Staying at Chara Houses in Mani

Staying at Chara Houses in Mani, promises a unique and enriching experience, combining stunning natural beauty with rich history and traditional charm. 

If you are looking for a memorable getaway in the Peloponnese that’s filled with relaxation, adventure and cultural experiences, these authentic seaside homes are the perfect choice for a beautiful escape – from June through to late October, as the weather in this charming part of mainland Greece remains hot and sea temperatures stay warm through to autumn. 

Located on a stunning stretch of coastline, Chara Houses, only steps away from the beach, is a private and gated property that features five spacious homes that can accommodate up to seven guests, making it perfect for family holidays, friend group trips- or yoga, artist and writers retreats.

Featuring traditional Maniot architecture that blends in perfectly with modern comforts, the exterior is characterised by colourful facades, stone walls, wooden beams, and terracotta roofing, while the cozy interior is a haven of warmth and relaxation. Boasting three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a fully equipped kitchen – Chara Houses is ideal for longer stays. 

You will also find plantation shutter windows, Juliet balconies, and covered terraces that offer panoramic views of the nearby lush gardens with hammocks and plenty of space for play, and most importantly the nearby sea, reminding guests they are mere moments away from the quiet and sandy Kalamakia beach, where they are also given their own umbrella and sunbeds – allowing for endless hours of swimming and sunbathing every day. 

What makes family-run Chara Houses so special is the serenity, and fresh, invigorating air filled with the scent of the sea and wild local herbs; not to mention its attentive host Lazarus, who ensures guests are comfortable, and always happy to share where to savour fresh local cuisine, including some traditional seaside fish taverns that are within walking distance. As well as revealing other nearby places to discover, such as Areopoli and Gytheion town, and the picture-perfect Limeni fishing village, or the famous Diros caves, which are only 25 minutes away. 

Once a week, Lazarus also hosts BBQ nights for his guests, where they can experience an authentic village-style gathering filled with local homemade dishes using fresh vegetables and herbs from the property’s pristine garden.  

And if that’s not enough, what will make this stay most memorable is waking up each day to the peaceful and gentle sound of waves lapping against the sandy shore and the golden rays of the sun illuminating the azure waters of the Mediterranean, which is guaranteed through to September and October, making it the ideal time to enjoy more outdoor activities such as kayaking and cycling in Skoutari Bay, horse riding at Charia village, and strolling around Vatheia village – also perfect for those who want to avoid the peak summer crowds.

Each house comes with…

  • Private parking 
  • Wi-Fi
  • Airconditioning
  • Washing machine 
  • TV
  • Housekeeping every 3 days
  • Linen & towels

A: Skoutari, Mani, Laconia 


Hotel Review: Mèlisses in Andros

Staying at Mèlisses in Andros is an experience of unparalleled elegance, serenity, and laid-back luxury.  

This quaint, and immaculately designed seaside B&B combines the charm of traditional Cycladic hospitality with the finest comforts. 

The lowdown

As soon as we arrived at Mèlisses main house, we were immediately greeted by our warm and attentive hostess Allegra, and her lovely staff who prepared homemade lemonade and a decadent freshly baked chocolate cake served with a dollop of thick cream alongside, which set the scene for the next few days. 


Mèlisses is a masterpiece of modern architecture that blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings. The outdoor space features an exquisite stone terrace overlooking the salt-water infinity pool and nearby gardens boasting varieties of fruit trees, local herbs and blossoming flowers. But it’s those uninterrupted views of the Aegean Sea and the sound of waves slowly splashing against the rocks that helps solidify an all-day soothing experience. As for the notable décor – you’ll find antique furniture, local ceramics, and vintage chic objects sourced from France, Italy and Greece, carefully placed in every corner. 


There are five bedrooms at Mèlisses, all beautifully styled with Allegra’s signature touch. Each room features sea views, and natural sunlight, as well as antique pieces, exquisite artwork, plush French mattresses, Italian crisp white linen sheets, traditional handwoven blankets, and locally made organic bathroom products – such as lavender shower gel and rosemary shampoo that smell just as good as they feel on your skin. 

Food + Drinks

Each morning in the open space kitchen-living room, you’ll find Allegra and her small team lovingly preparing a delightful breakfast spread. Think freshly baked bread, seasonal hand-picked fruits, and a variety of homemade jams, spoon sweets, and biscotti – all laid across a wooden communal table where like-minded guests come together to start their day. As each one takes a seat, they are served freshly squeezed juices, local cheeses, Greek yogurt drizzled with honey, cherry tomatoes (from Allegra’s garden), as well as perfectly made fried eggs with fresh herbs. 

In the evenings, Allegra is happy to create a private dinner for anyone who requests it, and each week Mèlisses prepares a signature feast highlighting Mediterranean cuisine. This includes a light aperitivo followed by a three-course meal served on antique porcelain dinnerware – adding to the soft, dreamlike ambience.  

