Five Best: Greek boutique hotels
Rhiannon Batten picks the most luxurious places to stay in the land of the Ancients
Saturday 08 April 2006
Twentyone Hotel, Athens
Located in Kifissia, one of Athens's coolest suburbs, this new boutique hotel is a member of the "Yes!" group of hotels and restaurants. The emphasis here is on smart but simple design with a black, white and red colour schemeand artwork by local painter Nikos Papadimitriou. To tie in neatly with the address, there are 21 rooms and suites, a smart 21 Bar-Restaurant and even 21-inch in-room TVs.
Twentyone Hotel, 21 Kolokotroni street, Athens (00 30 210 623 3521; www.twentyone.gr). Doubles start at €190 (£136), including breakfast.
Belvedere Hotel, Mykonos
More grown-up than the quirky Theoxenia and cosier than Mykonos Blu, the Belvedere is the island's most elegant boutique hotel, a vision of billowing white drapes and theatrical styling. The all-white design encompasses 36 rooms and suites decked out in a kind of "Victoria Beckham does Greek Goddess" look - which is just the kind of clientele the hotel attracts. If you want flashbulbs to pop when you make an entrance at dinner (at the branch of Nobu), this is the place to come. Recent poolside poseurs are said to have included P Diddy and Julien Macdonald.
Belvedere Hotel, Mykonos Town, Mykonos (00 30 228 902 5122; www.belvederehotel.com). Doubles start at €105 (£75), including breakfast.
Emelisse Hotel, Cephalonia
Forget your standard choice of room or suite: at Emelisse, maisonettes and family apartments complete with swish kitchenettes are also down on the list. The hotel is surrounded by cypress and cedar trees on Cephalonia's rugged coast. Its smart but cosy interior has an almost Scandinavian feel, with teak furniture, hi-tech electronics and light, airy styling. Of more local provenance are the smart Korres toiletries. The outside spaces are what really make this hotel, though. Especially at night when, after watching the sun set, you can lounge on one of the terraces and indulge in a spot of star-gazing. Other facilities include bars, restaurants, a gym, tennis courts and two swimming pools.
Emelisse Hotel, Emblissi Bay, Fiskardo, Cephalonia (00 30 26 740 41200; www.arthotel.gr). Doubles start at €303 (£216), including breakfast.
Rocabella Suites, Santorini
At this collection of bungalows and suites clustered at the top of a dramatic cliff, the star attraction is the view. You gaze down on the remains of a volcano that tore this part of the Mediterranean apart. It is especially powerful at sunset. Do not expect the same degree of luxury as at some of the country's other boutique hotels, though the honeymoon suites feature some characterful one-off pieces of furniture. The Rocabella is a property apart for several reasons: reasonable prices; attractive, locally-inspired architecture (heavy on whitewash and stone) plus sparkling blue pools; and, unlike some other Greek retreats, remaining open all year.
Rocabella Suites, Santorini (00 30 228 602 3711; www.rocabella.gr). Doubles start at €165 (£118), room-only.
Sani Asterias Suites, Halkidiki
One for the high-maintenance jet-setter rather than lovers of hippy chic, the 50 suites feature marble flooring, classical rather than doggedly fashionable furnishings, and access to a private marina and white sand beaches. One of the main attractions is sport. Facilities include clay tennis courts, a mountain biking centre and access to catamarans, diving, windsurfing, waterskiing and kayaking. Afterwards, guests can dine in the hotel's gourmet restaurant, or arrange a candlelit dinner on their private terrace.
Sani Asterias suites, Kassandra, Halkidiki (00 30 237 409 9500;
www.saniresort.gr). Suites start at €182 (£130), including breakfast.
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