Buca Beach Resort
What We Love
- A five-star luxury hotel on the coast of Greece, with breakfast, dinner and much moreThe five-star touches throughout this luxurious hotel
- Indulging with a yoga class or a personalized treatment in the spa
- Ambling down to the beach for a dip in the clear waters
- Having breakfast and dinner included with your stay
What To Know
- Rooms are very spacious and modern
- Bathrooms are separated from the rooms only by glass walls – privacy is not an option
- Free WiFi
The second-largest city in Greece’s Peloponnese, the lovely town of Kalamata has much more to offer than olives (although you should definitely try some of these while you’re visiting the Messenian capital). Case in point: Buca Beach Resort, a luxurious five-star escape perched on a pristine portion of this idyllic coastline.
Here, you’ll find Messenian Gulf views and the sandy beaches that have earned Greece its picture-postcard reputation. But it’s not just the setting that make this place so special. Local flavors shape the menu and wine list in the restaurant, while the contemporary design is packed with high-end, international touches.
Pull up a Charles Eames-inspired chair in your guestroom or on your private balcony, or soothe your sun-weary muscles with a custom spa treatment that draws on an array of global techniques. Add to that a sauna, steam bath, outdoor hydromassage facilities and restaurant terrace with unspoiled sea views, and you have a recipe for pure bliss.
Superior Double With Pool View rooms are filled with rich colors and earthy undertones, plus plenty of designer touches, from the hardwood floors and marble bathrooms to the feather pillows and Charles Eames-inspired desk chairs. If the generous proportions aren’t enough, you can also enjoy the impressive pool views from your private balcony.
Buca Beach Resort fills its two bars and restaurant with local and raw produce to create its Mediterranean menus. When you’re finished sampling the delights of the varied buffet in Olive Restaurant, you can enjoy a signature cocktail or one of the world famous wines produced in the wider area of Peloponnese. For unspoiled views of the Messenian Gulf, the hotel’s extensive terraces can seat more than 450 guests outdoors.
Whatever your exercise and relaxation goals, you’ll find the gym and additional wellness center fully equipped to meet them. Hit the treadmill, or soothe weary muscles in the Jacuzzi, sauna, steam bath or outdoor hydromassage facilities. Tailor-made aromatherapy, massage and skincare treatments are also available.
Buca Beach Resort credits its exclusivity and five-star rating in large part to its perfect Kalamata location. Just under eight miles from the airport and set away from the pretty town, the property makes the most of its Messinian Gulf views and sandy beaches.
How to Get There
We love Buca. Only minor niggles below. The food is excellent and we love the a la carte evenings. It is very civilised. The lunch buffet is limited in range. Breakfast is very good. The rooms are good. The decor is unbelievably sparse though.
The staff are excellent. The pool is pretty cold. Beach towels are top quality and endlessly available.
The biking and beach teams are excellent. It was a fantastic holiday
Ok, for others thinking of booking. The free drinks per week in the room include red and white wine. I’d expect at least a half bottle, if not a full one. But no, it’s a quarter bottle. That does not last a week!
A free cocktail? Yes please. Something for free is where something you might have bought is now free. But no. It’s a sample. Seriously. That’s not a free cocktail. No one goes up to the bar to buy a sample.
Free smoothies? You’re already ahead of me now. It’s a sample size. But wait. You think at 12 noon you have a bit of time to get it? They are available from 12- 12.10. Aha. We missed out but we’ll get it the next day. But no. We turned up at 12.05. Confident of getting our tiny portions. But no, we did not qualify. We had to be counted by being around the pool at 11.50. Then the smoothie is made and available. But not for latecomers.
These are bigged up by neilson as extra, convivial treats. It’s seriously misleading.
But do go. Neilson are to be encouraged to offer more adult only resorts or weeks!
We've been on many Neilson trips over the last decade - but first time at Buca. Really enjoyed it - the room was great. The beach and sailing area is the largest I've seen. Pool was excellent.
They probably need to get a larger supply of boats as there were several times when all boats were in use for classes and not available for free-sailing. That said, the beach crew were great and made everything work.
The food was good, but perhaps not quite at the level we've come to expect. The choice at lunch was a bit limited - more salad - healthy options needed.
The trip to the olive oil 'press' was great fun.
Have already re-booked for next year ...
This is definitely a Neilson plus experience.
