Tag: hotel (page 1 of 7)

Two nights in Marathopoli: Where we ate and slept

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Artina Hotel & Artina Nuovo Hotel Marathopoli

We enjoyed our spacious, comfortable rooms at the Artina Hotel, seen here in an aerial image shared on Google by Nikos Tsiak

 

Panorama Fish Tavern Restaurant in Marathopoli

On our first night in Marathopoli, we had dinner on this seaview patio at Panorama Fish Tavern Restaurant …

 

Artoinos Μεζεδοπωλείο Marathopoli

 … while the next night, we enjoyed mezes at Artoinos Μεζεδοπωλείο, seen in a photo from its Facebook page

 

Great food & accommodations: We ate well and slept well during our brief 2-night stay in the small seaside town of Marathopoli last spring.  Our only disappointment? Not having more time to enjoy our lovely hotel room longer, or to try other restaurants besides the two where we had delicious dinners.

As I mentioned in my March 20 2018 post describing Marathopoli, we had chosen to base ourselves in the town so we could easily access top sites and attractions in Messenia during our road trip through the region. 

Though Marathopoli has fewer than 700 residents, it has a surprising variety of accommodation options, ranging from a budget-friendly campground to 2-star hotels, studio apartments, and luxury suite hotels. Choices include:

♦ the 15-room Hotel Rania (shown as Rania Apartments on Google Maps);

♦ the two-star Porto Marathos, a 33-room property with single, double and triple rooms, as well as four apartments;

♦  Artina Hotel and Artina Hotel Nuovo, two connected hotel buildings with apartment-style suites and a shared swimming pool, breakfast room, and gym;

♦  Megalos Kampos Hotel & Resort, a property offering four large studio apartments and two maisonettes;

♦  Pefkides, a complex of five separate luxury apartment residences that share a large garden area and a swimming pool; 

♦  Agrikies Country Retreat, a complex of four maisonette guest houses that can accommodate up to 5 persons each;

♦  Camping Proti, a full-service campground with spaces for tents and trailers, and facilities that include a cafe-bar, minimarket, TV room, swimming pool, laundry, kitchen and shared refrigerators and freezers;

♦  Esperides, a complex of five independent holiday apartments; 

♦  Faros Luxury Suites, a seaside hotel with 11 kitchenette-equipped luxury apartments; 

Mesogeios Hotel, a group of studios and apartments situated between Marathopoli and Lagouvardos beach;

♦  Lagouvardos Apartments, a collection of seven small, furnished houses near Lagourvardos Beach;

♦   Edem Suites, a collection of standard and family-sized maisonettes near Lagourvardos;

♦   Dialiksari Villas, a complex with six individually decorated houses, and

♦  Messinian Horizons, a complex of 5 luxury maisonette villas situated about 3 km south of Marathopoli.

Our travel companions had suggested we all stay at the Artina Hotel Nuovo, and it proved to be an excellent choice: the location was good; the breakfast buffet was enjoyable; the sea and sunset views were wonderful; and our spacious, well-appointed rooms were extremely comfortable. The nightly rates were very reasonable, too. I would love to stay there again. (You can see photos of our room and the hotel on page 2 of this post.)

For dining, we were again spoiled for choice and had to decide from such top-rated restaurants as:

Panorama Fish Tavern;

Argyris Fish Tavern;

♦  Maistrali Restaurant & Fish Tavern;

♦  Artoinos Mezedopolio;

♦ Miggas Vassilios Taverna;

Riki Mediterranean Restaurant (operated by the proprietors of the Megalo Kampos resort);

♦ Faros Restaurant in the Faros Luxury Suites hotel;

♦  Pame Bounti grillhouse;

♦ Entheon Italian cuisine and pizzeria; and

♦  De Novo Cafe Bar

(A bright new arrival on the Marathopoli dining scene, Opos Palia (Όπως Παλιά_Μεζεδοπωλείο-Ψησταριά), didn’t open until after our visit.)

For a late dinner on our first night in town, we went to Panorama Fish Tavern on the restaurant and bar strip that residents call The Sidewalk. Every dish we ordered — the calamari, horta, grilled local cheese, and meatballs — was tasty and enjoyable, while the service was very good.

