SPETSES ISLAND, GREECE
Beautifully designed boutique hotel on a serene island on the Myrtoan coast with intimate facilities for group retreats.
Available on request
IN A NUTSHELL
Located in a quiet street very near the beach on the gorgeous island of Spetses, this charming, newly-renovated retreat venue in Greece offers stylish, yet cosy facilities for yoga, Pilates, wellness, vegan cooking, meditation, fitness and dance getaways. Lovingly run by Hannah and Karl Hindi, this Spetsiotis-style house was one of the first hotels on the island, and the couple have created a friendly, easy-going family atmosphere. Named in honour of Hannah's Greek grandma - "yaya" means grandmother in Greek - the venue spans two adjacent pretty, white buildings and its facilities include a bright and airy yoga studio, a pool and large deck, a lounge and a library. The 15 characterful bedrooms include stylish suites and comfortable doubles and twins. With museums and hiking trails on the doorstep, and neighbouring islands beckoning, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to activities.
INDOOR RETREAT SPACES
The Yayaki Studio on the lower ground floor of the main house is a calming, peaceful 40 sq metre space with five windows. It has been beautifully designed with big, arched mirrors and different types of lighting, including candlelight, and is an ideal space for yoga and Pilates practice, workouts, seminars, meditation, group sessions and dance. There are 15 Chin Mudra mats, straps and bricks, as well as large pillows for meditation. It has air conditioning and ceiling fans, a big screen can be installed upon request, and there is a portable sound system, as well as plenty of storage space and WiFi.
OUTDOOR RETREAT SPACES
The pool is a Greek oasis and has a surrounding deck that can be cleared for outdoor workouts or yoga sessions. Surrounded by comfortable sunbeds and a few umbrellas, the pool is open from March until November. The garden, teeming with bright and cheerful bourgainvillea, can be used for activities, and the beach is a five-minute walk away.
The 15 bedrooms can all be made into twin rooms and all have a private bathroom. Each room has its own personality. Interiors are inspired by the traditional architecture of Spetses’ houses and the island’s nature - they're adorned with Greek traditional and family vases, frames, pictures and vintage objects. In the main house there are two suites, nine deluxe rooms and three deluxe balcony rooms, while the smaller house has one suite.
The most luxurious rooms are the suites. The Panorama Suite on the first floor of the main house has a large private terrace, the same size as the room, offering a 180 degrees view of the mountain, the pool and the Myrtoan Sea. It has original terracotta tiles, an outdoor shower and an Italian shower, as well as a lounge area. The Yayaki Suite is on the first floor of the little house and has a private entrance, through its own terrace. It's styled in natural fabrics and materials, including Greek straw, linen and cotton, and boasts big wardrobes, a bathtub, an indoor lounge, a large desk and a private outdoor lounge.
With a double bed, twin beds and an extra bed, The Apartment on the ground floor of the main house can accommodate up to five people and is perfect for a family, long stay or group of friends who will enjoy its shared living room, big wardrobes and a double Italian shower. The Deluxe Balcony Rooms are in the main house, on the second floor, and have a traditional balcony, while the Deluxe Rooms offer a view of the pool and the colourful bougainvillea.
The reception area, which is in the smaller house, has been designed as a living room, with a comfortable seating area filled with Greek-style cushions, a small library and an elegant open-kitchen counter. The library contains board games and books about yoga, wellness, travel, photography and lifestyle - they're yours to borrow and curl up with on the sofa, or by the marble-top tables. Nearby, there's the Yayaki boutique corner, where Spetses products, such as olive oil soaps, handmade plates by a Serifos artist, postcards, lucky charms and essential oils are on sale. There's a cafe-like atmosphere with free, high-speed wi-fi. This is the perfect indoor space if you are looking for some cool and shade during summer or somewhere to hide away during rainy days.
The island is home to wonderful therapists and you can have physiotherapy, Thai massage, Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage and acupuncture in the privacy of your room, in the studio or at the therapist’s clinic, five minutes walk away from Yayaki Spetses.
There are facilities for vegan cooking workshops, yoga and fitness on site, or you might want to take a kaiki (wooden fishing boat) trip around the island. Walkers can hike to the lighthouse, or you can cycle or horse ride round the island. You can even run the 25km route round the entire island. Visit the monastery which sits on the hilltop of the island, take part in workshops and sample local produce, including yogurt, honey, pastas and cookies.
Enjoy the history and heritage on the island - everything is within walking distance. Visit the Bouboulina and Spetses museums, view the Epidor ancient Greek theatre, take a trip to nearby Hydra island or Nafplio, former capital of Greece.
You can enjoy your meals indoors or outdoors - it's your choice, and there are single tables and multiples available for your use. No meat is eaten at the venue - the menus pivot on plant-based food and traditional Greek fare. Allergies can be managed, and alternatives are offered for those on a gluten-free, dairy-free or diabetic diet. The breakfast menu includes Greek yoghurt and homemade granola, fresh bread, freshly squeezed orange juice, a hot drink, a bread basket, a selection of homemade jams, honey and butter. Homemade snacks are available all day on the counter of the open-plan kitchen.
All the food used at the venue is locally produced and organic, and many of the products - tomatoes, cucumbers, greens and herbs - are grown in the garden. All mattresses are made out of coconut fibre, by Coco-Mat, and organic bathroom products are by Olive Era. Eco-friendly yoga equipment by Chin Mudra is used.
The attention to detail. Karl has worked in VIP customer relations in five star hospitality in London, Paris and Geneva, while Hannah has a master's degree in Public Relations - and it shows.
The Less Than Ordinary
The two to three-hour ferry journey from Piraeus stops at three beautiful islands, but it isn't for those without strong sea legs. There are also a lot of scooters on the island.
Yayaki Spetses, Spetses Island, 18050, Greece