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Hotel Highlights

  • Idyllic location, overlooking olive groves, vineyards and the Aegean
  • Historic mansion with a serene spa
  • Crush some grapes and help make your own wine

Overview

High in the hills in eastern Laconia, Kinsterna Hotel & Spa lets you be king of the castle: overlook the fairy-tale rock city of Monemvasia from a prime point, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, on an ancient Byzantine estate.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Kinsterna Hotel & Spa with us:

A bottle of local wine and 20 per cent off spa treatments. SilverSmith members get a 45-minute spa Initiation Ritual and one free refill of the minibar; GoldSmith members also get a boat ride around Monemvasia rock, subject to availability

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Kinsterna Hotel & Spa

Advanced prepayment Stay 7, pay 5 Mid-week offer

Facilities

View Gallery
Kinsterna Hotel & Spa – East Peloponnese – Greece

Need To Know

Rooms

27, including 19 suites.

Check–out

Midday, but flexible for 30 per cent of a night’s rate. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $166.45 (€127), excluding tax at 6.5 per cent.

More details

Rates include a champagne breakfast.

Also

The hotel’s spa has a traditional Ottoman hammam, with water cabins, treatment rooms and Jacuzzis indoors and out. In-room massages can also be arranged.

At the hotel

Spa, gardens, library and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD player, minibar, Coco-Mat beds and Apivita, Bulgari or Hermès bath products.

Our favourite rooms

We liked the original Ottoman fireplace and lace feature wall in Room 33, and the cosy colours of Room 34. The scent of mint reaches Room 15 from its private garden and terrace, and the view out to the citrus groves and the Aegean is impressive, too.

Poolside

Out among the citrus groves, there's an L-shaped infinity pool lined by sunloungers.

Packing tips

Match the frilly lampshades and headboards in the bedrooms with a lace dress or two; binoculars for checking out Monemvasia from a distance.

Also

Small pets are accommodated on request. Smokers can light up in certain areas. Two Kinsterna Suites are adapted for wheelchair users.

Children

Cots for babies are free; extra beds for under-12s are €50. Babysitting with hotel staff costs €20 an hour (three hours’ notice required).

Eco‐friendly

The estate produces its own crop of wine and olive oil, and the restaurant uses herbs and vegetables plucked straight from the garden.

Food & Drink

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Kinsterna Hotel & Spa – East Peloponnese – Greece

Hotel Restaurant

The Kinsterna restaurant opens out onto the Rock-facing cistern, with tables levered above the water. The food is Mediterranean: look out for handmade ravioli stuffed with pumpkins straight from the gardens and mint-crusted lamb with couscous.

Hotel Bar

There’s a bar by the pool. Sip daiquiris made with fruit hand-picked in the grounds and admire the view out on the stone belvedere, or settle in at sundown by the citrus groves in the courtyard. Oenophiles will love the boutique wine cellar, carefully curated to contain local and international wines; it's next to the library.

Last orders

You won’t go hungry here: breakfast is served between 8am and 11.30am; lunch is on offer all afternoon (from midday until 6pm) and dinner is served between 7pm and 1am. The bar shuts at 2am.

Room service

Sandwiches, salads and burgers are available 24 hours a day, but there's a limited menu between 1am and 7am.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Cool, cream linens and cosy cardis for after-dark.

Top table

Suspended over the lilies and pebbles by the ancient cistern, flanked by columns and lit up at night.The bar shuts at 2am.

Local Guide

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Kinsterna Hotel & Spa – East Peloponnese – Greece
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Help out with some grape-crushing; personalise the label and name the wine in your honour, and the hotel will have it shipped to you once it’s ready. Bread is made in the outdoor stone oven every Saturday – take part, and you’ll get to try some. The olive press is in action from late November until March so guests can watch the estate's oil being made. After a visit to Monemvasia’s castle, check out the fortress town’s bars, boutiques and restaurants. Nearby beaches include Gefiras, Pori and Ampelakia. The hotel can help to arrange scuba-diving, horse riding and, in summer, hanging yoga.

Local restaurants

Within Monemvasia’s walls, Matoula serves traditional Greek fare with a view of the shore and the rock (www.matoula.gr), or sit out on the veranda at To Kanoni and enjoy their souvlaki (skewer-based kebabs) with a view of the sea (+30 27320 61387). Trata in Gefyra is an old fishermen’s hut still serving the daily catch by the kilo; dine by the water, watching the boats come in (+30 27320 62084).

Local bars

For cocktails, head to Emvasis (+30 27320 61139) or Enetiko (+30 27320 61352) in Monemvasia.

+ Enlarge
Minutes from Monemvasia

Kinsterna Hotel & Spa

Agios Stefanos, Monemvasia, Laconia, 23070

Kinsterna Hotel & Spa is in the East Peloponnese, in the hills near Monemvasia, overlooking the Aegean and the mediaeval castle town…

Planes

The closest airport is Kalamata, a three-hour drive from the hotel, where Easyjet flights from London Gatwick arrive; Athens is also close by, but it’s a good 200 miles away. EasyJet flies from London Gatwick, Berlin, Paris and Rome (www.easyjet.com); BA (www.ba.com) and Aegean Airlines (www.aegeanairlines.com) fly from London Heathrow.

Automobiles

From Athens, the drive will take around five hours: follow the national highways to Corinth, Tripoli and then Sparta, after which Monemvasia is clearly signposted.

Other

The main seafaring gateways to Laconia are Githio in the south, Patra in the north-west and Piraeus in Athens.

Reviews

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Kinsterna Hotel & Spa – East Peloponnese – Greece

Anonymous review

by Ben Nicholls , Epicurean civil servant

Natural-rubber Pop, number four, or goosedown Morpheus, number nine? The pillow menu that we are sent in advance of our stay at Kinsterna Hotel & Spa rather sets the scene. And takes the edge of the hours required in the car for these Athenians. To get to this boutique hotel in  eastern Laconia, there are few alternatives to driving: but the 200-mile journey through the Peloponnese from t…
Read more

Kinsterna Hotel & Spa

Anonymous review by Ben Nicholls, Epicurean civil servant

Natural-rubber Pop, number four, or goosedown Morpheus, number nine? The pillow menu that we are sent in advance of our stay at Kinsterna Hotel & Spa rather sets the scene. And takes the edge of the hours required in the car for these Athenians. To get to this boutique hotel in  eastern Laconia, there are few alternatives to driving: but the 200-mile journey through the Peloponnese from the Parthenon proves scenically astonishing. Nemean vineyards, unexpected alpine and deciduous forests, snow-covered Taygetos mountains and lush plains of olive and citrus groves surround Sparta giving way to a springtime scent of lemon blossom, which is intoxicating. Mrs Smith helps herself to a quantity of windfall oranges.

Monemvasia, often referred to as ‘the Gibraltar of the East’ (mone and emvasia together means ‘single entrance’), is a huge rock, resembling a floating trilby, connected by a short causeway to the mainland town of Gefyra, with its attractive fishing harbour and restaurant-bars. The hotel is seven kilometres past it and encouragingly, as we head inland the locals all know exactly where the Kinsterna is. The last few hundred metres find us bumping along a dirt track in a swirl of safari dust, reflecting that a 4x4 might have been a sensible option, but a smart electronic gate soon ushers us into another dimension. Passing an eclectic mix of cabbage patches, jasmine and vines, we spot a bright pink wrought-iron chair suspended low from a giant eucalyptus tree. The rope looks as if it might have served a more sinister purpose during Venetian, Papal and Turkish times, when the Kinsterna was a fortified manor house.

Immaculately restored, the hotel reminds me of the cult 60s’ series The Prisoner, set in Portmeirion: 27 suites – each with distinctive front door, terrace and style (one complete with oubliette), polite service staff in crisp crimson uniform, quaint direction plates, even a covered electric buggy for getting about – all reinforce my fantasy.

