I can’t believe it is our last two nights in Greece, as we have just had such an amazing few weeks here, and loved it so much. So we really wanted to finish it in style, and relax and unwind before the hustle and bustle of Turkey.
So what better place than a resort in Halkidiki region.
We were really pleased when we learned that Porto Carras Grand Resort was still open at the end of October. So after Meteora, we drove there, and are so glad we did.
As soon as we arrived, we knew we had made the right decision. We passed the gated entrance, and a little train passes us with passengers going to various locations on the vast property.
We drive our car right up to the front entrance/door, and the doorman gives us a park adjacent, at the front, and offers to assist us with our luggage.
As we check in, the lady on the front desk tells us she has been working there (I think) 30 years. She is very charming, and helpful and we have found this to be the case in so many of the places in Greece. This is why we have loved Greece so much too.
We enter our suite and have a lovely view over the mountain ranges, and the golf course.
It is a large main suite, and it has a mini bar fridge and a safety deposit box. And I like the fact it has a balcony with a peaceful view for my morning coffee.
Oh, and did I mention the beautiful soft white sheets that both large beds are made up with?
Something I will always remember here is the scent of the fabric softener used in the sheets. Weird, but to me, that is the perfume of soft floral notes, that comes to mind as I tuck myself in for the evening later that night.
The en-suite is large, and fluffy toweling white robes are available so you can walk to the spa, or relax after a nice long hot shower or bath.
We head downstairs and want to familiarise ourselves with all that is available. There is the very modern Purple Bar, and a free internet, so there are quite a few people gathered around. It is a cool day, but this resort is open as it is a long weekend in Greece – nice!
We have a package which includes house wines, and various other drinks including coffee and hot chocolate, and there is a nice side buffet of food – both sweet and savory to select too.
We head out to one of the foyer areas of Porto Carras Grand Resort and as we do, we meet two lovely ladies who are holidaying from England.
Soon we are having the best laugh and drink together. Better than my coffee and magazine all alone (Explorason was watching You-Tube). So we sit and enjoy their company for quite a while.
We are so busy chatting, I forget I want a sunset photo, so we race outside and have a little walk on the beach. Explorason has a run, but it is pretty cool now, so we don’t last too long on the beach.
As we return, I just catch the sun going down over the pool and beach area.
The pools are just beautiful at night with their lights on. There are several pools, including one that has water slides for the kids. Pity, it is not warmer: we might just have to come back in spring. Explorason loves watersides!
We head back inside the hotel and before we know it, it is dinner time. We have arranged to meet our new friends.
Now I am really, really impressed with the meals at Porto Carras Grand Resort.
It is a buffet style smorgasbord, and the selection is endless. Explorason finds a load of English type foods – baked beans, chicken nuggets and chips and that is ’round one’ for him. He manages another plate of vegetables and then goes for the desserts.
The presentation of the food is five star. There are so many choices I really don’t know what to select. I do like the fact they have some great Greek dishes, so I chose a variety of those, and went and poured myself a glass of white wine.
We end up going back to our suite, and Explorason enjoys all the lovely toiletries and a bubble bath in a luxury big bath.
Next day breakfast was just as delightful.
The selections of bread for starters were pretty cool. I like the fact they have a full English cooked breakfast, plus Greek breakfast, and Continental breakfast amongst other delicacies. Loads of different fruits too, and I can even make a cappuccino.
Oh, and did I mention French Toast? I can feel my waistband expanding already!
There is quite a range of beautiful boutiques, jewelers, and gift stores on the ground floor of Porto Carras Grand Resort, and so we go for a bit of a shop that morning. I am so, so in love with these shoes, but being the second to last day of the season, they had run out of my size. Another reason to return in the spring, I say! There are also some lovely glass dishes that are really lovely, and I manage to sneak in a purchase of a Christmas gift for Explorason without him seeing.
We meet the lovely English ladies for coffee on the patio overlooking the pool, and sit and chat the morning away. The sun is shining and for Autumn, it is a perfect Greek day. One of the ladies gives me some Turkish Lira she had with her – how kind. This proves to really come in handily on our next night, so you will have to read that blog to find out why. Bless her – it was such a kind thing to do!
Time for some lunch – not that we needed it after the big breakfast, but I am delighted with the healthy choices they have available. I do love the way they display their food here.
This resort was listed as winning the World Travel Awards 2013 as Greece’s leading Family Resort, and I am sure the amazing gourmet selection added to that achievement too.
Now it is my time to feel special. They have the Thalassotherapy Spa (meaning ‘sea treat’) down on the pool level. Children are not permitted to use it either, so this is my time!
The entrance way is candle lit, and lovely essential oils seem to permeate the air. The hallway leads to a variety of change rooms, treatment rooms, and different spa and swimming pools.
I first use the Sithonia Spa, and naturally, it is sea water. But the joy is it is lovely and warm. I lie back as it gently massages with the bubbles. There are various areas for different jet massages too.
I then get to us the hyrax pool area which is Jacuzzi style within the pool itself. Oh, it is bliss!
I even try a swim under the mushroom shaped fountain. Being salt water though, it feels like I am under a saltwater waterfall.
So time to head out for a few laps in the pool. I feel so refreshed – and it has been a wonderful way to spend some time relaxing. It really is so nice and warm, and just what I needed.
There is an indoor pool right in the spa, so it is only a short walk and I am in there doing laps. As it overlooks the garden and pool area toward the sea, I can just imagine how wonderful this would be in the summertime.
I pass by the gymnasium and relaxation room on the way to get changed. As I leave I see there is also a Kids’ Club that functions during high season.
We take a lovely long walk along the beach to the marina in the resort complex. Then we are back to meet our friends for a pre-dinner drink. They are leaving to head back to England, so we sadly say goodbye to them just as it is our dinner time.
We are surprised that even though this is the last night the Porto Carras Grand Resort is open, that the selection of dishes is incredibly large. The staff is so friendly and helpful, and we feel pretty special.
What a perfect place to end our time in Greece.
Thank you Porto Carras Grand Resort for the wonderful time, and we do hope we return again.
As we leave, we are presented with a lunch bag for each of us, for our long day’s car journey – now that is a five-star service!
How incredibly special did we feel ?!
These are the little things that make this resort different from the others – really a perfect ending!
We loved Porto Carras Grand Resort, Halkidiki, Greece
Accommodation Name: Porto Carras Grand Resort
Location: PORTO CARRAS, SITHONIA, 63081, HALKIDIKI, GREECE.
Date stayed: October 2014
Breakfast: Yes – fully inclusive meal packages are available and the food range is complete and fantastic
Bar: Yes, depending on the time of year, there are several bars including a pool/beach bar
Wi-fi: Available in some areas complimentary
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