Five guesthouses for the holidays

December 21, 2011
We chose five guesthouses and hotels suitable for Christmas getaways of all types. We’ve included something for everyone, whether you like luxury, minimal or traditional design. The main criteria were that they were all special in their own way.

Kastanea House & Bar – Design in Karpenisi

«Kastanea House & Bar» is in the village of Agios Nikolaos in Karpenisi, one of the most beautiful mountainous areas in Greece. This is a great choice for couples that are fans of design. The outside is respectful of the local stone and wood style but inside things are definitely modern. This is a minimal mountain chic hotel according to the owner, with cosy spaces done using an earth tone palette, blending in perfectly with its surroundings. The rooms are spacious with a fireplace and a view towards the Timfristos’ mountain. The New York style bar is a good place to relax, enjoy a malt whisky and listen to some good music. They serve a lovely homemade breakfast and you can also take in Megalo Chorio for galaktoboureko on the square, Mikro Chorio and Prousou Monastery. (from €140)

Monopatia Resort – minimalism meets tradition in Zagori

Imagine a small stone village, gorgeous natural surroundings and the feeling of being at home. That’s exactly what Monopatia Resort feels like, at Zagori’s Ano Pedina. This hotel is ideal for lovers of minimalistic design and good food as there is a restaurant, which would satisfy any big city dweller. We would recommend Monopatia Resort for couples and families alike. Accommodation options include rooms and suites for two as well as 66 square meter houses for big groups or families. The hotel is a good base for short excursions in nearby villages. Good examples are Monodendri and the small church of Saint Paraskevi on an opening right above the Vikos gorge which will take your breath away and Koukouli, another village with beautiful manor houses and its Botanic Museum with 1300 exhibits. You could also stop at the village of Kipi with its six 18th century arched bridges and its ‘Agapios Tolis’ folk museum.  (from €110)

Sapin Chalet – country chic at Kaimakchalan

Exuberant luxury very much in fitting with the Christmas season.  Sapin Chalet at old Agios Athanasios in Pella is ideal for those who fancy a glass of brandy on a leather couch with low lighting and relaxing music, or some relaxing time in a steam or jacuzzi bath. There are many outdoor activities here as well: wanders in the listed village’s cobbled streets as you’ll have to leave your car at the entrance, a drive around lake Vegoritida and the surrounding villages and of course skiing at nearby Kaimakchalan. (from €160)

Nikos & Ioulia guesthouse – Epirus filoxenia

I love this guesthouse for three reasons: it’s in Megalo Papigo, my favourite settlement in Zagorochoria, the view towards the castles of Astraka is breathtaking and there is a great taverna next door owned by the same people. Nikos & Ioulia guesthouse is made up of 10 detached stone houses built in a traditional style which can cater for between 2 to 4 people each. There is a respect to Epirus traditions here but with a modern twist so you instantly feel welcome and relaxed. The restaurant serves well-made traditional recipes and grilled meats. Another plus point is the bicycles the guesthouse offers its guests. (from €80)

Kazarma Lake Resort & Spa – the luxurious side of Agrafa

I have strong family bonds with Karditsa so I couldn’t but mention a hotel from that part of the world. Kazarma Lake Resort & Spa is an impressive new hotel complex, a stone’s throw from lake Plastira.  This place is ideal for families who are after comfort, luxury and outdoor activities. Kazarma offers spacious and well-designed rooms, a bar with a view of the lake, a traditional restaurant, a fully functioning spa and a 24-hour front desk. Worthwhile excursions include a trek to Paratiritirio. From the ‘Paleomonastiro’ position between the dam and Belokomitis (Zygogianeyka area), there is a path towards Paratiritirio when you can get a panoramic view of the lake. (from €160)

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