This Luxurious Hotel In The Peloponnese Is Perfect For A Romantic Getaway
Greece is a destination that is not limited to its many beautiful islands. For example, the Peloponnese, a continental region of 8,320 square miles, has many beautiful places to explore, ranging from traditional villages to a beautiful coastline.
The Laconia region of this peninsula, in the southern Peloponnese, and the unique rock town of Monemvasia – a town built on a rock that juts out to sea – are must-visits. This is where you will find the romantic and historic, multi-award winning Kinsterna Hotel.
This impressive yet low-key 25-acre estate has been lovingly restored to its natural beauty, ensuring that it retains aspects of its eclectic historic roots and is one with the surroundings. During my visit I understood why it is more than just a place to stay when exploring the southern Peloponnese.
I was lucky enough to be invited and hosted by Kinsterna Mansion Hotel. All opinions are mine.
The Fascinating History of Kinsterna Manor
It is not known exactly when the mansion was built, but it is believed to have started sometime in the mid to late 1600s. made the perfect place to watch out for invaders.
The building reflects Ottoman, Byzantine, and Venetian features with gunhole windows, tall chimneys, and chimneys found throughout much of the property.
The Greek Revolution of 1821 saw the mansion handed over to the new Greek state and in 1870 the Greek Kapistini family purchased it. Much of the estate was uninhabited except for a small part where the last lady of Monemvassia – Lina Kaistini – lived alone. She died in the 1970s, leaving her abandoned to nature.
In 2002 the property was purchased by new owners who in 2006 had decided to completely renovate it and respect its ancient past, retaining as many historical elements as possible using original and local materials. In 2010 Kinsterna Boutique Hotel was born.
It was a huge feat to accomplish and the result is a unique luxury property showing its respect for the region’s traditions and the past through its architecture and terroir – a place that can be shared with all.
Kinsterna Manor Now
With the many natural springs in the area flowing to the hotel, the name Kinsterna means ‘cistern’ (or a reservoir of water) and on entering the magnificent courtyard you will find it dominated by a cistern surrounded by 20 columns. Take a moment to sit here and relax after your trip, listen to the sheep bleat in the hotel’s farmland and sip a lemon drink freshly made for you.
You are completely spoiled for choice with the rooms. The original building has 27 rooms and suites that have retained their Ottoman and Venetian influences. In 2012, 25 additional rooms were opened in a newer wing. Although it is not part of the original Byzantine building, it contrasts well as it blends in aesthetically with the surroundings.
The result is a total of 51 rooms and suites, most with sea views. There’s also a stunning nearly 394-square-foot villa with its own pool, if you really want to spoil yourself.
As mentioned, the decor in all rooms nods to Kinsterna’s historic past, so some rooms have bold fireplaces and you can also find gun hole windows.
Relaxation is the key ingredient here and with a choice of two swimming pools with panoramic views of the countryside and the sea, you are sure to leave feeling relaxed. A swimming pool is reserved for adults, ensuring peace and quiet. Both pools are fed by the natural spring water that surrounds the property, another nod to the hotel’s sustainable practices.
Although it’s not marketed as a spa hotel, your stay isn’t truly complete without using the on-site spa with its natural, local ingredients. I got their 90 minute signature Secret of olive oil essence holistic face and body treatment – a full body scrub using a combination of olive paste, natural clay and peach pits. Also unwind using the selection of spa services such as a hammam and an outdoor and indoor jacuzzi.
The hotel’s choice of five restaurants all use local produce as well as produce grown on their land, like extra virgin olive oil, which is even pressed on sight; herbs grown a few steps from the kitchens; sage; pepper mint; thyme; and rosemary, not to mention the honey also produced on site.
Kinsterna Mansion Activities
This luxurious mansion also offers several on-site and local activities where you can learn more about the hotel and the surrounding area.
One of the first things I would recommend doing is a tour of the mansion. It doesn’t take long, and you’ll be guided through the building to learn about the previous owners, see the unique original deeds and photographs of the property before the library’s restoration, and see how the original features of the masonry have been preserved as you walk through the rooms. You will experience for yourself how lovingly restored Kinsterna has been, as well as the opportunity to stroll through the estate’s gardens with over 250 species of plants and herbs. This mansion tour helps you understand how Kinsterna takes care of its guests and gives back to the community.
At certain times of the year, guests can participate in the harvesting, drying and pressing of grapes ready for winemaking, creating the traditional Greek drink of tsipouro. Learn about honey harvested from Kinsterna’s beehives, olive harvesting and olive oil production.
Kinsterna offers its customers the opportunity to help pick the olives by hand using small rakes and nets on the ground under the trees. Then see how the olives are ground in the mill using the traditional method. These farm-to-table practices allow you to feel at one with the environment, especially since you can take home Kinsterna’s own products, such as their very own Malvasia sweet wine – a unique product in the region. with the status of Protected Designation of Origin. .
There are also cooking classes, the art of ancient weaving, and the chance to buy handmade items from the mansion’s shop.
Or just spend your time relaxing by the pool and spa. One thing is for sure, there is no pressure and time flies once you are inside Kinsterna.
If you want to explore the region itself, you cannot come to this region of Peloponnese without taking the time to visit the unique medieval rock castle of Monemvasia.
The hotel has its own boat that can take guests on a 60-minute boat ride around it, allowing a unique view of the sea.
It’s also worth spending some time exploring the streets inside. Nicknamed the “Gibraltar of the East”, Monemvasia is a medieval walled city that juts out from a rock out to sea, connected to the mainland by a causeway. Built by the Byzantines in the 6th century, the name means “only entrance” because there is only one way to enter and exit the rocky city – through this causeway.
All the houses and buildings were built on the side of the rock facing the sea. Wander the streets to discover up to 40 Byzantine churches, including the huge church of Agia Sofia at the eastern tip – best seen from your boat trip. You will also see the small houses and the ruins of the castle at the top which offer a magnificent view of the sea and, nowadays, many tourist shops and restaurants.
Pro Tip: Monemvasia is a unique place to visit, but very crowded in the summer. Spring or fall would be the best time to visit; still warm but quieter.
A ninety-minute drive from Kinsterna brings you to the small island of Elafonisos, 11 square kilometers in size, at the southern end of the Peloponnese peninsula. A base for pirates in the 16th and 17th centuries, a visit to this small island is a complete step away from the usual island package holidays, allowing a step back in time and the chance to experience the real Greece.
Simos Beach has fine white sand, a rare cedar forest stretching along the sand dunes, and the ancient underwater city of Pavlo Petri – a sunken city with many original structures still intact.
There’s certainly plenty to see and do in the wider area, but Kinsterna being a romantic destination in itself, you’re sure to want to stay put and soak up the atmosphere. It is the ideal destination for honeymoons and couples.
Pro tip: The Kinsterna Mansion Hotel is located in the small town of Agios Stefanos, just 6.4 km from the rock of Monemvasia and a 4 to 4.5 hour drive from Athens.
Alternatively, fly to Kalamata Regional Airport, accessible from Athens and several European hubs during the summer months, and drive from there – this is a more pleasant 2.5-3 hour journey.
The mansion is located on a hill and getting around the grounds involves a steep walk. They have walking poles available, as well as golf carts to help you around the area.
In high season, rates start from €232 ($247.83) per night for a double room, going up to €600 ($640.93) for a suite and residence. Head over to their website to check out their regular deals, especially mid-week.
Discover more of Greece’s amazing and diverse atmosphere: