A love for design becomes an unexpected dream
Meet Marios Polycarpou, the founder and owner of the MAP Hotel brand. Marios is Cypriot, born and raised in Nicosia, and had a vision for the type of hotel that was missing from his hometown.
It was a pleasure to sit down and speak with Marios about his love of design and architecture and his inspiration for MAP.
“The whole idea of MAP Hotel was mine, and it is like my baby. I always wanted to be a designer or architect, but I got educated to become an accountant. So, designing MAP concept is a dream come true. And now I am in love with being a hotelier!”
It’s easy to hear the enthusiasm and devotion that went into creating this remarkable boutique hotel, which he refers to as his baby. The path to becoming a hotelier has been a journey that has brought him unexpected joy.
From legendary club to exquisite hotel
Originally a house, the large, square building in the middle of Nicosia eventually became a popular nightclub called Zoo. Marios worked at Zoo for six years, so he knew the enormous potential of the space. His dream was to be an architect, so in the beginning, he only wanted to design, construct, and sell beautiful properties. He didn’t realise that MAP would become his full-time focus and that being a hotelier was his true calling.
“All my projects are about the location and story behind it.”
For Marios, a boutique hotel should feel like a community and have the personal touches that you can’t find in the large brand hotels. A keen traveller himself, he has designed the hotel to include features that he has appreciated from places he has stayed in the past.
“MAP is basically tailor-made for me. I love technology, I love super locations, and I love design, so that is my criteria.”
Smart technology and ultra-modern, a clean design created by EKKY architects were of the utmost importance, but special touches such as the avant-garde style and art by Kostas Neofitidis bring warmth and character to each room.
Nicosia’s first smart hotel gives guests control of their surroundings
Marios believes that the technology within the hotel is one of the features that makes it so unique. Rooms are fully customisable to individual tastes by using an app from the moment you enter. From the room temperature to the lighting and, from making spa appointments to ordering off the menu, guests can control everything through the app. Marios realised that technology is not for everyone, so he created an easy-to-understand video introducing how to use the app.
It is also exciting for Marios to use technology to enhance the hotel’s sustainability efforts since automation can translate to maximising energy savings.
“For me, a boutique hotel is one of a kind. It’s a destination in itself. So, that when people ask, where are you going? The answer is, I am going to MAP – which happens to be in Nicosia on the beautiful island of Cyprus.”
The hotel allows busy travellers to relax and concentrate on where they are. The sleek, clean design and technological features don’t minimise the beautiful views outside. Marios knows that part of the attraction of MAP is its location. However, he aspires for MAP to be the desired destination.
Why MAP is Marios’ pride and joy
Opening a new hotel during a pandemic has taught Marios many important lessons and has made him work even harder to ensure that guests feel happy and safe.
Having created a cocktail bar in the past, Marios understands what it takes to develop an excellent culinary experience. MAP features a fine dining restaurant called SCALE, with a delicious menu designed by legendary Greek chef Athinagoras Kostakos.
Marios ensures that the kitchen uses local ingredients as much as possible, such as the beloved Cypriot halloumi. His love of music inspires the vibe of SCALE. From the luxe lounge music to the live musical shows scheduled throughout the year, the space is perfect for business meetings and gatherings of family and friends.
“We are constantly making adjustments to meet tastes of our guests”
Marios is extremely proud that MAP is one of two five-star hotels in Nicosia. The Legend Spa and Grid Gym complete the package, giving guests added reasons to praise the hotel. Nothing makes Marios prouder than the wonderful compliments guests leave after their stay at MAP. Their happiness means everything to him.
What is the best moment of the day? The best moment is the morning when I am having my coffee and then creating the program for the rest of a day.
Where are you dreaming to go next? Berlin.
What makes you smile? / What makes you happy? Comments of the clients and feeling proud of what I did, but in my personal life it’s spending time with family, playing music – I play saxophone and guitar. And playing tennis.
Where do you get your energy from? It’s a tricky question – besides the coffee, it’s dreaming about new projects.