Travel Review: Grand Resort Lagonissi, Athens, Greece
The name says it all really.
Everything about the Grand Resort Lagonissi in Athens is grand, majestic - and just a little bit magical.
With a guest-list that regularly includes Arab royalty, international diplomats and the odd Premier League footballer, that’s no surprise.
But achieving that majesty without losing your soul - and your welcome-all ethos - is a mighty achievement, especially at a time when the global image of Greece has had a bit of a pummelling due to the economic downturn.
But tourism continues to boom, and this holiday resort and events venue is a real feather in the nation’s hospitality cap.
My partner and I had popped in for a two-day break as part of a longer holiday and a bit of Greek island hopping.
But I could happily have spent a fortnight just wandering the grounds of this beautiful resort and enjoying all the luxuries and little surprises that it has to offer.
The range of accommodation is simply stunning.
Our sea-front apartment, with its own private pool and even a section of beach all to ourselves, was wonderful.
Opening the sliding doors into our suite for the first time, I could only gasp with delight.
Little touches like the mini gym and jacuzzi were very welcome, but it was the poolside view - looking over the glistening Aegean ocean - that was a real sight for sore, jet-lagged eyes.
Watching the sunset from our exclusive vantage point while sipping bubbly was just unforgettable,
The apartment suites - ranging from mildly decadent to Royally extravagant- aren’t cheap, but they are perfect for honeymooning couples and well worth the one-off investment.
For families on a more modest budget, luxurious bay view rooms are available at very affordable rates - and you certainly get plenty of bang for your buck.
We had travelled in September, nearing the end of the season, but the weather was hot without being sticky and uncomfortable.
We were able to lounge at our leisure, and a simple phone call sent a buggy and driver on request to take us to any corner of the 72-acre grounds that we liked.
Grand Resort Lagonissi is like an island in itself.
It sits nuzzled in a huge private peninsula in the Athenian Riviera with stunning, panoramic views of the Saronic Gulf all round.
There is a vast array of on-site holiday activities available, including spa treatments, golf, water sports, and a host of children’s facilities and crèches - allowing parents to enjoy some R&R and leisure while the youngsters play.
And this bustling venue caters for far more than the holiday and honeymoon crowd.
There are superb events facilities and several beautiful seafront settings to host a fairytale wedding.
There’s even an on-site chapel and a helipad to add extra pizazz to your nuptials!
On our first night, we had dinner at Kohylia, a Polynesian restaurant and sushi bar which was the essence of eclectic, glamorous but delicious dining, offering some of the finest sushi I have ever tasted.
There are seven restaurants on site, each of them offering something unique, different and delightful.
During our short stay, we also dined at the Captain’s House, which offered Italian gastronomy at its best in a classy setting, again with fantastic views.
The morning grand buffet at the Aphrodite restaurant is also to die for. Prepared by top class international chefs, visitors can breakfast like Kings and Queens while sitting on the terrace and looking over the glistening sea.
Grand Resort Lagonissi is conveniently situated about 45 minutes away from the centre of Athens and must-see attractions like the Acropolis and Parthenon, 22km from Athens Airport and 27 km from the Temple of Poseidon in Sounio.
So not only does it serve up a big slice of your own private paradise, but it’s also a great place to start - should you wish it - your very own Greek odyssey.
>Aisha Iqbal stayed at Grand Resort Lagonissi in Athens.
>Address: 40th km Athens-Sounion Ave. 190 10 Lagonissi-Attica-Greece
>A Luxury Room with Bay View starts at 279 Euros per night, with family suites and children’s rates also available.
>Book early until February 29 and save up to 20% on daily rate.