Will it be as good as the reviews suggest? After reading so many positive written words about the Sani Resort and Sani Beach Hotel, this was becoming almost a concern as we arrived at Passport control in Thessaloniki. The fear was that it had been built up so much by others and I was now expecting nothing less than the perfect holiday experience! We walked through to the arrivals lounge where our driver was waiting. A welcoming smile, firm handshake and three complimentary bottles of water later and we were off for the 45 minute transfer. Expectations were still high as we drove up to the front of the hotel. What followed was easily the most pleasurable hotel check-in I’ve ever experienced. We were welcomed by multiple staff. One took care of the luggage; one welcomed us and took us through to the reception area. We were offered cooling moist face towels and were lead to the reception desk. Details were given and confirmed, champagne was poured for us and an orange juice was presented to our equally delighted 7 year old daughter. We had a chance to ask questions to the Trainee that was checking us in (comfortingly supported by another member of staff to his right) – everything was faultless. We were told where our room was; a Seaview Junior Suite on the third floor of ‘B’ block so made our way there, just pausing long enough to take in the wonderful sea view from the foyer area and glazed corridor. Our luggage was already being taken in to our room ready for us to unpack.
The room itself was perfect for our needs. Equipped with a kettle, Nespresso coffee machine (plus a selection of pods), a complimentary bottle of red wine and three bottles of water. Space wise, I guess we’ve stayed in bigger but it was more than adequate for the three of us and was very comfortable; possibly the comfiest beds we’ve had when away. The balcony view was simply amazing; straight out across the infinity pool, over the narrow beach and out to sea. We later found it was also perfect for viewing the amazing orange glow of the Greek Sunset each evening. Having the pools and beach literally just a minutes’ walk from our room was to prove very convenient for the following ten days.
We headed straight out to explore and grabbed our first meal – eaten at the aptly named ‘Grill by the Pool’ overlooking the larger of the pools and out to sea. The food was very good. Slightly expensive (burger and fries – 18 euros and 8 euros for a fresh pineapple juice and 4 euros for a small 200ml Coke) but I couldn’t fault the quality of food or service in anyway. I had to ask the waiter to explain the half board/dine around system to me again as I hadn’t quite taken it all in from the receptionist upon arrival. Basically with half board we got a free breakfast and 50 euros (20 per adult, 10 per child) towards either one of the ‘dine around’ Restaurants on site and around the Marina or fully complimentary food at the hotels own Poseidon Buffet style restaurant in the evening. Don’t let ‘buffet’ make you think of average quality food in great quantity. I’ve been fortunate enough to eat at some fairly nice restaurants around the world and this includes a good few ‘buffet’ style ones. How did the Poseidon compare? Well, it’s still short of my current favourite; the Wynn Buffet, Las Vegas but it isn’t as far short as you’d expect, particularly given the fact the one at the Wynn is $40 per person and the queues can be fairly big. I think it’s fair to say I’ve never seen such a range of choices, all produced to such a high standard. Each night there’d be multiple pasta, seafood and meat options, lots of fresh salad and many delicious dessert options. Options differed each day, so if you managed to have one of everything the night before then you’d be fine the following evening! In terms of the ‘dine around’ restaurants, I’d say the best were around the Marina; Psaroyannos (next to the Creperie) being especially enjoyable for each visit.
One thing you do notice, also around the hotels restaurant’s is just how prominent the managers are. They are always in view, overseeing the employees and asking if everything is to your liking. In fact, throughout our stay, we noticed they were always keen to hear customer feedback.
Another superb aspect of the Sani Beach Hotel is the Melissa kids club. I think it’s true to say that if the kids are happy, the parents are happy and with the kids club here, we were VERY happy. Plus, we didn’t feel guilty sending our seven year old off as she couldn’t wait to get there! It’s at an entirely higher level of quality than anything we’ve experienced before… making fruit cocktails, making pirate eye patches and treasure maps, a trip to the Marina for ice cream… water sports (based at the centre on the beach), pool games, strictly come dancing competitions using score cards they created earlier on in the day… the list of quality things they do with the kids just goes on and on and there’s a new programme each week so if you are lucky enough to be here for more than a week, it isn’t even repetitive. If you just want a half hour to yourself whilst sunbathing, the hotel also offers their ‘babewatch’ service; someone to look after them and entertain them on the beach for half an hour. You could also take the kids to the activity playground; a very decently sized shaded area just opposite the kids club that’s perfect for them to burn off a few of the calories gained in the buffet!
