Contemporary, temple-like, sanctuary
Agios Panteleimonas Kranidi, Argolida, Greece 30-275-4772-888 www.aman.com
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At a Glance
Commanding a position atop a hill like a modern-day acropolis—a complex so striking it would impress Alexander the Great—Amanzoe is perhaps the most dazzling Aegean resort within two hours of Athens. Olive groves and lavender bushes lead up to the property, which is more in keeping with the Parthenon—or Mount Olympus—than an earthly hotel. Spotless columns and arcades line a central agora that steps down to aqua pools and sun-soaked terraces, as well as 38 freestanding pavilion rooms, 12 villas (offering one to nine bedrooms) and a private beach club. While here, daydreams of Helen and Achilles mingle with the delights of ultra-modern luxuries, including sunrise yoga and herb-forward cocktails around the perfectly circular firepit. Reserve a private beach dinner beside a bonfire that concludes with fireworks, a dramatic spectacle worthy of ancient Greece.
The Standout: The jaw-dropping art collection, including a work by James Turrell
Don’t Miss: A Peloponnese day trip to see Mycenae, the amphitheater of Epidaurus and lesser-known gems like the healing center of Asclepius
- The proximity to the beaches and restaurants of Hydra and Spetses, as well as top archaeological sites
- The glowing sunset views from the main bar and restaurant—and, really, anywhere else on-property, thanks to the 360-degree hilltop vantage point
- The extravagant bathrooms in marble and other stones
On the eastern coast of the peninsula, just over two hours by car from Athens, Amanzoe is like a modern-day acropolis—a hilltop complex so striking it would impress Alexander the Great. While the surrounding setting is more reminiscent of the Mallorcan countryside than the wind-swept Cyclades, the landscape is a feast for the senses: Bushels of lavender and yellow dandelions offer pops of color; groves of green olive and Cyprus trees add layers of depth to the valley; and white freesia and pink bougainvillea grow along the hotel’s columned facade. Amanzoe, which translates to “peaceful life,” delivers on that promise, redefining the meaning of sanctuary.
Architect Ed Tuttle seamlessly joins past and present at Amanzoe, taking the ancient Greek aesthetic and Aman-ifying it in a way that blends harmoniously with the surrounding environment. Monochrome furniture in materials like leather, metal and suede sit within traditional columned structures; shallow reflecting pools and sleek outdoor fire pits complement garlanded pergolas and marble statues of important historic figures. An authentic Greek amphitheater awaits open-air music and dance performances throughout the summer.
Thirty-eight palatial pavilions with private swimming pools are scattered throughout the property, offering views towards the sea or verdant valley. Pavilion interiors showcase Amanzoe’s high-tech savvy, with lighting touch panels, slick gas fireplaces and oh-so-indulgent Japanese heated toilets. Bathrooms open to the outdoors and are fit with his and hers dressing chambers, sunken tubs and sky-lit showers for two.
Particularly worthy is Villa 31, which, in addition to a 72-foot private pool, also has a permanent art installation by American artist James Turrell. Titled Sky Plain, the work is meant to inspire peace through light and is comprised of a 20-foot by 20-foot-square building with a gaping opening in the ceiling. Lucky residents at the one-bedroom villa can appreciate the installation at all hours, whereas other guests staying at the hotel can observe it during special dinners, when the villa is not being rented.
While many guests would be happy spending their days in the privacy of their own pavilion, not to take advantage of Amanzoe’s facilities would be a waste. During one Indagare staffer’s stay, the massive pool area remained nearly empty, despite a full hotel, as many guests flocked to the beach club, located a seven-minute shuttle drive from the main house. With three pools (and one specifically for children), the beach club also offers a bar, lunch restaurant and water sports. Two floodlit tennis courts, a sun-drenched fitness center and an eight-treatment room Aman Spa offering Yoga and Pilates pavilions round out the plethora of on-property experiences. Amanzoe is an ideal base from which to discover the ancient history and untouched beauty of the Peloponnese. Most guests will spend their days marveling at the splendor that has been created at the resort and never want to leave.
Who Should Stay
Honeymooners, couples or families with well-behaved children who are looking for an impeccable hotel product and stunning landscape in an off-the-beaten-track location. While there are off-property attractions, travelers who need to be within close proximity of a town, may not enjoy Amanzoe.