Greek Odysseys: The Best Hotels In Greece

Where to stay on the ancient isles

It’s a land that has been captivating travellers for millennia. Here are the best hotels in Greece for your next odyssey.

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The Best Hotels In Greece

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Sani Resort, Greece

Sani Resort, Halkidiki

Best For: Family Delights

You can expect to see a few familiar faces from home at Sani, as well-to-do families decamp there in the school holidays to take advantage of the exceptional crèche, beach ‘Babewatch’ service and lunch-when-you-like vibe. Spreading out across the impossibly pretty Kassandra peninsula in Halkidiki (white sand and silky, turquoise water, dunes and dense pine woods), Sani comprises five different hotels in one polished, utopian take on a Greek coastal village. The hotels all assume their own individual character though – Sani Beach is the blockier of the bunch, Porto Sani is pure tot nirvana, Sani Dunes has that lick of grown-up sophistication (while keeping close to all the kiddy facilities), upscale Sani Asterias is villa-style and gated (aka a safe space for child-free couples or grandparents needing a degree of separation), and Sani Club villas all enjoy sea views, with a 4×4 Volvo scoot over the peninsula to reach the boutique-flanked Sani marina and communal faculties.

Days could start with an early morning tennis session at the Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre, a family bike ride through the pine woods or an eco-tour of the bird-filled wetlands. Afternoons here are the holidays you had before children: uninterrupted sips of Whispering Angel on the bonkers beautiful Bousoulas Beach, maybe a pilates class or a slovenly few hours lounging by the pool, all while the children are happily docked in superb kids’ clubs or crèches. Older kids love the Bear Grylls survival academy, the Chelsea Football Academy, the new zip wire adventure through the pine wood treetops and the endless water sports (including a diving school with PADI instructors). Sani’s irresistible formula is balm for frazzled parents. By Rosalyn Wikeley


Doubles from €149 a night, half-board.


The Dollis, Athens

The Dolli at Acropolis, Athens

Best For: City Sights

Juxtaposing the hustle and bustle of Athens in an elegant and graceful manner is The Dolli at Acropolis, which opened early this year to not only frame what is perhaps the best hotel view over the acropolis, but also boast an alluring design scheme throughout the hotel that is made to feel distinctly warm and inviting. The 46-key hotel, situated in the vibrant neighbourhood of Plaka, is nestled in a former department store. Its unusually high ceilings inside, therefore, create a naturally luxurious and airy feeling from the moment guests arrive. There is a noticeable lack of edges in both the architecture and interior, which evokes a quiet luxury experience that helps the space flow freely. Arriving at The Dolli at Acropolis feels elevated with contemporary furniture, original artwork and, in places, ancient artefacts dotted around the lobby, which feels more like a lounge. Upstairs, the cream rooms are made to feel like home-from-home sanctuaries, flooded with natural light and modern design details but also includes subtle nods, such as sculptures and art, to reflect a modern take on the city’s heritage. The rooftop, meanwhile, complete with an infinity pool for guests and the hotel’s signature restaurant, really is the jewel in the crown. It captures unmatched views over the acropolis – quite frankly, if it was any closer to the ancient ruin and archaeological site it would be in its shadow. By Hamish Kilburn


Doubles from £450 a night B&B.


Pnoe Breathing Pool, Greece

Pnoé Breathing Life, Crete

Best For: Wellbeing Star

Disguised in-between nature and an ancient archaeological site in Heraklion, Pnoé Breathing Life has become one of Crete’s hottest boutique hotels to arrive in 2023. Despite being close to the airport, everything about this all-suite, adults-only hotel – from its low-level architecture that wraps around the main swimming pool to natural materials used throughout – evokes a discreet sense of wellbeing and luxury. The 60 suites – all with private pools – are unconventionally Greek. Forget white-washed minimalism. The rooms are dark, muted and made to look and feel local through the use of materials and bespoke furniture sourced and made on the island. The design of the hotel works in harmony with its authentic hospitality. In the two restaurants, a Cretan menu, which includes seafood, lamb, herbs and farm-grown vegetables, changes seasonally. The hotel’s premium dining experience, named Uranus, sources its ingredients from Peskesi organic farm, which guests can visit during their stay. At the heart of the hotel, the cave-like spa is serene. On entry, guests walk along a corridor of steppingstones that channels them into a different state of mind and deeper into the space. It shelters a cohesive design to the rest of the hotel that fits in harmony with state-of-the art treatments – hyperbaric oxygen, Zerobody flotation, and breathwork therapies are on the menu – as well as a plethora of other, perhaps more conventional, spa experiences. By Hamish Kilburn


Suites from €600 a night B&B.


