Elies Hotel

Kardamyli, Peloponnese, Greece
Book from GBP Book from £122 per night

Elies Hotel

Kardamyli, Peloponnese, Greece

Secluded stone cottages with stylish interiors, tucked among gnarled olive trees a pebble's throw from Kardamyli's lovely beach (each sleeps 2-5)

Secluded stone cottages with stylish interiors, tucked among gnarled olive trees a pebble's throw from Kardamyli's lovely beach (each sleeps 2-5)

With so much coastline in Greece, you'd think it would be easy to find a stylish little cottage by a secluded beach. But it's not. Most islands have rows of cheap identikit pensions, or a busy road between you and the water, or both. But this isn't an island; it's the southern Peloponnese, a 3-hour drive from Athens, way off the island-hoppers' radar. And the beach is pebbly (though the waters are gloriously clear). Both of which go some way to explain how there comes to be such a hidden gem on this lovely sweep of azure sea, fringed by those famous olive groves and backed by cloud-capped Mt. Taygetus.

But it doesn't explain the wonderful, unexpected, almost Scandinavian chic-ness of the interiors - pastel shades, gleaming kitchenettes, contemporary sofas, white-painted eaves and pure pine floors. That's down to owner Stavros' obsessive quest for the best: it took him 5 years to build the first 10 cottages, stone by stone, with another 14 completed later. He and wife Fani also run the taverna by the beach - which, unsurprisingly perhaps, is among the best in the region.

Highs

  • The privacy: tucked among shady olive groves, each cottage has a secluded terrace, some with glimpses of sea
  • It's 2-3 minutes' walk to plunge into some of the cleanest seas in the Med
  • Try Fani's superb Greek cuisine at lunchtime (and put your self-catering to shame)
  • We love the fantastic hiking trails behind Kardamyli - wild flowers, limestone gorges, snow-dusted peaks
  • The laid-back fishing village Kardamyli, 1km away, is a long-standing favourite: I've been coming regularly for over 20 years

Lows

  • The restaurant stops serving dinner around 6-7pm in low season; and can get a little busy with lunchers in summer
  • It's hard to reach: a 3.5-hour drive from Athens airport or 1 hour from Kalamata airport (but flights to Kalamata are limited)
  • The beach is pebbly, but there are sandy beaches at nearby Stoupa for the kids

Best time to go

April, May, late September and October are the ideal times, in our opinion: warm but rarely hot, with empty beaches and cheaper flights (except April). In spring there are wonderful wild flowers, in autumn the sea is much warmer - take your pick. In midsummer (mid June - early Sep) there are a few discerning Greek tourists, and some other i-escapers, but it's never really crowded. In winter (Nov – March) there are some lovely, cool, clear days and some not so lovely, wintry ones, but it rarely gets properly cold (i.e. below 10 celsius).

Our top tips

Bring sandals for the pebbly beach, boots and long trousers if you plan to hike, and a copy of the Sunflower "Landscapes of the Peloponnese" (available in the village bookshop) for local circular walks. History buffs should pick up a copy of Patrick Leigh-Fermor’s book ‘The Mani'.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • Beach Cottages
  • 24 cottages for 2-5
  • Seasonal restaurant; others 1km
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 4 Mar 2024 - 14 Mar 2024
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

Here you sleep among the 'elies' - the olives. Stavros has built 24 pretty stone cottages among the sun-dappled, oleander-speckled groves, within sound of the sea: life doesn't get much sweeter than this. Some are open-plan studios, others have a separate bedroom, a few have 2; some are single storey, others double, these getting the sea views. All are built of natural materials and blend seamlessly into their surroundings.

The feel is light and airy, the decor crisp and fresh. Walls are pastel or white, floors are pine, rafters are limewashed. Each cottage has its own personality, part dictated by the colours: sofas may be cherry red, cream or striped blue; kitchen units could be canary yellow or burnt orange. The quality and attention to detail is exceptional by Greek standards - brushed steel lamps, chic circular basins, German chrome toasters and kettles. Muslin hangs at French windows, behind which lie shutters; there's air con for summer which doubles as heating (along with fireplaces) for out-of-season stays - but no radiator central heating.

Covered patios protect you from the sun and are furnished with canvas directors' chairs and painted metal tables.

Features include:

  • Hairdryer
  • Safe box
  • WiFi

Eating

One of the highlights of Elies are afternoons spent at its restaurant. The setting is delightful - prettily painted tables shaded by olive trees, geraniums spilling from pots; and as for the food, it is the very best cuisine we have sampled in the area. Wild greens, grilled meats and fish with aromatic herbs: it is all fresh, flavoursome and liberally infused with the oils of Kalamata. There's also a boho-chic bar for cocktails, espressos and leisurely games of backgammon. Note that dinner service stops around 6-7pm in low season, so either eat early, or ask them to deliver to your house where you can keep it warm until you're ready.

Come the morning, a truly sumptuous breakfast buffet is laid out in the lounge, with so many tempting (and mostly home-cooked) items that your tray will be groaning as you walk back to your cottage. Think chocolate-topped walnut cake or juicy galaktoboureko, cinnamon-sprinkled rice puddings, pots of thick Greek yoghurt, savoury omelette and tortilla slices, local cheeses and meats (try some fresh ricotta with thyme honey if you can), home-baked pastries and rolls, and plenty to fill them with - including herbs from the garden. I simply don't know how Fani finds the time. Plus you'll find extra provisions in your fridge: homemade fig and arbutus jams, oranges for juicing, butter, rusks, teas and coffee.

Kitchenettes are reasonably well equipped (toaster, kettle, cafetiere, 2-ring hob, fridge) but they don't have ovens, microwaves or dishwashers.

As for dining out, you're spoiled for choice in Kardamyli, 10-15 mins' gentle walk away: beachfront Gialos is the nearest (and recommended), Kiki's has authentic home fare, while Lela's boasts an unrivalled seaside setting.

You'll find a couple of small but well-stocked supermarkets at the entrance to Kardamyli, plus a butcher and a baker in the village, and several roving fishmonger vans.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • In house cook
  • Kids' meals
  • Kitchenette
  • Oven
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian options
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Swim at the long, empty beach in front of the cottages (pebbly but pristine); or the sandy ones at Stoupa, 10km away
  • Explore the laid-back village of Kardamyli (15 mins' walk), with a sprinkling of tasteful cafes, boutiques and an atmospheric C18th walled hamlet
  • Hike the old cobbled mulepaths between villages – buy the Anavasi 1:25,000 map or the Sunflower 'Southern Peloponnese' book
  • One of our favourite hikes, from Sotirianika or Kambos to Kardamyli (4-5 hours), brings you out at Elies - perfect for plunging into the sea, then staggering the 50 yards to dinner
  • Others take you down the Viros gorge (3-4 hours), up to the the Byzantine chapel of Ayia Sofia (1 hour), or past Proastio to the hidden cove of Foneas(2 hours)
  • Hire a speed boat or kayak and explore the coast - there are cliff-backed coves and sea caves, plus an island with a ruined Venetian fort
  • Drive down to Areopolis (1 hour+) to visit the spectacular sea-caves of Pirgos Dirou; stop for fish lunch at Limeni and, on your way home, a stroll around the fishing harbour of Ayios Nikolaos

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Caves
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Snorkelling
  • SUP
  • Swimming
  • Table tennis

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome and this is a great place to stay, especially with older, outdoorsy kids. Though stony, the beach here is safe (no tides or currents, though occasionally an undertow when wavy), and there are sandy beaches 10km away in Stoupa. Greeks are always very welcoming to children, and it is considered a safe country for them to play alone.

Extra beds or cots for children under 3 are free; older children are free if using existing bedding (including sofabeds), otherwise there is a small charge if an extra bed is needed (but often it won't be).

Best for:

Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Our pick of the bunch are the larger maisonettes, which sleep up to 5 in 2 bedrooms (one double upstairs, one twin downstairs, both ensuite).

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available, Family Rooms

Babysitting:

Babysitting available by arrangement

Baby listening:

If you want to use a baby monitor while dining in their restaurant, ask for one of the cottages closest to it. You need to bring your own monitor.

Baby equipment:

  • Cots
  • High chairs

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

The restaurant serves fresh Greek food which should go down a treat with youngsters. Discuss any special requirements before arrival. The cottage kitchens are basic but there's enough kit for a simple family meal and you can buy local and fresh food to stock the fridge in the village. Local tavernas are, as with the majority of Greek places, happy to welcome children.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Small playground next to the taverna
  • Plenty of space to run around in the olive groves
  • A donkey and various cats to befriend
  • Sea kayaks can be hired

Kids Activities nearby:

  • The quiet pebbly beach is great for families
  • Hiking paths and old mule paths lead to coves and villages
  • Boat trips in summer

Families Should Know:

  • If coming with toddlers, request a ground-floor apartment or studio
  • Bring any special provisions with you (no huge supermarkets here)
  • If flying into Athens, be aware it's a 3.5 hour drive to Elies

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour (Kalamata), 3.5 hours (Athens)
  • Chemist: 3 mins (Kardamyli)
  • Hospital: 45 minutes (Kalamata)
Kid Friendly:

Location

Elies Hotel is 1km outside the coastal village of Kardamyli (also spelled Kardamili), in the southern Peloponnese. It's about 3.5 hours' drive from Athens, and 45 minutes south of Kalamata (or 1 hour from Kalamata airport).

By Air
Kalamata (45km) or Athens (310km). Click on the links below for a list of airlines.

From the airports
From Kalamata airport you could get a taxi to Elies (45km / 45 mins), and from Athens you could conceivably take a bus (4 hours); but most likely you will want a hire car to explore the area and to faciliate shopping. See our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com

More on getting to Greece and getting around

Airports:

  • Kalamata 45.0 km KLX
  • Kalamata 310.0 km ATH

Other:

  • Beach 0.0 km
  • Shops 1.0 km
  • Restaurant 1.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 24 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

{{ review.rating }}/10, ,

Rates for Elies Hotel

Arriving on: