Crete city of Chania launches new tourism website

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New tourism website for the city of Chania on Crete island in Greece

Chania, the second-largest city on Crete island, introduced its new tourism website and travel promotion slogan — Chania: A City of Many Tales — on September 27 2021

 

New travel resource: If you’ve been considering a trip to the city of Chania on Crete island, whether for the first time or a repeat visit, there’s a new website you should bookmark  for your holiday research and planning. Launched in late September 2021 by the Chania Tourism Bureau, the site —  chaniatourism.gr — is chock full of information, descriptions, photos and maps that will assist travellers arriving for either a short city break or an extended vacation.

For people who haven’t yet been to Chania, or haven’t even had it on their travel radar, a few clicks through the website — starting with the “Why Chania” section — will quickly reveal why it’s a must-see destination, and in fact has been such throughout its rich and colourful history of 4,000+ years.

The website notes that, for centuries, Chania “has served as a nautical crossroad between three continents, a pole of attraction for powerful trade transactions and for Empires driven by intentions of conquest and expansion. Romans, Arabs, Venetians and Ottomans have marched, conquered and left a deep footprint, creating a modern, cultural mosaic on the architectural outlook of the city and a cosmopolitan feel at this remote corner of the Mediterranean.”

Chania also has been blessed with incredibly beautiful scenery and spectacular natural landscapes, ranging from stunning beaches, bays and coastlines to imposing mountains, gorges, caves and valleys. These unspoiled natural wonders, combined with the city’s abundant historical and cultural uniqueness, have made Chania an enticing year-round destination for travellers from around the world.

The city’s longevity and its endurance through eras of occupation and governance by foreign powers have left Chania with a richly storied history, which its tourism board’s new slogan — Chania: A City of Many Tales — invites visitors to discover,  while creating memorable stories of their own  as they explore, experience and enjoy the region.

 

Neighbourhoods section of the Chania Crete tourism website

The website’s Neighbourhoods: Little treasure islands page provides detailed descriptions, maps and photos of key spots in the old city and Chania’s modern suburbs — as well as suggested walking routes.

 

The tourism website will be informative and useful even to people who have been to Chania before, since it may reveal neighbourhoods, monuments, attractions and other points of interest they may have missed on their earlier visits.

One of the website features we were most pleased to see is the section entitled Neighbourhoods: Little treasure islands, which provides helpful information about nine significant and distinct parts of the city, along with maps and suggested walking routes that lead past important landmarks and points of interest. 

“Wandering around the different quarters of the city, feels like timelining backwards as if each decisive point in history is revealed like a layer,” the website says. “The Jewish quarter, the Turkish quarter, the Venetian harbor, the aristocratic neighborhood of Chalepa, the derelict industrial tanneries at Tabakaria, the coastal Koum Kapi and the beach town of Nea Chora, compose a colorful architectural and historical mosaic with complementary and contrasting characteristics, representative of the heritage each culture, era and economic stratum brought to the table.”

We’ve been to Chania twice, most recently in the autumn of 2017, and spent our entire time exploring the city on foot, wandering through streets and along harbour and seafront areas mentioned in a travel guide travel guide we had purchased in a local bookshop. We had a wonderful time, but our meandering definitely would have been far more enlightening and interesting with the website’s walking route maps (which pinpointed some noteworthy places we completely missed seeing.)

 

SCreenshot of the visit page of the Chania tourism website

 

Another excellent resource is the website’s Visit / An authentic experience section, which provides information and photos of highlight attractions within and close to the city, including:  monuments and top historic sites; beaches;  gorges and caves;  churches and monasteries;  museums and collections; and the Chania suburbs and nearby villages.

Be sure to check out the drop-down menu entitled “Don’t Miss,” which navigates to separate sections concerning such “unique experiences” as activities, local traditions and agritourism. The “local tips” page offers insights into local culture by suggesting things to see and do “where the people around you will be mostly locals.” 

Information on sports and both indoor and outdoor activities, as well as the world-famous Cretan Diet, can be found in other website sections.

