From Mountains to the Sea, Greek Hotels Refresh and Improve
PHOTO: The Skiathos Princess Hotel just underwent a refurbishment. (Courtesy of Skiathos Princess Hotel)
Even as the Greek financial crisis dominates the front page of the newspapers, Greek tourism is enjoying one of its best periods ever. More people are going and they’re finding a diverse travel offering that is broader than it’s ever been before. Hotels have been especially creative in expanding what a Greek vacation can be. The following hotels have upgraded their facilities and added plenty of new ways to enjoy Greece, especially for families.
This year, Ikos Resorts opened the first two of seven properties that it plans to open over the next seven years. After an expansion and renovation of the Oceania Club on the Halkidiki Peninsula, the hotel re-emerged in March as the Ikos Oceania and then in May, the newly built Ikos Olivia opened as well. The new Ikos brand promises to “redefine” the all-inclusive proposition by adding a service ethic of “total indulgence,” characterized by all-day waiter and childcare services in addition to bespoke beachfront dining.
Both properties have private beaches with sun beds, umbrellas and food and beverage service. Deluxe guests can choose a spot along the reserved area of the beach or beside a private pool. The Ikos dine out experience allows guests to go off-resort and sample local cuisine as part of their stay (at no extra cost) or they can visit the in-house restaurants which offer food prepared by Michelin starred chefs.
Ikos Oceania offers a fully equipped sports center, fitness studio and Anne Semonin Spa. The heated outdoor pool has been fully refurbished. A new selection of one-bedroom family suites and one- and two-bedroom deluxe suites are now available. The mini-club at Ikos Oceania has been fully refurbished and offers three distinct clubs differentiated by age group. The Ikos Olivia has 159 bungalow suites and 136 rooms and junior suites also on the Halkidiki in a contemporary design property with an all-inclusive lifestyle concept, 24 hour in-room dining. In addition, the range of rooms accommodates all sizes of families.
Thalatta Seaside Hotel
The Thalatta Seaside Hotel, a Small Luxury Hotel, is located on Agia Anna Beach on the island of Evia. Near Athens, Evia is second only to Crete in size among Greek islands. The hotel sports a modern design and architecture using sleek furnishings and spacious layouts with sea views. The hotel has 44 rooms and six luxury suites. Family rooms with garden view have two independent bedrooms with a living area, two double shower bathrooms. Four new family rooms have been opened up on the lower ground floor. The Life Spa has three treatment rooms, a high tech gym and hair salon services. Thalatta Seaside Hotel is about 60 miles from Athens’ Volos Airport.
The Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas
Located in west Zagori, in the Pindus Mountains of northwestern Greece, the Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas sits atop a wild and rugged landscape near the plunging Vikos Gorge and the Voidomatis River. This wild Balkan region, currently being consider for UNESCO status, is best suited for rafting, canyoning, fly-fishing, horse-riding and mountain biking. The resort added three new two-story villas in addition to 24 rooms and suites. Guests can explore the region on Jeep safaris or by hiking trails across old arched stone bridges, to villages, gorges and alpine mountain lakes.
Following refurbishments, the MarBella Corfu is now offering new Beachside Services allowing guests to order a variety of refreshments from their sunbeds, in addition to new tennis courts, a yoga room and more. The resort’s six restaurants and five bars offer a la carte breakfast by the pool as well as international and Greek specialties at Dolphin, Platea, and La Terraza and La Bussola restaurants. The Splash American Diner offers a fresh take on the traditional American eatery and is located by the Kids Splash Park.
Superior Family Rooms have bedrooms separated by sliding doors, giving families the opportunity to enjoy some time on their own, while the balcony invites them to spend time together. The hotel can provide bottle warmers, sterilizers, cots, crawlers and high chairs, among a myriad of other child-friendly facilities. Activities at the hotel range from archery, table games, scuba diving, trekking, sea kayaking and other activities.
Overlooking a beach on the island of Skiathos, the Skiathos Princess Hotel just underwent a $550,000 refurbishment. Changes include 40 newly renovated rooms and suites as well as Juliette Armand and Moroccanoil Spa Products & Treatments, a new Organic Tea Menu and a Brunch on the Beach. Musical events and concerts are held in Bourtzi the 13th-century Venetian fortress near Skiathos Town, whilst the monasteries of Evangelistria and Kounistra offer historical beauty and a window into the past.
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