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Four miles from the vast rock citadel of Monemvasia, Kinsterna Hotel & Spa was once a medieval manor house that has been lovingly converted into an immaculate boutique hotel in 18 acres of vineyards, olive groves, and eucalyptus and cypress trees.
There are just 35 rooms and suites in a building that has been adapted over the centuries and today displays Byzantine, Ottoman and even Venetian influence in its vaulted ceilings and exposed centuries old brickwork, all overlaid with sophisticated and modern touches such as Perspex furniture and flat screen TVs. In addition, 2015 saw the introduction of two further Kinsterna Villas
The gourmet restaurant serves excellent regionally sourced meals, wherever possible using ingredients on the estate, while there is also a fine selection of Greek wines, with the local malvasia grape featuring prominently. Elsewhere, the Belvedere bar is the place to enjoy afternoon tea or a champagne cocktail overlooking the ancient cistern from which the hotel takes its name. The pool bar, by the (heated) serpentine swimming pool, has an all-day menu and drinks list.
The spa has a hammam, a temperature-controlled whirlpool, a sauna, 'normal' treatment rooms and a razul mud therapy cabin. (Us neither). The signature treatment is an ottoman scrub with warm water and lavender and rose scented soap but there's also a wide range of massages and other treatments on offer.
Guests are free to explore the estate and find out about the production of the estate wines, olive oils and Greek firewater called tsipouro. In Autumn guests can even help out with the grape harvest. Away from the hotel activities include trips to nearby Monemvasia, mountain biking, boat excursions and visits to nearby beaches and local historical sites. The staff will also provide maps and picnics for walking expeditions.
Why we love it
After the drive from Athens, a glass of beautifully cool fresh water from the cistern awaits. Or you could be adventurous and try a nip of the local moonshine - tsipouro - distilled at the hotel.