Stay Here: Sani Resort, HalkidikiBy Alicia Grimshaw
I’ll hold my hands up – I’m not a fan of holiday resorts. I find them busy, cluttered with magnolia painted buildings and to be honest, a little boring. My holidays as a child were spent in resorts dotted around Europe – France, Portugal and Spain to name but a few, we went to so many I could write a brochure on them all. Don’t get me started on towel etiquette by the pool – a holidaymakers nightmare.
My feelings towards holiday complexes changed when I visited Sani Resort on the Kassandra Peninsula, one of three beach-fringed peninsulas in Halkidiki. Spread across 1,000 acres, with its own five-star harbour docking some of the more luxurious yachts in Greece – Sani is anything but average. The resort comprises of four hotels, three spas, a whopping nineteen restaurants (no worrying about if the breakfast buffet is going to run dry) and 7km of white sandy beaches. Sani is a place where you can instantly feel like you’re in a neighbouring village without leaving the resort. Bored of the beach? No problem, you can walk through fields of olive groves, pines forests or visit the bird sanctuary down at Sani Wetlands.
While many other resorts feel tired, run down and lacking in sparkle, Sani Resort’s attention to detail is refreshing. They run a ‘Sani Beach Experience’ designed for guests to enjoy hassle-free sunbathing while their waiters dubbed ‘beach buddies’ serve drinks and snack right up to your sun bed. There’s designated adult only areas found across the resort and if that’s not enough, waiters will come by your sun bed offering to clean your sunglasses for you (yes, really).
The accommodation at Sani is second to none. The Sani Beach Hotel was the first hotel to be built and features 389 rooms ranging from double rooms through to two bedroom suites with beach front views. Following the refurbishment, the area now includes an infinity edge heated swimming pool (for that perfect Instagram picture), another outdoor heated swimming pool and two beachside bars. If you don’t fancy rubbing shoulders with other holiday goers, you don’t have to. Sani Resort also boasts Porto Sani Village, found around Sani Marina, Porto Sani Village is a well-being hotel that offers understated elegance with the tranquility of a private members club. Porto Sani is home to Byblos restaurant – Greece’s only dedicated caviar restaurant serving the world’s finest caviars in both traditional and innovative ways.
There’s also another draw to Sani Resort and it doesn’t include staff cleaning sunglasses. The Sani Gourmet Festival is an annual food and wine festival championing fine cuisine and exploring gastronomic characteristics of nations and people that have largely been overlooked by the West.
Now in its tenth year the festival brings together Michelin-starred chefs from across the globe for a week long celebration of varying cuisines and world dishes. The culinary journey takes place at different restaurants across the resort and features a different chef each night. This year saw Alfred Prasad (the youngest Indian Chef to ever be awarded a Michelin star) take to the kitchen to put on a banquet that was truly spectacular. After a successful 14 year stint at the The Tamerind in London, Alfred is set to open is own restaurant later on this year. His menu was influenced by 21st century flavours combined with traditional cooking methods to serve an Indian feast of curried chickpeas and poached yogurt, lamb chops and his version of butter chicken. Chefs from Iran, Azerbaijan and Georgia were also cooking up a storm. Each year features a different theme with past years including Top Women Chefs, New Greek Cuisine and The Silk Road: From Beijing to Rome.
At Sani Resort, there’s so many activities to take part in and facilities to visit you’ll be hard pushed to fit it all in. For those with sea legs waterskiing, windsurfing and canoeing is on offer, while those who would rather stay on dry land enjoy paint balling, mountain-biking, tennis or head to one of the 3 spas on site.
Sani Resort has everything – world class accommodation, Michelin-starred food, an endless amount of choice of everything from spa treatments to water sports and even a choice on hotels. Sani Resort is something very special and if you’re planning a holiday somewhere, make sure it’s to Sani Resort.
Vist Sani Resort’s website here