Poseidonion Grand Hotel

Spetses, Greece Book from Book from £173 per night

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!

Highs

  • 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

Lows

  • 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...

    Beach
    Family
    Foodie
    Spa
    Wedding
    • Historic Boutique Hotel
    • 56
    • 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: Pool Suite

    Rooms

    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.

    Tower Sea View rooms have larger living areas, but, if you can afford it, go for one of the plush suites: Superior, Cupola, VIP, Pool and Royal, which each have private terraces - some with magnificent sea views.

    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.

    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

    Eating

    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
    Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • 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

    Kids

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

    Family friendly accommodation:

    If you can afford it, opt for one of the suites. Otherwise a Superior Garden View room is fine, especially if you just have 1 child (or 1 child and 1 baby).

    Babysitting:

    Babysitters are available on request.

    Kid Friendly:

    Location

    The hotel is on the island of Spetses, one of the Saronic Islands. The nearest airport is Athens, which is easily accessible through the port of Piraeus. Spetses is very near the Peloponnese (mainland Greece); taxi boats cross to Kosta, near Porto Heli, in 5 minutes.

    By Air
    Fly into Athens (2-5 hours away by hydrofoil or ferry). Click on the links below for a list of airlines.

    From Athens Airport By Ferry
    Take the airport bus or the train/metro or a taxi to Piraeus port (approx. 1 hour). From Piraeus, there are several daily hydrofoils and catamarans to Spetses, taking 2-3 hours, as well as occasional ferry boats taking at least twice as long (but much more stable in choppy seas).

    From Athens Airport By Car or Taxi
    Alternatively you can drive from Athens to Kosta (near Porto Heli) in the Peloponnese (2 hours) and then take a sea taxi to the island (7-8 mins, departs on demand), or a ferry if you prefer (15-20 mins, 4/day). The hotel can organise a taxi for the Athens-Kosta journey. Or you can hire a car, but bear in mind that it will be left unused and unattended while your are on Spetses (private cars are not allowed on the island); if you want to hire a car see our car rental recommendations.

    From Athens By Helicopter
    This can be arranged on request; the Athens-Spetses journey takes approximately 20 minutes.

    From Spetses Port to the Hotel
    If coming by sea taxi, ask to be dropped at the hotel itself. If coming by ferry from Kosta or from Piraeus, the hotel will send someone to meet you and drive the short distance to the hotel.

    More on getting to Greece and getting around

    Airports:

    • Athens (Eleftherios Venizelos) 220.0 km ATH

    Other:

    • Beach 0.7 km
    • Shops 0.1 km
    • Restaurant 0.1 km

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

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

    A beautifully elegant hotel, with attentive staff. Really enjoyed the excellent breakfast on the terrace over looking the water.

    9/10,

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