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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 02 December 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 2 DECEMBER 2017 21 GREECE Listed among the ‘world’s top 75 most seductive’ hotels (UK Sunday Times) Kinsterna has become a top venue for weddings. The hotel’s manor house and main accommodation as seen from one of the two pools. GITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 2 DECEMBER 2017 21 GREECE Listed among the ‘world’s top 75 most seductive’ hotels (UK Sunday Times) Kinsterna has become a top venue for weddings. The hotel’s manor house and main accommodation as seen from one of the two pools. of of the best wines in the Peloponnese. stone. But then, myths and legends are never far away in the Peloponnese - the land where Hercules fought the Nemean lion, where Paris of Troy eloped with Helen of Sparta, and from where the Argonauts embarked in search of the Golden Fleece. LACONIAN LUXURY Few accommodation choices in the Peloponnese can match the sophistication and sheer elegance of the Kinsterna Hotel. This former Ottoman mansion and estate, the site dating from the Byzantine era, has been lovingly reimagined, and its award-winning credentials are well-deserved. On the mainland, set on high ground seven kilometres south-west of Monemvasia, Kinsterna is pure unadulterated luxury, but it’s not about bling: this is a place of understated elegance and refined comfort. Beyond its elegant, beautifully but simply designed bedrooms, and its fine customer care, Kinsterna’s appeal stems from its philosophy - one that includes reviving traditional crafts and farming techniques on its 18-acre grounds. Today winemaking and ol- ive oil production (for generations the estate’s lifeblood) are integral to the hotel’s mission, and with its own gardens supplying fruit, vegetables, and herbs, Kinsterna’s aim is to come as close as possible to a totally self-sustainable community. This is not just any ‘six-star’ hotel, this is a place built on the idea of cultural regeneration, with guests encouraged to take part in the time-hon- oured customs of the local community. It’s this immersive experience that sets Kinsterna apart; a stay here offers the chance to become part of the local culture, to intimately engage with traditions dating back centu- hillsides surrounding the estate. But make no mistake, along with all this access to activity, Kinsterna is a place of deep and quiet relaxation. With its two infinity pools (one for families with young children), tran- cal honey, herbs, and citrus oils to heal and pamper. Finally, beyond its gorgeous bedrooms and villas, the crucial ingredient in Kinsterna’s winning recipe is its food. From your eyrie high above the terracotta roofs and church domes, looking out across the silver blue Aegean, time will seem to stop for a while, the world’s stresses left behind. ries. Guests are invited to take part in winemaking, learn the old ways of the village baker, and explore the area’s traditional gastronomy in cooking classes. For more energetic types, there’s hiking in the lush quil swims and a day of sunkissed lounging poolside - with only the cicadas breaking the silence - is always on the menu. For deeper meditation and a massage, treat yourself to the hotel’s spa, where masseurs use lo- Under the watchful eyes (and discerning palates) of chef de cuisine Giorgos Hapsas and sous chef Thodoris Gliatis, Kinsterna’s mouthwatering dishes feature the finest free-range and organic products sourced from nearby farms, as well as produce harvested from the hotel’s gardens. Think gourmet delicacies such as lobster pappardelle, shrimp risotto with tsipouro, and rooster confit with xylopita pasta (made from goats’ milk) and local anthotiro cheese. Complemented by the hotel’s own fine wines - 10 grape varieties are grown on the estate - it’s hardly surprising the awards keep coming for this Pelopponesian paradise. Kinsterna is an example of the Greek luxury hotel sector at the top of its game, drawing on local cultural traditions and articulating its location’s inspiring history with imagination and flair. GETTING THERE Monemvasia is 300 kilometres from Athens. With the new highway completed between Lefktro and Sparta it’s a comfortable drive that can be completed in three and a half hours. Michael Sweet was a guest of Kinsterna Hotel, Monemvasia, and gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Aegean Airlines in his research for this article.
25 November 2017
09 December 2017