Another aspect of the Sani stay that we really enjoyed was the complimentary ECO trips and cruises. Yes, complimentary. So when you start thinking things are a little expensive at the Sani Resort you have to balance this with the complimentary experiences that other places would charge for. We went to the local farm one morning. You are shuttled there in the one of the resorts luxury, leather clad Mercedes buses, given complimentary water as soon as you get there, taken on a tour by Chris, the guide and introduced to the farmer; Nikos. You then get a chance to ask questions and plant some crops yourself. You are sent photos of your plants as they grow on email – I kid you not! Absolutely great for the children given that they gain an appreciation for the processes involved in getting food to their plate.
There are also two complimentary options for getting out on the Sani owned boat during the week. One is a morning cruise that takes three hours. It takes you out around the bay and allows for up to an hour swimming in the sea (again, complimentary drinks and fruit are offered on-board). The evening one departs around 20:00 and is unsurprisingly called the ‘Sunset Cruise’. ‘Good’ isn’t enough to describe this experience. On a clear day, it was simply stunning but im a sucker for a good Greek sunset.
The evening entertainment also has to be mentioned. The Outdoor Garden Theatre hosted Mama Mia and the Michael Jackson show. I wasn’t expecting much when I read the entertainment schedule after arrival but once I started realising that Sani seem to do things properly we decided we’d give them a go. The shows were superb (so much so that we did Mama Mia twice!), well and truly incomparable to any other evening entertainment we’d experienced elsewhere.
I can also wholeheartedly recommend the My Spa at the Sani Beach Hotel – I had a full head to toe Parisian massage and I came out feeling 10 years younger and totally chilled out, especially good as it was on a Wednesday and that’s also the day they host the White Party (with a live DJ set) on Bousoulas Beach during the evening – very memorable for all the right reasons.
In fear of me sending even more people to sleep reading this for any longer I’ll wrap it up by keeping the best to last; the staff. When I say ‘staff’ I mean all the staff, from the housekeeping staff and gardeners to the managers and everyone in between. They all work tirelessly for long hours every day. I can’t recall seeing any member of staff looking at or texting on their phone or even having time to kill by chatting amongst themselves. I almost dislike putting names down as I’m bound to miss some out but staff of particular note were the Customer relations team – Effie, Giannis, Maria, Mara and Daryna. Natalia and Evi in the Poseidon restaurant, Radu in Ammos, Julia that kept our rooms supplied with the complimentary water and coffee each day and Max, Adam, Nina, Ashley and Ruby at the Melissa Kids Club. Christos and George were also often seen ensuring guests were happy. Every one of them works tirelessly to ensure your holiday is the best it can possibly be and I hope they genuinely realise the difference they made to our family holiday. It’s a great hotel in a great resort that’s made into an amazing overall experience by the staff. As a family, we’ve never yet been to the same place twice. We are booking up for the Sani experience again next May! For quality, cleanliness and efficiency with an amazing eye for detail I’m not sure it can actually be beat.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Resplendent above the crystal clear waters of the breathtaking Cape Sani, the Sani Beach exists in harmony with the natural world around it. The hotel promises so much for all the family with its miles of golden sands stretching far into the distance, enticing spa where tired bodies can rejuvenate, and splendid restaurants with their choice of international flavours and Greek cuisine. This warmly welcoming luxury hotel occupies a prime position on the Cape and is a perfect choice for a getaway. Seize the opportunity to enjoy your favourite watersports, brush up on your game with our tennis coach or take off into the spectacular Mediterranean scenery on a mountain bike. Or you may just be tempted to do absolutely nothing until the cooling azure waters beckon. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Sani Beach
- Sani Beach Kassandra
- Sani Beach Hotel
- Sani Beach Halkidiki, Greece