During my numerous visits to Greece, I have stayed at various hotels of all sizes: small boutique hotels, large resorts, and everything in between. Below, I have chosen 5 of my favorites located in the Peloponnese and Crete. They have been selected due to their uniqueness, their luxury – simple or extravagant, their individual respect for the surrounding environment and historical roots, as well as their attention to detail. Each has a particular approach and philosophy to hospitality which will satisfy even the most demanding patron.
With that brief prologue, let me introduce you to 5 of Greece’s best boutique hotels and resorts in the Peloponnese and Crete: So many choices . . . . so little time.
Located in the heart of Messinia, in southwest Peloponnese, Costa Navarino is what you could call an extravaganza of luxury and natural beauty. It is, without a doubt, Greece’s most ambitious hospitality project to date, as 90% of its endless expanse has been reserved for natural and cultivated greenery, in order to promote the area’s cultural heritage and natural beauty. Ranging from the traditional mansions that inspired the Romans and the rustic elegance of the Westin Resort, the first two resorts at Navarino Dunes, to the impressive, seaside Dunes Golf Course and the Anazoe Spa that feauture special oleo therapy treatments based on ancient Greek practices, Costa Navarino is luxury with an ecological conscience. With the first European Banyan Tree Resort anxiously expected to grace its grounds at Navarino Bay, the future is certainly looking bright and luxurious for this unique kaleidoscope of experience.
Gerolimenas, Mani, Peloponnese
Nostalgic past, comfort and simplicity meet country chic elegant at the newly renovated historic building in Mani, an imposingly charming region in south Peloponnese. Located just a few kilometers from the southernmost point of the Tainaro peninsula, where the Ionian Sea meets the endless blue of the Aegean, Kyrimai’s rooms and suites feature elements of local stone and dark wood with luxury furnishings and linens. A member of the Historic Hotels of Europe, Kyrimai is steeped in local architecture and history, while the incomparable beauty of this proud, wild land and its crystalline waters appears to have jumped out of a postcard.
Enjoy the seaside swimming pool, billiard room and lounge area all day before indulging in the delicious creations of award-winning chef Yannis Baxevanis.
Limeni, Mani, Peloponnese
I would say that Mavromichalai is the most unique of all on this list. With only 6 rooms, all with stunning views of the picturesque bay and the village of Limeni, the hotel’s architecture reflects the original style of Mani which is based on stone and wood. The interior design boasts an impressive collection of antiques harmoniously integrated without compromising comfort or luxury. Perfect romantic getaway.
Amirandes Exclusive Resort
Amirandes by Grecotel is the first six-star hotel in Greece, and only the second in Europe. Located in northern Crete, it revives the grandeur of Minoan palaces and Venetian architecture, adding a twist of contemporary elegance.
Located just 20 minutes from Heraklion airport, Amirandes is an aquatic paradise that futures 60 private pools, a 2,000 sq.m. lagoon and verandas by the water and the best that Crete has to offer: warm hospitality and stunning land and seascapes. However, the hotel’s crown jewel is the collection of villas along a private beach. The principal elements of Crete dominate the exterior, while a pure Mediterranean style filters through the interior.
With just 24 rooms and suites, decorated with a mix of bespoke furniture and antiques, Casa Delfino is both intimate and exclusive. Hospitality and personalised service are its strengths – when I stayed at this quint hotel 2 years ago, I met the owner at the breakfast buffet, who mentioned that this family-run hotel has remained in the same family for five generations. Located in the heart of the walled Old Venetian Town, it is the jewel of the city.