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Former Chief Stewardess Creates Eco Retreat in Greece

22 June 2022By Lauren Beck
Aerial photo overlooking Desa Green Homes in Greece
Courtesy of Desa Green Homes

Written by

Lauren Beck

Editor Lauren Beck has been with Dockwalk since 2006. At 13, she left South Africa aboard a 34-foot sailing boat with her family and ended up in St. Maarten for six years. Before college, she worked as crew for a year, and then cut her journalistic teeth at Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies’ Home Journal online. She loves traveling, reading, tennis, and rooting for the Boston Red Sox. Email her at lauren@dockwalk.com.

Imagine yourself luxuriating in a stunning eco residence in Greece on your next downtime. Even better — the place was envisioned and created by a former chief stewardess, so you know the details will be beyond reproach. Former Chief Stewardess Despina Dimou of M/Y Emotion2 left yachting in February 2022 after 15 years to return to her hotel management roots. The chief stewardess-turned-entrepreneur has created Desa Green Homes in Epidaurus, Greece, just 90 minutes from Athens.

“I came to witness at first hand the environmental harms caused by mass, homogenized, supersized, all-inclusive, and commercialized tourism,” she says. 

After purchasing 5,000 square meters of land in the area three years ago, she decided to focus on building something unique, with a focus on being eco-conscious. “The ecological and green construction of Desa Green Homes is a dream coming true,” Dimou says. She was inspired by her two decades in the tourist sector and traveling the world to make her efforts environmentally sound. “I came to witness at first hand the environmental harms caused by mass, homogenized, supersized, all-inclusive, and commercialized tourism,” she says. “As such, I decided to turn to green and ecological small-scale tourism as the only viable way to provide premium standards of hospitality with respect and care for nature.” She finally opened her doors in April 2022.

Courtesy of Desa Green Homes

Desa Green Homes has four prefabricated “ecological homes” built between the orange trees on her land. She also planted more than 100 different additional fruit trees and allows her guests to pick their own fruit. All four houses are fully equipped with every amenity guests would expect and are completely private. Two have Jacuzzis and all have outdoor barbecue areas. “Everything is biological and even the water comes from my own well,” Dimou says. She also planted a “biological green garden” that includes oregano, thyme, basil, mint, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, watermelon, and melon, so all food she provides is fresh from her garden. If that’s not enough, she also offers her own olive oil from her own olive grove. She also gifts her own lavender from her garden to guests.

All four houses are fully equipped with every amenity guests would expect and are completely private. Two have Jacuzzis and all have outdoor barbecue areas. 

While it may be her dream, her time in the industry propelled her there. She credits a talk with the captain on board for giving her the idea to buy prefabricated homes. “I always wanted to have my own hotel and I knew approximately what I wanted to do,” she says. “But one day during navigation, I was chatting with my captain and he gave me the idea of the prefabricated homes as a concept and slowly, slowly, everything came together.” Of course, her hotel management and yachting background, customer service experience, and superyacht expertise in making her guests feel special will stand her in good stead. “I have gained great experience in 5-star hospitality and I am very passionate about it,” she says. Dimou has now moved ashore to manage Desa Green Homes permanently. “I will always be so thankful to the owners of Emotion2 and my captain for supporting me all these years,” she says. “It was very hard for me to leave after five years on board!

Courtesy of Desa Green Homes

“Desa Green Homes is made with so much love and passion for me to make something that represents my philosophy and how I would like to spend my holidays in a place I would never forget,” she says. “I think being in the yachting industry all these years, dealing with so many different people and visiting so many different places, personally after long charter seasons like we had on Emotion2 for so many years, I always wanted to go to places that I could relax and enjoy my privacy, which is very difficult to do in big hotels or resorts.”

“My biggest satisfaction will be to see all guests having the time of their lives and leaving with a smile.”

Her piece of paradise aims to fulfill those wishes. Her location is just five minutes from the sea and eight minutes from Aigialos beach, 10 minutes from the sunken city of Epidaurus, and 30 minutes from Nafplio, Greece’s first capital. The area offers a variety of natural, cultural, and historical experiences. “If yacht crew have few days off and they happen to be somewhere near Athens, it is so easy to come here and escape in my little paradise for few days!” Dimou says. “My biggest satisfaction will be to see all guests having the time of their lives and leaving with a smile.”

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