Greek Gods: Five luxury hotels in Greece that promise heavenly holidays
Longing for summer? No matter your fancy, Greece ticks the boxes for an amazing holiday. Of course, any memorable adventure starts with a great hotel. And our pick of the best luxury hotels and resorts has something for everyone. Check out these top five can’t-miss hotels for friends, professionals, couples and families.
The Royal Blue
If ever a hotel were aptly named, it would be The Royal Blue. Quietly sophisticated, this exclusive resort sits directly right on the water, and is blue luxury personified. With its own private bay and endless horizon of Cretan Blue, guests are immediately captivated by mesmerizing 180º views. Set on Cretan’s northern coast between the picturesque towns of Rethymnon & Heraklion, The Royal Blue has recently benefited from a very swish renovation and offers a fresh face: dressed in muted tones, natural woods, clean lines and crisp whites. Here there are numerous public and private swimming pools as well as lush gardens which give off a soothing sense of calm. The perfect balance of sophistication and natural elegance, here Cretan hospitality mores reign; guests will be pampered beyond conventional luxury.
Opening for the season in April 2018, the rooms are ultra-comfortable and stylish: all 190 rooms, suites and villas fuse traditional and contemporary design to create an atmosphere that feels like home, along with spectacular views of a sky and sea. Guestrooms boast spacious balconies along with shared swimming pools surrounded by sunbeds and private gardens filled with fragrant flowers.
Long an adult’s only resort, for the first time in 2018 The Royal Blue will welcome small families. However, understanding guests’ differing needs it offers exclusive services and facilities for both. For couples there is a heated swimming pool exclusively for adults as well as a private adult only beach section, a new romance fostering gourmet restaurant for couples, a adults lounge bar, unique in-room dining concepts for couples and dedicated spa massages and therapies for couples.
For families there is a special kids’ area with heated swimming pool, entertainment areas based on age group, splashing water fountains and outdoor games as well as a family zone in the main restaurant inclusive of a special kids’ buffet dishing up children’s favourites. Babysitting, a playground along with diving, volleyball and mini golf are all on offer.
Dining is exceptional here with chefs delivering exquisite dishes based on local Cretan fish and meat, as well as locally sourced vegetables and sourced olive oil. There are two standouts. With its marine-style ambiance, Elia Restaurant pays a tribute to local Cretan cuisine with a distinctive contemporary flair. The resort’s new Gourmet Restaurant, is located by the glimmering blue pool and offers exceptional food, romantic ambiance and beautiful sea views. Candles, light fabrics, flowers and tables for two create an unparalleled environment for a relaxed dinner under the stars.
The resort’s Pure Senses Spa is a haven of calm and offers massage, hydrotherapies, facial and expert body treatments. Guests can indulge in absolute relaxation at the hotel spa, which offers a heated indoor swimming pool, sauna and hammam, and luxurious treatments and massages. Residents can enjoy a leisurely game of tennis on the hotel’s courts before sampling a mixture of innovative and classic cocktails at the lounge bar, or unique single malt whiskeys at the Cigar Bar. Guests will also find a tennis court, as well as mini golf and soccer courts within the premises. And sun seekers rejoice! The hotel offers its own small private beach with a panoramic view over the Cretan north coast. Beach towels, umbrellas, recliners, a private beach service and a beach bar are available.And there is always a personal touch. Guests will find an abundance of sun loungers available each day and staff brings cold towels and refreshing watermelon at regular intervals to sun seeking guests. Getting there is easy – the capital city of Heraklion and Heraklion International Airport are an hour away and limousine transfers can be arranged and private parking is available.
Aphrodite Hills by Atlantica Hotels
It is said that Aphrodite rose from the seas directly in front of the five-star Aphrodite Hills by Atlantica Hotels in Cyprus because it’s the most breath-taking place on earth, truly befitting the extraordinarily beautiful Goddess of Love. A mere four-hour flight from the UK, this Cypriot destination boasts 300 days of sunshine each year with world-class fitness facilities and an award-winning spa.
A new and extensive renovation makes this pure paradise on earth for golf lovers. A spectacular 18-hole PGA approved course has been upgraded with new lush and manicured Bermuda grass, modernised bunkers, a new irrigation system and a brand-new design making it one of Europe’s most prestigious courses.
And for those who prefer rackets to clubs, the world-class tennis academy boasts a total of nine tennis courts both clay and plexi-cushion with lessons and courses for any age or ability. There is also a Junior Tennis Academy, which teaches children from as young as four years old, parents can enjoy refreshments and watch their budding pros from the overlooking lounge bar.
Rounding out the wellbeing offerings are hilltop yoga classes to the strumming of a live acoustic guitar, an ultra-modern gym with excellent personal trainers, horse-riding through sun dappled olive groves and sparkling swimming pools.
The spa is truly spectacular. Inspired by the vibrant culture, its Greco-Roman pampering sessions are precisely how you should unwind the winter knots and pamper cold joints. All 3,000sqms of The Retreat Spa by Atlantica Hotels encourages you to indulge in a serene selection of world-class treatments carried out by expert therapists and masseurs. Guests can refresh themselves from a specialised selection of nutritional smoothies, healthy tonic or herbal tea, as the lounge on the Spa’s private sun deck or in the fragranced gardens.
As the stars fill the clear evening sky, one is spoilt with a choice of 18 restaurants and bars, including the Village Square Restaurants by Atlantica Hotels, offering a unique mix of gourmet delights with both local and ethnic flavours catering to all tastes. For something more private, the resort’s top chef can be at the service of guests for the evening at their private villas for delicious and exclusive in-villa dining.
