Tag: Greece Hotels

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Introducing Ikos Resorts, All Inclusive Hotels You Won't Hate

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  Site Where: Halkidiki, Greece
November 14, 2014 at 8:17 AM | by | Comments (0)

Ikos Oceania

Does the phrase “all inclusive” make you come out in hives? Do you shudder at the idea of ugly wristbands? Does your stomach heave when imagining a “five star buffet” three times a day?

Us too. But it’s always good to challenge one’s demons and confront one’s prejudices, so we’re intrigued by the idea of Ikos Resorts, a new upmarket all-inclusive group – or “Infinite Lifestyle”, as they call it.

Ikos is kicking off in Greece, with two beachside properties opening in Halkidiki next year: the Ikos Oceania in March, and the Ikos Olivia in May. They promise to “redefine the all-inclusive experience”, keeping the good side of all-inclusive (no extra bills to pay) and jettisoning the bad part (everything else). So instead of grubby buffets and poolside rubdowns, you’ll get Michelin-starred chefs overseeing four a la carte restaurants per property. No need for rainbow-colored cocktails, either – there will even be sommeliers!

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Small But Perfectly Formed: The Tiny Eiriana Suites Of Milos, Greece

Where: Trypiti, Milos, Greece
September 25, 2014 at 8:27 AM | by | Comments (0)

Now is a great time to be in Greece. We are writing this from the island of Patmos, where the temperature is dropping to toasty but bearable, the hordes have gone, and the hotels are still open – at least for a few more weeks.

But if going end of season feels a bit grubby, fear not – because if you go to the tiny island of Milos, there’s a new hotel waiting for you. Eiriana Luxury Suites is one of that new breed of Greek hotels – tiny (just four rooms) but perfectly formed.

It’s located in Trypiti, near the old-style windmills, and is on a hilltop so all the rooms have panoramic views (including some of the sea). The décor is very Greek with a hint of madness – traditional all white rooms, but with pops of lurid color in the drapes, cushions and bathrooms. We’re not convinced by the color tbh – nothing feels as Grecian as a pure white room – but at least they’re trying something different, and we’re not about to criticize the aesthetic of the island that brought the world the Venus de Milo. (Milos is also known as the Island of Colors, so we should probably give them a break.)

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The Selfie Spot At The Grande Bretagne In Athens Is Wasted On Selfies

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  Site Where: Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece, 10564
September 22, 2014 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

If there’s one thing that’ll get us on a plane to Athens, it’s a designated selfie spot. We jest, of course – but the idea of a designated selfie spot was so horrifying compelling that during an afternoon in Athens last week, we had to go and see it for ourselves.

The selfie spot is at the Grande Bretagne in Syntagma Square (Athens' main square), though to our relief, when we asked at the concierge desk where to find it, they had absolutely no idea what we were talking about. To save you the mortification of trying to explain the concept of a selfie spot to an Athenian - right there in the cradle of democracy, literature, philosophy and everything else that selfies run in the face of - just head to the rooftop bar and restaurant.

The selfie spot, it has to be said, is incredible in the flesh. Of course, an Acropolis view in Athens is no big deal - the majority of hotels have them from rooftop terraces, if not from the rooms themselves. But most Acropolis views are not like this (the only one that comes close, we reckon, is the Hilton, which is a little further out of the city center). The Grande Bretagne not only dominates the skyline around it, meaning you’re looking straight at the Parthenon, but glance to your left and you’re looking straight at the Greek Parliament, with the Evzones soldiers trooping around the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier every hour.

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Watch Out Greece, Nikki Beach Has Descended On Porto Heli

September 19, 2014 at 9:01 AM | by | Comments (0)

Ah, questionable American chains ruining encroaching on arriving in peaceful Europe. If it’s not the Hard Rock opening in Ibiza, it’s Nikki Beach descending on Porto Heli, on the Peloponnese in Greece (two-and-a-half hours from Athens by car, or a mere 25 minute via helicopter, as they helpfully tell us).

Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Porto Heli, which opened last month, is the only seafront hotel in Porto Hell Heli. All 66 rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows (all overlooking the Porto Heli gulf), balconies, separate showers and tubs (warning – it looks like the Luxx rooms have peekaboo bathrooms) and yummazeballs Malin & Goetz toiletries. The décor is just what you’d expect – white, white and more white, with white drapes wafting about in the Mediterranean breeze.

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This Hotel in Athens Has a Designated Selfie Spot

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  Site Where: Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece, 10564
August 19, 2014 at 12:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

Selfies. You either love them or you hate them but no matter how you feel about them, you are taking them. Just admit it. You’re taking them in the car, at the club, at concerts, at sporting events, at the playground, the beach, the rooftop bar, and even from your bed. Especially from your bed.

But at the Hotel Grand Bretagne in Athens, you’re gonna want to get out of your bed for that selfie because the hotel has a designated “Selfie Spot" on the GB Roof Garden Restaurant. The spot marked with a selfie icon is actually the best spot on the terrace to take a selfie so that you can show off your newly acquired Grecian glow with a precise view of the Acropolis in the background. For Millennials, we'll put it in terms that you can understand--The Acropolis will photobomb your selfie.

The hotel is a Luxury Collection Hotel from Starwood in Syntagma Square but rates aren't crazy out of control. We found a prepaid rate for next weekend for 278 Euros. That's for a classic room with two beds. A king bed with butler service was also available for 303 Euros. Fortunately, you can get your selfie on without booking a room as the GB Roof Garden Restaurant is open for lunch and breakfast. Now, let me take a selfie.

[Photo: SPG Greece]

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Funky Friday: The New Hotel in Athens Gets Funky With Recycled Materials

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  Site Where: 16, Filellinon Str, Athens, Greece, 10557
August 1, 2014 at 3:30 PM | by | Comment (1)

At New Hotel, old scrap materials get a second life and come back as, what else, trees.

Welcome to Funky Friday, a new segment we’re trying out which features one photo that we think singularly expresses a hotel’s inner psyche. We look for, and often find, a lot of wacky, wild and wondrous designs that seem to have one thing in common: a Type A personality. So why not have a bit of fun as we all wrap up our week by taking a quick look at some hotels that quite frankly, want our attention.

Occasionally we come across a hotel that takes the concept of adaptive reuse to new heights, literally. The New Hotel in Athens is a great example of recycling materials in a fun and funky way, and we think it deserves a little close-up look in Funky Friday. The New Hotel is one of five properties in the Athens based Yes! Hotels collection, self-described as: Young Enthusiastic Seductive. That's enough to get our attention right there.

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What You Should Know About The Mykonos Hotel Scene

Where: Mykonos, Greece
June 28, 2013 at 9:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

It seems like there are endless resorts and properties on Mykonos, such as the three we wrote about yesterday, tucked in their own private setting between towns and overlooking bays in various parts of the island. In that sense, you can't really go wrong in terms of the scenery -- for the most part, killer views are standard at every hotel on Mykonos.

That said, the island breaks down in a number of different areas known for different personalities. The location you choose depends on your priorities. If you're into nightlife, for example, you'll want to stay in or around Mykonos Town. If it's a quiet beach resort you're after, Kalafati might be a better fit. Below, we've highlighted a few of the main spots along with a sampling of hotels to help kick off your research. Call it an entry-level guide, if you will.

Also, a few things to note about hotels on Mykonos. Most have strict cancellation policies and a minimum stay requirement of a couple nights, especially during the busy summer months, so be sure to read the fine print. Some will also provide free airport pick-ups, but only if you ask when making a reservation. Got your own Mykonos tips to share? Feel free to drop them in comments below!

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Meandering Around Mykonos, Care to Join Us?

Where: Mykonos, Greece
June 27, 2013 at 12:08 PM | by | Comment (1)

Last week, we spent the day on the Greek Island of Mykonos, which is most notably known for it's classic flat-roofed, white-washed architecture that you see in the photo above.