 

To learn more about visiting Chania, follow these links to the tourism website and its related social media pages:

Web: Chania tourism

Facebook: @Chania.tourism

Instagram: @chaniatourism

New Radisson Blu Zaffron luxury resort opens on Santorini

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Radisson Blu Zaffron Resort on Santorini swimming pool

The Radisson Blu Zaffron Resort is a luxury retreat that opened in August 2021 at Kamari beach on Santorini

 

Newly opened: We regularly receive emails from readers asking us to recommend accommodations at Santorini beach resort areas — requests we’re not well-positioned to respond to since we haven’t been to the island since 2006, and have only stayed at caldera-side hotels when there.

But when someone recently asked if we knew of any stylish luxury hotels near one of the island’s beaches, we actually could suggest a place for them to consider — we had just received a media release announcing that a brand-new 5-star hotel had opened its doors.

The Radisson Blu Zaffron Resort opened in August at Kamari, a seaside village popular for its lively bar- and cafe-lined beach promenade, and an open-air summer cinema. Designed and built in traditional Cycladic style, the Radisson Blu Zaffron is an exclusive luxury retreat situated a short stroll from the resort area’s bars and restaurants, and just 150 meters from the black volcanic sands of Kamari beach.

 

Photos of the Radisson Blu Zaffron Resort on Santorini

 

The resort complex is comprised of 103 guest rooms and suites, as well as stand-alone villas, appointed with what the hotel website describes as “minimally sumptuous interiors.”

The luxe accommodations are “are all about supreme comfort in a sophisticated ambiance, topped off with indulging amenities to make you feel pampered. Designed for discerning travelers who appreciate refined luxury, the rooms and suites follow a traditional Cycladic outline with arches, smooth lines and cotton-white walls embellished with an exotic boho-chic décor and high-end furnishings,” the website says.

 

Room, suite and villa categories available for booking through the website include:

♦ Superior room with either ground-floor terrace or upper-level balcony;

♦ Premium room with terrace and outdoor whirlpool;

♦ Premium room with terrace and private plunge pool;

♦ Junior suite with balcony;

♦ Junior suite with terrace and private plunge pool;

♦ 46-sq-meter Suite with separate living area, work desk and private balcony;

♦ a Presidential suite which can sleep 4 adults in 2 separate bedrooms, has a private balcony, and is equipped with either a whirlpool or a plunge pool on a private terrace;

♦ Villa with terrace; and

♦ Villa with terrace and private plunge pool:

 

Spa gym and pool at the Radisson Zaffron Blu Resort on Santorini

Radisson Blu Zaffron Resort on Santorini swimming pool

 

The Radisson Blu Zaffron’s recreation facilities and common amenities include two centrally-situated swimming pools furnished with 80 comfy sun loungers.  Guests can enjoy coffees, cocktails and other beverages at the pool bar, as well as ice cream, snacks, sandwiches, panini, burgers and more.

The Calliste Wellness centre offers a variety of relaxation and stress-reduction treatments including facial and body massages, along with nail salon treatments.

The resort also has a meeting room that can accommodate up to 80 people for corporate events and business meetings, as well as social gatherings and receptions.

 

Radisson Zaffron Blu Resort Santorini restaurant and cuisine

Resort guests can savour tastes of Italy in the Radisson Blu Zaffron’s two in-house restaurants, Zefferino Ristorante and Belloni Trattoria.

The menu at the fine dining Zefferino Ristorante spotlights “meticulously selected dishes with raw ingredients brought by local Italian producers, honoring the rich gastronomic heritage of the Emilia-Romagna and Liguria regions as well as the Zeffirino family, who have been awarded the title of ‘Ambassador of Italian Cuisine’ thanks to their Genoese Pesto brand.”

Belloni Trattoria boasts an open kitchen and relaxed, laid-back atmosphere where guests can enjoy a mix of Greek and Italian dishes for lunch, and classic, traditional Italian cuisine for dinner.

 

The Radisson Blu Zaffron is operated by the tourism and hospitality firm Fais Group, in partnership with the Radisson Hotel Group.