The next night we chose Artoinos Mezedopolio, which had received great reviews on travel websites and restaurant apps. Our selections there included skordalia, gigantes, chick pea balls, spetzofai sausages, fried pork in white wine, and pleuvrotos mushrooms. We loved everything and would be hard-pressed to list a favourite, but all of us agreed that the sausages and mushrooms were stand-out dishes.  The wine and service were excellent to match. Artoinos would probably be the first place we’d go for dinner next time we return to Marathopoli.

And what about the Marathopoli nightlife? We didn’t experience any of it ourselves, but the town does have a lively bar and nightclub scene, especially during the main summer travel months. Popular spots for drinks, music and partying include:

♦  Albatross Seaside Cafe-Bar

♦  Aithrio Music Cafe

♦ Animus Wine Bar and Cafe

♦  Rodanthos Club

♦ Puerto Club

♦ Loco Bar, and

♦ Diva Club

If we had stayed out late for a night on the town, though, we certainly would have enjoyed coming back to the Artina Nuovo to crash in our super-comfy beds and awake to the calming panoramic views of the harbour and sea.

Below are panoramic photos I shot on my iphone, showing the interior of our spacious room at the Artina Nuovo as well as the morning and sunset views from our balcony:

 

Artina Nuovo Hotel room interior

Artina Nuovo Hotel room view

Artina Nuovo Hotel sunset view

 

More photos of our room and its views, plus pictures of the hotel, can be viewed on page 2 of this post. Of course, more photos and information about the Artina Nuovo, and its sister Artina Hotel, as well as online booking, can be found on the official hotel website.

For customer reviews of the various places to eat in the town, check the Marathopoli restaurant listing on TripAdvisor.

 

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The sweet sounds and looks of luxury at Canaves Oia hotel on Santorini

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This 2-minute film is the official 2018 promotional video for Canaves Oia on Santorini. The hotel looks amazing, and its outstanding scenic views show why Santorini is one of the world’s most famous islands.

 

Dreamy destination: Yesterday (February 23) was a terribly dreary day here in Toronto. The morning temperature was only 1 degree Celsius, a light drizzle was falling, and fog had enshrouded most of the downtown skyscrapers that usually crowd the skyline view from my windows. The dull light made me feel tired, and I kept wanting to crawl into bed. I desperately needed sunshine, but since there wasn’t any in the forecast, I started surfing the web to watch some videos of sunny places in Greece. That always perks me up on gloomy days.

I found the usual assortment of home-made travel clips and aerial videos shot by camera-mounted drones, all of which boosted my spirits a bit. However, the film that gave me the biggest lift was a marketing promo for one of the most exclusive — and expensive — luxury resorts on Santorini.

Entitled Luxury Never Sounded So Good, it’s the official 2018 video for Canaves Oia,  a stunning 5-star boutique hotel perched atop the caldera cliffs in Oia village. The resort is just as gorgeous as its incredible views and surrounding scenery, and it regularly wins awards and accolades from top travel magazines and websites, including TripAdvisor. It also has been profiled extensively on social media and in dozens of leading lifestyle, fashion, design and travel publications around the world.

 

 

With all that good press, Canaves Oia probably doesn’t need to advertise anymore. But I’m glad they do, since their videos are professionally produced, enticing to watch and — best of all — they make me feel, for a few minutes at least, that I’m back in Greece on vacation.

What I particularly like about this year’s promo film is that members of the Canaves staff and management team play starring roles, while the hotel and the exquisite Santorini scenery fill supporting background positions.

The video runs for just over two minutes, and is bound to put you into a luxuriously dreamy Santorini state of mind — especially if the weather sucks wherever you might be while you watch it. If you won’t be able to stay at the Canaves or visit Oia this year, watching the clip and daydreaming about being there is the next best thing. 

By the way, just in case you’re wondering: No, the hotel didn’t ask me to post the video on my blog. Nor did it offer to pay me or give me free accommodation if I did.  (I don’t have that kind of good luck, unfortunately).  I found the video while clicking around the web, and liked it so much I decided to feature it in a blog post. Santorini was one of the first Greek islands we got to visit, and it’s one of the reasons we fell in love with Greece and keep going back. I simply hope that sharing the film might inspire other dreamers and travel buffs to visit Greece some day, if they haven’t been there yet. 

