Ekies All Senses Resort is a contemporary, eco-friendly beach resort located in Vourvourou, Halkidiki in Greece.
Back in October 2015, I visited for a romantic, relaxing weekend after seeing it was one of the resorts recommended by Condé Nast Traveller and had won best beach resort in Europe award this year!
Since she was a child, Alexandra, the owner of the seasonal hotel, dreamed of creating a place like this, filled with love that complements the natural surroundings of the peaceful Vourvourou area. After buying the property with her father, Alexandra and many architects needed eleven years to manifest her vision; a place where Greek style and culture marries sustainability and modern design. The result: Gorgeous, light-filled, unique suites where eco-friendly materials are used throughout, from the non-toxic paints to herbs from their own gardens, which are served as teas, to the ecological Coco-mat mattresses used in every room.
We initially booked a white suite with a jacuzzi, but as the jacuzzi was outside by the main walkway and not private, I requested that we change rooms, even if that meant giving up my attachment to the all-white suite, with its queen-sized bed on a podium, which I loved!
Demetris and Yannis at reception were very attentive and accommodating by showing us a few rooms in all three wings, but, judging by the lack of availability, we settled on a family suite overlooking the sea! It was very spacious, had the comfiest all-white king-size bed with draping mosquito nets and an indoor jacuzzi, which was actually just a bath with bubbles built in.
All rooms have different designs and vary in size and price. These range from a family suite with a private pool to your own penthouse suite with a private outdoor jacuzzi, to the rustic and characterful Cabana suites, and of course the stylish and simplistic double rooms. However, my favourites were the gorgeous and ‘at one with nature’ pine suites and evergreen suites (as shown in the picture above), which blend in with the natural surroundings, by incorporating a lot of raw, natural and organic materials into the design, while still remaining chic and modern. You even get your own access to the forest! It was totally up my street.
I adored the décor throughout the whole resort; it was as if Oliver Bonas had done the interior design. Delicious pops of colour against plenty of white, subtle Greek accents can be seen in the textiles and small details, all of which added to the fun and feel of the hotel. I was amazed when I saw marble tables in the restaurant toilets with buckets for sinks. Flowers from their gardens were details that meant everything to me.
When we were not lounging in the many restaurants and cool hang-out stops in the resort, we rented a car and went to explore the nearby beaches, including Karidi beach, which is just walking distance from the peaceful resort.
The beach is pretty small, but has white sand and a great family feel with plenty of kids splashing in the water and parents taking a much-needed break! We also decided to rent our own small boat and go exploring the nearby islands, which was a great adventure.
As it was low season, we could rent the boat for the afternoon for a very affordable price, plus pay for the petrol at the end. You don’t need much experience to drive those boats, but I let the man be the man while I sunbathed and let him feel like a captain! There is not much to see, but we did find a small, secluded, sandy beach, which we decided to stop off at and enjoy some privacy and each other *wink*
Hard being a vegan in Greece..
We had dinner mostly at the hotel as it was a buffet style so it was easier for me to pick out stuff which I could have, but although you might assume that a Mediterranean country would have an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies as well as yummy cooked dishes, which are naturally vegan, that wasn’t the case. There was a lot of fresh cheeses, freshly caught fish and so on. One evening, we tried eating at one of the restaurants, which had a menu. It was very hard to go for something which was vegan but not bland, like a salad with three ingredients *side eye*. I tried doing my usual trick; speaking to the waiter to see if they could make me something off the menu, but they couldn’t, as they didn’t have the ingredients! Talk about wanting to starve me!
As the Mediterranean diet is considered by many people to be already very healthy, they don’t have the concept of alternative milk or anything else alternative – why would you, when you have all this fresh produce? This is the one area I wish they could cater for better; people with intolerances, allergies or just dietary requirements, as my dinners and breakfasts were not very exciting.
There were a few local restaurants near the hotel. Demetris at our hotel’s reception recommended an authentic little restaurant in the nearby fishing village for our dinner. You could see that a lot of locals went there, and it was a good place because of that. As it was October, it got chilly in the evenings, but this place had a cosy fireplace inside so we chose to sit there, instead of outside on the terrace, which overlooked the bay.
Local restaurant food is very different to hotel food. The portions are big, the produce is local and properly ripened, and also it all tastes as if it has been made with love! I thoroughly enjoyed our dinner, and what made it extra special is that the management gave us a complimentary dessert! Service is everything to me!
What a wonderful day to end our short but very sweet weekend away. Unfortunately, I don’t recall the name of the restaurant, but experiences like that; with the excellent service, how they made us feel on top of the quality of the food, made the experience so memorable and magical.
You can feel the love in Ekies and I believe they are onto something with such a gorgeous space and the fact that they place such a high value on sustainability and eco-friendliness. I would like to see it become more vegan-friendly; offering alternative milk and freshly-cut, seasonal fruits at breakfast and dinner but, other than that, it is a dreamy place, where you fall in love.
Thanks also to Demetris and Yannis at the hotel’s reception for catering to all my demands and for arranging candles and rose petals in our room at my request: You made this experience extra special and I would be delighted to return one day!
Please note that this trip was not sponsored in any way, this is my genuine experience and recommendations. We paid for everything with our own money. Photos without my watermark belong to Ekies.
Did you know that eco-friendly hotels, that are this gorgeous can be affordable too?
Luxury Sustainable Travel & Vegan Lifestyle Blogger. I encourage people to make better choices in life by staying at eco-friendly hotels, eating a more plant-based diet and using cruelty-free make-up and conscious fashion.