NUMO IERAPETRA: A BAREFOOT AND ESCAPIST RESORT IN CRETE
a secluded beach in crete dotted with tamarisk trees sets the starting point for numo ierapetra’s fresh and earthy palette. the laidback seaside resort has been designed by london-based studio lost with a barefoot luxury approach that takes its cues from the greek island’s rich nature. the resort’s 132 rooms and suites connect the inside with the outside seamlessly, while private swimming pools, placed in cozy terraces, form pockets of serenity surrounded by mature gardens. the main swimming pool, nestled within a 3,000 sqm bar and restaurant area, is the beating heart of the entire property. the resort is part of numo hotels & resorts, a new hospitality company that oversees the commercial representation of the troulis royal collection brand, which includes the royal blue and the royal senses, curio collection by hilton (see more on designboom here).
to find out more about the resort’s renovation and overall design concept, designboom spoke with constantina tsoutsikou of studio lost. ‘we didn’t have to look too far to inject a sense of place to the resort,’ tsoutsikou says. ‘the tamarisk trees that line the beach with their textured grey bark and grey green leafs were just the starting point of a fresh and earthy palette. we recoloured the existing architecture, added new elements, created new portals and focal points in the landscape as well as re-worked all the interiors and exteriors.’ read our interview in full and see more images of numo ierapetra below.all images by nick kontostavlakis/globe & trotter unless stated otherwise
interview with constantina tsoutsikou of studio lost
designboom (DB): what is the main idea behind numo ierapetra’s design?
constantina tsoutsikou (CT): the design vision for numo was to renovate a tired resort and create an escapist destination, where people can come together to relax and create memories. the resort had been built one building at a time over a period of thirty years, lacked personality and basic amenities for todays’ traveller. we created an intimate dialogue between the surrounding landscape and the accommodation. what you get is a simple and stylish sort of coziness and beach vibes where indoors blend with the outdoors.
freestanding timber pergola envelopes the resort’s pool bar
DB: how does the local context inform the hotel’s design?
CT: the ierapetra locale is a relatively undiscovered destination for holiday makers and feels distinctively different from other regions in crete. we are in the southern most spot in europe and there is a wilderness about nature and the elements that is breathtaking. I have been waiting for a project like this for a long time!
we didn’t have to look too far to inject a sense of place to the resort. the tamarisk trees that line the beach with their textured grey bark and grey green leafs were just the starting point of a fresh and earthy palette. we recoloured the existing architecture, added new elements like pergolas, screens, new terraces and private pools, created new portals and focal points in the landscape as well as re-worked all the interiors and exteriors – from stylish arrival lobby – all the way to the sun loungers on the beach. it was not just a facelift, we injected the resort with a soul! in those terms, the width and breadth of scope has been amazing.
a bohemian sophistication inspired by nature is the main idea behind numo’s design
DB: what is the relationship between nature and the built environment in the project?
CT: the advantage of renovating an old resort is that we had mature gardens at our disposal, that needed reshaping and reforming. I believe in taking what is there and making it better rather than scraping things and starting from scratch. we found an abundance of mediterranean foliage like olive trees, bougainvilleas, palm trees and smaller shrubs and herbs to which we added more local species for volume and texture. some of the original plants were planted randomly so we added elements to create rhythm where we could. it wasn’t always successful- one of the palm trees was moved and didn’t make it in the end- but other than that one casualty, all other trees remained where they were and we worked around them. we enhanced the beautiful relationship between indoors and outdoors through creating terraces for ground floor guestrooms, pool decks, mini courtyards. since many of these were shaped around existing trees or rock formations, the terraces have varying organic sizes and forms and add to the bohemian vibe of the hotel.