Let's start with the rooms - simply furnished, spotlessly clean, lovely complimentary shampoo etc, spacious, great aircon, fridge in room - always a bonus....
Staff - the staff are overall fantastic from the local staff who put us to shame with their english, to the British instructors. Just occasionally one may be having a bad day but it is far outshone by the lovely manner of the vast majority.
Food - oh my word, this is where Buca has enhanced the Neilson experience. The a la carte in the evening is elegant, interesting, with a twist to local food. TBH I was shocked to see a review further down criticising the food - my favourite dishes were the stuffed calamari, the tuna tartare (such a showstopper with the dry ice experience), the octopus, the fillet beef ....the list goes on and on.....
Breakfast choice is large and I don't know how they do it but the poached eggs are always cooked to perfection. i saw a comment about the bacon - an experienced traveller will know that bacon in southern europe is not what we are used to, but with so much choice on offer does it matter? I was totally hooked on the greek yogurt with a topping of "grapes in syrup". I loved these so much that I have even come away with the recipe!
The lunchtime buffet has so much choice that it is difficult not to overeat, and with two chill counters of different salads and dressings you can never be short of a choice.
The restaurant staff are AMAZING and you are always greeted with a smile, and if you smile back and engage with the staff they will go over and beyond...... one guest did not like their dessert and the waitress was quick to notice and insist on them choosing another one with a smile and a "neilson wants you to be happy, it is no problem".
The activities are excellent - do not expect lots of one to one tuition unless you are prepared to pay extra, but the group classes are included and the choice is amazing from tennis to sailing to stand up paddle board to boxercise.....if you are regular neilson folk you will know all this already. Loads of equipment here - I would say the best equipped club we have been to.
However where Buca wins hands down is that this is an adults only club - not all young schmoozing couples, but a mixed age group who just appreciate a quieter atmosphere. it isn't that I don't like children but having been there and had the t shirt, it is rather nice to have some time without ....well done Neilson for providing that option.
Oh and did I mention the spa....?
I am sure there is much more I could tell you - but i expect you have the gist....this is not five star resort where you will be waited on hand and foot - this is Neilson at their best providing the opportunity to "relax as hard as you can" - their top end with the staff to match!
This was our second trip to Neilson's Buca resort. We loved it last time and wanted to have a more leisurely 2 weeks this time. Once again the accomodation and food/service was superb. The a la carte menu did get rather repetitive in second week and would actually prefer buffer dinner as breackfats/lunch better than the evening meals. The tennis coaching was excellent although unbeknown to us coach Mark Petchey was visiting the first week we were there and so the tennis was very busy. The second week of tennis with coaches Aaron and Amy was even better and as far as social tennis went there were more opportunities to play. The fitness classes with Rosie were excellent- my first expeirence of yoga classes- particualrly wonderful n the outside fitness deck! The bike staff were great too although they could do with even more bikes as several times we tried and failed to get mountain bikes for free ride. Unfortunatetely the beach staff and boats were not as good as last year- probably the result of being nearly at the end of the season rather than begining plus we had a storm come through on day which meant boats derigged and many got damaged on the process! Seemed be lack expertise,reduced numbers staff plus poor orgainisation and leadership on the beach so didn't sail as much as I would have liked. eg Beach staff playing ball on the beach instead of getting boats ready for clients after the storm until a fellow holidaymaker came and took the ball off them in disgust! Things seem to improve a little bit by the end of the second week. Luckily we weren't here just for the beach!
Probably one of my best holidays, exceeded my expectations. Adults only which is a bonus. my wife likes to relax, I like to do a bit of everything, my sons very active. Kept us all happy.
Shares cycling and tennis with the Mesini Neilson next door which is family friendly. We went over for a drink a couple of times as it’s a bit livelier at night.
Food good, a la carte dinner very good, drinks around city pub prices. Neilson staff brilliant. Really helpful and encouraging for all activities.
Lots of cycling nearby, good water-sports. Social games good beach volleyball fun, “booze and balls” tennis a real laugh.
A couple of tips
Book your dining time for dinner early in the day if you need a specific time
Only 4 evening meals included, staff got us to pay for the first night, however on hindsight I’d have used this as one of my free ones and eaten at the local tavernas a couple of times (there are 3 within a 15 minute walk)
Fellow guests a really good bunch the week we were there.
Definitely going back!