luxe - Poseidonion Grand Hotel, Spetses
Written by Isabella Zampetaki
Genuine belle époque elegance on the historic Greek island of Spetses.
The Poseidonion Grand Hotel was the holiday destination of choice for Greek royalty and aristocracy back in 1914 when it originally opened its doors. Today, it still remains a favourite of high society and sophisticated socialites who visit the island of Spetses, 54 nautical miles away from Athens.
The hotel’s belle époque ambience was brought back to life through a meticulous renovation which took five years to complete. Specialist craftsmen were employed from across Greece, including a crew from the monasteries of Mount Athos. With its neoclassical features restored, from its marble pillars to the hand-painted tiles, the Poseidonion now enjoys a breeze of minimalist elegance.
For a special stay, opt for the tower room, featuring a panoramic view of the Argo-Saronic Gulf and the neighbouring historic island of Hydra. You can also choose to sleep under the hotel’s distinctive dome in La Cupola suite and enjoy the view of Spetses town’s red-tile rooftops from your private terrace.
The Poseidonion’s majestic marble staircase takes you back to a time when ladies descended slowly in anticipation of the evening dance, whilst children rushed down, anxious for a donkey ride. Back in the present, you can start your night at On The Verandah restaurant, where Michelin-starred chef Christoforos Peskias adds a modern flare to traditional local cuisine, using fresh produce from the hotel’s organic garden.
To explore Spetses islands maritime history, ride a horse-drawn carriage along the captains mansions row on the seafront promenade. Visit the Bouboulina Museum, home of one of the female admirals of the Greek War of Independence back in 1821, and watch craftsmen build their colourful caïque boats at the island’s historic shipyards.
The Argo-Saronic is a region rich in Greek history and culture, only a few hours away from Athens. Top places to visit include the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, built around 300 BCE, and the bohemian island of Hydra, where neoclassical stone mansions dot the hillsides and the horseshoe-shaped harbour.