There are accommodations in every price range, offering every level of inclusion or abandon, at nearly every destination around the world. What makes a hotel stay outstanding instead of just good and fine is the level of attention to detail. At a macro level, these standout details are things like over-sized towels, spacious and uncluttered rooms, great wine and food, a multitude of amenities and, of course, an unbeatable location.
On a micro level, these details are all of the behind-the-scenes efforts and strategies that create an overall experience: immaculate attention to detail, personal touches, the highest quality products and a relentless consideration of brand knowledge, awareness and customer care.
All of the hotels outlined below are located in the three arm peninsulas of Halkidiki in northeastern Greece and neighboring Thessaloniki. At any of them you will find superb accommodations, traditional Greek dishes spun into culinary art, wine made from grapes discovered by the gods, a setting sun becoming a pink sky, and at any of these luxury hotels you will find an experience.
Kassandra Peninsula: Blue Bay Hotel
Blue Bay Hotel was my first stay in Halkidiki. I was exhausted after 20 hours of travel and, although I was eager to start exploring Greece, all I really wanted and needed was a satisfying meal, a shower and a pillow to plunge my face into. I didn't go to sleep until 2 a.m. my first night at Blue Bay—a testament to the warm, welcoming experience offered to me from the moment that I arrived.
I didn't know if it was the natural surroundings, the serene swimming pool, the family-style buffet of orzo, seafood, salads and pastas that won me over; or if it was the local wine from the nearby village of Afitos and easy conversation with friends, other guests, and the hotel staff. Sitting upon the blue sky atop the blue of the sea, it was one indulgently relaxing moment after the next.
What I loved: