Ekies All Senses Resort

Sithonia, Macedonia, Greece Book from Book from £98 per night

Pure barefoot luxury: a family-friendly retreat with a fabulous restaurant and gloriously relaxed vibe
The antidote to an overbooked life? Space to think, freedom to do what you want when you want, and a peaceful place to come back to your senses. Ekies is that magical place. Growing up, owner Alexandra Efstathiadou spent her summer holidays here, overlooking the crystal-clear Vourvourou Bay on the peninsula of Sithonia, Chalkidiki's 'second finger'. She jumped at the chance to buy the hotel for herself, and her whimsical reinvention layers various design styles, ranging from minimalist to high-design, along with legendary Greek hospitality. Each of the 69 rooms and suites are different; all are stunning.

Everything you need to restore your stress-battered psyche is within these grounds. Follow a path across the landscaped lawn to the peaceful swimming pool, before continuing to the open-air spa, where staff can prescribe personalised treatments for whatever's ailing you. Claim a sun lounger on the beach, where the shallow water is safe for small children, then sip cocktails on the deck as you marvel at sunsets that bathe the sea and pine-forested mountains in a silvery glow. Irresistible extras - a romantic tree house, a hammock dangling above the water - take you beyond relaxation to the carefree days you knew as a kid. True rejuvenation!

Highs

  • Truly fantastic gourmet food in the waterfront restaurant, Bubo Greek Fine Dining (some of the best we've ever eaten), plus the option of private meals in the treehouse
  • Impeccable design with iconic furnishings and fun details - Acapulco and Panton chairs, oversized light bulbs, parasols that resemble lampshades
  • Wonderful staff - everything is done with big smiles
  • A picture-perfect location close to magnificent beaches and only 90 minutes from Thessaloniki airport
  • Ideal for memorable family holidays, and a good option for couples during the quieter shoulder months

Lows

  • The hotel beach is narrow with murky water and a limited number of loungers, and can get noisy during summer; there are plenty of others beaches nearby (which are more beautiful)
  • The smallest rooms have low ceilings and poor storage
  • Several rooms have open-plan bathrooms, which won’t suit everyone (separate loos, though)
  • Mosquitoes can be a pest but the hotel provides natural insect repellent and tabs

Best time to go

The hotel is open from April to October. It’s busiest during the summer months, which are particularly popular with families. Spring (late April-May) and autumn (September-October) are perhaps the best times in terms of weather - warm but not too hot - and are popular with couples. It's wise to book early, especially for Easter, July and August.

Our top tips

The passage between the islands of Diaporos and Agios Isidoros is known as the 'blue lagoon' for its tranquil blue-green water. Rent a motorboat and spend the afternoon exploring and swimming. Further down the coast, there are secret coves - accessible only by water - tucked into the pine-covered slopes.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Foodie
Honeymoon
Spa
  • Beach Resort
  • 69
  • 2 restaurants and a bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 1 Nov 2017 - 31 Mar 2018
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Pool Table
  • Bicycles Available
  • Children's playground
  • Yoga classes
Room:

Rooms

The imaginative rooms and suites come in various styles and categories. Décor runs the style gamut - some are minimalist spaces, others have intricate mosaics floors and design-classic furniture. Even the smallest Standards are delightful - attic lofts with playful caricatures of local animals or bright murals of Greek mythology. Natural materials (pebbles, marble, wood) feature throughout all categories, a nod to the resort's eco-philosophy, and whichever you choose, comfort goes hand-in-hand with design: Coco-Mat mattresses and linens, a choice of pillows, great air con.

Our contemporary Junior Suite was crisp white-on-white style, with a sea-facing balcony, and daybed for our 3-year-old daughter. We especially loved the luxurious 5-jet shower, and dangling retro pendant lights.

If you can splurge, the Pine Suites are incredible, inspired by the surrounding forest, with wicker designer chairs, large hammocks and a private garden and plunge pool.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Flip-flops
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Pillow menu
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

The 2 restaurants and bar flank the sprawling beachfront deck. Breakfast is a mega-buffet served in Kuko, the Mediterranean half-board restaurant. Counters overflow with delicious traditional Greek fare - feta cheese, perfect tomatoes, creamy yoghurt, fresh and dried fruits - along with endless pastries and bread, homemade marmalades, even 3 kinds of honey.

