Tuesday, August 30, 2011

WE HAVE JUST BEEN TO SANTORINI, part 1, Vedema Resort





REAL GREECE IN STYLE
The real Greece on the touristy island of Santorini? Yes…we found it at Vedema Resort in the picturesque island village of Megalachori.

Vedema blends into the surrounding village, built with the same clean lines and chic simplicity. The village is not crowded with restaurants and tourists and gives a sense of how the local people live. You can find a few tavernas there including Raki across the road from Vedema, where you eat deliciously.

The hotel is charming and well equipped with luxury amenities, offering Jacuzzis on the balcony or terrace of 15 spacious suites (one suite has a plunge pool). Terraces and windows open for views and fresh air, giving guests a sense of living in Megalachori.

The hotel has a small pool area where you also find the breakfast and lunch restaurant and a very pleasant bar. Vedema also offers the exclusive Vinsanto Mediterranean restaurant, a 15th century wine cellar where you can taste wines from the surrounding area, and a small spa area. The resort has no kids club but they can organize some activities during the day for the little ones. The staff at Vedema is absolutely great.

We stayed in an Aegean Suite that has a nice cozy living room with sofa area, TV, fridge and dining table. In the bedroom you find one more TV. The room between bedroom and bathroom has two wardrobes and a desk. Outside on the balcony there is an outdoor Jacuzzi, sunbeds, a big table and a great view over the village.



The bathroom has one shower and a small bath tub. You get bathrobe, slippers and toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body lotion etc.)

The resort is not located at the beach but 10 minutes by car or hotel shuttle takes you to the beach where they have an exclusive area with 40 sunbeds (free for Vedema guests) and a small restaurant and bar.



The beach has beautiful black lava sand.

Fira village is about 15 minutes from the hotel, by free shuttle or hire car and here you find a wide choice of restaurants, shops and bars. The hotel provides free transfers during the day. We enjoyed the action in Fira but loved coming home to our genuine Santorini village with its intimate views. For those seeking spectacular views, Select offers various hotels on Santorini including Vedema’s sister hotel Mystique, clinging to a clifftop in trendy Oia.

Santorini is a small island and it´s easy to get around. It is a very romantic and charming destination, and like so many guests we know we will return...



View down over Fira

HOW TO GET TO VEDEMA
15 minutes by car from Fira Airport

Note: Images are informal snapshots by the Select team on location

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WE JUST BEEN TO CRETE, part 5, Elounda Gulf Villas





Like our own Mediterranean home. In our villa we had total privacy, stunning sea views, own infinity pool, chic open plan kitchen,and even our own spa area with sauna and Jacuzzi. At the same time Elounda Gulf Villas offers service of a rare kind. The owner Anna and her staff make you feel like friends and not just guests.

The small boutique resort is picturesquely landscaped down the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Mirabello and distant mountains of Eastern Crete. There are 18 villas with private pools and 10 suites built closer to the main infinity pool – a quiet and beautiful area. We stayed in one of the Spa Villas – the Presidential, and also had some nights in a three-bedroom Aegean Villa.

The Presidential villas and the Royal Spa villa are the top category – recently enjoyed by Jodie Foster, who left a happy message in their guest book.

This is definitely a hideaway. The resort is half an hour walk or 7 euro taxi ride from the wide choice of tavernas and restaurants in Elounda village, but you do not actually need to leave the premises. The resort restaurant is excellent though the choice is not vast. Breakfast is included. Bread, cheese, marmalade and cold cuts are placed on your table and you order hot items a la carte (extra charge). If you are very oriented to your own diet and private eating, the open plan kitchen is a joy and a blessing, fringing a stylish lounge and dining area. And of course there is also ample dining space on the terrace with its mesmerizing views. Each accommodation is individually decorated, very tasteful and homely.

A small beach lies some 500 metres down the hill – but with a private pool area of such class, we had no longing for the beach. In fact we could hardly bear to leave the resort…

More snapshots of our Presidential villa below:








HOW TO GET TO ELOUNDA GULF VILLAS

1 hour by car from Heraklion International Airport.



Private pool area of our Aegean 3-bedroom villa

NOTE: These are our own informal snapshots taken during our visit. See also our web page at www.selectcollection.com on Elounda Gulf Villas.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

WE HAVE JUST BEEN TO KOH SAMUI, Banyan Tree Samui





TIP TOP LUXURY ON KOH SAMUI
Quality par excellence. These are possibly the best pool villas we have have ever stayed in. They spent a fortune on the villas (1 million USD per villa) and the quality and details are stunning. All sport GENEROUS private pools and each also has an outside whirlpool.

The location of the villas is magnificent, perched on the hillside, which slopes down to the secluded white sandy beach.

This is a perfect spot for top luxury clients with or without children; they offer kids club etc so for top luxury families this is the place to be. Adult delights include The Rainforest hydrotherapy Spa and the Saffron restaurant for signature Thai cuisine.

All in all there are 78 of the remarkable villas.

If you want to be on top of the world stay in the highest located villa with amazing and endless ocean views, a true love nest with infinity edge pool and outdoor glassed sala area.




HOW TO GET TO BANYAN TREE SAMUI
19 km drive from Samui International Airport.



Overlooking the sapphire waters of scenic Lamai Bay, the resort is nestled in a series of cascading terraces on a private hill cove in the south-eastern coast of Koh Samui.





Note: The images were spontaneously shot with a mobile phone camera during our visit. The top image was of our extensive private infinity pool, and the second image was of the main infinity view with its stunning views of turquoise sea. The beach (last image) has the pristine sand you expect in paradise...