Situated on the island of Samos, the Proteas Blu resort is a dream destination for the perfect Grecian holiday, as inside co-editor Jan Henderson discovers.
When thoughts of visiting Greece come to mind, inevitably the vision is of an idyll of beaches with crystal clear blue water and the opportunity to enjoy relaxing sun-filled days where time seems to stand still. Ah, such is the power of the imagination; however, the reality is that the Greek islands genuinely do deliver on their glorious promise of lazy days, superb landscapes and generous hospitality.
With an abundance of beautiful islands surrounding the mainland of Greece, the most pressing decision becomes ‘where to go?’ For those forsaking a trip to more well-known destinations, the island of Samos offers the visitor a bounty of sights to visit, outstanding vistas and relaxing opportunities for the holidaymaker.
Mykonos may be party central and Santorini the honeymooner’s destination of choice, but low-key Samos is perfect for those who desire a more rustic experience where the essence of Greek life is alive and well. Located in the eastern Aegean within the Cyclades group of islands, Samos is separated from the Turkish coast by the 1.6-kilometre wide Mycale Strait. It boasts a prodigious history as the birthplace of the father of mathematics Pythagoras, astronomer Aristarchus and philosopher Epicurus, and there are countless ancient ruins dotted around the 477-square kilometre island.
The many small rural villages are enchanting, the architecture enhanced by cobblestone pathways that wind through the aged buildings, and villas abound, nestled in and around the countryside. For a touch of glamour, however, and the opportunity to enjoy this delightful island with facility and amenity, the Proteas Blu Resort is in a class of its own. Situated at the south-eastern tip of the island, Proteas Blu is the most luxurious accommodation on offer, with beautifully presented rooms, multiple hospitality venues and sensational views of sea and landscape.
This hotel and conference centre, built in 1997 by George Korfiatis, occupies a long rectangular parcel of land that stretches from hilltop to private beach and the 112 rooms and suites have been designed to cascade down the rocky headland, ensuring that every room enjoys unparalleled views of sea and sky.
To traverse the resort from top to bottom is an energetic endeavour; however, guests are provided with small, motorised carts to make the trip from room to beach a more relaxing journey. The resort interior has been refreshed and updated by Csetrichis Anastasios and the interior is now cool and contemporary. The colour palette of the accommodation areas is, in typical Greek fashion, clear white and the rooms are punctuated with jewel highlights of turquoise and celadon green in bedcovers, cushions and other accessories, and these colours also denote the room standard from the Sea View rooms and Junior suites to the magnificent Blu suites with private pool.
Materiality is hardwearing and climate friendly with tiled and stone floors, ubiquitous whitewashed walls and an abundance of floor-to-ceiling windows that frame the sea views beyond. There are multiple hospitality venues for guests, with four restaurants providing a variety of cuisines and interiors styled to suit, whether an upmarket gourmet experience at Theory, an outside seafood option at ThalaSea, a light repast at Simplicity or an international offering in the Panorama restaurant.
There are also three bars. Lush, the poolside bar, offers counter seating that overlooks the resort, the Cavo Pountes beach bar positioned at the edge of the water and the Esperos lounge bar designed for sophisticated, late night revelry. In the general public and pool areas white is again the base colour on sun lounges, tables and chairs that sit atop caramel coloured, weather resistant engineered timber flooring.
White umbrellas abound and comfortable outdoor settee groupings provide just the place for private gatherings. As in every resort of note these days a spa is de rigueur and the state-of-the-art Adam and Eve Spa offers luxury in service and surrounds. The interior is bespoke and, for those who wish to extend individual relaxation, there are endless possibilities with the inclusion of sauna, jacuzzi, gym and indoor pool.
The overall design of the resort is minimal, with a pared back modern Grecian architectural form that embraces the outdoor lifestyle. Furniture is contemporary, relaxed and site appropriate with oversized comfortable chairs for relaxing by the pool, fully upholstered banquet seating in restaurants, and cane settees and overstuffed cushions in the lounges, as well as lamps, occasional tables and display cabinets with objets that reference the sea and the land. Proteas Blu is a stylish resort that caters to the tastes of a discerning international and local clientele.
The relaxed and sophisticated design ensures that the abundance of creature comforts fulfil all needs. Perhaps the key to Proteas Blu is the simplicity of its design both inside and out and, although this is a five-star resort, the atmosphere is unfussy and relaxed. Of course the location is superb and the vista of the Aegean Sea the ultimate drawcard for tourists; however, Proteas Blu, set within its historic rural landscape, provides the very best of new and old with the ultimate Grecian touch that makes all the difference.
Photography courtesy of Proteas Blu