From the moment I arrived at the Kinsterna Hotel just outside of Monemvasia in Agios Stefanos, I felt like I was walking into a fairy tale. I was led out onto the moonlit terrace of the 13th-century Byzantine mansion and shown the vineyards, while the air hung heavy with scents of jasmine, honeysuckle, and mint. Then, I was taken by golf cart to my room, and what a cocoon it was.
My Premium Residence was spacious and inviting. A wooden beamed ceiling and modern light fixtures added character and warmth to the room. Home made liquer waited for me with two cordial glasses. There was nothing for me to do now but relax.
And relax is what I did, as I slipped into the most comfortable bed of my life. The Coco Mat mattress, found in all of the rooms, is made from all natural materials such as coconut husks, seaweed, and horse hair, and is the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept on in my life. In fact, I’ve already contacted the company about shipping one of these beds to Hawaii, where I live. (Don’t forget to pre-order your pillow from the pillow menu before your arrival.) A sachet of lavender lay waiting for me in bed, and I slept, perhaps more deeply, than I’ve ever slept in my entire life.
That was, of course, after a long shower in the spacious bathroom which I found myself wanting to live in.
The next morning, I woke to the sound of birds singing and went to my balcony to see a view of vineyards, olive trees, and the breathtaking Aegean Sea.
The breakfast buffet was the best one I’ve seen in any hotel, and I’ve seen some spectacular ones. Homemade breads were paired with jams made by the Kinsterna Hotel from fruit that grew on the estate grounds. Honey was also made on site. I got my fill of thick Greek yogurt while there. Greek specialties such as the cheese pies were one of my favorite things on the buffet. And, there was even chocolate cake! For breakfast!!!
There were also cheeses and olive oil made by the Hotel Kinsterna, local meats, fruits both fresh and dried, and freshly squeezed orange juice. As if that wasn’t enough, I could also order eggs any way I liked from the menu. There was also coffee, cappuccinos, espressos, and tea. Chilled glass bottles of water from the local spring were also waiting at my table. I really didn’t need to eat lunch, breakfast was such an event. The views from the terrace at breakfast were gorgeous, and you could even see the castle rock of Monemvasia. Room service was also available all day long at the Kinsterna Hotel.
I also had a few lunches and dinners at the Kinsterna Hotel. I felt like the choices on the menu for those meals were a bit limiting, especially being so far away any other dining options in the area. Also, I didn’t feel like the food justified the cost at both lunch and dinner, especially since much of the fruit, vegetables, and herbs are grown on site.
The Spa At Kinsterna Hotel
I thoroughly enjoyed my 90-minute Harmony massage at the spa. I had it with Poppy, and it was one of the best massages I’ve ever had. The spa also had a traditional Ottoman hammam and Jacuzzis for water therapy.
Activities At The Kinsterna Hotel
My favorite thing about the Kinsterna Hotel was the many activities available on the property. It made me feel like I didn’t have to go anywhere, though you shouldn’t miss the castle area of Monemvasia. Both of the infinity swimming pools are fed by the natural springs, and one of them offers sun chairs in private recesses which made for a more secluded experience than most swimming pools.
I am also glad I got to tour the mansion, and see some of the rooms that weren’t occupied. Every room is different, and the natural characteristics of the original mansion have been preserved, and I loved seeing a part of history in the rooms.
One of my favorite rooms was the one with a green marble bathrooms. I’ve never seen green marble, and I thought it was just stunning.
I was also wowed by the rooms that incorporated the look of handmade lace into the wallpaper.
One of my favorite activities was walking around the grounds of the estate. The flowers and plants were incredibly beautiful, and I took hundreds of pictures of the flowers alone.
For the full fairy tale experience, you can also take the antique horse-drawn carriage around the mansion. The carriage is also used to transport wedding couples to the nearby church.
I also loved my private candlelight wine-tasting session in the wine cellar, where I learned about the local varieties of grapes and tasted the wines produced by the Kinsterna Hotel.
One of my favorite activities was baking bread in the old stone oven with the Sous Chef, Mr. Thodoris Gliatis. We made it completely by hand, outdoors, and with the olive oil produced by the hotel.
The Kinsterna Hotel also offers seasonal activities such as an opportunity to join in the grape harvest in September and in the olive oil harvest from October to December. In the spring, you can help make handmade soap with herbs from the gardens.
The Kinsterna Hotel is a hotel in which every detail has been curated, and I left feeling not like I had just stayed at a hotel. I left feeling like I had an experience that I will remember the rest of my life.
Accommodation was provided by the Kinsterna Hotel (+30 27320 66300, kinsternahotel.gr), which has doubles from €180 including breakfast.