Tropical modernism, relaxing vibes and a 4000 square metre lake-like pool constitute the DNA of Olea All-Suite Hotel
It has happened to all of the hotel aficionados. You fall in love with a hotel by looking at its Instagram account or the gallery on its website. This is exactly how I got to love Olea All Suite Hotel in Zakynthos when I kept bumping into Instagram posts showing endless turquoise swimming pools bordering private verandas, all in a unique modernist architectural style. The tropical setting haunted my mind.
When you want something, the universe conspires to make it happen, blah, blah… So, this summer I found myself travelling to the hotel of my dreams. Arriving at a hotel that you already had high hopes for and yet it manages to exceed these expectations is true proof of greatness. There is no doubt that all those wonderful pictures of Olea All Suite Hotel do have the wow factor. Nevertheless, they cannot capture the beauty of the resort or the serenity the surrounding landscape evokes.
Perched on the hill in Tsilivi and merging with the emerald colours of the lush natural landscape, the Olea All Suite Hotel (a member of Design hotels) is a contemporary, peaceful retreat that taps into an omnipresent water element.
Sipping a welcome aperitif in the reception area, a truly majestic place where the two dominant elements, wood and water, coexist in perfect harmony, I couldn’t help but be swept away by a relaxing breeze. I looked up to the ceiling and noticed thatched rooftops that rustled, evoking a calming mood with their barely perceptible sound. I was informed that the architects used those thatched roofings for some of the communal areas in the name of environmental sustainability. Within minutes the hotel had not only successfully transmitted its vibes but also made a clear statement about its character: emphasis on contemporary design, a strong presence of the water element and Mediterranean greenery plus a dash of tropical modernism.
Taking a tour with the club cart, we learned that the resort was created in an old olive grove without having to sacrifice any of the age-old trees. In the hours to follow taking photos of the most impressive olive trees would become an obsession of mine.
The Athens and Stockholm-based architecture practice Block722architects who is responsible for Olea’s design and concept worked closely with the existing vegetation—including the venerable olive trees that have been gracing this plot of land for centuries.
We arrived at our suite and immediately went to the veranda to enjoy the private pool and the panoramic view of the lake-like central pool, the surrounding nature and the sea. A really relaxing heaven so wisely created, with attention to detail. Using natural techniques and materials (like rustic oak wood, bamboo, and rattan), the architects redefined the physical environment while emphasizing the autonomy of each suite unit.
But the beating heart of the hotel is a 4000m2 lake pool encasing the minimally-designed luxury suites that have developed naturally around it. The calming, transforming power of the water that flows freely through the veins of the Olea All Suite Hotel cannot be understated. The almost complete absence of boundaries between the resort’s suites and its communal spaces cultivates a unique sense of freedom resembling the deep state of relaxation one feels when floating.
Time flows at Olea All Suite Hotel
Even though it is situated in an island with countless attractions, Olea All Suite Hotel was created so as to offer an ultimately relaxing stay, during which time ceases to matter.
Here, you will spend your day enjoying your company, reading a book, gazing at the calming pool and the Mediterannean landscape, swimming, or even taking sweet naps in the hammocks under the trees. Days will go by in the best possible version of dolce far niente. The spa, with its heated pool and lounger-filled deck beside palm trees, is also well worth a visit. At the Royal Spa & Relaxation area (with special aromatic and essential oils therapies using Mediterranean herbs), guests are rejuvenated, train at the fully equipped gym, pamper themselves at the beauty salon and unwind at the yoga pavilion.
Gastronomy at Olea All Suites
From morning till night, gastronomy plays a significant role in Olea lifestyle. The breakfast menu is so rich that you cannot but fill the table with a plethora of healthy dishes and traditional delicacies, all served in an artful way in the best ceramics I have ever seen in hotels. Cocoon is the name of the all-day spot that is set in the center of the grand pool. Tropical in vibes (and decoration), it is the epitome of barefoot luxury since its floor is filled with sand.
Fine dining is best experienced at the Flow Dine and Wine restaurant, set atop the hill facing the sunset. Chef Andreas Ntougias changes the menu daily and takes you to an unforgettable culinary journey combining local gastronomical heritage with international touches. The amuse-bouche that opens the dinner is a true work of art, an assortment of colorful minuscule canapés that offer astonishing flavours as the best start of a true high-end dining experience.