Dare I say Gennadi Grand Resort is the best hotel I’ve ever been to? It sounds so outlandish and overly complimentary, but I think it might be true.
P and I stayed only for two nights, but we were both blown away at the high standard and lavish luxury we experienced – and the hotel isn’t even complete.
It opened in late May, so just one month before we arrived. Some areas are still being finished and the landscaping is in progress, but you can’t hurry nature.
None of that matters in the slightest, everything that is there already is extravagantly swanky. I want to tell you all about Gennadi Grand Resort, but where to begin…
Getting there and back
We arrived just after 6pm on a Friday evening, having first driven right past it. Despite the upper east side of the island being very built up with a dense tourist population, Gennadi, on the south east, remains very rural.
To one side of the highway are mountains, and the other the ocean. Then out of nowhere appears the entrance for Gennadi Grand Resort. It has a large car park that is free to use, and it also has car hire available.
However, if you are going to hire a car I would recommend doing so at the airport because a taxi will cost you a lot, possibly €80. You can get a bus, but the timetable will be restrictive and taxis are so expensive across the entire island that renting a car is well worth the money. Just make sure the named driver has a credit card! They take a holding deposit when you hire a car, and they cannot use anyone else’s.
I don’t drive so the car we rented was in P’s name, but he didn’t have a credit card with him. I did, but they said they couldn’t take it. We had to give €200 in cash for them to hold, and pay €20 a day for them to keep it.
We had the car for three days so lost out on €60 – the car only cost €48 so we weren’t happy and as we sat in the rental office figuring it out, lots of people came and went experiencing the same issue.
I’m glad we had the car, not just for getting to and from the airport, but for traveling around the island.
Everywhere you go in Gennadi Grand Resort there is water and everywhere you go will keep you watered.
My biggest issue with hotels tends to be the size of the pool, so I was delighted to discover that Gennadi Grand Resort had two main pools, side-by-side, that are ginormous. All around the large sunbeds with sumptuously thick padding to make for a lavish sun bathing experience.
There is another pool area inside the main grounds, with an island of plants in the middle. There are shallow pools skirting different areas of the hotel and of course there is the ocean and a private beach filled with loungers and plenty of water sports available to try.
Underneath the hotel you will find the gym and spa. The exercise facilities are all brand new, with an impressive offering, and there is an indoor pool. This one doesn’t come with a bar but does have adjoining sauna and steam rooms.
Here you can also have a massage or beauty treatment, if you go for the former make sure to specify how intense you’d like it to be as both P and I found the massage far too light.
There is even a small outdoor gym area, much like you get in public parks, with funny little trinkets that use your body weight.
I think every ground floor room has a private pool and decking area. P and I were on the first floor so no pool to ourselves, but we did have a balcony that overlooked the main pool area and the beach behind it. It was innovatively designed and made great use of space.
Food & drink
Throughout the understated, yet magnificent, Gennadi Grand Resort are eight bars and restaurants. At Φiloxenia you will find a live and interactive show kitchen, wholefood corner, gluten free products, super food station, vegetarian delicacies, Greek traditional specialties, premium cold cuts and cheese Salumeria showcase station, pizza and pasta station, desserts, Greek delights and freshly cut fruits.
Εδesma, the fine dining restaurant, offers creatively prepared local and seafood degustation menus that will re-define the traditional flavours that everyone associates with Greece.
There is an exclusive Level 2 breakfast restaurant on the roof with panoramic sea views that is open only to guests with specific rooms, a steak house, an all-day a la carte restaurant, a traditional tavern serving Greek tapas (mezedes) and a beach deli restaurant.
Last but not least, in the main building with a large terrace, The Grand Bar, with classic cocktails and wonderful live music.
Finally I have to take a moment to applaud the service we received – it was attentive and impeccable. Wherever I was in the resort, whatever I was doing, whatever I needed, every single member of staff was not only stunningly affable, but sought to go above and beyond for me.
Rates at Gennadi Grand Resort start at €250 (approx. £223) per night, based on double occupancy with breakfast. Half board and ultra-all-inclusive options will also be available.