Astir Palace

Did you know Athens has a Riviera? Certainly not as touristy or as glitzy as its Western European counterparts (we’re talking to you, St. Tropez), the Athenian Riviera has a relaxed, naturally beautiful, #iwokeuplikethis kind of vibe. Just 30 minutes away from the airport, the peninsula that houses Astir Palace proudly juts out into the Aegean Sea. Upon arrival at the fairytale that is this resort, you’ll feel like you’re being rewarded for all the good things you’ve done in your life. Get ready to mingle with Greek aristocrats, the random Hollywood celebrity, and well behaved families with all members dressed in matching outfits at the lunch table.

The Welcome

Roll your windows down and breath in the heady mix of salty sea air and pine trees as you enter the driveway leading to the resort. You’ll feel like you hadn’t really seen the colours blue and green before this moment. You’ll forget that you need to check in because you’ll be busy taking pictures – guaranteed.

Sweet Suite

Astir Palace doesn’t have a room with a view. It has rooms with THE view.

Astir 2

Balcony goals! It’s like we’re standing in front of a painting…

Wide and airy, the rooms are minimalist, taking a backseat to the stunning view from the balcony. Even if you don’t manage to snag a sea view room, the ones facing the garden burst with greenery and sounds of nature that we sorely miss in Dubai.

Foodtastic

Astir Palace is home to a handful of culinary treats. On the one end of the spectrum, you’ve got Taverna 37, a laidback, traditional Greek eatery overlooking the beach with dishes like stuffed tomatoes and grilled lamb. You can roll up in your bikini and sandy sandals and enjoy a burst of flavour for lunch.

Taverna-37_1600x900

Yes, the food is as good as the view

On the other hand, you’ve got upscale Nobu. There’s something magical about the combination of world class sashimi with a side of the Aegean Sea at sunset.

Astir Palace Resort nobu

Nobu on the sea shore…

 

#WhatToPack

Astir Palace beautifully merges classic and modern design, glamour and a laidback attitude. Let your look do the same with this vibrant one-piece from Bahraini site www.maisondumaillot.com. Pair with crisp white shorts, sunnies and a smile.

 

Astir Beach look

 


Pierre Balmain shorts
1,985 AED – net-a-porter.com

Oscar de la Renta white sandals
1,540 AED – mytheresa.com

Style Co handbags purse
230 AED – macys.com

Blue jewelry
46 AED – jcpenney.com

Agent 18 tech accessory
55 AED – nordstromrack.com

Revo mirror glasses
33 AED – emblemeyewear.com
Guest Post by Rupert Wright of Ashbright
Welcome
 
Paris holds no terrors for well-heeled travellers, who can check into one of the city’s eleven palaces such as ­ the Georges V, Plaza Athénée, Le Bristol or my favourite, Le Meurice. But for those on any kind of budget, finding a decent place to stay in the French capital can be a challenge. Bedrooms smaller than a bathroom, bathrooms smaller than a bidet, we’ve all stayed at one of them and lived to regret it. So, it’s with great pleasure that I have found almost the perfect Parisian hotel – and you don’t need to be a tech billionaire to afford it. The Bedford has been family owned and run for more than a hundred years, combining Swiss roots, French flair and English tradition. It benefits from strong leadership, attention to detail, and a staff eager to look after you. With just 140 rooms, it is large enough to intimate, but not so large that you are anonymous. It’s a 4 star, but deserves more.
 
The rooms
 
Parquet flooring; high ceilings; comfortable beds and pillows; keys rather than plastic cards; and best of all, real switches, that turn the lights on and off. The Bedford has sensibly ignored many of the technical traps that can make staying in a hotel room more challenging than setting up your own satellite transmission site. The result is a place that combines understated elegance with modern touches and old school service. Some rooms overlook the rue de l’Arcade, others look over a courtyard, but all are a decent size and a muted colour. There is air-conditioning too, which is a relief when the summer strikes.
 
Eating
 
Breakfast is a buffet in a glorious belle époque room, boasting stucco reliefs and a glass roof. Dinner happens here too, French cuisine and fairly formal. There’s also a relaxed bistro/bar that serves meals and cocktails.
 
 
Location
 
A stone’s throw from the Place de la Madeleine, the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens, and the Opera, this is one of the best areas to stay in Paris. (Marcel Proust used to live just around the corner). It is a lively area, with great boutiques, wine bars and an eclectic mix of restaurants, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Lebanese and French too.
 
Don’t miss
 
The Bedford knows that many people like to travel with their pets, so they are allowed to stay too.
 
 
HOTEL BEDFORD, 17, RUE DE L’ARCADE 75008 PARIS Tel. : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 77 Fax : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 97 More information at www.hotel-bedford.com
 
Rooms from €250; Suites from €450

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Sara Hamdan

Welcome to a magazine editor’s guide to luxury hotels and what to wear when you’re there! My work has appeared in: The International New York Times, Rolling Stone, Variety and CNN Travel. I’ve held editorial roles at VIVA Magazine, Dubai Magazine and Stylist Arabia.  Now, I freelance for the likes of Google, CNN and Savoir Flair!

Editing travel pages was always my favourite part of working for lifestyle magazines. I started this blog out of a love of beautiful hotels that provide the fairytale escape of a day as a princess where breakfast is a buffet and chocolates appear on my pillow.

PR queries, feedback and compliments? Email sara@holidaysinheels.com!