A former landmark hotel in a location of rare beauty turns into a stunning resort
You may have seen countless photos of Elivi Skiathos and have admired its beauty lots of time, but nothing compares to what you actually feel when you find yourself gazing at its stunning vistas from its terrace. This is what happened to me when I arrived there on a hot July weekend.
The resort’s heart beats at the main Elivi Skiathos building located at the former Xenia Skiathos, one of the top hotels in 60’s Greece, during the island’s golden age of jet-set tourism. Xenia Skiathos as all Xenia hotels was built in the 1960s under a nationwide hotel program initiated by the Hellenic Tourism Organization in order to develop tourism in Greece. Simplicity, purity of form and respect to the natural landscape were among the main characteristics of Xenia architecture, overseen by architect Aris Konstantinidis. As I adore this kind of style and it always makes me sad to see those gems abandoned and forgotten, I am always excited to visit a refurbished Xenia hotel. I just couldn’t hide my enthusiasm when I saw how marvelously the creators of Elivi have given the old Xenia a new life!
So, today Xenia Skiathos has been transformed into this effortlessly cool hideaway of Elivi with respect to its identity and historic value, considered, thus, a monument of modern architectural heritage. This is why vibes of the relaxing elegance of a bygone tourist era are all over the place at Elivi. White walls, colorful tiles and sky blue shutters, bougainvilleas and works of art by famous Greek artist Giannis Gaitis emphasize the modernist architecture of the original building, the trademark architectural style that made the Xenia hotels legendary.
Here are 5 more facts that make this resort a unique place:
Located at a verdant peninsula of 213 acres on the southwestern tip of Skiathos, the hotel is nestled amongst pine trees and olive groves with direct access to four sandy beaches; Big Banana, Small Banana, Ampelakia and Koukounaries. The pathways connecting the various areas of the resort are like a maze and I enjoyed a stroll around them during evenings. Each one of the beaches is a white-sand idyll with mattress thick sunbeds galore overlooking the deliciously clear Aegean Sea, cooled by the sea breeze and bathed in Mediterranean sunlight. Of course, the main question of the day is “on which beach am I going to be today?”. This was a tough choice for me every day. With difficulty, I can now say that my favourite one proved to be Ambelakia, then Small Banana!
Choices of Accommodation
Elivi Resort welcomes young, old, families and couples alike, featuring three different residential areas, the Elivi Xenia Hotel, the Grace Suites and the Nest Villas & Suites. The central building, Elivi Xenia Hotel, housed at the historic Xenia building, features 32 rooms, most of them enjoying a shared pool and all of them a unique view to Koukounaries pine forest and beach.
Elivi Nest Rooms, Villas & Suites are scattered in the midst of olive groves and pine trees, behind the Banana beach on the northwestern part of the promontory, 19 individual lodgings with independent accommodation, fostering a feeling of serenity and privacy, complete the hotel complex, offering yet another alternative residence amid enchanting scenery. 67 Elivi Grace Rooms & Suites sit directly on the beach of Ambelakia providing a remarkable setting of well-being and relaxation.
The hotel has four restaurants and six bars including four beach bars, offering a wide variety of menus from a Mediterranean steakhouse to Japanese fusion cuisine, Italian-Mediterranean cuisine and a traditional Greek fish restaurant. Each uses locally sourced ingredients to deliver exceptional cuisine and each, like Elivi’s beaches, also welcomes outside guests. When there, don’t forget to indulge in a dinner with a magic view at “Leda and the Swan”, the fine dining restaurant of the hotel, where a team of chefs with certified knowledge, experience and creativity transforms the unique raw materials of the Greek countryside into flavours that are simple light and enticing.
Apart from the luxurious dinner with a view at “Leda and the Swan” and delicious antipasti and pizza at the Italian restaurant every afternoon, my company and I really enjoyed fresh fish and seafood by the sea at the fish tavern of the hotel while the loveliest small band was playing live familiar melodies. So, don’t miss this either!
Koukounaries, Ambelakia, Little and Big Banana. Turquoise waters, fine white sand, green scenery. Elivi is committed to protecting the diversity and abundance of wildlife in its surroundings, including the rare black swans, native only to Skiathos. Additionally, the hotel is idyllically placed for hiking through the national park and forest, for cycling or horse riding through the olive groves and pine forests and there are multiple opportunities for watersports, as well as swim safaris, guided snorkeling and scuba diving. Elivi can also organise specialised night dives and deep dives for those looking for a fully immersive experience in the island’s protected waters.
Located in an environment of rare beauty, Elivi Skiathos seems the ideal place to be shared with a beloved person. Although the scenery can do all the talking, the hotel itself has launched a range of new experiences for couples looking to celebrate romance in spectacular surroundings. For the romantically inclined, private beach dinners can be organised, as well as in-suite dining and spa treatments or private starlit film screenings. Couples can also set sail on a yacht from Koukounaries cove and take an evening dip in the waters by the romantic remote islands of Tsougria or Arkos enjoying a four-course meal back on board, prepared by the captain for the ultimate fairy tale dinner date.
For the lovers of modernism that also love to swim in crystalline water on paradise-like beaches, Elivi Skiathos is definitely a must-go destination.
Discover more about this one-of-a-kind resort in the gallery below: