Poseidonion Grand Hotel in Spetses offers the rare experience of a grande dame hotel on a greek island
“Is there anything more than a five star hotel?” “A grande dame hotel”, a true hotel afficionado would answer. The term “grande dame” is used in hospitality jargon to underline (very successfully, in my opinion) not only the iconic beauty behind a historic gem but also an elegant high-status ambience. These hotels are seen as landmarks in their area while their names alone can evoke images of timeless charm. They are often the setting of local tales with backstories worthy of a book.
Poseidonion Grand Hotel is a true grande dame
It is really difficult to find a grande dame hotel on the Greek islands (usually full of whitewashed bungalows, luxury resorts with big pools and boho-chic boutique hotels). Poseidonion Grand Hotel in Spetses is a true grande dame hotel and one of the very few in the whole country.
It has a long history, a prime setting with awe-inspiring views, an elegant architecture of another era. It has gone through a thorough restoration that has retained the building‘s timeless allure and an impeccable renovation of its facilities worthy of a majestic iconic hotel. Evidence of its glorious past are the guest books full of names of jet setters, royalties and politicians of other distinguished society members. No doubt, the hotel ticks all the boxes of its kind.
A dazzling hotel which first opened in 1914 and since then it is the landmark of the seafront central square of the island, Poseidonion Grand Hotel was the brainchild of Sotirios Anargiros, a visionary benefactor who was responsible for much of Spetses’ development. Following a meticulous five-year restoration programme which has brought the hotel fully up to date, Poseidonion Grand Hotel re-opened its doors in 2009.
A summer weekend at Poseidonion Grand Hotel
Personally, I am very familiar with the specific hotel. In the past years I had the chance to stay there a couple of times, take part in the Tweed Run (read about this amazing event organized by the hotel here) and visit it quite often during my family vacations. Having been a guest there repeatedly by no means diminishes the pleasure of a new experience there.
Approaching the island by water taxi (part of Spetses charm is the fact that cars are not allowed), the mere view of the majestic Poseidonion Grand Hotel serves as a magic trick for instant decompression. This was my exact feeling on a July Friday evening following a hectic week at the office.
What followed was love at first sight with my room (a deluxe sea view room at the historic wing) and its balcony with this uninterrupted scenic view of the Argosaronic gulf. In a calming palette of white and pale grey hues, the room blends French Riviera vibes with homey elegance. Classic furniture, wallpapers with delicate patterns, retro inspired touches at the bathroom and a tiny walk-in closet add ambience and function to parquet-floored, high-ceilinged room no 204!
It was the beginning of two days in paradise. Breakfast with freshly prepared eggs and pancakes in the veranda, long tanning sessions in the pool gazing at the reflections of the palm trees, spa visits, dinner at the al fresco oasis of Il Cortile the Italian restaurant, specialized in meat dishes, cocktails during sunset at The Palms bar and finally a joyful ride with the hotel tuk-tuk to its private farm -an awesome gastronomic and so fun experience! (However, if we had stayed longer, I would have loved to do nothing but enjoy my balcony with one of the best room views of my life!)
There’s no need to explain why I ended up with 5,000 new photos on my iPhone after my stay at this iconic landmark.
5 reasons why you can’t but fall in love with Poseidonion Grand Hotel
The “verandah life”
Even if it is is your first time in Spetses, you have to enjoy an aperitivo or a meal On the Verandah of Poseidonion, in order to delve into the heart of the island, enjoy the harbour view and soak up the local life. Nothing can beat this ambience.
Since Poseidonion was reopened, its front terraces are a lively meeting point not only for the hotel guests but also for all the chicest island visitors. The tiled verandas and its elegant airy lobbies του often host art exhibitions and other events. On the Verandah is also the multiple award-winning restaurant of the Poseidonion Grand Hotel, where Head chef Stamatis Marmarinos, creates contemporary Greek dishes infused with local gastronomic traditions. with soft lighting and sunset views complementing the refined cuisine. A perfect blend of food and setting, dinner at On the Verandah is a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience.
Part of the hotel’s charm is that it retains hints of its past. The design was originally conceived by Sotirios Anargyros and realized by architect Panagiotis Zizilas in 1911. The building went through its first major renovation in 1960.
One of its highlights is the grandiose marble staircase whose handrail is the original one, properly maintained until today. The central dome of the roof is the trademark of the hotel hosting one of the most impressive suites in two different levels, aptly named La Cupola. Seen from inside, the suite’s wooden roof with its curved beams resembles the hull of a ship.
Rooms with a view
The best memory of a hotel is the one that can last a lifetime. While staying at my room in Poseidonion Grand Hotels, I loved to throw open the window and gaze at the contrast between the green wooden shutters, the azure waters of the Argo-Saronic and the intricate motif of the traditional iron balcony. Priceless moments, indeed.
The “Bostani experience” and the tuk-tuk ride
“Can’t talk right now, I am on the tuk-tuk, on my way to the Bostani”. My husband had to figure out what I meant with this mysterious phrase when I answered his call. It was true; we were a group of four girls, riding the newly acquired tuk-tuk of the hotel, heading to Poseidonion farm aka “Bostani” (Bostani is the greek word for orchard). This is another unique experience offered by Poseidonion Grand Hotel to its guests.
The underlying philosophy of all gastronomy at the Poseidonion Grand Hotel is based on the authentic flavours of the fruits and vegetables grown at this organic Bostani farm in the hills of Spetses. We were invited to explore the farm, handpick vegetables and take part in an unforgettable al-fresco dining experience. This is the way of the hotel to introduce guests to the culinary traditions of Greece in a unique outdoor setting.
Poseidonion Grand Hotel is a 5 star hotel and it proves it through the impeccable service and the unique experiences it offers. We were also amazed by the presence of elegant General Manager Maria Strati that simply seems to be everywhere and always proactive.
Poseidonion is a hotel that should exist in the bucket list of every travel connoisseur.
See more photos by clicking on the gallery below