Only 4 hours drive from Athens, stands proud the wild rock-island of Monemvasia, facing lush slopes that shine bright from all the beautifully colored flowers, rich vineyards, happy orange trees and old olive trees. Perched somewhere between the vineyards and the olive trees forests, is Kinsterna Hotel, harmonically blending in its natural surroundings and overviewing the Aegean sea and red sunrises.
This is where we took our second road trip with our twin boys. And since they are now 6,5 months old, it was pretty dreamy!
Welcome to a world of serenity and elegance. In a hotel that doesn’t quite look like a hotel. That even when fully booked, it stands quiet. In a corner of Greece where nature takes over, this mansion totally blends in. And everything modern that was later added here, fit perfectly to the original byzantine architecture and the old decor. Here, elegance rules. And all, from the friendly staff to the design furniture, the simple structures, the infinity pools, the gardens, work together towards one noble goal: privacy, relaxation, serenity.
Sleep in History
Kinsterna Hotel used to be a mansion, dating back to the byzantine era. Its last resident was an old educated Lady of Monemvasia, who lived here with all her staff until 1970. The mansion was sustainable, since everything was prepared here, from the bread to the oil and the food. The estate and the mansion was bought in 2006 almost entirely ruined. Its restoration started immediately, to turn it into a boutique hotel, maintaining the initial architecture. Any additions had to be in line with the mansion’s aesthetics and the area’s style. Few trees were cut, some are now one with the stone walls. And the estate is still sustainable, at least partially, as everything that is grown here is used in the hotel’s kitchen. The rooms and suites of the old mansion, that has been working since 2010, have kept the original structure (for example, the room-cell), while the pool villas and garden villas that were later built have followed the original style, both on the outside and the inside.
Find out more about the history and philosophy of Kinsterna Hotel here.
Kinsterna: All season destination
Kinsterna looks good in the spring time, I can tell you that. But this part of Greece is also perfect in the summer. The fish taverns on the water’s edge with a view to the rock can attest to that. Also, exotic Elaphonissos is just a 50 minute drive and the hotel arranges shuttles there and to the 1-2 sandy beaches near the rock. The two pool villas and the several suites with the outdoor jacuzzi make for a dreamy summer escape.
But Kinsterna was originally created as a winter accommodation and the amenities help make a trip then unforgettable: built-in fireplaces in the suites, stone-built residences, warm decor, small windows, old embroideries on the walls and autonomous heating, just to name a few.
Family Friendly hotel in Monemvasia
- There is a family pool
- The hotel is 100% accessible. Not the old mansion of course or the floor residences, but the rest is easily accessible to families with strollers. We stayed in one of the garden villas, there was not one step to cross and our twin stroller had its space in the hallway as well. Our residence also had space for two roomy cots for the twins.
- Last but not least, and since my babies have started eating solids, I was happy to discover that the kitchen could prepare baby food (fruit, meat, vegetables, pureed) upon request and deliver them to our room on time.
- There are however boilers in the rooms for parents to prepare formula or baby creams too.
- There is also a playground for older kids, bicycles you can rent and ride in the estate, as well as a library where you can relax with your family playing board games.
Read more here.
5-star culinary experiences
Breakfast: And since we’re talking food, apart from the twins, we also enjoyed delicious meals. We loved the traditional breakfast served in the dining room or outside with a view to the pool. I loved that almost everything (bread, pies, olives and olive oil) are made there, with their own products and that the rest of the ingredients that made that lovely breakfast buffet (cheese, cold cuts) were from local producers. The marmalade are also home made and the honey local, the eggs (see omelettes) too.
Dinner: That’s for sure an experience to remember. Better served with some Kinsterna wine, please. Food here is gourmet, rural chic and simply elegant, to say the least. The ingredients are again local, from meat and cheese, to fish and vegetables, while some are also grown in the estate. I totally recommend the fish, the quinoa salad and the carrot-ginger soup, but make sure to try some traditional recipes too.
All day restaurant: Τhis menu is perfect for room service and we opted for it twice, because of the babies. Pizza, burger, club sandwich, pasta, risotto, suvlaki, salads from the garden, everything so fresh and delish, will make your nights with the babies sleeping in the next room, dreamy!
Tavern: During the summer months, there is also a tavern operating here, with traditional dishes and live music, serving in an outdoor space where the wooden oven is.
The menu changes, so be up to date here.
Also see my secrets on how not to gain weight while traveling here!
The Nature of Kinsterna Hotel
Olive trees, orange trees, vineyards, herbs, banana trees and a stream of fresh water that brings life to everything. And everything is then used at the restaurant, from the salads to the house wine, creating an endless circle of sustainability and beauty.
Spa and Yoga in harmony
I love hotels that become one with the nature around them. Even more so, I love it when their spa treatments incorporate historical remedies and products from the surrounding area. In Kinsterna Hotel, the spa is a reminiscent of turkish baths, the orange peel is an ode to Laconia, while the mud and see algae therapies will bring you closer to the sea.
I opted for the Thermal Algotherapy, to heal my sore back with some sea magic.
Moreover, since the estate faces the East, Kinsterna Hotel is actually an ideal Yoga destination, for the ultimate experience of a Sun Salutation facing the fire red sun rising over the Aegean sea.
See the spa menu!
Nearby places of interest
The rock of Monemvasia is just a 12 minure drive from Kinsterna. So close that most of the hotel rooms offer a great view to its old town.
You should go, even with twin babies, keeping in mind that:
– you may not be able to use your stroller on the cobble stone alleys
– you could carry your babies, if they’re still small
– you could carry your babies even if they’re older, as long as you’re both strong enough for the steep hill
– you could bring your twin stroller in the castle and then take turns to explore while one enjoys a cup of joe with the babies
During the summer, definitely take the shuttle to Elaphonissos. It may be a 50 minute ride, but it’s so exotic that you’ll never regret it.
Last but not least, Neapolis is a town of archaeological interest just 50 kl from Kinsterna, It also has a port where boats to Kithira depart, so here is another idea.
Find out more
Join in the grape harvest, help produce a greek spirit, participate in the production of olive oil, discover the art of soap making, tour the mansion, hike through the vineyards and surrounding area, enjoy a horse or donkey ride, cycle in the estate, bake country bread, enjoy some wine tasting and fine dining, relax in the library with board games, chillax by the pool with a good book…
Make your choice here.
Bachelor parties, weddings, honeymoons
The estate is home to a cozy white chapel, for a wedding ceremony made of dreams. The traditional carriage will then take the newlyweds to the romantic dinner setting by the infinity pool to enjoy their first champagne together under a pink sky.
The serenity, the privacy, the grande views and the utmost service make Kinsterna Hotel a dream destination for the most amazing honeymoon.
And for the more adventurous, the pool villa can host 4-6 in 120 square meters of simple luxury for a bachelor party like never before.
- Do not hesitate to press the buttons on your room walls, to discover secret lighting installations that will set the mood… or if you’re here with babies, will make your night easier.
- Do not bring your own toiletries, saving luggage space, since the rooms in Kinsterna hotel are equipped with Korres products.
- If you’re here for a wedding, remember there is a hair salon on sight.
- Don’t mind the weather (hot sun, wind, rain, cold) and enjoy some time on the beautifully designed patio chairs of your residence or at the mansion.
- Stay fit while here, hiking the trails that leave the estate.
* Thank you Kinsterna Hotel for the impeccable experience I was lucky enough to enjoy with my family at the estate. The words I’ve shared in this article come straight from the heart!
* The article’s photos are mine