Gennadi Grand Resort
A brand new resort in Rhodes, set on the coast overlooking the azure waters of the Aegean, Gennadi Grand Resort opens in May 2018 and will set a new standard for five-star hospitality in the Greek islands. Part of Lindos Hotel Group, this eco-friendly luxury resort redefines modern luxury, offering a true sense of locality and with an emphasis on bringing the outside in. Located on an award-winning beach, Gennadi Grand Resort truly embodies the trend for experiential travel along with an emphasis on immersive surroundings – each guest will experience for themselves the compelling landscape and distinctive character of Rhodes. Smartly designed to reflect its breath-taking setting, it also boasts generous pools, attractive restaurants, and inviting lounge bars, all located amidst the charming and traditional village of Gennadi Bay. With 266 stunning rooms and suites, most with private pools and equal space outside and in, each room offers sophistication and tranquil beauty and creates a holistic hideaway experience.
With a portfolio of restaurants and bars that will present everything from delectable authentic Greek specialties to exquisite International Gourmet Cuisine, Gennadi Grand Resort will set a new standard for gourmet offerings on the island. Main restaurant Φiloxenia will showcase live and interactive kitchens whilst Eδesma will present a fresh and inspiring approach to Greek cuisine with creative degustation menus that will redefinetraditional flavours.
The hotel’s spa provides the finest holistic rejuvenation and relaxation in a serene setting with its range of signature rituals, facials and body treatments that all focus on releasing stress and tension whilst promoting inner balance and harmony. The fitness centre is a wellness seeker’s dream – and offers yoga, aerial yoga, Pilates and aqua Pilates, aqua aerobic, tennis, beach volley, water sports hiking, mountain biking and wind surfing. The green roof will also be used as an open air public space for walking, yoga, and jogging with views of the island beyond.
And it’s eco-friendly. The resort operates with efficient energy management and uses reverse osmosis to provide 20,000 litres of clean, sustainable water per hour using a system that requires little maintenance at low cost. Other energy saving, eco-friendly solutions include a green roof in order to minimise the sunlight reflection and improve the overall microclimate, energy saving glass panels, the latest eco-focused air conditioning/heating system, recycling, litter separation system and energy saving bulbs.
Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort
With the remarkable distinction of being located directly on the seaside, perched on the south-west coast of Kassandra, Halkidiki, Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort effortlessly combines the clear blue skies, golden sands and the welcoming waters of the Aegean, with a destination that sets a new standard in healthy travel.
Greece’s largest and most spectacular Thermae Resort, (Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort was last year named ‘Best New Greek Resort’); this wellness resort is changing the way that luxury-loving families holiday. An unmissable destination for all ages – their impressive Kids’ Planet features a football academy, astronomy, pirate ship building, kids’ radio station, pool games, pirates battle and a mini disco. New for 2018 is a new entertainment team, new playground, activities, sports academy and evening shows.
Here, wellbeing is top of the agenda. One of the world’s top thermal spa resorts, Miraggio is surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Aegean, and rests on a long stretch of sandy beach. At its heart, the resort’s awe-inspiring spa celebrates the life-giving power of water. Healing waters include a large thalassotherapy pool fed in directly from the sea and four separate thermal pools. These are filled with unique thermal waters of the region and a thermal well-life suite with steam baths, a Finnish sauna, tepidarium, herbal sauna, cold plunge walking path & two experience showers. New Nordic Walking and cycling routes around Mount Olympus are certain to be a draw when the resorts open their doors for the summer season in April.
Miraggio houses 300 elegant, spacious rooms furnished in lavish contemporary style and with the latest technology and a selection offering private pools. For fine dining there are four restaurants on offer presenting exceptional cuisine including all day dining in the sun dappled Kritamo Restaurant, a spectacular Seafood restaurant Torneo which serves freshly caught seafood direct from sea to table and an array of Mediterranean options. There are also four bars including a lovely wine bar and a spa health bar serving a wide range of fresh juices.
The resort’s brand new marina makes this a true haven for sailors, housing 81 boats, up to 40 meters long in length. All boats are offered an individual and high quality mooring including launching ramp, 24-hour security and manning across 50,000 square meters of the marina, allowing yacht owners to experience the highlights of this new resort in full comfort.
One of the world’s top thermal spa resorts, Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort is an environmentally friendly and beautiful destination that offers calming design, incredible natural beauty and an ambience of something that feels very much like sunshine grandeur.
Following renovations and a complete redecoration, the stylish wellness resort, Cavo Spada Luxury Sports & Leisure Resort & Spa opens its doors for the summer season this March; an extraordinary destination, set to be one of Crete’s most exciting hotel’s this year.
Stepping inside this 5 star beachfront resort, the first thing that you will notice is its buzzy atmosphere and chic surroundings. Sporting clean lines and a striking, minimalistic design, the bright and airy rooms of the 150 room resort exude a cool and calming feel. Room options range from Deluxe Doubles to family suites with pools, all offer spectacular views onto the wide swath of naturally sanded, milky white beachfront and a lapis blue Mediterranean Sea. In terms of activities you will be spoiled for choice – as learning is deeply a part of the philosophy here. Guests almost always go home having learned something new about the Greek culture.
Holding weekly wine and olive oil tasting classes, cooking lessons and cultural concerts, every stay at Cavo Spada is an immersion into the spectacular Cretan culture. The resort’s wellness facilities are a big part of the appeal. On top of the tranquil spa, with its hydro-massage facilities, Turkish Bath and extensive range of ‘Ultimate Facial’ treatments for both men and women, the beautiful seaside and the evergreen gardens are ideal for private yoga lessons. Effortlessly taking the very best of its incredible location, Cavo Spada is without question the perfect setting for a holiday that is sure to create a host of wonderful memories, to be savoured for years to come.