What do the very best summer days conjure in the imagination? Lazy beachside afternoons of swimming and water sports segueing into languid nights beneath vast starry skies? Or adrenaline-filled adventures, exploring remote hotspots with salt-kissed skin?
At Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens, where three private beaches and two pools await on a pine-clad peninsula, the summer of 2023 is shaping up to contain both extremes, with plenty of opportunities for every type of R&R in between.
Brigitte Bardot, Jackie Onassis, Sean Connery and Nelson Mandela are just some of the famous names who have fallen in love with luxurious summers on the Athens Riviera, shielded from the crowds at the fabled, 30-hectare (74 acre) Astir Palace.
And with Astir Palace winning its first Forbes Five-Star designation in 2023 — awarded to “outstanding, often iconic properties with virtually flawless service and amazing facilities” — as well as being named Greece’s Leading Luxury Hotel in 2022 at the World Travel Awards, the Hotel’s appeal is as desirable as ever.
Constantly evolving in terms of both style and offerings – from chic accommodations and eight restaurants, lounges and bars through to colourful local experiences – the Hotel refuses to rest on its laurels.
As summer 2023 approaches, and a dedicated team of up to 900 staff prepare to offer their legendary Four Seasons service, an array of offerings, some entirely new, some a little tweaked, are set to keep a new influx of guests thrilled and entertained.
1. Indulge in Wanderlust Across the Ocean
Astir Palace is ideally located for odysseys through the jewel-like Saronic and Cyclades islands sprinkled across the azure Aegean Sea.
Departing directly from the Hotel’s jetty via a luxury cruiser or power boat, favourite excursions include a day trip to the island of Aegina for archaeological sites and swimming in crystal-clear waters; skipping along the eastern Athens cliff-edged coastline and through hidden bays with jaw-dropping views of the Temple of Poseidon; or visits to the islands of Hydra and Spetses for seafood, shopping, and ocean dips.
2. Learn – Experience – Strengthen
Staying on land, indigenous olive oil or local wine tasting classes effortlessly layer local knowledge with classical Mediterranean experiences.
The Hotel’s new pottery sessions are a great way to release feel-good dopamine and get creative with clay, while Pilates classes – using new, state-of-the-art equipment and led by an in-house expert trainer – help enhance body tone and build lean muscle mass.
Tennis players will love the Hotel’s high-end Tennis Academy, run in partnership with Tipsarevic Luxury Tennis: three floodlit hard-surface tennis courts for hire; sessions with a specialist private coach, plus a luxurious Club Lounge, refreshment area and shop. And for post exercise massages or simply a taste of local Thalassotherapy, the Hotel’s Hippocrates-inspired Spa is a light-filled sanctuary of surrender with therapeutic sea views.
3. Sensational Summer Tastes
On the food and beverage front, summer 2023 brings a host of new sensorial sensations. Avra has entered a new era, emerging as a true destination bar offering "Fine Drinking," elevated bar snacks honouring Greek’s culinary heritage, live DJs, and an evocative sense of being in the right place at the right time.
Across at Pelagos, the Hotel’s one-Michelin-star gem, a flavour odyssey awaits inspired by a gastronomic voyage across Crete by acclaimed Head Chef Luca Piscazzi, accompanied by renowned Cretan chef and television presenter Manolis Papoutsakis.
The three new Pelagos On Tour tasting menus, available now, offer a creative spin on Cretan flavours and centuries-old traditions, fused with French culinary techniques and Piscazzi’s own inventive flair.
Four complementary cocktails – inspired by the island’s diverse landscapes – line up alongside two wine-pairing options, one showcasing Greek wines and the other incorporating global flavours, curated by Master of Wine Yiannis Karakasis.
Sunny Taverna 37, which opens to celebrate the warmer months on a wave-lapped beach, is also offering an elevated menu for the summer 2023 season presented by new chef Alexandros Koskinas.
Corfu-born Koskinas is renowned for showcasing Greece’s bountiful and unique natural produce, encapsulated through such delights as scorpion fish with celeriac root, spinach leek and kakavia sauce; lamb shank casserole with smoked eggplant, orange cardamom and sheep yoghurt; and lobster Giouvetsi with orzo, spices and fresh basil.
Poolside Helios also perfectly captures the summertime vibe via fresh Latin American cuisine – zesty ceviches and tiraditos, piquant tacos and tostadas, guacamole and grilled meat cuts, enjoyed with a shaken margarita between dips in the pool.
To hit the summer high notes at Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens, contact +30 210 8901000.