The Lobby terrace is the perfect spot to enjoy an evening cocktail.
We hear that Cape Sounio, on Greece’s southernmost tip and an hour away from Athens, is sporting a new Presidential Villa. The Scoop: The 1,615-square-foot accommodation sits atop Cape Sounio’s Royal Hill, meaning it has views of the Temple of Poseidon and Greece’s cape. Better yet, the accommodation has an open-air lounge that is furnished with a sofa and an outside dining table. A private marble bathroom with Jacuzzi, as well as a terrace and private gardens, completes the space.
The Villa is part of the über-private Cape Sounio Estate, which is surrounded by gardens, forests and three pools. Sources tell Luxury Travel Advisor that entire families or small groups are known to take over the entire Estate. Top Touches: It includes its own dining room villa (bespoke dinners can be prepared for up to 15 guests) and a “Children’s Suite” with sleeping quarters for a nanny.
Another top pick on Royal Hill is the Pine Hill Villa, which, along with a private pool, has what it calls a “hospitality room;” we’re told it’s the ideal spot to enjoy morning coffee or afternoon tea service.
Venturing down from Royal Hill, guests will have seven restaurants and bars to choose from. Top Table: Cavo Colones is a must if for nothing more than its cliff-edge location. We also hear the fish is as fresh as it comes. Also recommend that clients try the seafood and Mediterranean fare at Yali, a waterfront restaurant with dining cabanas. Luxury travel advisors should contact Reservations Manager Delipamides Alexandros with any further questions about room types
The Elixir 007 Spa at Cape Sounio, named for and inspired by James Bond’s Dr. No, reflects the hotel’s natural theme. Its octagonal shape features glass exterior walls that give the illusion of being outdoors. Overlooking the sea, the spa provides a long list of massages and elixirs, in addition to the latest cardio-fitness machines and a rejuvenating Aqua Elixir Pool fit with cannons, bubble seats, nozzles and shower jets. Note: We hear the “must-do” treatment is the Golden Spa therapy, which uses gold infused with wildflowers for an exfoliation and massage. The treatment is designed to revitalize all skin types.
Cavo Colones Restaurant shows off local flavor with its organic ingredients
One of Cape Sounio’s best traits is how it uniquely blends its indoor space with the outdoors. Guests have access to two private crescent beaches, a seawater pool with whirlpool, tennis court, soccer pitch and Sounio National Park, which the 75-acre estate borders. There is also a private outdoor chapel for those looking to tie the knot. For golfers, Glyfada Golf Course, one of only six golf courses in Greece, is 40 minutes away.
The resort also makes sure to provide activities for children. The Jean-Michael Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment Programme
is designed to give children, ages 8-12, a better understanding of their role in the planet’s eco-system. It pairs education with fun stuff, such as day and night snorkeling, star-gazing and underwater photography.
The resort’s location on the Athens Riviera provides access to a variety of excursions. Only 10 minutes from the resort is the Olympic Marina, where guests can hire a private motor boat, sailboat or yacht for a day cruise to the nearby islands. If shopping is more to your clients liking, they can check out the town of Lavrion, where they can explore the diverse street cafes. Of course, what is a trip to Greece without a visit to Athens? The capital, with its host of archeological sites and up-and-coming nightlife, is an hour from Cape Sounio, which will provide transportation.
Note: The hotel is closed from November to March.
For guest reservations or other questions, luxury travel advisors can contact Panayotis Lachanas, the rooms division manager.
“Athens has always had a bad rap as one of the least exciting capital cities of Europe,” says Rina Anoussi, the head of the boutique agency The Travel Business, an affiliate of Tzell Travel and Tours. “Since the Athens Olympics in 2004, however, the city has dramatically changed and now has become one of the most vibrant, chic and fun places to visit on the continent. It is buzzing with fabulous restaurants, chic boutiques, museums, nightlife and marvelous beaches that are all within a short drive from downtown.
“For hotels in Athens, my top favorites are the traditional palaces of luxury: The Grande Bretagne and The King George Palace. Both are on Constitution Square, which makes them a great location from which to explore the city. These hotels offer every amenity. Rooms with Acropolis and Syntagma Square views are the best accommodations. Other hotel properties in Athens, which I recommend, are St. George Lycabettus and Periscope Hotels.
“Wonderful restaurants include Oikeion (Ikion) in Kolonaki, Psaras in Plaka and a hidden treasure is Abyssinia Cafe in Monastraki (where there is also a daily flea market). For meze (Greek tapas), go to Tzitzikas & Mermingkas near Constitution Square. For great people watching, have a coffee at Da Capo in Kolonaki. When shopping for pistachios (the very best in the world) and other Greek sweets, go to Matsoukas—a delightful shop off Constitution Square. A favorite store for the finest in shopping for jewelry is the Lalaounis museum store. The stores at the Benaki Museum and Cycladic Art Museum sell wonderful copies of antiquities and souvenirs.
“At the restaurants, be sure to try some typical Greek dishes, such as yiouvetsi (a beef stew with orzo), pastitsio (a kind of macaroni souffle) and sardelles (think sardines). Don’t forget to try the old standards: souvlaki, tzatziki, taramosalata and Greek salad with feta cheese. Make sure to pair with a nice ouzo. And, remember, no smashing of the plates after a festive meal—it is now against the law!
“Since the summer in Athens can be brutally hot (more than 100 degrees), I always recommend that visitors, during July and August, stay at the ultra-deluxe Arion Resort Hotel in Vouliagmeni—the Cote d’Azur of Athens. A mere 20-minute drive from downtown Athens makes it easy to do city sightseeing while enjoying the hotel’s spectacular beaches with crystal clear waters for swimming. Not far away, there is a wonderful restaurant/nightclub called Island where the beautiful people dance the night away until dawn. I love Vouliagmeni; it is like a trip to the Greek islands without ever leaving the mainland!”