «narratives the tourists bring with them» (Bruner 2005). A non master narrative is to «personalize the master narratives and make them their own» (Bruner 2005, p.8), to construct your own perceptual map after visiting Paris, test which characteristics of the master narrative apply to Paris and which of them not, develop your own personalized ‘small narrative hero’, your post-purchase evaluations that all too often may not be coincidental with pre- consumption expectations, advancing, in effect, the knowledge of the stories of massive touristic Paris experience.

The same is applied to the master narrative of the Greek islands, the holy grail of the Greek tourism industry. 9 Muses is a fertile ground where such non master narratives regarding the Greek islands can submerge. It is the genuine hospitality, the invitation of the family to its guests to feel like locals and their aim to reveal the secrets of the island mentality to the foreigners; all of them elements that facilitate this non master narrative in such a bold way.

Micah Solomon in his best-selling book «The Heart of Hospitality» writes:

«There truly is no other type of business that is better at transforming the essentials of everyday life—a room, a bed, a sink, a toilet, a meal— into an experience that is warm, comforting, memorable, and perhaps even magical

It is the people that make this magic.

Just like 9 Muses family.

It is the magic that happens when guests of different cultures and nationalities bring their commodities, BBQ together and drink beers and Greek ouzo with the company of Voulgarelis family under the sounds of a guitar and the moonlight of the July. It is the magic that happens in the Archangel of the Greek summer, in August, when families come with their babies to introduce them to the Greek seas and the art of loving life in the simplest way, and they meet the grocery shop owner, an island man, a grandfather, and they become friends and the family suggests him to become the godfather of their little one and the next May the family comes with their friends and relatives from Sweden to the hotel to stay there for the baptism and celebrate the happy event at the garden with local Parian wine and indigenous recipes. It is the magic that happens when you arrive pregnant on the island and you come from the most northern European country and you haven’t decided which name you will give to your precious one and you meet a beautiful grandma with the bluest eyes you have ever seen, and her name is «Thalassini», meaning belonging to the sea, and you decide to name your baby girl after her. You go back home, you announce the name that you chose to your friends and you laugh together because a tiny island on the Aegean named your daughter «Thalassini» and not Alice, Emma, Anna or Emelie. It is the magic that happens when you spend your first holidays with your boyfriend, he proposes to you on a rock at the beach during the sunset and when back to the hotel you tell the owner the awesome news and he is the very first person to be informed about this and so he organizes an impromptu celebration for you..

It is the magic that happens in a village that has its doors unlocked, on the island that is called «a Cycladic dream in the middle of the Aegean», on the island that gave its world-renowned marble, the Parian marble, to the majestic sculptures of theAphrodite of Milos and Nike of Delos, at the place where used to be a pirate’s den, on the island where you will find the most diverse and little beaches; a hug of sea for you, on the island with the traditional 16th-century villages, on the island where the inhabitants count their days by sunsets and not by days, on the island where you will find your very own Muse.. Eventually, it is the magic that happens in a home where you live in feelings. The feeling of the pleasure of making memories, the feeling of making new friends, the feeling of being part of the island life, the feeling of relaxation, the feeling of belonging to a tiny island that can heal your heart.

Besides as Aristotle once wrote: «We live in feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs.»

And this is the case for the 9 Muses on Paros island.
Welcome to their home. Welcome to your island home.



Phone: +30 210 2821191
+30 22840 23795
Fax:+30 210 2820568
Mob:+30 6972 251327
+30 6976 402978
Parikia, Paros Island
Email: bookings@9muses-paros.gr

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