||Kona Kai, Athens, Greece (restaurant)
Joined: Mar 25, 2002
From: Tiki Manor, Forest of Bowland,UK
|Posted: 2003-07-29 05:00 am  Permalink|
Street:Ledra Marriott Hotel, 115 Syngrou Ave
The Kona Kai in Athens, Greece is a rare example of a Tiki bar built in the 1980's,
the era where many more Tiki Bars shut their doors for the last time. It was an immediate
hit with the well heeled Athenians, serving Pacific rim cuisine for the first time in this ancient city. Decor is modern and sparse, with large Tiki carvings, and the trademark Kona Kai Pacific view wall
on one side of the restaurant. Each table is lit by a Kona Kai lamp, and the salt & pepper shakers are classic originals, but years of thieving have left a rather sad-looking assortment of mugs at the bar. Drinks are very expensive for Athens, but the quality is excellent, the bartenders
having been sent to London for training.
I strongly advise getting a cab if visiting as it's situated on a very busy road away from the tourist area of the city.
A full review can be found at: http://www.traderwoody.iwarp.com/konakai.html
Joined: Jul 27, 2011
From: Southern CA
|Posted: 2013-02-25 5:33 pm  Permalink|
I'm having fun resurrecting various “Locating Tiki” threads from the backmost page of the forum. This time the establishment is still in business!
Athens Ledra Marriott Hotel
115 Syngrou Avenue
11745 Athens Greece
Phone: +30 210 930 0000
Web Site: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-information/restaurant/athgr-athens-ledra-marriott-hotel/
The Kona Kai is in the basement of the Athens Ledra Marriott hotel. It includes the Bali Lounge which serves tropical cocktails, a Polynesian restaurant, a sushi bar, and teppanyaki – all rolled into one.
The link to Trader Woody’s review of the Kona Kai (see his initial post above) is still active and is worth reading. I’ll excerpt the most informative part, the information for which Trader Woody gleaned from a visit to the Kona Kai during which he talked to members of its staff.
The hotel web site includes some great PDF files for which I'll provide direct links.
Trader Woody wrote:
The Athens Kona Kai was built in 1984 modeled on the American Kona Kai chain. As the KK’s in the States became unfashionable and dwindled, the Kona Kai in Athens took off in fine style, quickly becoming one of Athens’ most popular restaurants. It was the first restaurant to introduce Polynesian, Chinese & Japanese cuisine to Greece and continues to be a hit with the rich of Athens. The Athenians particularly like to go there in the winter, where they like to feel cocooned. In the summer, they prefer outdoor restaurants, unless it’s exceptionally hot, when the Kona Kai’s air-con comes in handy. The locals are also not so keen on the cocktails preferring the classic spirits & mixer combinations.
Brochure advertising the restaurant (includes some photos):
Menu (in both Greek and English):
A special offers flyer showing a flaming communal drink (the Scorpion Bowl perhaps?):
And here are some photos I grabbed from the web site.
Critiki also has a listing for the Kona Kai in Athens including still more photos:
Anyone up for a holiday in Greece?
Joined: Jul 27, 2011
From: Southern CA
|Posted: 2016-07-18 2:43 pm  Permalink|
The Ledra Marriott hotel lost its Marriott affiliation in December 2013. Despite some predictions at the time the hotel would surely be picked up by some other large chain, this did not happen. The hotel operated independently following the break-up, calling itself simply the “Athens Ledra Hotel”.
The Kona Kai restaurant inside remained open and essentially unaltered. Its name was changed to “Quona Qai” for about six months (I love that name), and then later to “Ledra Kai”. Why the name change? I don’t know for sure, but I’m speculating Marriott must own rights to the “Kona Kai” name, at least as applied to restaurants, so the newly independent hotel perhaps lost the ability to use it.
There is now some recent sad news. The Athens Ledra Hotel closed abruptly at the end of May (2016). It had accrued debts in excess of forty million euros and its approximately 150 employees had not been paid in several months. The hotel is scheduled to be auctioned in September.
What will happen to the former Kona Kai restaurant depends on who acquires the hotel and what their plans for it shall be.
The hotel was built in 1980 and was long hailed as one of Athens’ most luxurious. The Kona Kai restaurant had been open for over thirty years.