It's not long ago that I finished my review of Sani, that wonderful resort just 45 minutes from Thessaloniki. Greek Experts feature another hotel that was on my radar. A Small Luxury Hotel of the World, a brand that I trust, also a Macedonian Hotel; Eagles Palace sits on the third peninsula of northern Greece . We are a nomadic and adventurous family at heart so a two day visit at the end of a wonderful ten days was in order. The 90 minute drive through stunning mountainous scenery gave us a chance to take in some of the countryside and villages and soon we had arrived at our next luxury pick, on the approach to the mystic mount Athos. A family-owned gem, this hotel offers luxury accommodation; rooms, suites and bungalows with private pools overlooking the golden sandy blue flag beach and crystal-blue sea. Known as one of the best beaches in Halkidiki, the view from the terrace is breathtaking.
The feel of Eagles Palace is one of calm and relaxation. This is the option for parents with easygoing, well-behaved children. Although it boasts five restaurants and a couple of bars, Eagles Palace is intimate and indeed palatial. Set in fragrant gardens, our spotlessly clean, family suite with sitting room and bathroom with huge walk-in shower overlooked the beach and indoor to outdoor pool belonging to the spa. It reminded me of many family holidays to Italy; luxury hotels being simple and understated with cool shady corridors; a perfect panacea for soaring summer temperatures. Everything about this place is relaxed.
Having arrived and unpacked we went straight down to the beach and to the Ammos beach bar for some lunch. Sitting under the umbrella, we lunched on tasty chicken nuggets and chips from the children's menu and a simple, fresh and delicious tuna salad. Under the straw beach umbrellas hangs a menu and attached to the post a button for beach service so after lunch we sat back and relaxed whilst Alexander, sprayed from head to toe in Soltan Once (lasts for hours and sprays on without having to rub in - a godsend for parents!) played in the sand in his inflatable Zoggs swimsuit and collected stones by the sea's edge. There is a kid's club here for 3 years plus and Alexander joined in some stone painting and played on the slide and swings in front of it and just behind the beach. Easy watching distance from our sun loungers. The kid's club here also operates in the evenings where they hold film nights with popcorn and take the children to dinner so for parents with slightly older toddlers it's a great opportunity to dine a deux without the cost of a babysitter!
The beach stretches far along the coast, the watersports centre at one end and Almyra, the open air Greek restaurant and bar to the other. We had no time for water skiing or diving but we did have time to eat twice at Almyra; with fresh Taramasalata (a greek staple and firm favourite of mine), fresh fish and gorgeous salads, this place was by far and away my preferred spot to while away the afternoon; next to the saltwater adult and children's pool nestled into the rocks amidst palm-fringed, herb-scented gardens. The staff were welcoming and despite the laid back, more adult feel, highchairs and children's menu were offered immediately with a great choice of food for Alexander ( he loved the home-made meatballs!).
In the evening we went to the hotel's main restaurant where we sat outside on the verandah, views out to sea. The half board option offers a large buffet with the freshest salads, cheeses, desserts, fruits, breads and of course a vast choice of main courses and side dishes. There is also a chef on hand each sitting cooking to order the specials of the day. I have to commend the vitello tonnato, one of my all time favourite Italian dishes, it was on the buffet the first night and was authentic and delicious. At breakfast too, the offering was of a really high quality with a massive choice. As they say you should breakfast like a king and at Eagles Palace, you can do just that.
Within the blink of an eye our two nights stay was over. Vowing to return next year as part of a two centre holiday we left for the airport and our Easyjet flight back to reality. Eagles Palace is definitely worth going that extra mile for and royalty wouldn't feel out of place here at all!