Lesante Cape, Zakynthos

Lesante Cape, Zakynthos

Best For: Sophisticated Multi-Gen Get-Togethers

New to the Zakynthian scene is the third Lesante Collection property, from the family-owned luxury hotel group, which brought the first five-star destination – Lesante Classic – to the island back in 2009. Located in the eastern Akrotiri area (once belonging to the island’s nobles who had their summer houses there at the coolest part of the island), Lesante Cape was built from scratch, keeping 408 of the ancient olive trees as part of its design. Very much conceived around the traditional Greek village, the heart of the hotel is its market square, where you’ll find a museum, church, taverna and shop – plus ice cream parlour and game rooms for the kids. Three pools, a small, rocky private beach, playground, spa and padel tennis court mean there is plenty to keep one planted within its elegant surrounds – and don’t miss a cookery lesson with head chef Manos. Views across to Kefalonia and the Peloponnese become shrouded in hazy pink as the sun sets and you settle back with a glass of Lesante rosé, bottled by superb local vineyard Grampsas. Water and greenery – vegetable gardens and vineyards – feature heavily among the terracotta tiled roofs and smart white-washed buildings – 55 suites and ten private villas in all (many with their own pools), plus four restaurants and four bars. The splash of water, children’s laughter, the soft strains of easy jazz emanating from the bar, the omnipresent (delicious) breeze, and the Greek charm of the staff make Lesante a superbly easy and elegant choice – for all ages. By Lucy Cleland


Doubles from around £380 a night.


The Rooster, Antiparos

The Rooster, Antiparos

Best For: Healing Haven

Far removed from the white-washed, blue doored hotels that cover the Cyclades, from the crowds that party in nearby Mykonos or the tourists the populate the streets of Santorini, The Rooster offers 16 individual houses and one farmhouse in rough, mellow stone in tones of brown and green, terracotta and turmeric to ‘wake up the eye’, just steps from the sea in unspoilt Antiparos. The passion project of owner, Athanasia Comninos, who felt that the dawn call of the Rooster which began her days on this island she had fallen in love with, was a call to action to fulfil her dream of creating a hotel. One which would bring understated luxury to Antiparos, while preserving its authentic character. It is a hotel that takes hold of your soul, with its tangible energy now given full rein in their new holistic House of Healing. Here you can recharge and rejuvenate with Ila and other organic products used in custom made treatments that draw on traditional ancestral and ancient medicine to heal through sound and ceremonies of fire with all-seeing, all-knowing therapists. Therapists who can start you on new paths. And certainly, after a day dipping in your private pool, eating the freshest Rooster ingredients for dinner, and putting your head down in a house that embraces silence, you will sleep long into the morning blissfully unaware of any Rooster’s call. By Mary Lussiana


Doubles from €850 a night B&B.


© Yannis Rizomarkos

Nafplia Palace Hotel And Villas, Peloponnese 

Nafplia Palace Hotel And Villas, Peloponnese

Best For: Off The Beaten Track

As visitors approach the Nafplia Palace Hotel, they might imagine themselves as James Bond, sneaking into a villain’s opulent lair. The entrance to the hotel is a long, cool tunnel cut into the cliffs, dressed in chic Brutalist fashion, and empty but for three lifts at the far end. Still, once you reach the clifftop hotel’s courtyard atrium, any sense of foreboding melts away. Set within the outer walls of Acronafplia’s Castle, the hotel and its lush gardens offer stunning views over the northern tip of the Gulf of Argolis. There are five different ‘tiers’ of room, ranging from those which ‘just’ feature a balcony, to two bedroom ‘Platinum’ club villas. These all feature private pools, Jacuzzi bathtubs, hammam spa showers and walk in wardrobes. Villas have exclusive use of a separate infinity pool which overlooks the rustic old town of Nafplio. A luxurious buffet breakfast is included, the highlight being fresh juice made from sweet oranges grown just miles from the hotel. It’s worth swinging by at dinner time for a view of the sunsets from the clifftop, poolside restaurant while sipping Domaine Skouras wines from a local vineyard. To complete your James Bond experience, why not ask the hotel to organise the half-hour helicopter transfer back to Athens airport from its private helipad? You only live twice… By Jack Rear


Doubles from £268 a night.