Extras touches

Walking down a few steps of the property gives guests direct access to a private bay- so you can dive straight into the refreshing sea for some snorkelling (Allegra will provide you with fins and gear). Or you can order a picnic basket filled with a variety of cheeses, cured meats, pastries and pickles, then take a seat under the nearby wooden hut to savour each bite. 

What’s close-by

The property is completely isolated, adding to its unique charm and beauty. You will need a car to get around and it’s about a 10-minute drive to Batsi, a pretty fishing village with plenty of good tavernas and a great little beach for a nice dip. Also note that it’s about a 25-minute drive to Gavrio (port) and around a 40-minute drive to the Chora (main town). 

Highlight of stay

Knowing that your days are filled with endless possibilities for nearby exploration, followed by the comfort of returning to a breathtaking place that offers absolute relaxation (and a magical sunset)! We should also mention that not only does Allegra share her curated guide with must-visit spots in Andros before her guest’s arrival, but she is also there to let you in on local secrets, such as what beach to visit on the day (depending on the wind) or a recently opened art exhibition.

Ultimately, Mèlisses is not just a place to stay – it’s an inspiring escape that leaves you with wonderful memories of tranquillity and exceptional hospitality.

Perfect for

Couples, solo travellers, a girls’ weekend away, or anyone who appreciates good food, slow living and attention to detail. 

Accommodation type: Boutique B&B 

Location: Aprovato, Andros 


Hotel Review: The Excelsior Hotel in Thessaloniki

Nestled in the heart of the city centre, where history whispers from every corner, The Excelsior Hotel in Thessaloniki stands tall as a beacon of unparalleled charm and hospitality.

As this vibrant city beckons travellers from far and wide, this timeless hotel is a haven where sophistication meets warmth, and tradition intertwines seamlessly with modern luxury.

It’s the ideal place for couples and those who want to explore the heart of town whilst being a breath away from Thessaloniki’s seafront.

The lowdown

Located on the corner of Komninon Street and Mitropoleos Avenue, just a short walk away from Aristotelous Square and the famous seafront – it’s perfectly positioned for anyone eager to explore the rich tapestry of Thessaloniki’s cultural heritage. With monuments and The White Tower just a stone’s throw away, guests are invited to immerse themselves in the city’s storied past while enjoying the modern-day conveniences of luxurious accommodations.


From the moment you step foot into this historic establishment, you are enveloped in an atmosphere of refined elegance and genuine hospitality. The Excelsior Hotel prides itself on its unique ability to blend timeless traditions of the past with the contemporary comforts of today, offering guests a nostalgic and indulgent experience. 


The meticulously appointed rooms exude comfort and style. Although the hotel was built in 1924, it underwent a complete renovation in 2009 and now features 36 luxurious rooms and suites with art deco balconies, neoclassical high windows and elegant aesthetics that make your time here unforgettable. 

We stayed in a Deluxe Double room that comes fully equipped with a king-size bed (boasting comfort), a top-to-bottom marble bathroom filled with branded toiletries, an espresso coffee machine and beautiful artwork. The room was spacious, light and airy, and our private balcony was the perfect spot to enjoy a morning coffee. 

Food + Drinks

In the Charlie D. Brasserie on the mezzanine floor, culinary delights await guests every morning. The menu features handpicked recipes and fresh ingredients, prepared with love by a talented team of chefs – making breakfast a journey for the senses.

From savoury dishes that tantalize the taste buds to visually stunning creations that are worthy of your Instagram feed, everything from eggs royale to vegan muffins to the lush pancakes is a feast for both the eyes and the palate.

Extras touches

The reception and concierge services are impeccable. It’s the people that make a place and most certainly the staff at The Excelsior go out of their way to ensure each guest feels welcome. Another standout is the beautifully designed lounge area- perfect space to sit back, relax, flick through a magazine, and just unwind after a day of sightseeing.

What’s close-by

The top city attractions are within walking distance. From here you can embark on a daily tour of the city and explore Aristotelous Square (that is 200m away), Laladika and the Ancient Agora of Thessaloniki, Democracy Square, Rotunda and the Arch of Galerius. The White Tower and OTE Tower are also roughly 1 km away each.

Highlight of stay

The Excelsior Hotel is not just a place to stay – it’s an experience to savour. Whether you’re visiting Thessaloniki for business or pleasure, this hotel offers everything you need in terms of comfort, style and location. 

Perfect for

Couples, explorers, business trips and family visits.

Accommodation type: Boutique hotel 

Location: 10 Komninon & 23 Mitropoleos Av, Thessaloniki

Hottest New Hotel Openings in Greece in 2024

Exciting new hotels are making their debut across Greece again this year!

From Mykonos and Santorini to Folegandros and Kea – we’ve rounded up the hottest new hotels in Greece that stand out for their prime locations, stunning designs, and relaxed vibes!

One&Only Kéa Island

Insights Greece - Hottest New Hotel Openings in Greece in 2024

Set on a 65-hectare beachfront site on the west side of Kéa island, and just an hour’s ferry ride from Athens – this stunning hideaway offers guests opulent villas and residences hewn from local marble and stone. The stylish design includes private gardens, pools and windows framing Aegean vistas, soaring atriums, open archways and lofty ceilings that create a relaxed grandeur. The luxurious property also includes a restaurant serving fresh dishes using organic local produce, a beach club, a lobby lounge, a wine bar, and a pool bar.

Opening: Spring 2024

Gundari, Folegandros 

Insights Greece - Hottest New Hotel Openings in Greece in 2024

This luxury resort is wrapped in 80 acres of raw nature on the secluded island of Folegandros. Set high on rugged, soaring cliffs overlooking the Aegean Sea, this oasis is designed to inspire and invigorate, with wellness, gastronomy and sustainability at its core. Featuring 25 suites and three villas, all with private infinity pools – guests can relax by the cliff-edge pool with a swim-up cocktail bar, taste fresh dishes from the farm-to-table restaurant, sip on local wine from the wine bar, or be pampered at the cliffside spa drawing on traditions of the Ancient Greeks.

Opening: May 2024

NUMO Mykonos

Insights Greece - Hottest New Hotel Openings in Greece in 2024

The architecture of this new hotel in Mykonos seamlessly blends into the island’s iconic aesthetic inspired by Cycladic whitewashed houses, whereas the contemporary design features elements from the 60s and the 70s – creating a unique, retro vibe. Think smooth curves, simple and uncluttered lines, materials such as stone and colourful textiles – including yellow and white striped fabrics – that add a touch of playfulness to the property. Featuring a wide selection of rooms and suites, the resort also offers a Mediterranean inspired restaurant, a pool bar, a boutique spa and fitness centre.

Opening: May 2024

Avant Mar, Paros 

Insights Greece - Hottest New Hotel Openings in Greece in 2024

Only a short stroll from both the gorgeous Piperi Beach and pretty Naoussa town, this new hotel, which had a soft opening in 2023 (but will enjoy its first full summer this year), is the perfect spot to take in all of Paros’ beauty. Boasting a a 55-metre-long swimming pool overlooking the Aegean Sea, guests can also delight in renowned Nobu-style cuisine at Matsuhisa Paros, delve into the delightful all-day menu at Thymes and relish the Greek flavours of the pastry shop, Figs. And when it’s time to wind down, there is a range of massages and treatments designed to recharge the mind, body and soul.

Opening: April 2024

Domes Novos Santorini

Insights Greece - Hottest New Hotel Openings in Greece in 2024

Set between timeless volcanic landscapes and iconic whitewashed houses, this new hotel combines luxury accommodation, gastronomy and wellness. Adorned with Cycladic murals, each of the 50 suites and two villas (all with pools) offer breathtaking views of the sea and the famous Santorini sunset. Boasting natural materials including volcanic stone and blonde oak, the resort also includes a rooftop restaurant, Topos, that serves farm-to-table neo-Greek cuisine and Domes’ signature SOMA Spa, along with an indoor pool and state-of-the-art gym.

Opening: April 2024

Odera, Tinos 

Insights Greece - Hottest New Hotel Openings in Greece in 2024

The first luxury boutique hotel of its kind on the island of Tinos, this new property with a modern yet timeless design offers both a selection of curated culinary delights and a range of wellness options for those who are in need of some R&R. With 77 guest rooms and pool suites, an expansive spa, secluded private beach and beach club, guests are also invited to hire the hotel’s boat and spend the day exploring the island.

Opening: May 2024

Santo Mine Oia Suites, Santorini 

Insights Greece - Hottest New Hotel Openings in Greece in 2024

Opening towards the end of next month, this new hotel is perched above Ammoudi Bay, on the site of an old stone mine that’s just a short walk from the centre of Oia. An adults-only retreat, it features 37 suites with jacuzzis or private pools, as well as a restaurant and all-day bar, a wine cellar showcasing local as well as international wines, a spa and an outdoor gym.

Opening: April 2024

Featured Image Courtesy of One&Only Kea Island 

Best Hotels in Athens for Christmas

Whether you’re a local Athenian looking to spoil yourself with a luxurious weekend in your home city or an international visitor wishing to experience the best the capital has to offer, those seeking a festive hotel stay for Christmas in Athens are spoiled for choice.

To help you plan your winter trip to Athens, we’ve curated a list of the best festive hotels that have gone above and beyond to make it a Christmas to remember.

Expect decadent feasts, wonderfully extravagant decorations, soothing melodies, and plenty of champagne upon arrival! 

