Hotels and Foodie Tours in Greece : Travel Weekly
There are plenty of reasons to fall in love with Greece – the brilliant blue water and sky, the stark white architecture, the beaches, the dazzling sunshine – but the country also offers a boost to Mediterranean food lovers: spanakopita, moussaka, hummus, grilled octopus, baklava, ouzo – well, you get the idea.
One of the newest entries on the Greek dining scene is Xenodocheio Milos, a five-star, 43-room hotel that opened in downtown Athens on January 15.
The property, which includes two heritage-listed neoclassical buildings, is a partnership between Greek chef Costas Spiliadis, Intra Athinaiki company and Dimos Stasinopoulos, CEO of Epoque Collection, a boutique hotel management company.
Putting gastronomy front and center was a deliberate strategy, according to Stasinopoulos.
“Beyond location, food is also key to any memorable travel experience,” he said, touting the property as “the only luxury gourmet hotel in Athens.”
“We simply saw a gap in the upscale hotel market in Athens, and specifically in the heart of our capital, where travelers can easily access unique historical and cultural sites,” Stasinopoulos said. . “We wanted to change the landscape and add much-needed diversity to luxury hotel options.”
The hotel celebrates both old and new Athens, thanks to its location near Plaka, the city’s historic district, and the trendy Kolonaki district.
The restaurant features dramatic white columns, a sculptural staircase and outdoor seating overlooking Old Parliament Square. The design includes net-like sculptures by Greek artist Dimitris Fortsas throughout the space, a nod to Greek fishing culture, and the menu highlights fresh Mediterranean seafood.
The property can also arrange culinary tours that give visitors a taste of the city’s food scene, including Chef Costas’ favorite markets, restaurants, and cafes. Yacht excursions along the Athens Riviera can also be arranged, offering a taste of the coastal lifestyle that inspires the chef’s signature dishes.
Rooms, which start at 215 square feet, feature Greek-made furnishings, pendant lighting, Dionysus marble bathrooms, and hardwood floors. Suites on the fourth and fifth floors offer 915 square feet of living space and expansive terraces.
Facilities also include a wellness suite, with Elemis skincare products, and a state-of-the-art 24-hour gym.
A1 Architects and Dimitris Agiostratitis oversaw the conversion of the historic building into a hotel, and the design concept and interior decorating was done by Divercity and Carole Topin.
Nightly rates start at $420.
Tours serve the Rhodes Food Festival
Meanwhile, travelers to Rhodes, Greece’s third-largest island, can time their arrival to coincide with the inaugural Rhodes Food Festival, scheduled for May and October.
The two-week festival, a joint project of LegendsAbroad.com and Rhodes Tourism, will feature food-themed tours, wine tastings and food-focused events.
Local specialties include wine, cheese pies, oil buns and small honey, cinnamon and clove pies.
A week-long tour, which may include additional excursions to Symi and Halki, is commissionable for travel advisors.
Blue Palace Food Tours in Crete
Or head to Crete for new dining experiences at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort, Elounda Crete.
The property’s Anthos restaurant will host a food tour of Greece with visits from well-known Greek chefs, who will be announced throughout the season, showcasing their passion for cooking with progressive tasting menus.
Creative consultant chef Athinagoras Kostakos is known for emphasizing locally sourced fish and meats, fresh vegetables, herbs and produce from nearby farms and the resort’s organic vegetable garden. Other dining options include the beachfront menu at Isola Beach Club and authentic Asian flavors at Asia Deep Blue.
Also new this season is an Olive Oil Pairing Experience, where guests can sample Phaea Olive Oil during meals, followed by a selection of signature drinks after dinner.
The hotel’s new Phaea Plan Bee initiative, set to be a highlight of the 2022 summer season, will include tours of the organic garden and beehives, followed by honey harvesting and tasting sessions.
Blue Palace offers 199 bungalows, 52 suites, and four private villas, with rates ranging from around $330 to $3,300 per night, including taxes and buffet breakfast.
Culinary and tailor-made experiences in Mykonos
Foodies heading to Mykonos this summer can sample the culinary offerings of Cali Mykonos, a boutique hotel opening in July.
Led by Chef Lefteris Lazarou, the on-site restaurant will offer signature Mediterranean cuisine using local ingredients. Guests can also opt for private dining on their terraces.
Facilities will include 40 suites and villas, each with a private pool and terrace; four- and five-bedroom villas; a 450-foot saltwater infinity pool overlooking the sea; and a private beach.
Bespoke experiences can include luxury yacht and boat trips to nearby beaches and nearby islands.
Accommodation rates start at $1,500 per night.
Brown Hotels opens Athens Lighthouse
Finally, returning to Athens, Brown Hotels marked the inauguration of the Lighthouse Athens, a 220-room property which opened its doors on April 1st.
Foodies can savor local specialties at the gourmet restaurant or opt for light and contemporary dishes at the open-air rooftop bar.
The rooftop terrace, which will officially open on June 1, offers 360-degree views of the city and its archaeological ruins and includes a swimming pool, lounge chairs, hot tubs and outdoor showers.
Brown Hotels’ fourth hotel to open in Athens, the property is located in Omonia Square, adjacent to Brown Hotels’ Brown Acropol and DAVE Red Athens.
Rates start at around $150 a night.