A Mountain Retreat at Villa Vager in Greece’s Peloponnese

Two hours southwest of Athens on the Peloponnese Peninsula, the town of Levidi makes a great base for exploring the Arcadian mountains, historic cities like Sparta and Nafplion, and the ancient wine region of Nemea. The town is small—one main square ringed by a few side streets—and home to just 1,000 people. If you want to get a taste of Greek village life, this is the place to do it, and if you want to do it while sleeping in a luxurious room, look no further than Villa Vager.

Set on a hillside on the edge of town, Villa Vager offers nine suites with stone walls, hardwood floors, wood-beamed ceilings, and wood-shuttered windows. Every room has a view, and there are several patios from which to take in the mountains in the distance and the town below. Even thought the hotel is on the edge of town, it still feels very much a part of village life—for both good and bad. It’s an easy walk downhill to town, and in the morning, you hear the sound of the village as it comes to life, complete with crowing roosters, singing children, and the occasional barking dogs.

My husband and I were celebrating our ten-year wedding anniversary, so we opted to splash out on the Honeymoon Suite, which had a very comfortable King bed draped in goose-down bedding, a small sitting area with fireplace, and a private balcony with a view of the mountains.

There was also a small day bed, an upstairs sleeping loft, a large antique armoire for storage, and an upstairs sleeping loft. There was local art on the walls and beautiful accents like wrought-iron hanging sconce lighting. For the occasion of our anniversary, the bed had been strewn with rose petals, and we received a small cake as a welcome treat. Our room also had a small bathroom with a walk-in shower and Molten Brown toiletries.

Each morning, we were treated to a breakfast spread that included yogurt and honey, a variety of pastries and fruit, and savory items like quiche and spanikopita, a traditional Greek spinach pie.

We filled our days exploring the surrounding region, and partaking in the hotel’s many activities on offer. Among them: a ATV ride through the mountains, a short cooking demonstration, and a communal dinner with the other guests. We loved the ATV ride, but had a slight miscommunication over the cooking class and dinner. The cooking class was billed as a two-hour, hands-on class, but in reality was a short, but very informative demonstration in how to prepare Greek salad, tzatziki, and pastitsio. We also thought the dinner was to be a private, candlelit dinner on the terrace on a separate night from the cooking class, but it turned out to be a communal dinner indoors with other guests, including some friends of the owners, and dining on the meal we’d just seen made. We enjoyed both experiences, both both situations revealed a bit of inconsistency in the hotel’s service.


For the price—starting at around $150 per night—the service could use a bit of polish. However, Villa Vager is one of the few luxury hotels in the area, and it definitely provides a level of comfort and grandeur that can be harder to find in Greece’s rural areas. It’s stylish and luxurious, with a very grounded sense of place, and it’s location is perfect for exploring this less-visited part of Greece. Make your reservation at the hotel website, Hotels.com or Expedia.

 

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