Hotel Grande Bretagne 

Fancy spending Christmas right in the heart of Athens? Hotel Grande Bretagne allows guests to celebrate many magical experiences inside its hotel, and you are only footsteps away from the festive events taking place around the city! From the majestic 7-metre-tall Christmas tree in the glamorous lobby to the timeless crystal ornaments that adorn every space within and around the hotel- this is one of the best places to stay. Enjoy special menus in the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and bars for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day – where you can expect to find fine caviar, live jazz performances, as well as the most enchanting ambience accompanied by breathtaking views and the sparkling lights of the city below. And with the exclusive King George Perfumery and GB Store downstairs – you don’t need to go far to spoil loved ones (or yourself)!

A: 1 Vasileos Georgiou A, Syntagma Square 

Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens 

Offering a calming oasis away from the buzzing city, Four Seasons Astir Palace, located in Athens Riviera promises a delightful stay during this time of year. From a signature winter wonderland at Avra bar to special festive crafts and activities for kids to take part in every day, plus the charming and thoughtful gifts available at the boutique store- there’s no need for anyone to leave the hotel to feel the Christmas magic in the air. Guests can also spoil themselves with a relaxing spa treatment and savor some of the most exquisite dishes and traditional sweets at one of the many fabulous restaurants found right here. 

A: Apollonos 40, Vouliagmeni 

The Dolli

Indulge in the “Jolly Dolli” spirit by celebrating Christmas with the iconic Acropolis hovering just overhead, while also enjoying the all-day dazzling festivities that have been put together for each guest. The hotel’s first Christmas includes tailored handmade adornments, whimsical surprises and the scent of Christmas treats that transform The Dolli into a welcoming wonderland. The festive agenda also features a distinct range of dinners and drinks with stunning panoramic views and music, a delightful afternoon tea, and a standout weekend brunch infused with a festive spirit.

A: Mitropoleos 49, Athens

Athens Capital Hotel

Experience the joy of the season at the Athens Capital Hotel, located in the centre of the city. Here you can immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere, adorned with unique decorations and the breathtaking panoramic view of the illuminated Acropolis. The hotel’s award-winning chef Boutsalis Dimitris invites guests to savor the magic of the Réveillon extravaganza on Christmas Eve, a Réveillon de Noel – a delightful Christmas lunch, and you can also welcome the New Year in glamorous style at the dazzling New Year’s Réveillon.

A: 4 Eleftheriou Venizelou Avenue & 2 Kriezotou, Syntagma Square Street, Athens

Gatsby Athens  

Another hotel promising to bring the magic of Christmas to life is the Gatsby Athens. Featuring live musical performances each night, as well as a delightful seasonal menu that is inspired by this special time of year- guests will feel warm, cozy and festive from morning till late evening. It’s the perfect place if you are looking to finish your Christmas shopping or experience the magic of Christmas in the centre of the capital, as luxury boutiques and lively events are right at your doorstep. 

A: Lekka 18, Athens

Main image Courtesy of Hotel Grande Bretagne

Hotel Review: Mona Athens, Raw Luxury and Delicate Details

Hotel Review Mona Athens

Tucked into a gritty alley in the downtown Athens neighbourhood of Psyrri, sits Mona Athens boutique hotel: a sanctuary for the senses just moments away from buzzing Monastiraki Square. 

The lowdown

Housed in a building from the 1950s that has been preserved with great love and creativity, Mona Athens is the ideal spot for those who seek a unique stay and want to be among the bustle of downtown Athens. 


The delicate details throughout Mona Athens are in contrast to the underground feel of its street-level surrounds. The plush yet industrial touches you see in the rooms and common spaces are custom, hand-made, or recycled from found materials and made by the hotel’s design studio House of Shila. Many of the items on display are also available for purchase. 


The hotel has 20 rooms of different sizes that each embody a raw sense of luxury in their own way. The openness of the rooms reflects the hotel’s philosophy of surrender and freedom. The bath area in particular, which includes a large bathtub, has an open design with sheer draping (heavy velvet curtains make for room separators when privacy is needed). Boasting comforts like raw cotton sheets and ultra-comfortable low, natural mattresses treated with olive oil, there’s also fresh coffee beans, loose-leaf tea and a minibar filled with gourmet Greek products making guests feel right at home. Room types include the Intimate, Velvet, Floret, Amour, Penthouse and Mona suites, sleeping 2-4 people.

Food + Drinks

The breakfast room on the ground level is a peaceful communal space that resembles an industrial living room surrounded by exquisite design pieces. The Levantine-inspired breakfast includes savoury and sweet options, such as eggs, a selection of mouthwatering spreads served with sourdough bread, yogurt bowl and pancakes. Your morning coffee and choice of food can also be enjoyed in the comfort of the rooms or on the rooftop. Also good to note, room service is available throughout the day.

