Poseidonion Grand Hotel

Spetses, Greece Book from

Reviewed by Sarah Gilbert
Contemporary luxury meets old-world glamour at this grand hotel on the historic island of Spetses, only 2 hours from Athens
For almost a century the Poseidonion has been a harbour-front landmark on Spetses, one of the closest island resorts to Athens. Built in the style of the French Riviera’s grand hotels, it soon became a favourite of Athenian high society. Now lovingly restored over a 5-year period to combine full Belle Epoque splendour with 21st-century luxuries, it reopened in 2009 under the new ownership of the Vordonis shipping family; a year later, it made a big splash when it hosted the wedding party of Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Tatiana Blatnik.

Grand but certainly not stuffy, its stylish rooms and impressive suites seamlessly blend original features, contemporary furniture and state-of-the-art facilities, while a palm-filled garden surrounds the Hockney-blue swimming pool. The stylish lounge - complete with comfy sofas, a grand piano and a vintage jukebox - and various restaurants spill onto the sweeping terrace overlooking the startlingly blue Aegean - perfect for watching the horse-drawn carriages go past on this car-free island.

Home to some of the most expensive real estate in Greece, Spetses has pretty beaches, translucent water, pine-clad hills and a jumping summer nightlife. Come in July-August to join the jet set - or in spring or autumn to escape it!


  • We loved the leisurely buffet breakfast on the sea-facing terrace, and there's nouvelle Greek cuisine and sushi on offer too
  • Inside, the mix of original features and contemporary décor is stylish and gracious
  • Many rooms have stunning views from fer forgé balconies across the sea to the pine-fringed Peloponnese
  • Treatments at the serene spa come warmly recommended
  • Great for mixed ages: youngsters can enjoy Dapia's cafe- and club culture while parents visit beaches and museums
  • A glorious car-free option: arrive by water taxi straight to the hotel (or helicopter if you prefer!); then clop round town on a horse-drawn carriage


  • The noisy motorbikes roaring around town got on our nerves (though the square around the hotel is mercifully moped-free)
  • The beaches closest to the hotel are the most developed and crowded
  • You’ll need to book in advance for weekends and all of July and August
  • Outside of weekends and in the low season, Spetses can be very quiet

Best time to go

The hotel is open from April to October. Avoid August, the island’s busiest month. The hotel can also be swarming with Athenian glitterati at weekends. Outside of weekends during the low season - April to May and September to October - Spetses is utterly tranquil but some restaurants may be closed and normally packed beaches will be devoid of loungers and sporting activities (ideal for some!). The Armata Festival lasts for a week in September and attracts crowds of Greeks and tourists for concerts, plays and exhibitions, rounding off with the re-enactment of a victorious sea battle against the Turks, complete with fireworks and canon fire.

The hotel also organises 2 annual events, the Classic Yacht Race in mid June, which welcomed 65 vintage boats and their owners in 2012; and the Spetses Marathon in mid October, which offers a choice of 26km road race, 5km fun-run or 2 swims across the Spetses Channel.

Our top tips

  • It’s the perfect relaxed getaway after exploring the manic megalopolis of Athens
  • Not a typical beach read but John Fowles wrote The Magus while living on Spetses
  • We were very impressed by the enthusiastic, hands-on General Manager, Alexandros Rapessis
  • Great for...

    • = Recommended
    • = Best in region
    • = World favourite
    • Historic Boutique Hotel
    • 52
    • Restaurants and bars
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Outdoor Pool
    • Spa
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Concierge Service
    Room: Deluxe Side Sea View


    The rooms and suites - split between the historic building and a newer wing - are all classy and contemporary. Most of the Garden View rooms (the cheapest) are in the new 2-storey wing, overlooking the lush garden and pool. The Superior rooms are lovely, larger and come with a double sofabed for lounging or putting up kids. We stayed in a Deluxe Sea View room in the historic wing: a slightly smaller but wonderfully elegant option. Decorated in calming tones of off-white and blue-grey, it had lofty ceilings, pine floors, dark-wood furniture, flatscreen TV and French windows that lead onto a diminutive balcony.

