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HomeTravelHotelsA Review of Sani Beach Hotel, Halkidiki, Greece

A Review of Sani Beach Hotel, Halkidiki, Greece

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Sani Resort

The picturesque Kassandra peninsula of Halkidiki in mainland Greece is one of Europe’s most popular beach holiday destinations: with its pristine, white sandy beaches lapped by turquoise waves, coupled with stunning views of the crystal-clear Aegean Sea and majestic Mount Olympus, it is a veritable slice of paradise in the Mediterranean.  

Sani Beach is part of the greater Sani Resort, a self-contained, stylish, and discreet 1,000-acre estate set within a sandy bay. Sani Resort comprises a constellation of five luxury hotels in total (Sani Asterias, Sani Beach, Sani Club, Sani Dunes, and Porto Sani). The properties are clustered along the beachfront, facing out to the Aegean Sea on one side, and surrounded by an expanse of unspoiled pine forest and rugged wetland on the other. Thanks to its size, the resort feels like an ultra-refined microcosm: it even boasts its own marina with a selection of high-end boutiques, including jewelers and smart dress designers. 

Sani Resort

Travelling between hotels in Sani Resort takes around five to 10 minutes via a complimentary golf buggy, hotel car, or shuttle bus. Many guests prefer to cycle or scoot between the properties with bikes and scooters rented from the shop in Sani Beach.

Hotel

Sani Beach Hotel is a six-story block – the largest property within the luxurious Sani Resort stable, and the only one that offers a traditional ‘hotel’ set-up (the other properties in the Resort are villas and low-rise lodgings). Sani Beach occupies a prime position within the Resort, perched upon the azure waters of Cape Sani from its beachfront location, encompassed by 7km of pristine white-sand beaches and fringed by pine forest. 

Despite its outwardly boxy appearance, sleek, airy internal decor pervades Sani Beach Hotel, which features an eclectic mix of gleaming white furniture with funky shapes and interesting textures. Pared back but chic, the spaces are done in a pleasing palette of creamy natural stone colors. The atmosphere in the lobby is an inviting admixture of tasteful and luxurious design and a laid-back ambience. It is practically impossible not to feel relaxed here, with the glistening Aegean beckoning, golden sands, olive trees, and flapping white parasols framing the spectacular view. 

Well-dressed young children scamper around on the lustrous marble, which is dotted with aromatic pot plants. The hotel is extremely family-friendly and offers a plethora of facilities and activities devoted to children of all ages. The preponderance of guests at Sani Beach are families with children; couples tend to opt for the slightly more secluded Sani Dunes). 

Sani Resort

Room

All of the 389 rooms and suites at Sani Beach Hotel are airy and bright. The entire hotel was refurbished recently to a very high standard, and a contemporary nautical design in a neutral palette of aqua, coral and muted greys pervades, echoing the colors of the sea. My family and I stayed in a twin interconnecting entry-level double room with a garden view and balcony. Our room was replete with Nespresso machine, coffee and tea-making facilities, a minibar, safe, and flat-screen television. 

The compact, spotlessly clean marble bathroom contained Anne Semonin unguents, robes, and slippers, and featured a powerful rain shower but no bath. The bed was one of the most exceptionally comfortable I have ever encountered in a hotel, and we all slept incredibly well during the fortnight we stayed. 

Sani Resort

Food

Sani Resort offers an embarrassment of riches when it comes to dining options, and each restaurant or bar offers intoxicating views of the Aegean or Mount Olympus. The Resort has a Dine Around programme, on which guests can eat out on a half board or full board basis, choosing from any of the 27 restaurants across the five hotels, including a range of traditional Greek tavernas (Ouzerie in Sani Club is a must-visit), a Thai Fusion restaurant (Asian at Sani Marina), and, for the most discerning palates, Water, Sani’s gastronomic flagship at Sani Asteria overlooking the sea. For little ones, there are menus designed exclusively by global food expert and best-selling children’s cookery author Annabel Karmel, MBE.

Sani Beach Hotel boasts 11 restaurants and bars, proffering a variety of Greek, Mediterranean and international cuisine. Beachfront Ammos features driftwood-chic decor and a broad breakfast buffet featuring fresh local cheeses and honey, flaky homemade pastries and a wide array of superfoods for the health-conscious. It is also the perfect place for a sundowner in evenings, with its in-house DJ and spectacular sea and Mount Olympus views. 

Breakfast is also served at Poseidon and Veranda. Both restaurants offer a generous buffet selection of traditional Greek delicacies such as walnut pie and saragli alongside fresh fruit, smoothies, cakes and cereals. 

Spa

Sani Beach Hotel has a wonderful spa that uses Anne Semonin products, a 2,000 sqm freshwater pool and an infinity pool (both of which are heated to 29C). The spa has also has a sauna, steam room, ice plunge pool and treatments by Anne Semonin.

To Do

Sani Resort

The hotel does an exceptional job catering to families with children of all ages, from offering free nannying services on the beach (‘babe watch’) to a fun-packed activity program for older children. When it comes to entertainment, Sani Resort has an incomparable smorgasbord of exciting options.

Sani Resort’s state-of-the-art sports center includes the Football Academy, which is run in association with Chelsea FCF Football Academy, and offers fantastic football coaching sessions for children of all ages. There is also the Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy (which offers one-to-one coaching or group lessons on its eight floodlight clay courts). The Tennis Academy’s namesake (and his father, Sebastian) are regular visitors to the resort, and take a keen interest in the teaching program, which is, unsurprisingly, of an extremely high caliber. There is also archery, bungee trampolining, table tennis and open-air yoga classes on offer. 

There are a variety of water-based activities across the Resort, including a renovated splash pool for little ones at Sani Beach Hotel, swimming lessons, pedaloes, paddle-boarding, and a highlight for my four- and six-year-old daughters: mermaid school. There are two water sports stations (centers that can arrange activities such as waterskiing and sailing), plus a diving center. 

For older children, the Sani Adventure Park, which looks out to Bousoulas Beach, offers an intrepid Treetop Adventure and Bear Grylls experience. There are also activities such as nighttime hiking. 

There are complimentary crèches and kids’ clubs for older children and teens, each of which offer carefully structured programs including arts and crafts, water games, and learning about a variety of topics from beekeeping to Sani’s custodianship of the local natural environment through outdoor activities. 

Cultural activities abound. During the summer months, Sani Festival is an unmissable treat: highlights during our stay included shows by Bonnie Tyler and UB40. There is also entertainment five nights a week at Sani’s state-of-the-art The Garden Theatre, with shows during our stay ranging from a wild Michael Jackson tribute concert to Pure Imagination, a show packed with a medley of popular songs from musicals and classic children’s films. Local wine-tasting tours, birdwatching tours, and guided coastal hikes (free) can be arranged.

It would be perfectly possible not to venture off Sani Resort’s grounds for days – even weeks, but the resort is ideally situated for exploring Halkidiki’s picturesque coastline. The hotel is on the hiking trail that leads to Simantro Beach, and the rustic beaches of the Sithonia peninsula are close by. Slightly further afield, the traditional stone village of Afytos with its mesmerizing clifftop views is well worth a visit. Other notable attractions include the village of Siviri and Nea Fokaia, where there is an old Byzantine fortress. Organised excursions to all of these sites can be arranged by the hotel.

Getting there

The hotel is around a 50-minute drive from Thessaloniki Airport. Sani Beach can arrange transfers to and from the airport. 

In a nutshell

Sani Beach Hotel and the wider Sani Resort is perennially popular with families, and for very good reason. It offers a virtually unique proposition in Europe: a high-end cluster of hotels, wide array of first-class restaurants, coupled with an unparalleled assortment of top-notch facilities and activities that will hold appeal for children of all ages, set in a location of outstanding natural beauty. Staff are unfailingly professional, charming, and friendly, always happy to greet with a smile and help even when off duty. Little wonder that Sani Resort consistently wins World’s Leading Family & Beach Resort and Europe’s Leading Family Resort in The World Travel Awards, most recently in 2023. 

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