Extras touches

When Mona’s rooftop isn’t playing host to art and book launches or supper club events, it makes for a stylish spot to unwind while serving yourself from the Honest Bar which runs on an honour system. A selection of hand-picked natural wines is a highlight. 

Mona’s reception and concierge services are accessed via a tablet placed in each room. Here, you can also find information about additional services that can be arranged for guests like personal training sessions, massage treatments and laundry services. 

What’s close-by

Almost everything! Being a few minutes walk from Monastiraki Square means that you’ll be moments from the Monastiraki Flea Market, the historical district of Plaka and walking distance to the Acropolis, along with great bars, cafes and restaurants just a stone’s throw away. Also worth mentioning is the close proximity to the metro line that takes you to both the Airport and Piraeus port. 

Highlight of stay

While there’s no shortage of accommodation options in downtown Athens, it’s the cool, considered details that make Mona Athens stand out from the pack.  

Perfect for

Trendy couples and 30 to 40-something travellers who want to indulge in a feeling of sensuality and comfort while in the heart of downtown Athens.

Accommodation type: Boutique hotel 

Location: Kakourgodikiou 4, Athens

Athens’ Hottest New Hotel Openings of 2023

We take a look at some of the hottest new hotel openings of 2023 to give you some exciting options for your next visit to Athens! 

Whether you’re popping into the capital for an overnight stay, or you’re planning on spending days exploring the city, Athens has loads of chic new hotels to choose from. Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favourites! 


Insights Greece - Athens' Hottest New Hotel Openings of 2023

This stunning new 5-star boutique hotel is housed in one of the most iconic 1925 neoclassical buildings in Athens and the best part is, it’s only a few steps away from the Acropolis. The elegantly designed guestrooms consist of a wonderful selection of rooms and apartments, and there’s also an infinity pool, private spa, gym and rooftop restaurant with breathtaking views of the city. 

A: Mitropoleos 49, Athens 


Insights Greece - Athens' Hottest New Hotel Openings of 2023

Set in Athens’ fashionable Kolonaki neighbourhood, this newly opened hotel features 24 stylish rooms (some with views of Lycabettus Hill), as well as a fine dining restaurant, a hotel bar and a fitness centre with a fully equipped gym. Conveniently located, from here you can walk to nearby boutiques, restaurants and cafés. 

A: Voukourestiou 30, Athens


Insights Greece - Athens' Hottest New Hotel Openings of 2023

Located in the glamourous Glyfada neighbourhood on the Athens Riviera, this new hotel is situated near a sandy beach and offers 36 elegantly designed suites with stunning views of either the sea and the Saronic Gulf, or the mountain and city lights. Here, guests can treat themselves at the Namm Spa, swim in the infinity pool, or dine at the Mediterranean rooftop restaurant and bar. 

A: Pandoras 3, Glyfada


Insights Greece - Athens' Hottest New Hotel Openings of 2023

Getting ready to open its doors in October 2023, this new boutique hotel is also set in the Glyfada neighbourhood and features over 100 private rooms, breathtaking suites, and private villas designed to highlight the beauty of the Athens Riviera. With an ode to both ancient and modern Athens, the hotel also features a spa and restaurants on-site, where guests can indulge in authentic Greek flavours made from locally sourced produce. 

A: Leof. Poseidonos, Glyfada


Insights Greece - Athens' Hottest New Hotel Openings of 2023

Perfectly situated in the historic centre of Athens, this newly opened hotel is close to Plaka, Monastiraki and Syntagma. Featuring 53 rooms, there is also a full-service spa, where guests can enjoy a massage or mud therapy, as well as an open-air terrace so you can enjoy a craft cocktail while taking in the panoramic city views. 

A: Lekka 31, Athens


Insights Greece - Athens' Hottest New Hotel Openings of 2023

Set in the colourful and lively Psyrri neighbourhood, this cool new hotel features 48 sun-filled bedrooms with sleek retro décor. There is also a lush tropical garden, where guests can gather under the shadow of a half-century-old palm tree to unwind, as well as a stylish rooftop that offers amazing Acropolis and city views! 

A: Kranaou 3, Athens 

5 Amazing Greek Island Villas to Stay at in Autumn

From Tinos to Santorini and Corfu to Crete, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite Greek villas to stay at during Autumn.

Fall is one of the best seasons to visit Greece, as with harvest comes some of the best food festivals, local markets, and restaurants that take pride in highlighting the delicious seasonal produce on offer. Now’s the time you’ll also find fewer crowds, giving visitors a fantastic opportunity to experience the Greek islands’ cultural, historical, and gastronomic charms.

These fresher days are when it’s ideal to have a cozy and welcoming villa to call home. So, here are our top picks across the Greek islands for an unforgettable stay this autumn!



