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!

Rooms

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.

Food

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.

Facilities

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 ©

Stunning New Hotel Opens in Sifnos 

A stunning new hotel has opened its doors on the island of Sifnos. Featuring a rustic chic design, NOS Hotel & Villas is set amongst rugged natural beauty – making it the ideal intimate hideaway. 

Located on Faros and within walking distance to some of Sifnos’ best beaches, NOS offers 18 suites, set across four stone buildings- all with breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea and the 17th-century Monastery of Panagia Chrysopigi; an emblematic landmark of the island. Featuring bright and airy spaces, the suites effortlessly flow onto private courtyards, terraces and balconies allowing for seamless indoor/outdoor living.

Designed by Athens-based K-Studio, the property is inspired by nearby authentic villages.  This is mainly highlighted by the natural materials used throughout the space- including stone, marble, and lime mortar. With smooth finishes and earthy décor throughout- the suites feature ceramic basins and woven stools that have been made by local craftsmen, as well as original artwork created specifically for the hotel by local artists.  

The property also offers an on-site restaurant with a delightful menu created by award-winning Executive Chef Athinagoras Kostakos. The eatery is set on a dreamy terrace, while dishes are made with ingredients sourced from local producers, offering guests Mediterranean flavours with a modern twist. There is also an impressive wine cellar filled with handpicked varieties from the hotel’s sommeliers, who have carefully chosen reds and whites from all over Greece and other parts of the world. 

Only 200 m from Faros Beach, 300 m from Fassolou Beach, and less than 1 km from Chrysopigi beach – it’s the perfect spot for those who love the sun and sand. NOS Hotel & Suites also features free private parking, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre, an open-air spa, as well as a bar, and a garden; plus a 24-hour front desk, 24-hour room service, a shuttle service, and free WiFi throughout the property. 

A: Faros, Sifnos 

Stylish New Hotel Set to Open in Ios this Summer

Grand Blue Suites, the sister hotel of Ios Palace Hotel & Spa is set to open its doors on Ios island in the middle of June, offering guests the ultimate Cycladic getaway. 

The brand-new hotel focuses on a unique outdoor living experience- with large private pools and a stunning outdoor setting. Grand Blue Suites embodies an unprecedented and bold approach of “living the infinite blue”.

An authentic Cycladic essence is discreetly infused in every corner of the 12 suites- enriching the modern decor with touches of minimal style. Each suite boasts seamless indoor and outdoor living spaces- with finely furnished verandas and private pools; ideal for guests to take in the panorama of the infinite blue Aegean Sea. 

In line with the architectural motifs of the traditional Cycladic buildings, Grand Blue Suites is deeply connected with the island’s beautiful landscape, as the hotel has been built using the very stones of its own plot of land for the suites; blending them harmoniously with the serene mountainous scenery above Mylopotas beach.

Located within only a few minutes’ walk from the vibrant main town of the island, the hotel is the ideal base to reach a variety of restaurants, bars, shops and nightclubs.

In collaboration with Ios Palace Hotel & Spa, the new hotel will offer guests premium services including a culinary experience at Tomatini Restaurant (serving authentic Greek dishes and Mediterranean flavours), signature cocktails at the Upper Bar by the pool, revitalizing therapies at the spa and a fully equipped gym with sea views.

Hotel management and development company Trésor Hospitality has been closely involved with every aspect of this new hotel, from idea to implementation, construction, design, management and marketing, as it undergoes the pre-opening and 360 management services.

Images Courtesy of Trésor Hospitality  ©

Elegant New Hotel Opening in Thessaloniki this Summer 

Monasty Hotel, a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection is a brand new 5-star hotel set to open in the centre of Thessaloniki in summer 2022. Combining simplicity with style, Monasty is designed to capture the authentic character of Greece’s extraordinary co-capital. 

Located next to Aristotelous square, Monasty Hotel is inspired by the richness of Thessaloniki’s remarkable past- with sophisticated elements of its Byzantine heritage highlighted throughout the hotel’s elegant spaces. 

With 100 rooms boasting modern design and comforts, Monasty is ideal for business travellers, weekend guests, and city visitors who are ready to explore the heart of Thessaloniki and its historic surroundings. Rooms and suites feature contemporary facilities and superb city views. The arched doorways, traditional monastic elements and an eclectic range of art installations created by local artisans add warmth and unique character to each space. 