Full details of the hotel’s accommodations and facilities can be found on the resort website, while its social media pages include numerous photos of the property.

Facebook:  @RadissonBluZaffrontResortSantorini

Instagram: @radissonbluzaffronsantorini

Web: Radisson Blu Zaffron Santorini

We haven’t heard back from the reader to whom we suggested looking into the Radisson Blu Zaffron, and don’t know if they wound up booking there for their Santorini holiday. But so far, the resort has been racking up excellent customer reviews on TripAdvisor, booking.com and Google, among others.

Mykonos restaurants, bars, clubs & more: What’s new for 2021

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Baboulas Ouzeri on Mykonos

Baboulas Ouzeri has returned to the Mykonos Town harbourside alongside one of the island’s most-photographed landmarks — Mathios, the oldest hand-hewn fishing boat on Mykonos

 

Updated on August 25 2021

 

Island unlocked:  After a long winter of Covid-19-related lockdowns ended and Greece reopened its borders to international tourists in the spring, Mykonos quickly bounced back to life.

Visitors arrived on Mykonos to find many familiar faces — their favourite bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels and shops — open and anxiously waiting to welcome them back.

Also eager to greet them were dozens of newly-established businesses opening their doors for the very first time — bakeries, cafes, coffee shops, bars, cocktail lounges, street food and casual eateries, fine dining restaurants, live entertainment venues, retail stores, hotels, rental accommodations, and more.

These new traveller-focussed enterprises further expand the already vast variety of drinking, dining, leisure and lodging choices on Mykonos, further cementing the island’s solid position and reputation as one of the top summer holiday destinations in the world.

In this post, we will introduce you to many of this year’s newcomers, along with some of the noteworthy newbies from last year. (We’re including them since this is essentially their first full summer of operation — the 2020 season started late and ended early due to disruptions caused by the Covid pandemic, while few people were able to visit Mykonos because of international travel restrictions.)

 

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Azul Condesa

Azul Condesa modern Mexican restaurant in Mykonos

With its “modern Mexican cuisine” and sweeping patio views of the sea and sunset, Azul Condesa has been drawing crowds since it opened on May 28.  The menu includes nachos, soups, salads, starters, ceviche, tacos, tostadas, quesadillas, fajitos, burritos and main courses, along with beverage list ranging from classic and frozen margaritas to sangria, tequila, shots and a  selection of popular cocktails.  The restaurant takes pride in its homemade corn tortilla flours for tacos and burritos, and in its picanhas, beef tagliata and other meats seasoned in “unique and exceptional marinades of our Mexican chefs.”  You’ll find Azul Condesa in the Argyraina area, along the peripheral highway above Mykonos Town.

Facebook: @azulcondesamykonos

Instagram: @azulcondesamykonos

Web:  Azul Condesa Modern Mexican Cuisine 

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Mykonos Social by Jason Atherton

Mykonos Social restaurant on Mykonos

Michelin-starred British chef Jason Atherton has chosen Mykonos as the location for his first restaurant in the Mediterranean. Designed as “a bespoke, all-day dining destination,” Mykonos Social opened June 16, and boasts impressive sea views from its open-air patio perched above the private beach of the luxurious  Santa Marina Resort at Ornos. When they’re not mesmerized by the views, guests will be gobsmacked by the food — the menu features Atherton’s creative interpretations of  Mediterranean and Greek cuisine. The restaurant bar serves Tiki-style cocktails and fine wines, while an in-house DJ plays the perfect tunes to match the clientele’s mood and the sublime resort atmosphere.

Facebook: @MykonosSocial

Instagram: @mykonossocial

Web: Santa Marina Restaurants & Bars

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Platis Souvlaki Grillbar

Platis Souvlaki shop on Mykonos

People staying in the Platis Gialos beach area won’t have to travel into Mykonos Town anymore to get a taste of Greece’s favourite fast food treats — gyros and souvlaki. With the June 11 opening of Platis Souvlaki Grillbar, at the Argo Hotel, visitors can now grab a budget-friendly gyros on their way to or from the beach. The grillbar menu includes gyros and souvlaki served in either pita sandwiches or meal portions, vegetarian pita, sausage and kebab pita, chicken skewers, salads, appetizers and more, all at reasonable prices. Platis Souvlaki joins three other shops that opened at the Argo Hotel last summer — a bakery, fashion boutique and hair & nail salon, which you can read about on page 2 of this post.