During the day, the sea-facing bar is open for snacks, drinks and light lunches. As the sun sets, people drift here for cocktails before heading off to one of the restaurants for dinner. The waterfront restaurant, Bubo, has a stunning à la carte menu of seafood and traditional Greek dishes interpreted with gourmet flair. Everything about it feels special - the view, the delicious homemade bread with tomato compote, and the generosity of complimentary amuse bouches (a mushroom veloute was particularly divine). As for the food itself, we were blown away by various dishes: delicate seabass with zucchini textures (including a lattice, a foam and a tiny macaron); slow-cooked Iberico pork with kale and black garlic; wheat risotto with monkfish cheeks and salami... even the homemade papardelle was a cut above the norm, served with a super-tender beef broth. As for desserts, for heaven's sake, leave room! The flexi chocolate with Maldon salt and a red pumpkin sorbet was extraordinary. Staff can also serve private meals anywhere, anytime. A romantic dinner in the tree house? Done. A picnic on nearby Diaporos Island? Just say when.

The half-board menu is served in Kuko. We were impressed by the Greek salad, and a lovely flaky salmon dish, but the moussaka was a bit bland.

If you fancy a change of scene one evening, there's a pizza restaurant within walking distance of Ekies, and a handful of casual restaurants dotted around the bay.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Juice bar
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Just relax . Linger over a cappuccino at breakfast, sunbathe on the beach, curl up with a book by the pool, stretch your muscles with a yoga session (staff can arrange) and play pool or table tennis
  • Stroll (or borrow a bike) to Karidi Beach, one of the most beautiful in Chalkidiki and only 300m away. There’s also a chain of sandy coves just over a rocky headland at the eastern end of the bay
  • Indulge yourself at the small spa. Treatments are based around local ingredients like olive oil, red wine, seaweed, bitter orange, wild juniper and lemon, and we were wowed by our deep-tissue massage. Or ask practitioners to assess health issues and recommend alternative therapies such as acupuncture, reflexology or cupping. Multi-day packages are also available
  • Get out on the water. Rent a motorboat and cruise over to Diaporos, an uninhabited island 1500m offshore, for a private picnic and a swim
  • Visit Mount Athos. All-day cruises to the oldest surviving monastic community in the world depart nearby. Sadly, women and children are not allowed in the grounds, but the rugged scenery of the Athos peninsula (including the snow-capped 'Holy Mountain') is worth the trip even if you can’t visit the enclave itself
  • Day-trip to Thessaloniki. Stroll along the waterfront, visit the White Tower and legendary Church of Hagia Sophia, and browse art galleries and boutiques in converted Ottoman hammams

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Pool table
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being
  • Yoga

Kids

Ekies is a paradise for children and their parents - the grounds are safe, with few steps and no dangerous drops, and the sea is shallow. Common areas are compact, so you can easily keep an eye on kids playing while you relax on a lounger, or in the bar! Many of the design elements are colourful and playful, and there’s plenty to engage children on-site, including a playground with swings and a playhouse, and Kids Club programmes organised by Scott Dunn.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Family Suites can sleep up to 6 people (2 adults + 4 children). Junior Suites each have a daybed which can be made up for a child (best for infants). Large Suites are larger and can accommodate families of 4 with kids of any age. Note that most rooms have showers only, and many bathrooms are open-plan.

Babysitting:

Available with a day's notice.

Baby listening:

Baby monitors will work from the Junior or Loft Suites nearest the beach to the restaurant; you'll need to bring your own.

Baby equipment:

  • Cots and bedding
  • High chairs
  • Plastic crockery and cutlery on request
  • Blackout blinds
  • Buckets and spades

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

Creche/Kid's Club:

  • 6 day Kids Club Water Sports programme, available for children aged 5+ run by qualified RYA instructors. Children are divided into two age groups (5-8yr, 9-13yr) with about 4-5 per group, to learn sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking in morning sessions from 1000-1300. Additional sessions available on request
  • 6 day Kids Club Creative programme, also for kids 5+ and divided into the same ages with group sizes of about 7-8, offers a mixed array of activities including arts, crafts, painting, cooking, orienteering, choreography, theatre, gymnastics, yoga in afternoon sessions from 1600-1900pm

    Children's meals:

    A very good kids menu in both restaurants and at the bar (our 3 year old loved the Greek pasta). Picnics can be made up for you with 24 hours' notice. There's a mini-market 5 minutes' walk away if you need to buy baby food.