Insights Greece - 5 Amazing Greek Island Villas to Stay at in Autumn

Known for being a foodie’s paradise, Tinos is one of the best Greek islands to visit during Autumn, as you can go on some awesome hikes and also find some amazing wineries that deserve to be explored. And this architectural oasis in Volax, is the perfect place to stay, as it’s a one-of-a-kind holiday home that is truly warm and inviting. Built carefully into the magnificent boulders that make Volax so unique, the spacious and airy 3-bedroom home is cleverly laid out with an internal garden and wide glass doors, making guests feel close to nature both day and night.

Sleeps 6 | Bedrooms 3 | Bathrooms 2 



Insights Greece - 5 Amazing Greek Island Villas to Stay at in Autumn

With a charming Venetian Old Town, great local museums and markets, and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Corfu is an ideal place for a getaway this time of year. And boasting a stunning sea view position in one of Corfu’s most sought-after areas, Iola is one of the top luxury villas available for rent in the Ionian Islands. Featuring an exquisite design, superior fittings and finishings, and stylish designer furnishings; its array of high-spec amenities, including a cinema room, a sauna, a gym and an infinity pool, guarantees you won’t want to leave!

Sleeps 10 | Bedrooms 5 | Bathrooms 6



Insights Greece - 5 Amazing Greek Island Villas to Stay at in Autumn

Greece’s most romantic island is as grand as ever in Autumn, so if you want to catch the magical sunset and the fall moon rising over this beautiful Cycladic isle, this is the best time to visit! With amazing hiking, wineries and restaurants open till the end of November, this  3- bedroom villa is the perfect place to come back to after a long day of exploring. Boasting classic Santorini architecture and breathtaking caldera views, this cliffside home with an infinity pool and terrace will make your time here all the more memorable.

Sleeps 6 | Bedrooms 3 | Bathrooms 3



Insights Greece - 5 Amazing Greek Island Villas to Stay at in Autumn

The largest island of the Dodecanese, Rhodes is home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the medieval Old Town, which has been declared a World Heritage Site. With its impressive castle, fortifications and cobbled streets, Rhodes’ beautiful historic sites are best enjoyed out of peak season. And only a 15-minute drive from the Old Town, you’ll find this well-decorated bungalow that offers a lovely getaway for a holiday among friends or a small family. With a pool, BBQ area, and hammock, this is the kind of place you can easily come back to and totally unwind after a busy day sightseeing!

Sleeps 4 | Bedrooms 2 | Bathrooms 1



Insights Greece - 5 Amazing Greek Island Villas to Stay at in Autumn

The temperatures in Crete are never too cold, and beautiful autumn days are filled with sunny afternoons allowing you the chance for a swim until the end of November. And what better place to stay than this beautiful beachfront villa with stunning sea views, that’s only a few minutes walk to the local shops and restaurants! Featuring clean and modern finishes, this stunning abode also boasts an outdoor swimming pool with a jacuzzi.

Sleeps 10 | Bedrooms 5 | Bathrooms 5

Featured Image | Volax by Aegean Dream Bnb

Hotel Review: MonAsty Thessaloniki

Set in a perfect location, exquisitely designed MonAsty Thessaloniki introduces guests to a sophisticated take on Byzantine hospitality.

The lowdown

The first luxury hotel in Marriott Bonvoy’s Autograph collection, MonAsty is an urban oasis offering sophisticated hospitality and unique design very much inspired by Thessaloniki’s Byzantine heritage. 

Insights Greece - Hotel Review: MonAsty Thessaloniki


MonAsty hotel has managed to bring the magnificence of Thessaloniki’s Byzantine heritage to today’s way of living. This theme is carried through aesthetic touches that are found in every inch of the hotel, its facilities and rooms, and includes a blend of art installations created by local artisans that have used a range of stunning materials such as traditional silks. 


The hotel’s 100 rooms are rich with elegant decoration and Byzantine design details (the arched doorways are a signature theme). The Classic, Twin, Superior and Deluxe rooms cater for groups of up to 3 or 4 while the Junior and Executive suites are designed as a spacious haven for sophisticated travellers visiting the city for work or rest. 

Insights Greece - Hotel Review: MonAsty Thessaloniki

Food + Drinks

Botargo restaurant, located on the ground floor of the hotel, offers monastic culinary traditions, with dishes once savoured by Byzantine emperors and monks. 

Samite, the hotel’s all-day gastro bar, offers fusion bites and a fine selection of wines and liqueurs.

Finally, the rooftop bar Ennea is an idyllic spot for enjoying a sweeping view of the city.

Note: Guests can opt to enjoy the breakfast experience. 

Extra touches

By way of extras, MonAsty has a fully equipped, modern gym. Guests can also enjoy a swim in the pool in the summer months.

What’s close by

MonAsty is centrally located close to all that Thessaloniki has to offer. Major sights like Aristotelous Square and the White Tower of Thessaloniki are within walking distance and the newly renovated and reopened Agora Modiano is a stone’s throw away. 

