ADVERTORIAL • December 2020
Greece offers something extraordinary for every type of traveller. But, with so much choice, it can be hard to know where to park that beach towel…
This issue, we let Grecotel Hotels & Resorts be our guide: each has been designed to reflect its surroundings and all sit resplendent on a prime stretch of beach. But, for us, it’s the impeccable service and famous Greek hospitality – philoxenia, literally friend to a stranger – that makes these hotels extra special. Ready to feel like one of the family? Let’s head to Greece
Why: The Greek jet-set may have been visiting the Athenian Riviera for years but, until recently, this gorgeous 40-mile stretch was relatively unknown outside of Greece. It’s ideal for those who want to experience Greek Island remoteness and beach club sophistication just an hour from the vibrant capital, while staying close to Ancient Greek sights and stunning natural landmarks such as dreamy Lake Vouliagmeni.
Where to stay: Grecotel Cape Sounio, on the Riviera’s southern tip, has a holy trinity of incredible views of the sea, mountains and the Temple of Poseidon – a view that so impressed Lord Byron that he carved his name in one of the columns. Factor in two private beaches, an open-air spa, bold design influenced by the dramatic history of its surroundings, 150 bungalows and villas, and five superb restaurants (take your pick from Asian-fusion, Greco-French and sublime seafood), and you’ve got a proper Greek treat.
Why: The largest, most storied Greek island, Crete was the birthplace of the Minotaur and described by Homer as “a fair, rich land... in the midst of the wine-dark sea”. Expect dazzling beaches, excellent hiking spots and ancient ruins to explore. For a proper a taste of the best of Crete, make a beeline for Agreco Farm, a traditional organic farm (privately owned by the resort) that spans 40,000 square metres. Sample its wares at the on-site taverna (the stuffed courgette flowers are divine), while kids will love the mini zoo and the chance to ‘play farmer for the day’: helping shear the sheep is a highlight.
Where to stay: Crete’s history is reflected throughout Grecotel Amirandes, with tasteful design that pay homage to a Minoan Palace. Plus, it’s only a short drive from the airport and Knossos – a Bronze Age archaeological site and Europe’s most ancient city. Here, check out the Dine Club, a new experience in half-board dining where guests can enjoy their meals in 13 exquisite participating restaurants in Grecotel resorts around Crete. Dine Club guests can use credit in on-site restaurants, enjoy two free à la carte dinners a week and kids (under 12) go free – with all-day snacks at Grecoland on offer, too. For a truly carefree trip, upgrade to the Comfort All-In Package, and along with the Dine Club offers, lunch, drinks and snacks are included throughout your stay.
Why: It’s the Greek island that most embodies unadulterated glitz and glamour – and although there’s more to the sleek white isle of Mykonos than partying, it’s been on the A-list’s top holiday spots for years. In the 1920s, archaeologists based themselves on Mykonos when working on the ancient Greek ruins on its neighbouring island of Delos. Fast forward 40 years and Jackie Kennedy Onassis visited Mykonos with her second husband, Aristotle Onassis, and was instantly enamoured. Grace Kelly, Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren all followed.
Where to stay: Bring some old-school Hollywood magic into your life with a stay at Grecotel Mykonos Blu. Overlooking world-famous Psarou Beach, this luxury hotel’s bungalows and private villas are all about the dreamy views. Bag a sun lounger by the two-level infinity pool or book into a super-romantic bungalow suite, with its own private pool – and designed in accents of whites and blues, with huge vistas that flood rooms with gorgeously bright Cycladic light.
British Airways Holidays offers carefully selected hotels, a 24-hour holiday helpline and deposits from just £75pp, all with full ATOL protection. To discover more about Grecotel Resorts, click here