It’s OK to rough it when you are younger but, as an adult, it’s nice to travel in style – particularly when you are visiting a country for the first time.
So as a newbie to Greece, I wanted to make it comfortably memorable and that is exactly what I got at the Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort in Halkidiki.
The hotel officially opened in May 2016, but in the short time it has been operating, it has already won a gold at the Ethos Greek Hospitality Awards 2017 as the ‘Best New Greek Resort’, ‘Best Greek Thermal Spa Resort’ and ‘Best Greek Hotel Marina’. It is also nominated in this year’s ‘World Luxury Spa Awards’, so as the new kid in the Aegean, it is making a sleek splash.
The term dream holiday is used a lot, but there is no other way to describe how I felt when I saw the blue sky, turquoise Aegean sea and smelt the clear salty air. Absolute tranquillity is the perfect setting for a place devoted to well-being and the thought of a long weekend in such a place was truly a dream come true.
The resort rests on a long stretch of sandy beach, secluded within sheltered Kanistro bay, along a pristine coastline with a beautiful private marina overlooking the Athos mountain (more than 2000m high) on the opposite peninsula.
Miraggio houses 300 elegant, spacious rooms, 236 of which face Toroneos Gulf, 48 with private pools, furnished in lavish contemporary style and with the latest technology. There are double rooms offering stunning views over the lush hotel gardens, junior suites with their own private pools, larger family suites and deluxe duplex suites complete with private pools. Furthermore, there is a fully operational and appropriately equipped convention centre with maximum capacity for up to 450 people, ideal for prestigious events catered for with sophistication. The ideal spot to say “I do.”
The spa of the title offers a wide range of treatments, including the special Greek Spa menu, which offers various massages with honey, yogurt, olive oil and milk. My friend and I tried one of the resort’s Harmonia Balancing Massages for detox and muscle relaxation, and it was an absolutely heavenly experience.
Healing waters include a large thalassotherapy pool fed in directly from the sea and four thermal pools, both indoor and outdoor. These are filled with thermal waters of the region and a thermal well-life suit with steam baths, a Finnish sauna, tepidarium, herbal sauna, cold plunge walking path and two experience showers.
If you are an active person, there’s archery, yoga, table tennis, etc, going on throughout the day, along with tennis, basketball and beach volleyball. You can also hire a bike, motorcycle or car directly at the hotel to explore the local area.
As a first-timer I was interested in seeing more, and we took a day trip to Meteora organised by Miraggio. A few hours of glorious scenery and then on to see Meteora’s six monasteries, which is one of the UNESCO’s protected treasures and a truly unforgettable experience. Even though our first day of the trip was rather fresh at only 13ºC (not yet spring), we enjoyed warm sunshine, beaches and pools for the rest of our stay as the temperature rose to a pleasant 19ºC.
Even the evenings were warm, and we took a nice walk to the marina to watch the sun set behind the horizon. The warmth and hospitality of the Greek people stayed with us wherever we went, particularly that of the hotel staff.
And the hotel is designed for all ages, with Miraggio Kids’ Planet offering a football academy, astronomy, pirate ship building, kids’ radio station, pool games and pirates battle designed for children aged four to 17.
The resort has many restaurants, among them the traditional Kritamo, which serves Greek food, the Portofino, which offers Italian, and the Toroneo seafood restaurant.
On our way back to Thessaloniki airport, we were admiring the rolling fields of olive trees and our driver informed us that the Halkidi region is famous for its large green olives as well as dark pine tree honey. I can’t imagine eating either again without picturing myself at the Miraggio.
miraggio.gr/en or call (+30) 2374 440000