Highlight of stay

The detailed design touches and sophisticated ambience of the hotel and rooms set it apart from other stays available within the city centre. Although Thessaloniki is a city with so much to explore, you’ll look forward to coming back to your room for some rest and relaxation. 

Why I’d come back…

To put it simply, the location is hard to beat. MonAsty is close walking distance to all the places you’ll want to visit but removed enough to remain a quiet sanctuary.  

Perfect for… 

Singles, couples and small groups who want an extra touch of design aesthetic while being centrally located. 

Accommodation type:  Luxury 

Location: 45, Vasileos Irakleiou Street, Thessaloniki 

Stylish Escape at Meli Suites

Imagine for a moment that you are soaking in the warm rays of the Greek sun in your own private swimming pool overlooking the sea. It feels nourishing and healing- as all your aches and pains just fade away. Welcome to Meli Suites in Skala Potamia, a little piece of paradise!

We visited the Meli Suites Isle before and loved every single bit of our stay. Having chatted with the staff it sounded like we shouldn’t leave the island without taking a look at the Meli Suites, the original hotel of the Meli Suites hotel collection.

Meli Suites is mainly comprised of stylish suites embracing a mixture of Scandinavian and Aegean architecture with private swimming pools and sea views. Inside the suites, the luxury brief is taken seriously with eye-popping decor and details that recall the famous, white-washed Cycladic islands.

Lavish interiors aside, Meli Suites is located in Skala Potamias centre, right next to the busy seafront with a number of bars and restaurants, making it the perfect launchpad for exploring the village on foot. It didn’t take much to persuade my husband that we had to extend our stay on the island. Thankfully, the idea was equally appealing to him, too.

We stayed at the Superior Suite and our time here can only be described as indelible!

With a private balcony that featured our very own swimming pool, big, comfy sunbeds and spectacular sea views, we didn’t see any need to leave the hotel and travel further afield. In the morning, we would indulge in our homemade breakfast by the main swimming pool, then sunbathe on our private balcony and would only leave to take a quick dip in the sea before lunch. At night, we would drop into one of the seafront bars and enjoy a cocktail while gazing at the sea.

But enough with the words, let the pictures speak for themselves!

If you are thinking of visiting the verdant green island of Thassos, then Skala Potamia is a good place to start. From here you can embark on daily trips to the nearby villages of Panagia and Limenaria, and explore beaches like the Giola Lagoon with its crystal emerald waters. Beyond this, Meli Suites is the most luxurious and stylish hotel in the area so book your stay in one of their luxurious suites and let the positive vibes of this unique hotel work wonders for your mind and body.

Images by: Alexandros Iconomidis ©
Architecture design: BMMB Architects 

Staying at Meli Suites Isle in Thassos

If you are after a chic yet private, honeymoon-style sanctuary in Thassos, Meli Suites Isle, the latest hotel of the Meli Suites collection in Skala Potamia, offers an elegant, relaxing and stylish stay for loved-up couples. 

The striking architecture of Meli Suites Isle is the first thing you notice when walking through the stone-built entry. Picture scattered olive trees, beige sandstone walls, rattan hanging chairs and outdoor raffia roofing all intertwined with one big swimming pool – the focal point of the entire space.

But it’s not just a swimming pool! Just as ‘meli‘ (honey) is the ingredient that makes any Greek breakfast special, respectively, this swimming pool is the ‘meli‘ that makes this place so distinctive- as it effortlessly connects the rooms – with each suite having its own access to the water. 

The concept is not only unique but it also contributes to the harmony of Meli Suite’s design.

“It takes an architectural genius to build a place like this,” is what another guest said while we enjoyed our breakfast by the pool one morning.

Then, you get to know that the owner, Stelios Nikoloudis, who is a London-based civil engineer with a keen eye for textures and materials.

The isle in the middle of the swimming pool with its growing olive tree, the brilliant marriage between all the textures and natural materials – plus the painstaking attention to detail is what makes Meli Suites so special. 

With three rooms and eight suites all individually styled and named after their unique features – we stayed in the Arch Room, where every morning felt like we were waking up in paradise. Featuring views of the serene pool, the swim-up private deck allows guests direct access to the water right by the bedroom suite.  

Having breakfast by the pool was another unique experience, with owner, Yianna being the epitome of Greek hospitality. Not only does she serve a homemade breakfast, she also makes recommendations for places to visit on the island, and shares local secrets, including how to find the most gorgeous beaches.

We tried the floating breakfast on our last day in the hotel and it was the ultimate luxury! Presented on a large tray complete with homemade Greek pastries, freshly squeezed juices, and eggs- it was the best start to our day and something to remember.

