Amanzoe, Greece’s Best Kept Secret…Until Now
The Peloponnese hideout where privacy-seeking guests can fly well under the radar.
Heading to Amanzoe?” inquires the affable driver. “Well, you’re in for something special, that’s for sure.” September, we’re informed, is the best month to visit Aman’s Grecian property. “Not too hot, not too cold.”It’s the month after August and we’re cocooned within the three-hour drive from Athens, hugging the east coast of the Peloponnese, a region dotted with classical ruins, undulating olive groves and striking blue seas. Arriving at Amanzoe in Porto Heli (“the Hamptons of Greece”, we’re told) is to become wrapped in luxurious wonder.
Opened in 2012, the property quickly became the Mediterranean playground for the likes of the Beckhams, the Biebers, Sean Connery and Cristiano Ronaldo, among a slew of other well-known names. While not located on one of the country’s well-worn islands, a sense of “island life” drapes Amanzoe, a feeling centred on exclusivity and seclusion; a place where one comes to go unnoticed and be uninterrupted.
“Wealthy people go to the islands,” states the driver. “The uber-rich go to Porto Heli.”
If you recently caught the Netflix film Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, you’ve likely wondered two things—what’s Daniel Craig doing with his career, and just where is the exotic, otherworldly location at which the story unfolds? We can’t answer the former with any real insight, though the latter is here, at Amanzoe—Villa 20, to be exact.
Designed by renowned architect and long-time Aman Resorts collaborator, Ed Tuttle, the property takes full advantage of its truly spectacular hilltop setting and almost 360-degree views of the glistening Aegean Sea. Here Tuttle worked to deliver a unique oasis that blends effortlessly into its surroundings, harmonious to its location and the history of Greece.
Strolling around the extensive resort—an area that extends across 96 hectares of land and includes the hotel, villas and beach club—you get a sense that you’re walking among ancient Greece. Towering marble colonnades stand tight and tall in guarding nearly every corner. The pine forests and maquis and phrygana vegetation are in abundance. Stone agricultural walls are scattered throughout. Hell, there’s even an amphitheatre used for special events.
As you amble leisurely, lavender scents the air; cicadas roar, inducing a sense of flow and calm among the waterside openness.
“Aman’s philosophy pays great respect to the places where the resorts are located, wanting the guests to feel they are ‘there’ rather than ‘anywhere’,” chimes some of the design literature from Amanzoe’s landscape architects, Doxiadis+. “This closely matches our own philosophy of landscape architecture, which must work with and enhance the existing landscape rather than creating a heterotopia.”
Unless you’re fortunate enough to be staying in Villa 20—the Glass Onion“hotel within the hotel” that boats six levels, nine bedrooms, seven pools and its own chefs and housekeeping teams—you’ll choose from one of the 42 other pavilions or 10 villas held at Amanzoe.
Each pavilion is designed in such a way that it feels like a penthouse of sorts. There’s a private pool overlooking the rolling hills and olive groves of Porto Heli, two separate bathrooms and a large living area in which to relax. The 10 villas, meanwhile, vary in size, from two bedrooms set on a 0.5-hectare lot, to four-five bedrooms on a one-hectare lot, each offering tranquility, space and stunning sea views.
Dining is rather extensive at Amanzoe. Each morning starts at the well-named The Restaurant, where breakfast and dinner are both offered alongside menus of traditional Grecian fare and more “Western” options. For lunch, take things to the Pool Restaurant, Amanzoe’s magnificent hilltop hideout presenting some of the best views of the Aegean coastline. The menu highlights Mediterranean cuisine with an emphasis on fresh fish and meats, as well as an abundance of fresh vegetables from the resort’s own organic gardens.
There’s also Beach Club, an informal diner best enjoyed straight from the ocean or pool, serving some of the best Greek “street food” you’re likely to have—think succulent chicken souvlaki, grilled octopus nestled alongside some requisite stuffed vine leaves and orzo prawn pasta.
For a memorable dining experience, a reservation at Nama is a must. Aman’s signature Japanese restaurant, it serves Europe’s most exquisite “washoku” cuisine (think seasonal, simple but heady flavours). Featuring a vast array of organic produce ethically sourced from local farmers, fishermen and boutique suppliers, you’ll enjoy fresh sushi and sashimi, premium Wagyu beef, and more.
If long days lazing by one of the many pools with an icy cocktail in hand doesn’t do it for you (what’s wrong with you?), there’s plenty more on offer during an Amanzoe stay, including a gym and pilates studio (stocked with the latest Technogym equipment), a spa for remedial needs, library, art gallery, boutique shop and tennis courts.
During the summer months ( June-September) Amanzoe is known to offer guests a chance to participate in its LUX Tennis Academy, where professional players on the ATP Tour (think Medvedev, Tsonga, Tsitsipas and Zverev) have hosted sessions with hotel guests.
The aforementioned Beach Club—10-minutes’ drive from the resort via a complimentary transfer—also offers various swimming pools, snorkelling, windsurfing and paddleboarding.
Or sit back and do nothing.
From approx. $2,000 per pavilion per night; aman.com
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