Set in a 1,000-acre ecological reserve, against the backdrop of the crystal clear waters of the Aegean sea, and the magnificent pine forests of the Cassandra Peninsula, Sani Resort nestles in an idyllic location. Made up of 4 distinct properties, catering for different guests needs, the buzzing marina is the heartbeat of the resort.
Porto Sani Village sits close to the marina, with it's exclusive suites surrounding the central pool, and The Sani Club spans the hillside, with family bungalows overlooking the bay.
The Sani Beach Hotel is one of the less attractive properties from the outside, but its tall structure offers breathtaking views once you venture in. With a private beach setting, Sani Asterias has the feeling of a boutique hotel and is the most intimate property of the resort.
All of the properties are individual in style, but they share the common theme of interiors that allow you to feel as if you have stepped on cool marble, (of course) and into the pages of ELLE Decoration. With clean lines, an abundance of natural light and signature white orchids, all types of accommodation across the resort have a contemporary feel.
We stayed at The Porto Sani Village - an 'all suite' hotel, rooms have a balcony or terrace which overlook the lagoon pool or marina. The use of the white linens and duck egg blue natural fabrics gives a wonderful light and airy feel, and suites are well equipped with subtle touches that added to the luxuriousness - a rain shower, Jacuzzi bath, and in room products from French spa brand Anne Semolina. There's also a handy Nespresso machine, a spa robe, evening turn-down service, a pillow menu, and a complimentary bottle of wine on arrival!
One of the most unique features that the resort offers is the dine around programme. Half or full board can sometimes be frowned upon as the unadventurous choice, but this is definitely not the case at Sani. Guests can choose to use their meal allowance at one of the 18 dedicated restaurants, where they can select the tailored menu, or choose to dine à la carte. With cuisine from all over the world and such a variety of restaurants, culinary boredom definitely won't be setting in. In fact, it would take you nearly 3 weeks to sample every restaurant at the resort. It would be hard to find a more stunning view than at the Ouzerie restaurant, or a better beach front setting than Ammos - this is al fresco dining at its best.
The Porto Sani Village has a great choice of well being cuisine. The menu is labelled with icons which make it incredibly easy to understand the benefits of each dish. For example, there is a smiley face for mood enhancing dishes which contain slow releasing starches and are high in fibre to keep you energised. The wellbeing choices are also calorie counted, making it easy to monitor your diet if you are keen to avoid that inevitable post-holiday weight gain.
This is a spa lover's paradise. Whichever property you stay in you can choose from 4 different spas, each with their own spa menu and all using products from French brand Ann Semonin. The brand has 30 years of heritage in the luxury skincare market. The treatments are designed to be tailor made which allows your therapist to personalise and blend oils to suit your skin and needs.
I visited the Porto Sani Spa Suite, which is the resort's largest spa.
The spa facilities include a large indoor heated spa pool with a Jacuzzi, 9 treatment rooms, a sauna, steam bath, a relaxation area with the most divine heated beds and a spa lounge. There is also a fitness studio and hair spa.
The spa ambience is calm and serene, with the use of muted colours, white linens, pebbles lining the corridors, white orchids and rustic features adding to the feeling of tranquility. The main spa pool has glass panels allowing you to bask in natural sunlight.
I sampled the Pure Rejuvenation massage. My spa therapist Kiki immediately put me at ease, consulting me on what pressure I would prefer and how I would like to feel after my treatment. She presented me with a selection of oils. I chose the Botanical Detoxifying Oil, which my therapist mixed with the Botanical Anti-Oxidant Vitamin Oil to try and revive my sun-drenched skin. The treatment felt incredible but was definitely over all too soon. I opted for the 25 minute option - also available as a 50 minute treatment I left wishing i'd booked the latter!
After the treatment, I relaxed on the most divine heated beds and was served tea with ginger and a choice of fresh honeys.
San Asterias - Spa Retreat - Blissful Summer Rendezvous for two.
A 3 hour head-to-toe spa experience: A 30 minute session in the private steam bath, where you can sip on fresh juices, indulge in a relaxing foot ritual, enjoy a scented sea salt scrub followed by a deluxe rain shower and a lavish massage using Ann Semonin Body Oil. The treatment concludes with a glass of Champagne and a selection of home made sweets. A perfect romantic treat.
For the Kids
My 7 year old niece Chloe visited Sani last year and gave it a big thumbs up. There is so much for the kids to do whatever their age, whether it's taking lessons in tennis, football, dance or sailing at one of the academies, participating in complementary sports sessions, whizzing around on a bike on one of the cycle paths, meeting new friends at the playground or exploring the resorts' abundance of nature. Each resort has a crèche, a mini club and a teenage club so the experience is tailored to the child's age group, (let's face it what self respecting 13 year old wants to hang out at a kids' club with 6 year olds!)
I particularly loved the concept of the 'babe watch station' on the beach, which offers
30 minutes of complimentary childcare, leaving you free to take a dip in the sea or devour that final chapter of your book.
It would be very tempting not to leave the resort, but a trip to the traditional Athitos Village is a must... browse the tiny stores for your holiday souvenirs, enjoy a drink in a local Greek style tavern or simply soak up the spectacular views of the Toroneos Bay.
Complimentary activities such as morning yoga on the Sani hill (this is yoga with a view), guided jogs, pilates, aqua and body fit sessions.
The fabulous weekly White Party hosted every Wednesday, and Sunset Cruise around the coastline.
A stroll around the resorts boutiques and shops - including a toy store, bookstore and mini supermarket.
Words: Amanda Camilleri
Sovereign (01293 762 003, www.sovereign.com) has a seven night holiday to the five star Sani Club Hotel on a Half Board basis from £2,999 per family of four - saving up to £277 per family of four. The price includes one free child place and a welcome gift, exclusively for Sovereign guests. Also included are UK airport lounge access, private resort transfers and return flights from London Gatwick with easyJet. Based on departures 23 October 2016. Book Sani Club Hotel via www.sovereign.com/hotel/117546.