A welcome glass of cold water to settle the dust appears on a tray as we sign in. Escorted to ‘Number 37’ through low stone arches and stairwells, I realise that the human race has increased in stature since the Middle Ages. A shorter Mrs Smith glides blissfully on. Our suite has expertly carved wooden beams underpinning traditional bamboo roof-tile supports, floral pargeting to the walls and polished pebble infills; the slightly safari look is but a fleeting notion. Every feature has been restored to period, and then a modern touch of inspiration added. The view is across vineyards towards Monemvasia and the breathtaking Aegean Sea.
The sitting room, with original fireplace, was an upstairs kitchen in former times. One corner has a void in the floor covered by a glass panel incorporating a cat – not a real one, of course, but a formaldehyde impression detracting from the catacomb space beneath.

The bedroom provides a consummately comfortable bed, with Pop pillows and a sachet of lavender within. Mrs Smith prefers something firmer, but she comes from more Spartan stock. The bathroom has a huge shower and the surfaces are a wonderful mix of polished slate, exposed stone wall and pink-brown marble. Individually framed windows, some tiny, cover slits from which arrows were once fired.

Kinsterna is about relaxation, serenity and birdsong. A spring emanating from a small church runs through the estate, visible through glass conduits, first feeding a water-lily-filled central ‘cistern’ (hence the name), then flowing through small waterfalls to the swimming pool. (Alas, gents of a certain age, that tinkling sound might be a problem.) Wherever we sit, someone appears in the most unobtrusive and timely way to ensure we need for nothing.

Mrs Smith is particularly taken with the spa with two Jacuzzis, a sauna and a full menu of treatments and products. It is me though who plumps for the de-stressing back rub in preference to a 50-minute Indian massage, even if it does allegedly activate your chakras. The masseuse is a local girl who hides politely behind a towel while I strip off and expertly administers what it said on the tin. The pool is divine, with double loungers set in private recesses and never a need to bag a space at dawn with a national-flag towel.
Kinsterna makes its own wine and olive oil using traditional methods and equipment, including a one-horsepower olive press and a still, brewing tsipouro. We meet the horse when trying to visit the little church – it’s very bored and has no intention of letting us pass. Visit in September and you can throw off your shoes and help trample grapes. A sample bottle of their rosé is provided in each suite.

After a healthy breakfast of crêpes, homemade cakes, mini-croissants, freshly-squeezed orange juice and fruit salad, and a visit to castle-touting Monemvasia is a must. The narrow cobbled streets of this ancient walled town mean no cars and a journey back in time; lots of café-bars with friendly cats overlooking Venetian battlements and great traditional fare to be found at Marianthi’s Taverna, especially the wonderful leek patties. A small, sandy beach called Ambelakia, nearer the hotel, provides alternative bathing – but if something akin to Hawaii is desired, the hotel can organise an excursion to Elafonissos Island, an hour away. The most famous beach of all is the twin Simos-Saracenico on the south-eastern tip.

Kinsterna Hotel & Spa may be off the beaten track, which for us is the appeal, but it’s absolutely worth the trek. With healthy, beautifully presented cuisine, including a tasty bar menu and fresh fish caught locally, it engages the soul. After a delicious meal of kokoras (coq au vin) and sargos (sea bream), Mrs Smith and I watch a full moon ascend into a goldfish-bowl sky and start dreaming about Morpheus.

 

 


The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Kinsterna Hotel & Spa's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the ambience; the welcome was excellent. I loved the decor of the rooms.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Service was very good without being obvious. Our room would be cleaned each morning 'magically' whilst we were at breakfast. Nothing was too much trouble. Food was good and well priced as was the house wine which is produced from their own grapes.

Don’t expect

Our deluxe suite was large, airy and light, with lovely views but I think some smaller rooms can be quite dark with small windows and little natural light. Drinks (other than the house wine) are very expensive in comparison.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The ambience, the views, the furnishings, the gardens, the overall design and the pool are all magnificent. The staff are wonderful and never fail to provide excellent service. The chef and his team are inspired and create delicious dishes using fresh, local ingredients. We loved the lobster moussaka in particular. Beds and bedding are so comfortable that it is tempting to stay put instead of even going to the pool. When we did go out we found much to see and do, whether exploring little beaches, clambering over unadvertised archaeological sites, or wandering thought the streets of Monemvasia and Geraka.

Don’t expect

Nothing. It was perfect for us and we stayed for two weeks.

Rating: 10/10 stars