    You’ll find Etro lotions and potions in the sparkling white marble and tile bathrooms. Although most don’t have bathtubs, the rain shower makes up for it. The kingsize beds have superb mattresses, plump pillows and crisp white linen to ensure a good night’s sleep.

    Tower Sea View rooms have a larger living area, while Family Suites are a combination of 2 Deluxe Sea View rooms with connecting living room that includes a sofabed. The individually designed Superior Suites has have oodles of space, marble bathrooms and balconies with gorgeous sea views.

    But if you can afford it, go for the Cupola Suite, a true one-off. Split over 2 levels, its vaulted ceiling resembles the upturned hull of a Greek fishing boat (still being built today in Spetses' harbour), while its private terrace overlooks the island’s pine-clad interior.

    Features include:

    • Air conditioning
    • Bathrobes
    • Central heating
    • Cots Available
    • Extra beds
    • Fan
    • Hairdryer
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Phone
    • Radio
    • Safe box
    • Satellite tv
    • Terrace
    • Toiletries
    • Tv
    • WiFi
    • Wifi internet


    We loved starting the day at the expansive breakfast buffet, served in the restaurant or on the terrace until a very civilised 11am. We chose from a seemingly endless array of cereals, cold meats, yoghurt, fresh and dried fruit, pastries, eggs to order; even the iced coffee - a Greek staple - came in many varieties. Since our visit, the hotel has added some fruit and veg from its own organic gardens.

    After breakfast, the The Poseidonion Bar takes over, serving light fare, including delicious Greek salads, on the terrace or poolside until late.

    Open from June-September, the formal restaurant, On The Verandah is headed by Michelin-honoured chef Christoforos Peskias, who takes local recipes and ingredients and adds a touch of delicacy and class. Expect fresh fish served with steamed greens from the hotel’s organic hillside garden, or pastitsio with foie gras if you're not watching calories. Round off the night with their signature cocktail - a light and refreshing concoction of vodka, pear purée, honey and a lemongrass straw.

    In high summer there's also a top-notch Asian- and sushi restaurant run by the Athens-based Freud Oriental team: their aji tataki (yellow fin tuna) is legendary, though you should be prepared to pay through the nose for it.

    There are plenty of other restaurants around the Old Harbour - try Tarsanas for fish, or La Scala for upmarket Italian - and hotel team are happy to make recommendations.

    Features include:

    • Bar
    • Breakfast
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Organic produce
    • Restaurant
    • Restaurants nearby
    • Room service
    • Vegetarian menu


    • Take a water taxi around the 22-mile coastline to catch a glimpse of the homes of the super-rich, including the Niarchos family’s own private island, Spetsopoula
    • Check out the Spetsiots favourite beach, Zogeria, where the local taverna serves up delicious pasta from a secret recipe passed down through the generations
    • Don’t miss a tour of the Bouboulina museum, dedicated to freedom fighter Laskarina Bouboulis, Greece’s answer to Joan of Arc
    • Organise moped or bicycle hire from the hotel and explore the island’s once pine-clad interior (now sadly depleted through forest fires)
    • All manner of watersports are available around the island, from scuba diving and sailing to windsurfing and waterskiing
    • Stroll 2km along the coast road to admire the mega yachts, before witnessing the dying art of boat building at the picturesque Old Harbour
    • Visit the Old Harbour by night to dine at its al fresco fish restaurants, before sampling the fruit-flavoured daiquiris at Throubi
    • Splash your cash in the stylish jewellery and clothing boutiques dotted along the winding streets of Dapia
    • Explore the charming, car-free island of Hydra, a short hydrofoil hop across the Saronic Gulf

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Boat trips
    • Fishing
    • Historical sites
    • Mountain biking
    • Nightlife
    • Sailing
    • Snorkelling
    • Swimming
    • Well being
    • Windsurfing
    • Wine tasting
    • Yoga


    Children of all ages are welcome and families often stay, especially in summer.

    Family friendly accommodation:

    If you can afford it, opt for a Family Suite with interconnecting and a separate living area with a sofabed. Otherwise a Superior Garden View room is fine, especially if you just have 1 child (or 1 child and 1 baby).


    Babysitters are available on request.

    Kid Friendly:

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