Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Rastoni Hotel, Greece

by Nancy Snipper
Aegina’s beautiful respite 


Rastoni in ancient Greek means ‘relaxing’, and this paradise nook, near the port of Aegina Island (a one-hour ferry-ride from Athens) is a short easy walk up from the buzz below. Yet the serenity is sublime. My room at Rastoni – a boutique hotel – overlooks a courtyard spilling over in floral growth; and at every turn along the stone pathways, vistas of trees, the still blue waters of the Aegean Sea and the gentle peaks of the Peloponnese greet the eye.   The scent of jasmine wafts up; my senses are steeped in an oasis of tranquility.
 Japanese-style room 

View from Japanese-style room

 All this appears from my room; Japanese-style door shutters fronted with glass doors open up to a stunning balcony.  I am staring out to the ancient site of Kolona Hill, topped by a single sixth-century partial column of the Temple of Apollo.  This inspiring panoramic view is enriched by the fact that the hotel used to be a property for farming the pistachio – a nut for which Aegina is renowned. 

 There is a pastoral pleasantness here, and fact that Rastoni has selected a style of design that is Japanese/Thai makes the entire premise Zen in feel. Here the oriental fuses with the Greek; the lobby has preserved an ancient Greek wall found during the archeological excavation of the site.

Lobby with preserved ruins
Twelve enormous rooms remarkably harmonize in colour and décor with the setting.  Built in 2004, Rastoni offers 12 rooms - each impeccably furnished in varying styles with fitting monikers: country, rama (tropical in flavor with its own loft), Barbados (still sporting Oriental touches but influenced by the Caribbean) and Japanese – which is my room (#6 ).   
My bed, topped by a ceiling fan, has a thin cotton canopy overhead. It drapes diaphanously to the floor and is tied to the bed posts with tassels. The head rest is simple in line and curve. Wood carved with oriental floral reliefs enriches the wood and cane furnishings that are most pleasing.
 Of course Rastoni comes with all those modern amenities (air conditioning, TV, Internet), but they don’t take away from the idyllic ambiance that wraps each guest in a cocoon of calm.

 I want to stay here for a very long time!  
Rastoni‘s website is: www.rastoni.gr   
For reservations, email:  info@rastoni.gr  
Telephone: +30 22970-27039