Looking for a holiday full of peace and relaxation this summer? Mars Webb visits luxury destination Sani Resort and tells us about a vacation she will never forget
Are you exhausted after a very busy time at work? Longing for a luxury destination not too far away?
My boyfriend and I had a lot of things going on in our lives – we wanted spa, wellness yoga, tranquility, a beach and great food (cooked for us!).
It didn’t take long to decide on Sani Resort. Maria, my friend, had been there years ago and raved about it. It ticked everything we wanted and more. Sani Resort is located on Cape Sani in Greece and turned out to be the perfect destination.
The resort features five award-winning hotels within walking distance
An easy early flight to Thessaloniki from Heathrow with a welcome transfer direct to Sani Resort meant we got there by lunchtime and settled down by the pool with a welcome cocktail – bliss!
The resort has five award-winning hotels within walking distance (Sani Beach, Sani Club, Porto Sani, Sani Asterias and Sani Dunes) and for this trip we stayed at Porto Sani’s recently opened €30 million five-star complex.
This includes 50 suites (the complex has a total of 148 suites), two new restaurants, heated pools for adults and families and a new children’s pool, a kids’ club and crèche club, an indoor and outdoor gym, beautifully manicured gardens and a spa.
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Like Sani’s other accommodation, which ranges from double rooms to junior suites, one, two and three bedroom suites, the accommodation and common areas are beautifully designed with stylish interiors by the visionary Dr. Niki Manou-Andreadis of Nimand Architects.
At every turn there is a beautiful chair or piece of art, all of which you will want to take home.
Accommodation in Porto Sani is ideally located, centrally located in the resort and next to the glamorous marina of Sani with 215 berths.
restaurants ranging from traditional Greek to French, Italian and Japanese
Surrounded by chic shops including Missoni, Melissa Odabash and Vilebrequin, outdoor cafes and restaurants ranging from traditional Greek to French, Italian and Japanese, it is the perfect place to have a coffee, view the amazing boats and yachts and to enjoy some Christmas shopping.
Sani is one of those resorts that stays with you, constantly evolving and providing space to relax and breathe. It has so much to offer, whether that be the great food, the great five star service, the many activities and different locations around the resort, so you will never be bored.
The rooms are spacious and elegant with large, airy balconies and beautiful luxurious touches. A rollaway bed service, crisp linens, and lavish beds and pillows ensured we both slept well each night.
On day two we decided to just relax on the beach and we were spoiled for choice. Set in a majestic 1000 acre eco-reserve, with 7km of soft, beautiful sandy beaches, Sani Resort also has 110 acres of protected Sani Wetlands to explore, and over 20km of lush forest trails that can be explored by bike or on foot.
The resort encourages you to reconnect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors at the Sani Sanctuary.
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Wonderfully spoiled for choice
At Porto Sani itself there are plenty of dining options. Elia is one of two new restaurants, run by the friendly manager Tasos and assistant manager Elena, both of whom greet guests with infectious smiles and share their recommendations.
Chef Panagiotis Togias has created an innovative menu that offers delicious Greek dishes elevated for a discerning palette. This was our first port of call as we arrived for a lazy poolside lunch and glass of rosé. It’s also a fantastic spot for a chilled sunset dinner and where we indulged in a celebratory breakfast buffet each morning.
There was the excellent Sani Gourmet Festival, held every May, where the world’s best chefs create innovative menus for guests to experience.
The excellent Sani Gourmet Festival, held every May
Our first port of call to eat was Lima, the second new restaurant on the Port Sani complex, located on the veranda above Elia overlooking Sani Marina.
Led by Chef George Matziaras, the restaurant serves authentic Peruvian cuisine with dishes such as Chilean sea bass croquettes with miso and spicy mayonnaise; Spicy Beef Fillet with Crispy Shallots, Aji Limo and Star Anise; Fire-roasted Octopus with Chorizo, Potato and Green Olives and a wide choice of salads.
My second favorite place to eat was Ouzerie, a Greek restaurant with a fantastic view and a wonderfully welcoming manager, Maria, who makes you so welcome. The Fried Zucchini Balls with Tzatziki are a should†
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On day three we decided we needed some serious pampering and immediately booked ourselves into the spa, located in the main Porto Sani building (there are other spas in the resort to choose from if one is booked).
There is a huge menu of treatments designed by renowned Parisian brand Anne Semonin. I opted for a Relax and Renew massage that worked its magic on my tense back and shoulders and my friend enjoyed the Radiance Express facial to refresh, firm and invigorate her tired skin.
We were given the option to do it in a joint treatment suite so we could lay side by side and share the experience, which was nice.
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Well-being is central to Sani
After checking out the well-equipped gym, we decided to download the Sani app and were presented with a huge selection of sports and fitness activities.
Guided jogging, mountain biking, HIIT, tennis, soccer, TRK and water aerobics were all bookable.
A new Breathwork and Meditation class had also just started, so we started our wellness break with that. Led by Sophia, a former classical singer and now sports instructor, we put on headphones and tuned in to her sleep-inducing voice and spent an hour of pure mindfulness with yoga techniques, meditation to focus on the breath and of course the amazing location at the beach.
lessons were located on a shaded deck with a beautiful view of the Aegean sea and Mount Olympus
A completely new experience and something we can never do at home, it was so relaxing, I fell asleep towards the end and we both left with clear and calm minds.
We also tried the ‘sunset yoga’ under the careful guidance of instructor Maria and tried Pilates the next morning with Raphaelle. Both classes were on a shaded deck with great views of the Aegean Sea and Mount Olympus ahead of us, so a spectacular location.
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Take care of the environment
Sani resort was the first certified climate neutral resort in Greece and was awarded World’s Leading Luxury Green Resort in 2021.
Its location in the heart of a 1000 hectare ecological reserve and 270 hectare wetlands means that sustainability is paramount.
New this year is the launch of the largest Bee Spot in Greece in collaboration with the non-profit organization Bee Camp. This hosts the pollinators and gives guests the chance to learn first hand about the pollinator’s role in the local ecosystem.
Sani resort was the first certified climate neutral resort in Greece
It has also just partnered with ISea to monitor the dolphin population and prepare the first catalog of cetaceans in Chalkidiki. For those looking to explore the area further, it has a new fleet of plug-in hybrid vehicles for transportation.
There are also new solar panels in Sani Marina for phone charging, and the resort has announced it will be zero waste by 2024.
British Airways Holidays are offering seven nights, at the 5* Porto Sani, from £1519 pp, traveling on selected dates between September 1st and September 30th, 2022.
Includes economy (Euro Traveller) return flights from London Gatwick Airport, 23kg baggage allowance and full board accommodation. Book by June 15, 2022 at www.britishairways.com/sani