Greece is the word

Up-mar­ket ho­tels with fam­ily ap­peal

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE - JANE KNIGHT

Here’s why my son loves hol­i­days in Greece: he says there’s no sight­see­ing. I know, I know ... but his point is that the ho­tels in one part of the coun­try, where rugged hills cov­ered with pines and olive trees roll down to sandy coves, are now so good that even par­ents will find it hard to tear them­selves away to go and look at (God for­bid) a ruin. We’re not talk­ing about the Greek is­lands here ei­ther; it’s the tri­dent-shaped penin­sula of Halkidiki in the north that is rais­ing the stakes in the lux­ury fam­ily hol­i­day game.

The birth­place of Aris­to­tle and home to the au­ton­o­mous area of Mount Athos, with its 20 monas­ter­ies, Halkidiki has gained two new up-mar­ket fam­ily ho­tels this north­ern summer, while a third is get­ting a se­ri­ous facelift.

On Kas­san­dra, the first fin­ger of Halkidiki, the ev­er­pop­u­lar Sani Re­sort is tar­get­ing the teenage mar­ket with a fifth ho­tel, as well as a teens’ club with age-rel­e­vant ac­tiv­i­ties. Just around the bay, sis­ter prop­erty Ikos Ocea­nia has also upped its game af­ter a se­ri­ous re­fur­bish­ment and is in­tro­duc­ing more all-in­clu­sive deals.

Mean­while, on the Athos Penin­sula, the third fin­ger of Halkidiki, an all-vil­las ho­tel has just opened as a sis­ter prop­erty to Ea­gles Palace Ho­tel.

SANI RE­SORT: They’re a tough bunch to please on hol­i­day, the over-12s: too old for kids’ clubs (not that my son ever liked them) and too young to ap­pre­ci­ate the plea­sures of loung­ing by the pool with a cock­tail. Even the joys of foot­ball or sail­ing acad­e­mies fade at this age. “I don’t

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