The Sani Resort, Halkidiki, Greece
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Within roughly 10 seconds of flopping down by the pool, I was asked if I would like any water and my towel was adjusted to fit the sun lounger more snugly.
Such attentive but understated service comes as standard, no matter where you are in the glorious Sani Resort on the western edge of Greece’s three-fingered Halkidiki peninsula.
Occupying 1,000 acres of protected private estate on this beautiful part of the north-east Greek mainland, everything about Sani oozes 5-star luxury and holiday perfection.
We were staying at the ‘private and stylish’ Sani Dunes, one of five separate hotel complexes within the sprawling, but impeccably designed, Resort. The others are:
- Sani Beach ‘lavish and vibrant’
- Sani Club ‘discreet and refined’
- Porto Sani ‘relaxed and elegant’
- Sani Asterias ‘exclusive and intimate’
For Silver Travellers in search of a quiet break, perhaps aim for the Sani Club, Sani Dunes or Sani Asterias. Chill out by the vast, lagoon-like heated pools, head for the 7km of six immaculate sandy sections of adults-only beaches, lapped by the clear Aegean water. Or just hide away with a book in your own suite, luxuriously fitted out with quirky indulgence.
Here with children or grandchildren? Stay at the Sani Beach, with dedicated kids’ pools and activities, and a slightly higher decibel level.
Feel in need of some exercise between swims and siestas? Pick up a racket at the Rafa Nadal Tennis Club; fly through the treetops in the pine forest, on an adrenaline-fuelled zip-wire journey in the new Adventure Park; hunt down one of the four fitness studios across the Resort; or hike the well-marked woodland trails.
No matter where you’re staying on Sani, or however energetic you’re planning to be, make sure you enjoy the top-notch entertainment available to everyone.
Catch a West-End quality musical or theatrical production at the open-air Garden Theatre; go to the Marina for a morning or sunset cruise on a sleek boat from the Sani fleet; and make sure you pack some appropriate clothing to get in touch with your younger clubbing self at the Wednesday White Night beach party at the waterside Bousoulas Club, cool tunes seeping into the Aegean night.
Venture outside the Resort on a tailor-made trip to explore historic Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city; enjoy a wine-tasting experience; go to a traditional local market; or discover the spiritual Mount Athos.
You get the idea: the world-class Sani Resort is whatever you want it to be. But one thing you’ll want to embrace whole-heartedly is the food: the Sani Resort is a gourmet paradise. I ate at seven of the 24 restaurants, and each meal offered an outstanding culinary experience.
Stand-out dishes and restaurants? In terms of overall ambience, a leisurely three hour lunch at the Ouzeri within the Sani Club complex would be hard to beat: a succession of traditional Greek meze dishes for sharing - including succulent, grilled octopus with a fava bean purée and prawns saganaki with feta cheese and tomato sauce, followed by pork souvlaki with tzatziki and a perfect, zingy lemon tart – satisfied the taste buds. But add in a long table, covered with a blue checked tablecloth and sheltered by the shady boughs of a large plane tree, a dazzling view of the Aegean Sea and a few glasses of perfectly chilled pink Greek wine, and you’ll experience a sensory overload of ‘Mamma Mia’ proportions.
The jewel in Sani’s restaurant crown is Water at Sani Asterias. The menu has been designed by chef Mauro Colagreco, recently awarded his third Michelin star at Mirazur in the south of France, also voted the best restaurant in the world in 2019 by San Pellegrino. We had breakfast at Water, and that hinted at the level of perfection on offer here, in a restaurant of rare tranquillity and service levels from a team lifted from the pages of GQ magazine.
Like Japanese food? Katsu is in the ring of restaurants and shops by the Marina, and renowned chef Katsuhiko Hanamure conjures up outstanding signature dishes, together with delicate sushi and sashimi, inspired by experience gained at Nobu and Matsuhisa restaurants around the globe.
Our final dinner was at The Market restaurant in Sani Dunes. Here, in a relaxed but refined lagoon-fringed brasserie, we were serenaded by an Amy Winehouse doppelganger. Duck samosas from the meze options solicited plenty of foodie ‘wows’, as did the parmesan crusted chicken breast with baby artichokes and a lemon sauce, and the choco soufflé.
is a privately-owned ecological resort that never seems to rest on its
beautiful Greek laurels. Constant reinvestment maintains world-class standards,
and it’s good to read about the Resort’s position on sustainability,
partly through its Sani Green
Silver Travellers looking for holiday perfection can call off the search. Contact Sani Holidays to discuss the myriad options available at Sani Resort, and to secure the best deals. And make sure you try the grilled octopus at Sani Club’s Ouzeri restaurant on a warm Halkidiki afternoon.
Andrew Morris was a guest of Sani Holidays.
Travel Advisor recommends Sani Holidays.
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