Culinary experiences will be offered by the hotel’s all-day lounge and the rooftop bar, which will serve Mediterranean fusion cuisine and exquisite cocktails. The stylish and relaxed all-day bar adds a touch of class and is set to become a hot spot for business meetings and shopping breaks, offering the latest mixology trends, artisan coffee, as well as a fine selection of wines and liqueurs. 

All of Monasty’s facilities are designed to provide an exceptional and wide range of choices for guests -with an emphasis on business meetings and social events through its private dining options, lounges, meeting and conference rooms. The state-of-the-art, fully-equipped fitness centre will also allow guests to experience wellness with exceptional comfort.

“We are more than proud that they entrusted us with the management of the first Autograph Collection by Marriott hotel in the city of Thessaloniki, Monasty. Its characteristic design combined with the high standard level of services is sure to make it a reference point in the hotel map of the city,” stated Mr Panos Konstantinidis, CEO of Greece’s leading hotel management company SWOT Hospitality.

Mandarin Oriental to Open at Costa Navarino

The first Mandarin Oriental resort will open its doors in Greece at Navarino Bay, an integrated resort area at Costa Navarino, in the region of Messinia, southwest Peloponnese, amidst a breathtaking 140-hectare natural landscape, overlooking the historic Bay of Navarino.

Insights Greece - Mandarin Oriental to Open at Costa Navarino
Greece’s first Mandarin Oriental to open at Navarino Bay

Set to open in 2023, the beachfront luxury resort will feature 99 guest rooms, including 48 spacious earth-sheltered pool villas, all with outdoor terraces and stunning sea views, along with five restaurants and bars. Crafted by renowned Greek architects, Tombazis & Associates Architects and K-Studio, the unique design is aligned with Costa Navarino’s sustainable principles, featuring planted roofs blending into the natural topography of the land and the use of local materials.

Additionally, this ultra-premium resort is set to feature a 1,500 m2 spa and fitness centre with a stunning 25 m indoor-outdoor pool and sweeping sea views, complemented by state-of-the-art heat experiences and Mandarin Oriental’s signature wellness therapies in specially designed indoor treatment rooms and outdoor pavilions.

The project is owned and developed by TEMES, a leading developer and operator of high-end tourism and real estate destinations in Greece.

“We are delighted to be opening our first property in Greece in Costa Navarino and look forward to sharing this striking combination of unspoiled landscape, olive groves, pristine beaches, and authentic Greek culture in the region with our guests,” said James Riley, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental. “We are pleased to partner with TEMES, the group that has been responsible for the creation of Costa Navarino as a bourgeoning tourism destination.”

Insights Greece - Mandarin Oriental to Open at Costa Navarino
Located in the heart of Messinia

“Mandarin Oriental is renowned for delivering exemplary service and exclusive experiences in some of the most noted properties around the world,” said Achilles V. Constantakopoulos, Chairman of TEMES. “We are proud to have the Group bring their hospitality expertise for the first time to Greece, signifying the further growth of Costa Navarino, which is becoming a top international destination to visit and to live”.

Guests of Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino will also benefit from the destination’s other resort areas, and experience a vast range of outdoor activities, from biking and hiking to rock-climbing, tennis, and water sports, as well as three more signature golf courses. Additionally, a variety of dining venues and leisure activities are available across Navarino Dunes and Navarino Waterfront.

Moreover, Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino will be adjacent to Navarino Agora, an open marketplace with retail, artisanal street food, open-air cinema, and authentic local experiences by day and night.

Mandarin Oriental, Costa Navarino 

Hottest New Hotels Opening in Greece in 2022

Exciting new hotels are making their debut across Greece this year- from Samos and Santorini to Athens and Thessaloniki- we’ve rounded up the hottest new hotels in Greece that stand out for their dreamy locations, stylish designs, and chilled vibes!

Cali, Mykonos

Set on its own private beach, Cali Mykonos is a new luxury boutique resort that will feature 40 whitewashed villas all with their own private pools, alfresco dining area, and views of the Aegean Sea. For those who also like to mingle, there’s a communal infinity pool, state-of-the-art gym and spa, a fine dining restaurant, and a luxury range of yachts and speed boats waiting to sail you take you to nearby Cycladic islands.

