Aria Hotels (www.ariahotels.gr), a specialist in authentic Greek hospitality in the country’s lesser-known hideaways has added the Elatos Resort & Health Club (www.elatos.com) to its collection of boutique hotels and villas. Elatos is a hidden gem just over two hours from Athens on Greece’s Mount Parnassos offering quiet, relaxed skiing in winter and glorious hiking, mountain biking and other country pursuits all year round. In the coming months the hotel will undergo a number of improvements and upgrades which should be completed by December 2013.
The Elatos resort which was built in 1996 comprises 39 classic chalets built using timber specially imported from Finland. Each is beautifully integrated into the landscape, typically nestling among fir trees. There are seven different types of chalet to choose from, accommodating between two and six people in two or three bedrooms, each ranging from 70 to 140 sq m. All chalets are equipped with a living room, fireplace and kitchen, one or two bathrooms and a veranda. Facilities include satellite TV, telephone, minibar and independently controlled heating.
In the central clubhouse is a restaurant, bar, health club and conference centre. Aria Hotels will be introducing an all-new restaurant concept combining local cuisine with an innovative international touch. The health club provides a beautiful heated indoor swimming pool under a magnificent vaulted wooden ceiling, a sauna, Jacuzzi and fully equipped gym with a wide range of massage, health and beauty treatments available. For children there is babysitting and a mini club catering for every need, keeping younger members of the family busy, happy and safe.
Elatos also caters for conferences, events and special occasions. The hotel’s stylish conference centre has a meeting room that can be set up in various configurations for up to 80 people and offers all the necessary AV and office facilities for an efficient corporate event. For weddings and baptisms the resort has its own private church.
Commenting on the addition of Elatos to its collection of properties, Aria Hotels’ Dafni Kosmidou stated: “Whether in winter or summer this resort offers a classic log cabin escape in the mountains for couples, groups of friends or families. It combines the thrill of being in your own self-contained adventure land with all the facilities of a hotel and health club on your doorstep. We think it is Greece’s best-kept secret. The hotel’s owning family has created a resort that is a beautiful expression of their passion for this unique region. We are proud to be adding this precious property to the Aria collection”.
At 2,260 metres Mount Parnassos is one of the highest mountains in Greece meaning a long skiing season with lasting snow coverage for on and off-piste skiing. It has two main skiing areas, Kellária and Fterólakka, and a small private ski centre, Gerontovrachos, which is ideal for families with younger children who want to learn alpine skiing in a safe and secure environment.
Its rich biodiversity makes Mount Parnassos a fascinating retreat for lovers of nature and the outdoor life all year round. The resort is perfect for hiking, mountain biking, off road driving, horse riding and bird watching and for extreme sports enthusiasts there is sky diving. A number of monasteries in the region also make it popular for religious tourism. These include the 11th century Monastery of Osios Loukas, one of the most important Byzantine monuments in Greece, just 50 minutes away from the resort. Meanwhile the picturesque coastal town of Galaxidi with its crystal clear waters is only 45 minutes away. In nearby Arachova and Livadi there is plenty of nightlife with numerous lively bars and restaurants.
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Delphi is just 30 minutes’ drive from Elatos. It ranks among the most significant archaeological sites of the ancient world. It was home to the ‘Delphic oracle’, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world and was a major site for the worship of the god Apollo. Delphi was also the site of the Pythian Games, one of the precursors of the Modern Olympics.