WHERE TO NEXT?
To stay in Athens or outside of Athens?
That is the question. 🙂
Most people visiting Greece will transit through Athens (there are some other options to consider in certain situations). For those visiting Greece for more than a beach holiday (which are our usual clients), Athens is a must visit.
Deciding between staying in the city or in a resort destination like the Four Seasons Astir Palace or the soon to open One & Only Aesthetes is an impactful decision. It depends on your situation – flight times, number of days in country, interests. But if the timing works out, I’d suggest both – one on the front end and one on the back end of your trip.
Staying in the city affords you easy access to the Parthenon, Acropolis Museum, shopping, unlimited urban dining options, coffee shops and spectacular views from rooftop bars overlooking the Parthenon at night.
During my visit last week I was eager to see some of the new boutique hotels that have recently opened and I’m happy to report these new additions are wonderful options for future city stays!
One morning we had a style guide take us around the upscale Kolonaki neighborhood to introduce us to some of her favorite boutiques. From there I explored on my own in other neighborhoods.
A few favorites I discovered and rediscovered on this visit…
Hyper Hypo – beautiful bookshop
Korres – lotions and skin care
Kallista – purses and bags
Φaos – sunglasses
Savapile – sunhats to shield you from the strong Greek sun
The Clumsies – cocktail bar
Couleur Locale (a recent Highlight) – restaurant and cocktail bar with beautiful views of the Acropolis
Spondi – Michelin star dining in the stone courtyard of an historic villa
Odeon of Herodes Atticus – the place for a most memorable outdoor concert
In this week’s Highlight below you’ll learn about a restaurant in Athens to definitely put on your list for your future visit.
If you choose to stay outside the city, you’ll have other options like wakeboarding, waterskiing and tubing (great for teens and college kids after a hot day touring the sites), a large pool looking out on the water, dining at Nobu and many other on-site restaurants, swimming laps in the sea, taking dancing lessons and luxuriating in the beautiful spa. For an over the top stay, arrive by helicopter and stay in the Riviera Suite (walkthrough here and our in-suite bartender above).
They are both great options, which is why ideally you will be able to take advantage of both!
The latest edition of the Virtuoso Magazine is out. Have you received yours? Check out the online version below with articles on:
- Riviera Maya and Mexico City Mexico
- Hong Kong
- Ushuaia Argentina, the gateway to Antarctica
- Big Sky, Montana
This week’s inspirational articles include next year’s total solar eclipse, secret room drawings by Michelangelo, the ultimate guide to Australia, the 19 most luxurious all-inclusive resorts around the world and 10 over-the-top dining experiences.
You’ll also find information on how luxury hotels are helping sleep deprived travelers, security experts’ advice on international travel during the Israel-Hamas war and how to give back while traveling.
- This week’s highlight – SOIL
- Hot New Hotel Opening – Kona Village
- Inspiration + Information
SOIL‘s philosophy is that “nature guides our every step.” The chef has a private garden in the village of Alepochori one hour from Athens, where he is assisted by his own father. It is an indispensable extension to Soil’s kitchen, sustainably cultivating rare Greek herbs, edible flowers and fresh vegetables.
Chef Tasos Mantis honed his cooking techniques at some of Europe’s most renowned kitchens – Hof Van Cleve (Belgium), Fat Duck (UK), Geranium (Copenhagen) – before opening SOIL in Athens. Acclaim followed with a Michelin star and Green star, for their high quality food, farm to table philosophy and ensuring “that every member of our staff spends time at our farm in Alepochori to understand the care that we take in growing our flowers, herbs and organic vegetables, something that they then pass on to our guests.”
The restaurant is well located just behind the Panathenaic Stadium, known as the location of the first Olympic Games. On a warm summer evening their private garden is a hidden gem, the courtyard filled with centuries old orange trees. Their ground floor hosts an open kitchen and a chef’s table. Their care and attention also shows in their handmade earth-inspired ceramic plates with their unique forms and intriguing textures, designed and created by Mud Lab.
As one would expect for a restaurant named SOIL, the focus is on natural items. Given their philosophy it’s no surprise that their menu changes seasonally. This fall it includes a tasting menu with:
shrimp with orange, pecan, marigold
oyster with ossetra caviar, fermented cucumber, unripe fig
amberjack with pickled lemon, clams, kohlrabi
squid with pumpkin, sea buckthorn, sweet alyssum
eel mini burger with black pork guanciale, vadouvan, burnet
beef with cherry plum, horseradish, ramson caper
cod with kombu beurre blanc
On your next visit to Athens, plan ahead and book a table at SOIL to enjoy the freshest food, incredible service in a beautiful setting.
🌟 In July, Kona Village officially reopened after shuttering in 2011 from severe tsunami damage. In its original carnation, it was one of Steve Jobs’ favorite resorts and one of our clients called it “heaven on earth.” Now that it’s been renovated and reopened, it’s even better.
Why visit Kona Village?
- Accommodations are made up of freestanding hales (rooms), with thatched roofs and views of the gardens, lagoon, mountains or ocean. They all have oversized lanai (outdoor space) and outdoor showers. Choose from one to four bedrooms.
- Dine beachside at the Shipwreck Bar. The once sunken sailboat was salvaged from Kahuwai Bay and serves light bites and tropical cocktails. Or enjoy Moana, the Pacific Rim-to-table restaurant honoring the historic fishing village while serving prawns, ahi and snapper.
- Soak up the Hawaiian sun at one of four outdoor pools that are beachside and have a 3pm coconut cart drink delivery. Explore the sea with sailing lessons or take a sunrise paddle in an outrigger canoe.
Of course it comes with the usual perks and VIP treatment when booking your stay through Truvay Travel.
📷 Kona Village
Reach out to plan your trip to
Your Ultimate Guide to Australia, Virtuoso
19 most luxurious all-inclusive resorts around the world, The Points Guy
Thinking of Going to the Summer Olympics in Paris? Better Make Plans Now, Outside Magazine
Global Entry mobile app: The complete guide, The Points Guy
Giving Back While Traveling, Forbes
No, people aren’t mistakenly flying to Austria instead of Australia, Washington Post
(If you aren’t able to access an NYT or Washington Post article, send me a note and I’ll send it to you in a PDF.)