WHERE TO STAY IN MAINLAND GREECE?
Eagles Palace, Ouranoupolis, Halkidiki, Greece
If you follow me on instagram then you’ll already know I spent a week this summer in Halkidiki at Eagles Palace Hotel & Spa, I’ve been meaning to share my travel post from our week there with you for ages but it ended up being such a busy summer and I’ve kinda got swept up in Autumn now I’m back in the UK which was delayed things a little more. But fear not, it’s finally here and if anything it’s warming my cockles writing the post for you today and looking back at all the sunny shots from my stay.
The Eagles Palace Resort & Spa
Whenever I go away my accommodation is super super important to me, I know some people don’t necessarily care much about where they stay, with the ethos that they won’t spend much time in their room anyway, but for me I want my holiday to feel like a total treat start to finish, and that includes importantly my room, bed and the location i’m staying. Especially when the brief is relax and there’s no real plans to leave the beach for 7 days.
For me the hotel, apartment or resort is just as important as the location itself. There are so many beautiful boutique hotels around these days that i’d hate to be staying in a huge ‘popular’ bog standard resort when I could have chosen a beautiful, smaller more local feeling boutique or apartment.
I really dislike visiting and in particular staying in touristy locations and worst of all big tourist hotels where every person is from the UK on a cheap package holiday – I say cheap, but they’re not cheap and even when you spend a lot for a top notch hotel it still has the same vibe because it’s a package holiday. I prefer to seek out smaller, lesser known areas, most definitely smaller and more boutique hotels and I tend to do a fair bit of research on it before I book. Least not because staying in a boutique hotel doesn’t always mean paying a huge price tag, if anything some of the best hotels I’ve stayed in of late I’ve managed to get great deals on and probably in reality have got far more value than I would have booking a tourist organised trip.
I always look at Mr & Mrs Smith and Small Luxury Hotels (worth saying in case you don’t know, no hotel is exclusive to those travel sites, they just feature the top hotels they discover on their searches and take commisions / charge a fee to be featured I assume), you’ll probably see if you explore my travel posts that most hotels I’ve stayed in are part of these groups portfolios – I just like that you can easily discover the most beautiful places to stay in your given destination & find boutique hotels that often won’t come up in other searches. I always start here when I am choosing my accommodation.
Our Eagles Palace hotel, getting to the point, was actually represented by both sites, the Hotel has luxury villas which Mr & Mrs Smith promote and a hotel (where we stayed) which Small Luxury Hotels feature, and for me that was a huge tick when we were hunting down somewhere to stay as genuinely i’ve never really been let down when I’ve found a hotel through them (in fact i’ve discovered some amazing places like this Riad, our hotel in the Atlas Mountains, the incredible Racha island just to name a few). We didn’t book through either as we then found a fantastic deal elsewhere and I had some client discount I was able to use through my work, but we wouldn’t have found the hotel if it were not for those searches.
The hotel felt secluded and relaxing which is ultimately what I really wanted – I wasn’t there to explore the local area like my prior trips to NYC and Denver, simply to unwind and chill in the sun after a really manic start to the year.
We spent every day at the beach simply sunbathing, researching interiors for our renovation, enjoying a mid afternoon cocktail with our sun bed bar service & the evenings spent dining at the hotel restaurant. We didn’t leave and I was absolutely cool with that for this trip.
I normally do like to mix up our dining and explore the best restaurants the area has to offer, but the nature of this hotel (and this trip) is you kinda don’t leave, fortunately the food was great, local, fresh and different every day so you never felt bored or like you weren’t eating well as they had a number of different places to choose from.
The other thing I enjoyed about our stay at the hotel was the expansive spa, I had a mini facial and a 90 minute deep tissue on my stay (all Elemis). I’m pretty fussy when it comes to massages as I have them regularly (because I get tension in my bank and migraines so they help a lot) and have therefore had some great and some terrible experiences, but my gosh this was good. The Greek therapist had just the right pressure for me (very firm) & really worked on my back which was in dire need of some love. It’s not often a hotel spa is actually good, but this one was brilliant.
The room interiors weren’t super luxe which was a shame, but on this one, as the private beach, pool and facilities were so excellent it didn’t really matter. We would have definitely benefited from pre requesting a room with a view, but you live and learn.
Overall our stay was exactly what we had hoped for, very relaxing, very hot and sunny (the weather was the absolute dream in July) and super chilled and low key. Nothing more that sunbathing, eating and unwinding, which absolutely ticked all my boxes. The perfect start to summer & the warm up before my trip to Zakynthos.