So when he travelled to Rhodes as a student and stepped into his first grand hotel, Mr. Fragkiadakis ‘felt like I was stepping into a new world.’ And he was so inspired, he made that world his world.
The shareholder and Vice President of SENTIDO Pearl Beach and SENTIDO Aegean Pearl, has made hospitality his life’s work. After five decades in the hotel business, he still draws inspiration from that first experience, delighting visitors with life-changing experiences at luxurious properties nestled between the beaches and craggy hills of the island where he grew up. Like all Cretans, Eugenios Fragkiadakis is intensely proud of his island’s beauty.
The island is famous for its gorges, and although not as well-known as its neighbour Samaria, the gorge of Agia Irini is equally beautiful – and much less crowded. Offering a native’s insight, his team offers half-day walks to the Byzantine monastery of Agia Irini (now reoccupied by nuns). The local guides point out the local herbs and flowers that influence the island’s famed cuisine along the way. Once back from exploring the island, guests have the opportunity to put their herbal knowledge to use in a cooking class, where they can learn how to recreate iconic dishes which will transport them back to Greece for years to come.
Greeting the guests and helping them connect with each other is still his favourite part of the day. For Mr. Fragkiadakis, who has maintained a personal correspondence with countless guests over the years, life in hospitality has been nothing less than life-changing.