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Hip beach retreat with a lantern-lit pool on the Athenian Riviera, a 30-minute drive from the Acropolis
On the Vouliagmeni Peninsula, 12 miles south of central Athens, the Margi is a boutique beach retreat with a tasteful, arty vibe that sets it apart from many of the city’s hotels. From the Buddha Bar–style music wafting from the speakers to the uber-cool staff, this 89-room property has hip hotel written all over it. Each room has a balcony and either overlooks the pool (Superior Rooms), the pine forest or the Athenian Riviera (Executive Rooms), and feels a million miles away from the hectic, historic capital.
Bed and Bath
The 89 rooms are done up in earth tones and echo the Mediterranean and Near East accents found throughout the property: Oriental rugs, wooden furniture, vintage metal pieces. The rooms are on the small side but are made to feel homey with down comforters, natural Korres bath products, 24-hour room service, free WiFi and in-room massage and beauty treatments. Odd-numbered rooms in the five-story hotel have the best balconies and coastal views.
The pièce de résistance is the lantern-lit pool area, with daybeds shaded by billowy curtains. Arabic music floats over all of it, and the low-lit scene is the best place to hang out on a warm night. The poolside restaurant, Malabar, serves classic Mediterranean dishes. In winter, the lobby features a crackling fireplace. Owner Maria Stavridis displays her personal collection of 18th- and 19th-century antiques in some of the public rooms. Be sure to dine at Bakù where award-winning chef Panagiotis Giakalis serves ethnic dishes made with local produce.
In the Area
Athens’s best golf course, at Glyfada, is about 10 minutes away. The hotel’s concierge can arrange tee times for you. The Nautical Club of Vouliagmeni runs a marina and water sports club close to the Margi. You can learn to water-ski, check out Olympic competition sailboats and facilities, or swim in a heated outdoor pool. The marina offers boat tours of the area, as well. Although the area isn’t known for ruins, this is Greece, so there are some ancient sites to see in Vouliagmeni. The Temple of Apollo Zoster was discovered by some children playing around Astir Beach, and it’s said that the mother of the twins Apollo and Artemis came here to prepare to give birth.