Opening: June 2022

Brown Beach, Corinthia

Just 50 minutes drive away from Athens, this design resort in Corinthia boasts 166 design rooms and 110 bungalows. Unwind on your private balcony or relax by the pool, as you take in the splendid Peloponnesian views. Families and those seeking some action can take advantage of the tennis courts, pools, spa, a huge kids park, and lots more luxury experiences. 

Opening: April 2022

Xenodoxeio Milos, Athens

Located in the heart of Athens, this is the first luxury boutique hotel from the Greek restaurant group Estiatorio Milos. Offering an elegant stay in the heart of the Greek capital, here you can experience the city’s culture, history and gastronomy under one roof. The 43 rooms and suites (some of which boast spectacular Lycabettus Hill and Old Parliament House views) feature a modern feel with warm woods, velvet furnishings, and luxurious marble bathrooms throughout. One of the highlights is the restaurant with head chef Costas Spiliadis serving elevated Mediterranean dishes using local ingredients. 

Opening: January 2022

One & Only Aesthesis, Athens Riviera

This new boutique hotel set in the glamorous Glyfada neighbourhood, features 127 private rooms, breathtaking suites, and private villas designed to highlight the beauty of the Athens Riviera. Boasting mid-century design- think high ceilings, woven leather, muted tones, and accent patterns- the two restaurants on-site are also set to be a hit with guests who will be able to enjoy authentic Greek mezes, seafood, meats, and vegan delicacies all sustainably and locally sourced.

Opening: June 2022

Lesante Cape, Zakynthos

Set beachfront in the traditional village of Akrotiri close to Zakynthos Town, the new, five-star property will have 55 suites and 10 villas, plus a relaxing wellness centre- perfect for anyone looking to unwind. Featuring contemporary chic decor and stylish furnishing choices, the modern suites are bright, open and airy- while also offering views of the breathtaking Ionian Sea. 

Opening: May 2022

ON Residence, Thessaloniki

Set in a historic waterfront building, Thessaloniki’s boutique hotel is housed in a historic building since 1926. Situated in the heart of the city- with unobstructed views of Thermaikos bay- the stylish new deco-inspired hotel features 60 lavishly designed rooms and suites;  plus the main restaurant “Olympos Naoussa” (with its highly anticipated re-opening) as well as a beautiful inner courtyard, “Tiger Loop” cocktail bar, a fully-equipped gym, and a specially designed mezzanine ideal for business meetings and special events.

Opening: January 2022

Magma Resort, Santorini

Located on the tranquil side of Santorini, this boutique hotel features 59 stylish rooms including 24 suites with verandas, private pools, walk-in showers and cozy living areas. Guests are also welcome to experience the state-of-the-art Wellness Centre, and enjoy fine dining dishes at Magma by Spondi, curated by a two-starred Michelin Chef; otherwise, simply lounge by the infinity pool- overlooking the endless blue of the Aegean sea and nearby Anafi island.

Opening: June 2022

Casa Cook, Samos

Only a stone’s throw from the island’s Pythagorion village, the 128-room adults-only retreat will feature swim-up suites, countless swimming pools and its own private villa. Inspired by traditional Greek houses or the “Kamares” the hotel also features the seaside “Beach House” restaurant offering panoramic views of the Aegean Sea, a gym, an outdoor yoga shala and a wellness centre complete with spa suites, hammam massages and a nail salon.

Opening: May 2022

Yi, Mykonos 

With a range of lavish suites, this new upscale resort features a stunning design and modern comforts- allowing guests to feel right at home from the moment they arrive. Boasting private pools and breathtaking views of the magical Aegean, it’s also close to   Elia beach. From great all-day dishes and stunning outdoor dining areas to a stunning spa- it’s the perfect spot to unwind after visiting buzzing Mykonos town.  

Opening: July 2022

Monasty, Thessaloniki

A brand new 5-star hotel in the centre of Thessaloniki, Monasty is part of the exclusive Autograph Collection of Marriott International. This boutique hotel is the perfect spot for leisure or business, as it’s in close proximity to all the city’s main attractions- allowing guests to enjoy Thessaloniki’s rich history and culture. 

Opening: July 2022

Main Image: Cali, Mykonos