The Greek holiday: 3 hotels for a zen escape
I may leave home my worries, take as few clothes as I can, put a big bottle of sunscreen lotion into my bag, a pair of sunglasses, a hat and some books and I am already set to go in my next holiday. And, for a #sunchaser, there is no better destination than Greece. I visited some islands once, in a hurry, more on sea than on shore, but I’ve always thought that I needed more of a Greek holiday. So I decided to make my own short list. 3 hotels for a zen escape. Here they are…
Ekies All Senses Resort is member of Design Hotels™, www.designhotels.com
Coco-Mat Eco Residences is member of Design Hotels™, www.designhotels.com
San Giorgio Hotel Mykonos is member of Design Hotels™, www.designhotels.com
Ekies All Senses Resort, Halkidiki
I’ve never thought I want to go to Halkidiki. Maybe because of the packs of noisy tourists or the commercial brochures… But I fell in love with this hotel and I put the Halkidiki on my wish list.
About the resort: Ekies All Senses Resort is located on an unspoiled beach in Vourvourou, Halkidiki, surrounded by rocky islands, caves, crystal waters, sandy beaches, and pine tree forests. It has 69 rooms and suites, that combines Greek tradition with distinctive designs.
The news: 10 eco-luxury suites, that exude chic relaxation and sublime seclusion, recently opened. Sitting serenely in the shadow of nearby Mount Itamos, the suites pay homage to the surrounding woodland through the use of natural, raw materials and a fluid design (each comes with an open-plan living space, private garden, plunge pool and forest path). On the bedroom walls: playful illustrations and typography depicting Greek poet Aesop’s fables.
The exterior of each of the Pine and Evergreen suites has been crafted to blend with the landscape, while the hand-laid herringbone stone flooring is a nod to traditional Greek artisanship. Alexandra Efstathiadou, the owner, spent 11 years transforming Ekies All Senses Resort—a hotel she used to visit with her parents as a child—into an environmentally-friendly property that presents Greek culture in a fresh light. Vangelis Liakos, whose design firm, Beetroot, was awarded the “red dot: agency of the year 2011”, is responsible for the resort’s visual identity.
(Ekies All Senses Resort is member of Design Hotels™, www.designhotels.com)
Coco-Mat Eco Residences, Serifos
No airport here, in Serifos (the ferries from Athens make the way in two hours). So that could be a plus (less tourists, more serenity). But beautiful beaches: Vagia, home to Coco-Mat, located at 10 minutes to the island’s port, at the entrance of Koutalas Bay caught my attention. Lush sandy shore, crystal clear waters, colorful pebbles (Vagia is on the list of Natura 2000 protected sites).
About the hotel: Coco-Mat is a perfect architectural project that transformed one-time miners quarters into roomy two-story apartments, taking luxury to a new level. All 13 suites come with a living room area and kitchen, exceptional sea views and terraces. All in white and sand shades, that is more that a minimalist like me could expect for a zen week. Here, authentic Cycladic design merges with an industrial order and sophisticated eco-friendly construction. The materials are natural: chestnut, cotton, silk, coconut fibres and herbs are used.
In breathing new life into this old miners residences, Greek architect George Zafiriou merged the traditional elements of local architecture with an expansive industrial feel to create hospitable spaces full of natural light in complete harmony with their surroundings. Young interior designers Ioanna Founti and Zili Karahaliou have crafted warm and bright spaces rich in earth tones with a décor carefully made up of selected finds on Serifos and deco items from Athens.
(Coco-Mat Eco Residences is member of Design Hotels™, www.designhotels.com)
San Giorgio Hotel Mykonos
White houses, deep blue waters, natural materials and a holiday spirit wherever I may stay: I don’t know about you, guys, but for me Mykonos is equivalent to fun island, and fore sure is on the top of my wish list for the next escapes.
About the hotel: it has 32 rooms, and it is located just 300 meters from the world-famous Paradise Club, on one of the most scenic areas of the island between Paradise and Paranga beaches. The beachside has a sandy sunset beach, restaurant, and live event space, along with multiple tiered open-air terraces spilling onto the Cycladic coastline. From the charming off-kilter design chairs that show off their raw wood parts, to the traditional Greek woven-top stools and weighty cotton quilts, each piece is organic in form and source.
And, because holiday means calm and peace, the interior designer Annabell Kutucu used the “less is more” approach for creating a serene simplicity throughout the hotel. Thomas Heyne and Mario Hertel (the owners), collaboratively conceived the hotel and hospitality experience – intuitively forecasting the island’s need for a nomadic enclave where free-flowing design and simple pleasures would attract in equal measures.
New for the 2016 season, a new kitchen concept at San Giorgio Hotel Mykonos’ La Cantina brings the best of the Umbrian hillside to the shores of Greece, offering up rustic Italian fare with ingredients sourced from local farmers and fishermen.
(San Giorgio Hotel Mykonos is member of Design Hotels™, www.designhotels.com)
Photography: Design Hotels™, www.designhotels.com