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A Mediterranean Destination Kissed By The Gods

Ashley Smith | July 25, 2020 | Lifestyle

Andronis Arcadia is the ultimate dream Mediterranean getaway—filed away for when we can set off and travel the world once again.

1X2A1232.jpgThe view from Eden Villa, from $5,700 per night, which is not only the largest villa at the resort, but on the island as a whole.

Andronis Arcadia feels like Eden. Shangri-La. Cloud nine on earth, essentially. Catamarans on the Aegean Sea, private pools for every suite, indulgent gourmet meals fit for the gods. The scent of grilled fishjust reeled in, the sparkling glint off the water, the chill of a glass of Champagne at sundown.

TRG9217.jpgThe infinity pool at Andronis Arcadia is the largest on Santorini.

On the island of Santorini, Andronis Arcadia (suites from $730 per night) is the newest resort from Andronis Exclusive, a five-star luxuryproperty group from hotelier Miltiadis Andronis. Opened last June in the small coastal town of Oia, it’s across the village from manytourist hot spots with unobstructed views of the Mediterranean Sea.While most resorts in Santorini sit on rocky cliffs, here you’ll find red, white and black sand beaches nearby. And the ambiance is muchquieter in this part of Oia—VIPs andthe ultrawealthy flock here to hideout and escape.

08EvexiaSpa.jpgEvexia Spa, one of the largest luxury spas on the island, features unique offerings such as the hair profiling wellness screening.

Oia is best known for its sunsets, with people from all over the world lining the streets to catch the beauty every evening. The vistas from the hotel’s infinity pool, thelargest on the island, or one of itsthree restaurants are unbeatable at this bewitching hour. Even without the gorgeous views, dinner at the hotel’s Opson Restaurant would be a vision. Centered on classic Greek cuisine, chef Stefanos Kolimadis’ 10-course tasting menu allowsguests to dine like ancient Greeks. Kolimadis, working alongside a foodarchaeologist, took unusual care tocraft each course with ingredientsfrom recipes found in historicpapyrus scrolls—dishes that werethe staples of his ancient Hellenic homeland, using cooking techniquesfrom the period as often as possibleduring preparation.

Although there’s no real reasonto leave this paradise, I step off the stunning property ready to explore the village of Oia like a local. I snag dinner on the rooftop at Catch Bar & Restaurant, dining on thin slices of iberico carpaccio with creamy geremezi cheese and sipping on a pétillant naturel from nearby Vassaltis Vineyards. Grilled sardines with oregano and sobrasada are equally earthy and delightful. I’m tempted by dessert, but my server quietly suggests I stop at Lolita’s gelato afterward for what turns out to be a divine treat.

AndronisArcadiaCarleyRuddPhotography4of39.jpgA Sunset Suite

Down the way, in the directionof the sea, Andronis Luxury Suites (suites from $730 per night), a collection of 29 suites and villas, sits bravely on a cliff hanging over the water. Its alfresco restaurant, Lycabettus, has been named one of the most beautiful in the world—and for good reason: Imagine an outdoor dining roomwhere you feast under the stars with drop-off cliffs plunging intothe Aegean on three sides. It’s as ifyou’re floating on a cloud, defyinggravity. Chef Pavlos Kiriakis ispassionate about modern Greek cuisine and brings a flair forstorytelling to his array of tastingmenus. Sea bass carpaccio with sea urchin and pistachio flows into a dish of grouper with fennel, which rolls into lamb racks with eggplant and tahini, which is followed by a tart with cheese, and so on, and so on. Kiriakis’ deft hands work to tell the story of his homeland in a new way, but with familiar ingredientsrooted in his ancient culture. Theexperience is a bucket list foodiemoment and a highlight of the trip.

My days outside AndronisArcadia’s confines are spent strollingto the sea for snorkeling, riding donkeys up the steep roads, rising early for a yacht cruise, jumping into the island’s natural hot springs,lounging on a beach of ruby red sand and visiting local wineries for individual tastings and cellartours—all arranged by the hotel’s expert team. Back inside its walls,the hot stone and lavender massageat Evexia Spa is best in class. Afterward, my masseuse credits myenthusiastic praise and exaltationnot to her skills, but to the fact that the island is known for its spirit enhancing energy. The locals believethere’s a calming force on Santorini that revives the soul. I chalk it up to more of the island’s Eden-like nature. Yes, Eden. Whooping vacationers jumping off the steep cliffs. Forkfuls of bonito salted withspring onions and Santorini favabeans. The humming sound of gathering boats along the shore. It’s paradise in every way.

Photography by: Courtesy of Andronis Arcadia