Not surprisingly, we found that Mykonos is riddled with killer-view hotels set upon vistas and mountainsides, and tomorrow, we'll take you through a few different areas of the island and the hotels you can expect to find in them.

As somewhat of a teaser, we offer you some eye candy from three luxury properties: The Mykonos Grand Hotel, the Saint John Hotel, and the Cavo Tagoo. We dig their open-aired, view-heavy designs to go along with that unmistakable traditional Greek exterior (we don't mind the private pools, either). If you've been to Mykonos, let us know in the comments where you stayed and how it went.

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Amanzoe to Open on the Peloponnese in Greece This Summer

June 21, 2012 at 1:17 PM | by | Comments (0)

While Greece is mainly in the headlines this week for its historic elections and anticipated consequences for the Eurozone and the world economy, we'll focus on some less nerve-wracking news from this country today: the upcoming opening of Amanzoe this summer (possibly in July.)

The new hotel will be Aman Resorts latest, and third, European property. As with all Aman Resorts, the name is derived from a combination of the Sanskrit word for peace (aman) and, in this case, "zoe", the Greek word for life.

Just outside Porto Heli on the Peloponnese coast, about two and a half hours from Athens, the resort will feature only 38 guest "pavilions". If the six-metre pool that comes with a Pool Pavilion isn't enough for you, opt for a Deluxe Pool Pavilion that takes that up to twelve metres. And you know you won't need to worry about cramped accommodations here; each luxurious pavilion is its own freestanding structure and has extensive living and sleeping areas that spill out onto the terrace facing your private pool.

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We Want to Seize This Killer View in Santorini

March 31, 2011 at 1:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

We are suckers for a room with a killer view. We find that we are even more likely to forgive some minor hotel inconveniences if we can stare out the window at something pretty--yeah we are that shallow. Let's help out our fellow hotel mavens by uploading rooms with killer views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. We will feature our favorites in this space from time to time. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number of the hot view.

It's not quite spring yet with most of the U.S. still getting dumped with cold, rainy weather which is why we're taking the time out to drool over this hotel view from the Carpe Diem Hotel in Santorini.

Pictured here is the hotel's pool which gives guests views of the nearby medieval village of Pyrgos as well as the Aegean Sea. But the hotel also offers private pools in each of its 10 luxury suites should you want a little more privacy.

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Westin Winds Down Summer With Two New Hotels

August 4, 2010 at 2:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

What we love more than hotel openings are hotel openings in sun-drenched resort destinations and Westin Hotels are fulfilling our cubicle dreaming for the day with their two new properties---The Westin Resort Costa Navarino (above) in Greece and the The Westin Siray Bay Resort and Spa in Phuket, Thailand.

The Westin Siray Bay brings the amenities and services you love in a Westin (breezy rooms, Heavenly beds, clean scents, green practices) to the East Coast of Phuket along with three main pools, beach and water activities, a Heavenly Spa, and six restaurants and lounges.

The Westin Costa Navarino, which opened last month, bills itself as a "peaceful retreat" near Pylos, Messinia. But there's plenty to do here from lounging by the pool to golf to pampering yourself at the Anazoe Thallasotherapy Spa. There's even two specially created children's areas. Yet if you're seeking ultimate relaxation, book one of the hotel's 123 suites that come with private infinity pools (below.)

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It's Official: Greece is Going Green

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  Site Where: 630 77 Kassandra, Halkidiki, Greece
February 22, 2010 at 5:12 PM | by | Comment (1)

The harbor at the Sani Resort

If you needed any further proof that going green was de rigeur, this is it – the Europeans are doing it (gasp). The latest to unveil its green credentials is the posh Sani Resort, which owns four hotels in Halkidiki, Greece.

They’re planting 3000 trees this month to help reforest an area damaged by fires (funded by guests paying €1 at checkout, and the hotel matching their contributions) and the eco stuff goes inside your room as well – for this season, they’ve instsalled low energy lightbulbs, solar panels, have started recycling everything from water (which goes in the garden) to cooking oil (for biofuel). They’ve even just started an organic vegetable garden fresh for their 2010 guests.

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