Euphoria Retreat

near Sparta Peloponnese, Greece Book from Book from £292 per night

Europe’s hottest destination spa with world-class health and wellness programmes and state-of-the-art facilities: no wonder it’s reaping rewards
Within a year of opening, Euphoria scooped the coveted 'Iconic Greek Hotel of the Year’ award and visitors will not be in the least surprised. Perhaps it’s the setting – a 45-room villa amid pine trees and citrus groves, at the foot of dramatic Mt. Taygetos and the UNESCO-listed Byzantine town of Mystras. Perhaps it’s the stunning Zen interior with its staircases, archways and domes, its burnished golds and deep reds and dusky pinks reminiscent of a restored Byzantine palace. But probably, it’s the spa itself – a four-storey cathedral of health complete with, among others, a tepidarium, hammam, salt therapy room and a jaw-dropping hydrotherapy pool – 4m deep, shimmering in celestial light and circling a central sphere. Whatever it is, one thing's for sure: this is not just a hotel with a spa, it’s a world-class spa with fabulous hotel facilities.

Euphoria is the brainchild of Marina Efraimoglou, a former Greek banker who turned to Chinese medicine following a cancer diagnosis. It was her dream to create an oasis where Taoist remedies and Hellenic healing meet modern science, where both body and soul can be nurtured. According to the media, that dream's been realised. Already Euphoria has been called ‘the most exciting spa in Europe for many a moon’ and ‘the most outstanding European newcomer in years’. Believe the hype.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • The hydrotherapy pool where you can float in the cocoon-like sphere or swim through to an infinity pool overlooking the forest
  • You're among health experts here - owner Marina is hugely skilled in transformational healing and Dr George Leon is a highly acclaimed molecular nutritionist
  • The cavernous Gaia restaurant excels in healthy, wholesome meals - which can even be tailored to each individual guest's dietary needs (established via a pinprick blood test)
  • An astonishing array of treatments for whatever ails you, from meditation and detox to fitness and weight loss. Plus you get one 50-minute treatment per room per night!
  • The dramatic landscape and the ancient ruins of nearby Mystras, the last stronghold of the Byzantines

Lows

  • Its remote location (the nearest beach is 40 minutes away) means it’s a bit of a trek to get to and, besides Sparta and Mystras, there isn’t a huge amount to see locally
  • Only children aged 14+ are allowed and only those 16+ can use the spa
  • The sole dining room is largely communal – great for solo guests, perhaps less ideal for those who like to breakfast in peace

Best time to go

As with everywhere in Greece, summer can be blisteringly hot – although Euphoria does have air-conditioning throughout. Spring and autumn are still very warm and probably better for walking, hiking and exploring the forest and local countryside.

Our top tips

Sturdy footwear is a must if you want to leave the retreat. You won’t need a car if you’re sticking to the local area, but you will need a hire if you want to hit the coast. If flying into Kalamata, the mountain road over Taygetos (route 82) to Mystras is jaw-dropping; but not for nervous drivers. If flying into Athens, we’d recommend a night or two at Nafplio on your way there or back; or exploring Athens if you haven’t already.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
Spa
Room:

Rooms

There are 45 rooms in total. Each is individually and neutrally designed with warm, earthy colours and traditional fabrics and textiles in keeping with the hotel’s holistic, minimalist approach. The emphasis is on luxury, with handmade mattresses designed to fit the contours of your body and sprayed with olive oil to keep your skin soft as you sleep. Euphoria Junior Suites have raised seating areas and most guestrooms open onto private terraces overlooking the groves. Some have steam showers (note, only a few have baths) and all have noise insulation.

If money’s no object, the Mystras Suite is the owner’s favourite, while the 100m2 Byzantium Grand Suite at the very top of the retreat boasts its own concierge service, private garden and hot tub.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Bluetooth sound system
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Mosquito net
  • Phone
  • Pillow menu
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Underfloor heating
  • WiFi
  • Yoga mat

Eating

At Gaia restaurant, the emphasis is on health and wholesomeness. But don't let that you put you off; meals here are delicious, varied and packed with flavour. Most of the produce originates in the local Peloponnese countryside (or the hotel’s own kitchen garden) and is mostly organic but not exclusively vegetarian/vegan – some diets demand steak, pork and eggs. Coffee and alcohol are discouraged but if you really fancy a sundowner, there’s a small lobby bar that serves beer, wine and light cocktails.

If you book onto a spa programme with a nutritional focus you get your meals individually tailored to your needs. On arrival, you're given a quick blood test (not as brutal as it sounds - just a finger prick!) and then the menus are crafted by the kitchen staff to provide you with the right balance and nutrition.

There’s only the one restaurant on site, and it’s largely communal, but the surrounding area does have a few modest bars and eateries serving more traditional Greek cuisine, such as Taverna Pikoulianika or Chromata.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • There’s almost no limit to the wellness offerings at the hotel: Finnish sauna, infrared sauna, sensory deprivation pool, Kneipp Therapy waterwell, meditation rooms, yoga studios (and aerial yoga sessions), massage rooms, a gym (with personal trainers) as well as a host of classes in everything from nutrition to self-awareness.

  • Go cycling or walking in the enormous (78,000 sqm) private forest in the garden.

  • A trip to the ruins of nearby Mystras, with its frescoed chapels, 15th-century palace and hilltop castle, is a must.

  • Explore the trails into the foothills of Mt. Taygetos: one leads up the river valley near the hotel, another to the cave-chapel of Langadiotissa (a favourite), while a third follows a spectacular stone mulepath to the village of Anavriti, set beneath snow-capped peaks.

  • Drive to Gythion (45 mins), a medieval port town that boasts some fantastic fish restaurants, or Monemvasia (1.5 hours) which is situated on a small island dubbed the Gibraltar of the East. Once a getaway for Venetian aristocracy, it’s famed for its vaulted alleyways, churches and artisan workshops.

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Pilates
  • Rock climbing
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Tai Chi
  • Trekking
  • Well being
  • Yoga

Kids

This isn't really a family resort so no children under 14 are allowed, and only those aged 16 or over can use the spa – with their parents’ permission.

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly:

Location

Located in the heart of the Peloponnese, Euphoria Retreat is a 2.5-hour drive from Athens or less than one hour from Kalamata.

By Air:
Fly into Kalamata (95km) or Athens (247km).

From the Airport
From either airport, you could get a taxi or arrange a transfer via the hotel, but you might want a hire car to explore the area. See our car rental recommendations.

Alternatively, if you want to arrive in style, a helicopter transfer can be arranged on request.

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

Airports:

  • Kalamata 95.8 km KLX
  • Athens 247.0 km ATH

Other:

  • Beach 47.0 km
  • Shops 1.0 km
  • Restaurant 1.0 km

Rates for Euphoria Retreat

Arriving on: