When it comes to Greece, meeting organizers are ridiculously spoiled for choice, whether they’re looking for a boutique mountain retreat that’s anything but Spartan in the birthplace of the irresistible Helen of Troy, or a luxury wind-down weekend on the dramatic isle of Santorini.
Since well before the Mediterranean country earned its organization and hospitality stripes at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, its upscale hotels have expanded and seriously upgraded their meeting facilities and services.
Greece is the perfect mix of business and pleasure. How can you not be inspired when you wake up to a view of the azure waters of the Aegean from your private infinity pool and lunch is a laid back affair of freshly-grilled sea bass, delicious meze created with organic local produce and a fine Greek wine.
Kinsterna Hotel & Spa
Painstakingly restored to much more than its former glory, the Byzantine-era rural mansion-turned-design boutique property Kinsterna Hotel & Spa, Monemvasia occupies an enviable hillside spot in the southeastern Peloponnese. A truly regal spa retreat, it is built entirely of local stone like the rock island you’ll see from the terrace of your sumptuous guestroom – the medieval-castle town of Monemvasia, an inspiration to artists for eons. Gourmet country chic is the order of the day on their menu, fashioned with produce from Kinsterna’s fertile estate. Cool offer: Stay seven nights and pay for five.
In the medieval village of Megalohori you’ll find the upscale yet laidback family-friendly Vedema Resort, Santorini with spacious, gorgeously-furnished guestrooms that peer out over the Aegean. Kick back at the superb spa or the private black sand beach. Sample a rare vintage at Vedema’s atmospheric wine bar, a 400-year old restored catacomb, and savor the island’s famed fava and other local specialties at Vinsanto, Santorini’s choice dining destination. Epicurean experience: Take a cooking class with Vedema’s award-winning executive chef Melina Homata. Meeting space rounds out at 1,200 sf.
Fit for a Minoan king, the award-winning Blue Palace Resort & Spa, Crete features lavish suites and villas that overlook the serene Elounda Gulf with views to the tiny, historic isle of Spinalonga. Blue Palace’s outdoor taverna, formerly a fisherman’s stone abode, serves up the catch of the day alongside delicious Cretan meze. Take a private traditional caique ride to isolated beaches or indulge in an invigorating olive oil and sugar scrub at the beachside spa. Special group rates include VIP upgrades, a champagne breakfast and spa discounts.
What’s not to love about Mykonos? Winding alleyways filled with lithe, tanned bods sipping cocktails on the cobblestones, legendary parties and beaches for all persuasions. Consider Hotel Kivotos, Mykonos another great excuse to visit. Overlooking the sparkling Bay of Ornos, this family-owned bohemian luxe outfit inspired by a single antique has a cool clubhouse feel. Hang out by the pool and at the gorgeous private beach or go in search of the island wildlife, it’s your call. Cool offer: Book and pay early and save up to 20 percent on all room rates.
Vedema’s sleek sister, the Mystique Resort, Santorini is a well-kept secret among newlyweds seeking that blow-your-mind honeymoon. Perched on the steep caldera cliff in isolated, arty Oia, whose sunsets are legendary, this romantic hideaway has whitewashed curves in all the right places. All of its stone-crafted, minimal Cycladic-style suites have secluded sea-facing terraces and driftwood accents throughout. Make sure to order in from the resort’s Charisma restaurant. Heart-racing adventure: Take a mountain bike ride through narrow village pathways.