Mpelleiko is a Bed & Breakfast at the top of Stemnitsa village, up on the mountains of Mainalon at Arcadia. Here’s some information I never share: it has a 9.7 review at booking.com and it’s recommended as a top choice by Lonely Planet. Even though I write my own reviews, always based on family friendliness, these are pretty impressive.
You know why? Because Mpelleiko is a cozy, quaint, family guesthouse with attention to detail – not a famous, luxurious and expensive mountain resort.
And it’s all thanks to the owner, Nena. A woman with great knowledge of the surrounding area, enough to propose the perfect itinerary for any group of residents, depending on their style, their needs and the days of their stay. She is also a master of hospitality, with impeccable taste and a great love for what she does, so much so that she was the first to operate year round, in an area that used to be empty in the summer.
Nena is a local, who loves nature and everything it offers: from fresh fruits, vegies and herbs; to hikes in lush trails, splashes in natural pools and relaxation in quiet patios. And she has a way to offer all the above in abundance!
Mpelleiko’s position at the top of Stemnitsa village means that the views to the gorge and the surrounding mountains are unique.
It’s a Bed & Breakfast, which means that you can sleep here at night and enjoy your breakfast in the morning. But it’s so much more than that. Especially, Nena’s recommendations for itineraries, experiences and day trips totally custom for you. It is her ideas that really upped our trip, since we visited corners of Arcadia we had never been to before, even though my husband has family here and we’ve been 3-4 times before as a family ourselves.
Mpellaiko used to be a local farm house that was completely renovated and transformed into a guesthouse, inviting people to come and discover the idyllic nature of Mainalo mountain and Lousios river.
It comprises of 5 traditional rooms with bathroom, decorated with vintage furniture, handmade patchworks, small sitting area and a fireplace. They all feature a smaller or larger patio or a balcony, all with great views to the village and the peaks.
Breakfast is served at your patio or in the commune area where Nena’s kitchen is, where you can store food and enjoy a snack or a cup of coffee/tea.
I rarely write a whole paragraph just for breakfast, but Nena happens to have worked at her family’s pastry business and she does almost everything herself, from the bread and the desserts, to marmelades, pies and oven omelettes.
Here’s another fun fact, all ingredients come from her garden or a neighbor’s farm! There was a strawberry bush at our patio and those little strawberries tasted better than any huge red, super market bought, strawberries.
2+ hours from Athens, 15 minutes from Dimitsana village, the large village of Mainalon mountains, Stemnitsa is the ideal destination for a along weekend, even a two week vacation – and Mpelleiko is the guesthouse you should stay with kids!
Here’s a photo dump from our day trips, to Stemnitsa, Dimitsana, Karytaina, Lousios river and two monasteries. Ask Nena to recommend the best route for you.
Is Mpelleiko family friendly?
Definitely! Especially for families with kids over 5-6 years old, younger even, if you don’t use the buggy anymore and if both you and your little ones are used to having stairs in your home.
There’s one travel cot, so families with twin babies will need to bring one from home.
The larger room (Katoi), which easier fits an extra bed and can host a family of 4, features stairs inside and the whole building is connected with sets of stairs everywhere. This is really cozy and adds to the quaintness of it all, but I can understand that it can get risky for parents with two 2 year olds.
Other than that:
There are several board games available, as well as kids books. All rooms have a smaller or larger patio ideal for hanging out as a family, play and blow off some steam. There’s no TV, which is good for kids. Breakfast is amazing, healthy and fresh and you can enjoy it at your own patio. There’s easy access to Stemnitsa village, which is really friendly, it even has a lovely playground!
So if you’re planning on visiting the area with kids, we think Mpelleiko is both ideally located and amazing for families!