There are plenty of spaces to stay in Skala Potamias but Meli Suites Isle is most certainly our favourite. Not only will you fall in love with the impeccable design and architecture – but you will also be blown away by their warm hospitality. Book your stay at the Deluxe Suite with a bathtub now and you can thank me later.

Images by: Alexandros Iconomidis ©
Architecture design: BMMB Architects 

Marbella Elix, a Stunning New Luxury Resort

It is easy to see why Marbella Elix is popular with discerning families who look for fun and convenience. Calm, modern design rooms peer over dense olive groves and azure waters- a place to stow away and let off steam. This is most certainly Epirus’ best-kept secret!

Shy of the beautiful town of Parga, Marbella Elix is a luxury hotel where relaxation and tranquillity acquire a whole new meaning, where all-inclusive does not confuse abundance with quality and where food is seasonally sourced and cooked. It is no surprise after all that Marbella Elix was included in Condé Nast Traveller’s 2022 Hot List!

Style & Feel

Amphitheatrically built and perched on a hill by Karavostasi beach, Marbella Elix visitors are amazed by the big glass walls and sea views once entering the lobby. “Blue as far as the eye can see” is what everyone kept saying to each other whilst the concierge took care of our luggage.

The lobby lounge has a laid-back feeling that makes you want to spend your evening gazing into the deep blue water. It works overtime as a cafe and bar and does a pretty good job of calming you down especially if you have travelled all day long. The interior decor is a well-matched mix of local traditional elements and Moroccan features- think of big armchairs, wooden tables, metal lanterns with an antiqued bronze finish and soothing neutral beach colours, it sold me!


I’ve expressed my love for the Marbella Collection 5-star hotels many times in the past. I had the pleasure of staying at the Marbella Corfu and I have also visited the Nido Suites but this was the first time I stayed at the Marbella Elix and from the first glance I could tell that the same quality and attention to detail applied here, too.

Tall handmade headboard? Check. Contemporary details mixed with classic features? Check. Impeccable interior decoration? Check. Big rainfall shower? Check. Coupled with a big balcony, comfy sunloungers and a big glass deck railing to make the most of the breathtaking sea views and views to the islands of Corfu, Paxos, and Antipaxos, it was difficult not to fall in love with the place.

I loved every detail, from the cushions in the living room to the natural variations in the grain and colour of the wooden wardrobe! 

There are multiple rooms- some have their private swimming pools others are closer to the beach. Our room was next to the swimming pool and Indigo bar, as soon as we checked in we took a stroll around before ending up in the baby swimming pool with our little M practising her swimming moves.


I have already waxed lyrical about the food at Marbella Elix; it is freshly cooked with locally sourced ingredients and caters for all tastes and preferences. There is a little fine dining corner for those who seek luxury and then there’s Greek food, seafood and special dietary requirements food catering to vegans and people with intolerances. And by vegan food, I mean spinach risotto and vegetable moussaka, not just fries and boiled veggies.

Those with a sweet tooth wouldn’t be left unsatisfied either. Marbella Elix has a magnificent selection of desserts you must save room for; from perfectly baked Greek sweet pies to white chocolate mousse and mocha pots de creme, it was nearly impossible not to try at least two different puddings at a time.

Decadent, rich, full of flavours, a proper feast for the eyes!

To top the dining experience off, the hotel offers a culinary series called Greek Chefs Abroad where, as the name suggests, Greek Chefs from abroad cook for the hotel’s guests giving them the chance to taste menus they wouldn’t have the opportunity to do so otherwise.


The beautiful beach of Karavostasi unfolding below the hotel is easily reached by the funicular railway, making access to the sea easier if you have mobility issues or if you are carrying a baby stroller around like myself. But if you are more of a swimming pool type, the infinity pool at the Indigo bar will no doubt have you smitten with its striped bean bag sunloungers, sea views and calming scenery.

Into sports and outdoor activities? Then, go trekking in the pine forest hills surrounding the hotel or go kayaking in the colling waters of the Ionian Sea. Into relaxation and mindfulness? Visit the spa, join one of the yoga classes at the gym or, even better, follow one of the Digi Detox Activities! Looking for kids’ activities? Let your kids join “The Grasshoppers” Kids Club  & Creche. Supervised and cared for by multilingual childcare professionals this club offers activities for those between four months and 12 years, letting the parents the time to soak up the sun by the pool and enjoy the serenity of their private balcony.

Marbella Elix is truly a place that caters to everyone’s liking!

Until now, I had the softest spot for Marbella Corfu, but I think I’ve found a Marbella Collection hotel that’s taken over the top spot! We had the most wonderful time at Marbella Elix and I cannot wait to return back soon.

The post-lockdown Greek tourism explosion is real so if any of you reading this are thinking of a last-minute holiday in Greece, this is the time to do it or book your trip for next summer – any excuse to start planning your next adventure, right?

Images by Anastasia Fountouli ©