BEST FOR: A THOROUGHLY GROWN-UP ROMANTIC SPRING BREAK
NOT FOR: ANYONE ON A BUDGET. IN TRUE AMAN STYLE YOU DON’T SIGN FOR ANYTHING UNTIL THE FINAL BILL LANDS (SO YOU CAN DANGEROUSLY PRETEND IT’S NOT HAPPENING)
An ancient and instantly soothing stillness pervades this exceptional resort. It comes as little surprise that the name is drawn from the Sanskrit-derived word for ‘peace,’ and ‘zoe’ the Greek word for ‘life’. Situated in the middle of an undeveloped area of the Peleponnese, staying here takes you happily back in time. Although the hotel is close to Porto Heli, the St Tropez of Greece, you wouldn’t know there is jazzy nightlife 15 minutes away as the land here feels special and unspoilt. An impressive feat when the resort is a triumph of contemporary architecture. Akin to staying in a modern acropolis, the sprawling temple sits atop a vast site, master of the pretty Greek countryside undulating to the Aegean below. All towering marble columns and villas flanked by rows of Cyprus trees, it is softened by clever indigenous planting. You won’t find a jarring splash of bougainvillea. Instead the air is scented with wafting rosemary, thyme, sage, while gnarled olive trees remind one of local heritage. It is all greeny, grey and soft purple hues against white washed walls, blazing in the Greek sunshine.
Sure, it’s an Aman, so it is slick and staggeringly expensive. Accommodation is expansive; wrap-around windows that slide back so the rooms are open air. Everything seems over-sized and almost over-the-top. Rooms are pared-down biscuit coloured with vast comfy day beds to wallow on. It’s like staring at the views of nearby island Spetses and from a fluffy beige cloud. Heaven for style purists, the elegant aesthetic permeates the entire resort. Even the indoor library, with its high vaulted ceilings, exudes sepulchral calm. And that is the gig; it is impossible not to relax because every effort has gone into recreating an authentic Greek vibe.
This destination spa has one of the world’s most jaw-dropping yoga salas. A glass box with 360-degree views over the pretty patchwork of fields stretching as far as the eye can see. Even the yoga mats are the colour of olives and the rota of visiting yoga teachers, are astonishingly good. Every day there is a different complimentary yoga class, including heart-opening, ashtanga and candle-lit evening restorative classes. Next door there are pilates reformer machines and daily sessions with their pilates specialist. The spa, scented with their signature orange blossom oil, has an elite bespoke menu. Confident in the intuitive power of their therapists, they know that less is more. They run regular holistic retreats, attracting the world’s finest masters in Ayurveda, alignment and aquatic bodywork. Integrated Ayurveda and restorative yoga with husband and wife team, Ivana and Matej Kosorok, is sensational. Carefully calibrated treatments calm anxious nervous systems, release emotional blockages and activated marma points aid deep sleep.
The wellness retreats are supported by the considered food, which, including the signature olive oil, is local and organic. Breakfast, so often a carb-laden wheat fest, is particularly inspiring. Fresh juices including a beetroot cleanse and homemade unsweetened fruit muesli, or oatmeal scattered with figs, dates and walnuts. Asian-themed lunch by the chic black swimming pool includes soy salmon with quinoa, while at the beach club, the cracked wheat salad with dates, figs, pomegranate, herbs and coriander is a memorable taste explosion. A 10-minute drive down winding lanes, or a hearty 50-minute walk, the beach club is in a private bay, with two 25-metre lap pools, loungers and pergolas. Because it is an Aman, where service is everything, you can even cycle down to the beach club, while staff return your bicycles and you are driven back to your villa after a hearty feast, then seaside snooze. Perfection.
CONTACT: email@example.com, tel: 00 800 2255 2626
PRICE: From £673 per night including breakfast.
NEAREST AIRPORT: Athens
TRANSFER TIME: Two and a half hours drive
First-Hand Visit Write-Up By: Anna Pasternak