Facebook: Platis Souvlaki Restaurant

Instagram: @platissouvlaki

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Woba Street Food

Woba Street Food Project on Mykonos

The Lakka area of Mykonos Town is always bustling with pedestrian traffic since it’s home to the Fabrica bus station and dozens of cheap ‘n cheerful cafes and bars.  Woba Street Food Project by Haris Papazoglu has been drawing even more people to the area since it opened on June 12.  Woba’s handmade, steamed bao buns have practically been flying out of the kitchen since opening day.  The buns come with a choice of main ingredients including chicken, port, tempura shrimp, creamy mushroom, Caesar, rib eye and duck. There’s even bao buns with hot dog or chicken nuggets, and sweet boa with Buenno or banofee.  The menu also offers buckets of chicken wings, nuggets and fried chicken; four varieties of fried potatoes; shrimp chips, crap popcorn and other finger foods; and Thai chicken or crispy duck salads.  

Facebook: Woba Streetfood Mykonos

Instagram: @woba_streetfood_mykonos

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La Barran

La Barran Bar on Mykonos

Owned and operated by a couple of young lads who were born and raised on the island, La Barran  cocktail bar quickly captures attention with its slick and curvaceous white bar and its distinctive illuminated ceiling. It’s situated on Enoplon Dinameon Street, which winds through one of the busiest bar and nightclub districts of Mykonos Town. (Regular visitors will know the location as the premises previously occupied by the Replay clothing store.) La Barran opened in late  April, and has been a popular hangout for locals and visitors alike ever since.

Facebook: labarranmykonos

Instagram: @labarranmykonos

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JackieO’ Cantina

JackieO Cantina on Mykonos

 Mykonos welcomed a new arrival to the JackieO’ family on June 21. The JackieO’ Cantina is a casual  eatery situated right next door to its eldest sibling, the highly popular JackieO’ Town Bar on the Mykonos Town seafront. (The middle child of the family is the JackieO’ Beach club at Super Paradise.) The cantina menu includes a selection of dosas, gyros, souvlaki, salads, sides and beverages. Customers can either dine indoors or sit at tables on the open-air patio overlooking the harbour — a great spot for people watching.

Facebook: JackieO’ Mykonos

Instagram: @jackieomykonos

Web: JackieO Mykonos

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Koozen

Koozen restaurant on Mykonos

For summer 2021, Aeolos Resort has opened a new in-house fine dining restaurant, Koozen, which offers a menu of Greek and Mediterranean “comfort cuisine” created by renowned Greek chef Athinagoras Kostakos, culinary director of the Meraki restaurants in London and Riyadh, as well as Scorpios and Noema on Mykonos. For Koozen’s a la carte menu, Kostakos has conceived dishes that will take diners “on a trip to the traditional flavours of Greece, with modern touches,” says the Aeolos Resort website.  Guests seem to be enjoying their culinary journeys; in reviews posted on TripAdvisor, they have praised the service, flavours and high quality of the food, and have commented that Koozen’s prices are very “reasonable” and “affordable” by Mykonos standards.  Koozen opened in May, and operates from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Instagram: @koozen_mykonos

Web: Aeolos Hotel Restaurant

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Drunk Monkey

Drunk Monkey bar on Mykonos

The Covid pandemic forced restaurants and bars around the world to add delivery and take-out service options to keep their businesses afloat during lockdowns. On Mykonos, two young entrepreneurs saw a promising opportunity and  established Drunk Monkey, a take-away cocktail bar that also offers delivery service. The bar opened in early July of 2020, inviting visitors to “explore the island with a cocktail” and reminding them: “Cocktail first — Because no great story ever started with a glass of water.” The bar’s distinctive take-out containers and logo were soon spotted all over the island. You’ll find Drunk Monkey next door to Niko’s Taverna, behind the Mykonos Town Hall.  This year the bar opened July 20 for its second season.