And if you’re a fan of minimalist design and crisp white interior decor, click on the link below to see the sweet looks of luxury — a selection of tantalizing images I’ve collected from various galleries on the Canaves Oia website. There’s a few photos of the breathtaking views from the accommodations, restaurants, bars and swimming pools, too.

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New luxury hotels opening on Mykonos for summer 2017

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Branco Mykonos Hotel

An artistic illustration of the luxurious loungers and sunbeds that the new 5-star Branco Mykonos Hotel will offer its guests on Platis Gialos beach

 

More luxury: Visitors will have more choices of upscale accommodations for their Mykonos holidays as several brand-new luxury properties prepare to open for the 2017 tourist season.

But the arrival of some of the high-end hotels means fewer options for budget travellers, since at least two of the properties previously were mid-range hotels that have been thoroughly renovated and converted into first-class accommodations.

Gone are the Golden Star Hotel in Mykonos Town, which has been replaced by Absolut Mykonos Suites & More, and the Hotel Lady Anna at Platis Gialos beach, which has been upgraded and  rebranded as the 5-star Branco Mykonos Hotel.

 

 

The Mykonos Bay Hotel at Megali Ammos beach also has rebranded and is now named Mykonos Bay Resort & Villas. Its social media pages recently referred to “art design” and “new premises,” and its online booking page mentions the hotel was renovated in December, but no further details of changes since last season are available yet.

Meanwhile, a noteworthy newcomer is Adel Private Suites, which will welcome guests to a quiet hilltop location with panoramic views of Mykonos Town, the New Port and beyond.

 

Absolut Mykonos Suites & More hotel

A promotional image showing the logo for Absolut Mykonos Suites & More

 

You can expect to see additional upscale hotels launching on Mykonos in the foreseeable future.

The Mitsis Hotels group, which operates the Sofitel Athens Airport Hotel, is planning a 100-bed complex of apartments and suites, for instance, while other premier chains like Four Seasons and W Hotels apparently have been eyeing and acquiring locations at some of the island’s major south coast beach resorts.

 

Adel Private Suites Mykonos

An Adel Private Suites promotional image showing the jacuzzi-equipped seaview terrace of one of its Cozy Suites

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading and see more of the new hotels making their debut this year.

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Sizing up Stivari

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Stivari settlement on Andros

The Stivari settlement overlooks a scenic coast and bay on Andros

 

Stivari settlement on Andros

The road through Stivari is lined on one side with buildings of reasonably-priced rental studios for summer tourists  …

 

sea view from Stivari area of Andros

… while the other side of the road offers wide open views of the sea, sunset, some small nearby islands and the Andros coastline

 

Batsi village on Andros

The beach resort village of Batsi is less than a 10-minute walk away

  

Studio suburb: There’s a lot to like about Andros, as we discovered during our first trip to the island in late May 2015 — and as I have already described in a series of Andros posts I have published in recent months.

Something else we really liked was the Stivari area, which we passed through several times a day while walking between our hotel and the beach resort village of Batsi.

Stivari is a small hillside settlement that’s basically a coastal “suburb” of Batsi, which is a mere 5- to 10-minute walk up the road.  There are more than a dozen different accommodation options right at Stivari or within close walking distance, and most of the rooms have nice garden or sea views from their balconies or terraces. The area has a popular taverna and a small shingle beach (actually just a few steps apart from each other), and is within a scenic 15-minute coastal walk of two better beaches, one of which boasts a superb seaview restaurant.

 

Stivari is a convenient base for Andros vacationers, especially those who don’t want to rely on a rental vehicle to get around  — it’s so close to all the amenities that Batsi village has to offer, yet still just far enough away to offer a little more peace and quiet than you’ll find in and around the village’s popular tourist center and beach.  

What we particularly liked about Stivari is the area’s impressive scenery: the surrounding steep hills are dotted with houses, villas and the accommodation properties; crystal-clear turquoise seawater sparkles beneath the rocky cliffs that line the coast; and there are beautiful island, sea, and sunset views from the hillsides and from the pebbly sand on Stivari beach. Whether we passed by in morning, afternoon or at night, there was always a pleasant and calming atmosphere  — though our favourite time was evening, when Stivari was bathed in the golden glow of the setting sun.

Please click on the link below to continue reading on page 2, where I have posted some of our photos of Stivari, and on page 3, where I have provided a listing of accommodations in the area, complete with photos and hotel contact information.

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