Eagles Palace Hotel is proof that you really don't need to visit a Greek island for get-away-from-it-all
heaven. It is located on a peninsula on the mainland in Halkidiki, a stunning five-star beach resort with Mount Athos as its backdrop. Jump on a flight to Thessaloniki, where a bus will be waiting to take you on the two-hour journey to the hotel. Once you're there, prepare for a week of pure beach bliss.
The journey to Eagles Palace takes you through a number of pretty but rustic villages, so the glamour of the hotel is a pleasant surprise. The vast reception backs onto a beautiful garden olive, palm and pine trees as well as beautiful flowers and herbs. And through the garden you can see the bright blue sea twinkling under the sun. Certainly a sight for sore (well, tired) eyes.
What's to love?
Two words: The beach. The hotel's public spaces, spa and restaurants are luxurious but when it comes down to it, this place is all about the beautiful golden sands. The beach was far bigger than we expected (no fighting for sun loungers here) and the facilities are fab.
It's so large, that if you have children you won't be worried about them bothering other guests and, if you don't, you won't be bothered by other people's children!
Sunbed pairs come with a rustic umbrella featuring a bell you can call for on-the-sand service. You could almost set up a spot and stay for the entire week. There's a reason it's been awarded a European Blue Flag, and we can confirm the beach - and the ocean - are idyllic.
If you're feeling like moving off your lounger, there's a watersports and diving centre at the end of the beach, and we indulged in waterskiing as well as watching plenty of people scaring themselves witless - and loving every minute of it - on the rings.
There's also a beautiful huge pool and children's pool area set right on the beach. The swim-up bar makes a perfect spot for a mid-afternoon cocktail before heading back to the beach for a snooze.
Best room in the house
There are 164 rooms, suites and bungalows (some of which feature private pools), depending on your budget. All the rooms are clean and modern and offer free wifi and 24-hour room service.
Where to eat
We stayed on a half-board basis so made the most of the food at the buffet restaurant, Melathron, which was actually lovely and offered a different style of food every night. There's also a restaurant on the beach, Armyra, where you can eat delicious fresh barbecued seafood and steaks. For fine dining with a serious view, head to Kamares, where you can eat gourmet Mediterranean food while watching the sun set over the sea.
This place is perfect if you...
Want a luxurious spa and beach break, with or without the children. You can take a wander to the nearest town of Ouranoupolis, but if you want to fly-and-flop (and then not leave the resort all week), this is the place to do it.
The boat trip to the picturesque island of Ammouliani. There's also the option to hire boats of different shapes and sizes to make your own personal outings.
There's also a mini club for children aged four to 12, open from 10am to 2pm, and 5pm to 9pm every day, as well as a children's playground set back from the beach.
Eagles Palace +30 23770 31101-4, www.eaglespalace.gr, doubles from 146 Euros.