Facebook: @drunkmonkeymykonos

Instagram: @drunkmonkeymykonos

Web: Drunk Monkey Mykonos

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PERE UBU Mykonos

Pere Ubu Mykonos restaurant at Kalesma hotel on Mykonos

PERE UBU, the in-house restaurant at the new Kalesma luxury hotel, has been making its mark as one of the island’s top destinations for fine dining under the direction of Chef Costas Tsingas, whose gastronomic philosophy “blends fresh local produce with high-end culinary craft”  to take diners on a refined journey through flavour.” “From Athens to New York, he watches, listens & tastes, creating a culinary tapestry that touches on the best of global gastronomy. Connected to the world, rooted in Greece, PERE UBU Mykonos is a journey into contemporary dining,” the restaurant’s social media pages say. “We serve small ‘mezes’ plates, full meals or light lunches by day, and by night PERE UBU transforms into a vibrant social hub with innovative cocktails and gratifying menus,” the Kalesma website states. Indeed, the restaurant has regularly hosted sunset entertainment by DJs Yiannis Mitsokapas and Evridiki from Zucca Radio, and on July 22 held a special summer barbecue feast “guided by the culinary craftsmanship of Beastalis.”

Facebook: @PereUbuMykonos

Instagram: @pere_ubu_mykonos

Web: Kalesma Mykonos Fine Dining

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What a Ride

A collage of photos of the What A Ride toasteria in Mykonos

The take-away shop What A Ride quite literally became the toast of the town when it opened in early July, offering a satisfying and scrumptious street food alternative to burgers, gyros and souvlaki. Its signature toasted sandwiches — “no ordinary toasties,” as the shop proudly proclaims — have been taking its customers’ tastebuds on a deliciously fun ride.  The menu includes such tantalizing toast fillings as steak, cheese, and lobster, and What a Ride sells a selection of craft beers and wines to complement its custom toasties-to-go. You can find the toasteria on Polikantrioti Street near the harbourside promenade. It operates from early evening until the crack of dawn, so it’s a perfect place to grab a late-night bite to eat while clubbing and bar-hopping (or an early breakfast if you manage to party until daybreak).

Facebook: What a Ride Mykonos

Instagram: @whataride.mykonos

 

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Farma House

Farm House music club on Mykonos

A “new concept” venue spotlighting the “experimental sound of Mykonos,” Farma House is an open-air lounge where guest DJs play sets from sunset until late at night. It describes itself as “the other place” of the after-hours Sanctus club in Mykonos Town, and features some of the artists who perform there. Farma House opened on June 25, and  its DJ lineup so far this summer has included Brina Knauss, Patrice Baumel, Arodes, Ivory and Joy Rapotez. The club is situated at Ftelia beach on the site of the former Farma restaurant.

Facebook:  @farmamykonos

Instagram: @farmahouse_mykonos

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Baboulas

Baboulas Ouzeri on Mykonos

There’s always plenty of new things to discover on Mykonos, but occasionally something old is suddenly new again on the Island of the Winds. Like Baboulas Ouzeri, for example.  Long-time visitors to Mykonos will remember Baboulas, which is situated on the harbourfront area of Mykonos Town called Kaminaki. With its traditional tables and chairs positioned on the rocky shoreline alongside a brightly painted fishing boat named Mathios, Baboulas was one of the most picturesque places in town — a veritable magnet for photographers long before Instagram existed. Mathios was an island icon, attracting tourists eager to snap pictures of octopus hanging from its sail ropes against a stunning backdrop of shimmering turquoise water and the whitewashed buildings lining the opposite side of the harbour.  Starting around 2012, the Baboulas location began operating as a restaurant called Salparo Seafood. But this year Baboulas is back, offering simple and authentic Mykonian cuisine, ouzo and Greek spirits — and friendly service — “just like the old days.”  And while much has changed on Mykonos during its hiatus — especially the island’s culinary scene, which has seen the arrival of scores of high-end restaurants — Baboulas is proud to call itself “the least gourmet restaurant on the island.”  Baboulas re-opened on June 14 and will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year. 