    Kids Activities on site:

    • Safe beach
    • Swimming pool (unheated)
    • Playground
    • Toys, books and games to borrow
    • Table tennis
    • Pool table
    • Bikes to borrow
    • DVDs to borrow

    Kids Activities nearby:

    • Boat trips
    • Safe, sandy coves

    Families Should Know:

    There's a lifeguard on duty June-September

Distances:

  • Airport: 80 minutes (Thessaloniki)
  • Shop: 5 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 14 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Rooms
8/10
Food
8/10
Service
9/10
Value
8/10
Overall

Accommodation is good value for money - but once you are there food and drinks etc are very expensive. It was fab being able to use the baby monitor from the room to the restaurant but obviously being so close to the bar - the music was pretty noisy at night. There is a great taverna down the beach called Paris.

8/10, , September 2016

We have been at Ekies twice with our family of small children. Both during our spring and summer holiday we enjoyed our stay very much. Kind people and you feel very welcome with small children (altough the second time they were strict about where they could play - which is far from where parents have their drinks, so that is not very practical). Food is excellent and looks just like the pictures and even better!

10/10, , July 2015

Breakfast was excellent. Half Board meal was a little bland. A la carte was generally better. Overall a fabulous stay.

10/10, , July 2016

Hotel was beautifully designed. Comfort in details. <br>But the sea was not so good. Most probably the worst sea in Halkidiki. <br>The food was good but the service was quite slow. It takes almost 20 minutes to get something from the kids menu. <br>The shower was not that suitable for the small kids. <br>The last night there were fireworks at 23:30. It is not a big hotel. So they where firing them right next to our room. We had to go to sleep earlier to catch our flight in the morning. But thanks to them we all woke up in the middle of the night. Normally such an entertainment should be performed a lot earlier so that everyone can enjoy.

8/10, , August 2015

We had a fantastic stay, everything was as expected or better. The hotel staff were exceptionally nice and helpful, the food was very good, if anything lacking a touch of traditional Greek food, but that's just personal taste. The design aspect of the hotel was its strength - so many delights to discover. The biggest treasure of all however was Voula in the spa, simply brilliant. She was incredibly knowledgeable and generous with the her information. <br>The restaurant manager was lovely and also offered exceptional service. The staff were all excellent with children. Highly recommended by my whole family.

9/10, , July 2015

A perfect destination for a family, the shallow beach is just perfect for little ones and the boat trip was amazing. A beautifully thought out and aesthetically pleasing resort which offers an escape from every day life.

9/10, , July 2015

The breakfast was excellent but the food in the restaurant can be improved.

9/10, , June 2015

Firstly, we LOVED the hotel overall. Unique, relaxing and the design is fantastic. The food was very good - breakfast is amazing and the 'anywhere/ anytime' food concept is cool. The service was generally excellent but was a bit slow/ sketchy at times in the outside area through the day. The dining experience in the restaurant is excellent and the reception staff are lovely and helpful. The beach area is nice with comfy loungers and the sea is clean and clear enough. The unspoilt Karidi beach just around the corner is just a five minute walk and is a better beach with amazing blue water and soft white sand. We travelled with our 3 year old daughter and she had an amazing time. She ate well, loved the pool and the calm shallow sea and there were buckets, spades etc. for the use of the kids, that she took advantage of. A 'must do' is to hire a boat for the day (around €80 for the day). There's a big island opposite the hotel; between that and the hotel there are countless little beaches to visit. Great fun! You can book through reception and they don't put a mark up on it. If you're after a relaxed, unpretentious boutique hotel, with cool design and great food, this really must take some beating!

10/10, , June 2015

The food portions are a bit too big for children (and adults). Too bad the drinks are so expensive, if beer, wine, coffee would be 1 euro less expensive we would have drank a lot more. <br>We loved your place and had a really great time, I will we will be back some day. We will certainly recommend it with friend. One family is already planned to book in september!

10/10, , May 2015

Overall I was very happy with the hotel, but there were a few things that <br>We were shown our room which was very nice but despite prior notification there was not a bed set up for my daughter or a cot for my baby. Also, the Jacuzzi bath in our room didn't work. We had maintenance repair it whilst we were there. None of these things were big deals but little niggles. Food was the only real problem - it was of fairly poor standard. Despite paying half board there was no suitable food for my daughter included. The daily buffet included things like mixed bean salad, feta cheese, olives, cured meats etc. All nice enough for adults but not to the pallet of most three year olds! My daughter spent the week eating plain spaghetti every night and this would put me off going again. Apart from that the hotel was lovely, staff friendly and location very pretty.

7/10, , September 2014

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Rates for Ekies All Senses Resort