DESIGN + TRAVEL: Sani Resort, Greece
Greece has some of the most amazing places to visit, has a great climate between May to September - not too hot and not too humid - and its beautiful beaches come in a great variety: sandy, rocky, pebbly. The waters: azure or teal, will make you want to return there, over and over again.
On the blog today I am featuring Sani Resort located in the north of Greece, on the Kassandra peninsula. It's probably where Alexander the Great used to have his swim if you ask me! I have visited Kassandra peninsula on many occasions - the best sandy beaches and beachside clubs, and really so much to do if you are not content with staying within a resort all day long.
1/ About the Resort
A haven of 5* luxury set within a privately-owned 1000 acre reserve, Sani Resort is blessed with outstanding natural beauty. It is open from April to November while during the winter months it keeps on renovating and upgrading its already amazing grounds.
With sustainability at the heart of its vision, the company behind the resort is dedicated to preserving this beautiful environment and supporting the local community, while providing an outstanding quality experience for its guests.
Sani Resort is divided in 4 separate mini resorts: Sani Beach, Porto Sani, Sani Club and Sani Asterias, each one with distinct design, however, all four complimenting each other. The most exclusive is Sani Club. The resort includes a yacht marina and offers a wide range of leisure facilities and accommodation - from deluxe garden or sea view rooms to junior or VIP suites with Jacuzzi or private pool and garden with direct access to the beach.
The Greek company Division Architects were involved in developing parts of Sani Resort in 2013. The firm, which has undertaken projects for private residences in Greek islands in the past has delivered modern properties with hing end finish that seems to be completely in line with the surroundings and the ethos of the Sani Resorts company.
3/ Indulge your senses
Seriously, it does not get better than Sani in the north of Greece. My best friend (and maid of honour) has been going back there for over a decade and they cannot stop raving about the place. And it's not hard to see why. You will always hear me banging on about SERVICE.
Good service makes or breaks a business. You can have the best resort in the world but service could let you down. Well, not in Sani. Expect, attentive and friendly staff will make your holiday unforgettable. From delivering fresh towels around the pools and the beach, to preparing a pic-nic for your family, to helping you choose a wine that will go well with your meal...
As to the food ? Divine and served in a number - over a dozen - of restaurants. Definitely go for the all inclusive experience, it is worth it. Everything is superbly clean, fresh and cooked by top chefs and their apprentices.
Try: turmeric, ginger and chilly ice-cream by Chef Chrysanthos Karamolegos
4/ Go Green
How many hotels do you know that issue an environmental impact/ sustainability report? Well Sani's ethos is all about caring for the local environment and community, through concrete preservation actions or educational initiatives, as well as involving local residents in Sani Green.
What is Sani Green, you may ask. In two words, a sustainability program. Under Sani Green, the company is continuously working to improve its environmental performance throughout the resort in areas such as energy efficiency, renewable energy use, water conservation, waste minimization and sustainable procurement. In the day-to-day operations of the resort there are initiatives such as using solar energy and heat recovery systems, recycling water to water the grounds of the resort and reducing waste.
For its efforts, the resort has earned many environmental accolades and certifications, such as the Green Key eco-label awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education, and Travelife Gold, awarded by ABTA. Read more about Sani Green here.
5/ Things to do while in Sani
Whichever month you choose to stay at Sani (April-Nov), you should not stick just around the resort. This is one place that is not remote but actually offers a number of activities for a full-on cultural experience of mainland Greece.
Not too far away from the resort is Mount Olympus. You know, Zeus's home and all. Ask the concierge to help you organise a day trip to Kalampaka, a small town at the foot of Meteora (known as the “stone forest of Christ”). Those who see Meteora for the first time believe it to be a geological miracle, with thousands of rocks merging to form an almost unearthly sight.
Wanting to be closer to God, bold monks built monasteries on the peaks of these rocks and lived as true hermits for more than 600 hundred years. Still hanging from the towers are the nets that the monks used for ascending and descending. Today, six monasteries survive and are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. If you wish to visit one of the monasteries then appropriate clothing is required – no short skirts or shorts while long sleeves are needed. No flashing the flesh ladies!
Another day trip could be to the tomb of the Macedonian King Philip, father of Alexander the Great which is recognised as a Monument of World Heritage by UNESCO. Philip's tomb complete with its unique valuables are kept in a specially designed museum, read more about it here.
A half-day trip could be made to the caves of Petralona, 30 km from Sani. When you enter the caves of Petralona, it’s like embarking on a voyage to the beginning of time with fascinating stalactites and stalagmites including the remains of what is thought to be the oldest in Europe - 700,000 years old. The caves are also considered among the most important monuments of human prehistory with finds including the fossilised cranium of a prehistoric man.
You can even see yachting races when at Sani. Just saying...
After a long day away from the resort you can come back to its Spa for special treatments or just relax by the beach drinking Ouzo or a mojito.