Facebook: @baboulasmykonos

Instagram: @baboulasmykonos

 

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Parthenis Cafe

a collage of photos of Parthenis Cafe in Mykonos

The Parthenis men’s and women’s clothing shop at Alefkandra Square has been a Mykonos retail icon since it was opened in 1978 by internationally-recognized Greek fashion designer Dimitris Parthenis.  The boutique has long been a must-visit shopping stop for fashionistas, who appreciate the Parthenis  aesthetic  that combines “comfort with simplicity, enveloped through a timeless twist of elegance, deeply linked to the essence of Greek summer.” This summer, the shop added a cafe and lounge, which has been designed to exude the same characteristics — “simplicity, comfort and elegance” — as the clothing brand and the historic house in which its flagship Mykonos is situated. The outdoor space offers visitors a place to enjoy the Little Venice scenery and sunsets while relaxing with a cocktail,  glass of wine or a meal, with a DJ playing music curated to follow the local mood, rhythm and flow.

Facebook: @partheniscafe

Instagram: @partheniscafe

Web: Orsalia-Parthenis

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading on page 2, where we preview more of the exciting new places to drink, dine, party and relax on Mykonos.

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New hotels, suites & villas opening on Mykonos in 2021

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From cozy studios to spacious designer villas and luxurious hotel suites with private pools, Mykonos offers a vast array of holiday accommodations. Here are the island’s impressive new lodging options for 2021.

 

Some of the new hotels opening on Mykonos for 2021

Top row: Aeonic Suites & Spa (left) and UBUD. Second row: Soleila and Ethereal villas (left) and Bonzoe Homes & Villas. Third row: Noima Luxury Suites (left) and Destino Pacha. Bottom row: Mykonos Euphoria Suites (left), Aloni Sunset Lounge at Kalesma hotel (center), and Habitat All Suite Hotel.

 

Decisions, decisions: Where to stay on Mykonos?

The answer is easy for most of the island’s repeat visitors: They’ve already found their favourite accommodations, and keep returning to familiar surroundings, where management and staff feel like old friends or even family.

But for people travelling to Mykonos for the very first time, it can be a daunting task to choose from the sizeable selection of places to stay.  More than 1,100 properties are available through booking.com alone, and TripAdvisor tallies 770 hotels and 1,030 vacation properties in its listings. Over 300 accommodations can be found on Airbnb, while high-end management agencies, professional concierges and elite travel planners have hundreds of luxury homes and villas bookable through their  exclusive portfolios.

Making a decision gets increasingly difficult each year as dozens of additional accommodation properties enter the market. 

For 2021, visitors can choose from a wide variety of new lodgings that include cozy studios, sumptuously-appointed suites, full-service 5-star hotels, and exquisite private villas.

For nervous travellers seeking accommodations where they can enjoy comfort, space and privacy for their first overseas holiday since the Covid-19 pandemic began, there’s good news: choices are plentiful for luxurious, spacious rooms and personal pleasure amenities like private plunge pools and patios. 

Here, in the first instalment of a multi-part post, we take a look at 10 of the island’s top new accommodations, providing photos, descriptions and contact information for each property.

The newcomers profiled in this post are:

♦ Destino Pacha Mykonos

♦ The Elaia House

♦ Aeonic Suites & Spa

♦ Soleila Villa

♦ Ethereal Villa

♦ EpicMykonos

♦ Mykonos Earth Suites

♦ Once in Mykonos Luxury Resort

♦ Mykonos Euphoria Suites, and

♦ Kalesma

More new hotels and villas are spotlighted in our post Luxury lodging: More new hotels, which you can find simply by scrolling further down this page.

Please click on the link below to see the profiles on page 2.

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