The city of Kalamata in Greece, on the Peloponnese Peninsula, has a lot more going for it than its well-known olive exports. There’s a lively downtown area inland, some great restaurants with an ocean view, and some nice resort hotels like Filoxenia Kalamata Grecotel. It may be hard to leave there, but there are also some great Kalamata tours and day trips you can take using this property as a base.
Grecotel is a well-known chain with the Greeks, with properties in multiple locations throughout the country, but they’ve previously done little to reach foreign tourists, so they’re far from a household name with visitors from abroad. This property in Kalamata is also one of the most far-flung hotels in the city as measured in the distance from the center, but they make up for that with a large expanse of land and an excellent location on the water.
This is a sprawling property, but it’s easy to navigate and isn’t a challenge for those with mobility issues: half the rooms and all of the public areas are on one level, without a bunch of stairs to navigate. There’s an elevator to upper floors when needed. Paved pathways run through the palm trees.
While Filoxenia Kalamata Grecotel may be beachfront, the huge swimming pool is the real heart of the property. It’s a free-form resort pool that could fit half the guests into it at one time, with plenty of lounge chairs around the perimeter. Many of the rooms have a door that opens out onto the lawns and pool deck, so from those it’s easy to just stroll over to the water. It’s also just a quick walk to the beach from here if you want to go back and forth.
Waiters come around to take drink orders, with local wine and craft beer available, plus there’s a poolside restaurant serving full meals. There’s also a grocery store within walking distance if you want to stock up supplies for your room.
The main restaurant, Ipanema, has a larger indoor area next to the poolside part, a little more refined and serving a great breakfast buffet in the mornings. Then there are a few other choices right down the sidewalk that runs along the ocean. We had several nice meals at restaurants with a view that were just down the street from the hotel, a welcome feature of the area since the Grecotel only has one restaurant.
The seafront promenade basically ends at this resort, meaning this is the only one on the strip that has its own beachfront area adjoining the hotel. With most of the others in Kalamata, including all of them along that walkway, the resort is on the opposite side of the street, not on the beach. So the Fixoxenia resort has its own chairs and umbrellas available to guests. The view from here, with mountains to the left leading down to the Mani Peninsula, is fantastic.
As you can probably tell from the photo above, however, this is not the kind of beach you’re used to if you’re coming from the Americas or Asia. Like most of them in this region, it’s rocky, not sandy. The plus side of that is that the water is really clear and beautiful. The downside is that you’d better bring some water shoes because it’s quite difficult to enter the water to swim without them, much less walk anywhere on the beach.
Rooms at the Filoxenia Kalamata Resort come in several categories, mostly defined by their location and view. Outside-facing ones have “garden” in them, “sea view” ones have at least a partial water view, while the one I was in was a “pool room” that had outdoor furniture facing the swimming area.
Most are rather average in size but are well-equipped with a mini fridge, safe, cable TV, bathroom toiletries, and an ample closet for two. The Wi-Fi held up even during a travel bloggers’ conference, which is a rigorous challenge for a spread-out hotel.
For an upgrade, the best bets are the family interconnecting suites and the master suites with a direct sea view. See the descriptions here.
This resort is large enough to host conventions for hundreds, with multiple meeting rooms and outdoor event areas. There’s also a spa on site with an indoor pool and sauna, plus a fitness center.
Rates start at around $150, though it’s hard to shop around because they seem to be quite slack about keeping their availability updated on the hotel booking sites: it often shows up as unavailable no matter what month you punch in. See more information at the Grecotel site here and book a room there, at Booking, or at Expedia.
Photos and article by Hotel Scoop editor Tim Leffel. He was hosted at the Filoxenia Kalamata Grecotel while being part of the management team at the TBEX Europe bloggers conference, where Grecotel was one of the sponsors. As always, all opinions are his own. All photos by Leffel except the room shot, courtesy of the property.