One day before our planned trip to Crete, the government announced that 14-day quarantine rules had been placed on six of the Greek islands, including our destination.
Some panicked emailing, Internet searching and flight switching later, and we were all set to travel to Thessaloniki, still on the safe travel corridor, for what would turn out to be a five-star edition of a COVID-safe holiday at the glorious Sani Resort. Find out everything you need to know about the gorgeous resort, and how it has managed to create a safe haven during uncertain times, here...
WATCH: Welcome to sunny Sani
How does Sani Resort deal with COVID-19?
In the old days (AKA back in 2019), you would typically be welcomed to a high-end resort with a cold cloth and a juice upon check-in. However, these aren't normal times - and Sani has managed to welcome guests quickly and efficiently with the necessary COVID checks.
Arriving at the foyer, you are asked to fill in a form with your details before having a (very quick and painless) blood test with a doctor onsite. Being led onto the veranda by a mask-wearing employee, you have to wait around ten minutes to find out your results. On being confirmed as COVID-free (we cheered alongside another couple also nervously waiting for their results), you are then driven to the main part of the resort - and so the holiday begins in earnest.
The knowledge that everyone in the hotel has gone through the same checks and are, presumably, only allowed full use of the facilities should they be tested negative for the virus, was an instant relief in the way filling in a track and trace form could never quite achieve.
Any anxiety on being on our first trip abroad since the outbreak vanished as we knew we were in a totally virus-free space - not to mention that there was hand sanitiser and fresh face masks wherever you looked - including a special set in your room alongside a sewing kit and toothbrush - meaning that you could enjoy your time on the resort almost as if nothing had changed.
Where is Sani Resort?
A 50-minute transfer from Thessaloniki airport, the Sani Resort is on mainland Greece, which is still on the UK's safe travel tunnel meaning that it is safe to travel there, and there is no quarantine necessary upon your return. Traveling to Greece also means filling out a form 24 hours before heading over to avoid a fine, so make sure you do so to avoid any problems at the airport.
What is there to do at the Sani Resort?
The resort is huge, essentially guaranteeing that you will never need to leave the grounds for anything. Multiple beaches? Check. Both family and adults-only pools? Check. A marina if you fancy hiring out a boat for the day? Check. However, for families or couples who want to mix up their days of sunning themselves with activities, the resort also has a hugely impressive array of pursuits to get on board with.
Each morning at breakfast there is a leaflet listing the exercise classes for the day (along with the free entertainment at night), and so you can take part in anything from HIIT classes to sunset yoga if the mood takes you.
One of the signature experiences at the resort includes a tennis lesson - or RNTC session - conducted by certified Rafa Nadal Academy coaches at their impressive tennis courts. You can also take part in a bike tour across the forests of Sani - which happens to be a 1,000-acre eco-reserve with 20km of lush forest trails, or nature lovers can always join the three-hour walk across the Mediterranean landscape which begins at the Sani Beach.
Where to eat at the Sani Resort?
With full room and board meaning that you can dine anywhere on the resort either for free (with the Dine Around menu) or with a €25 euro discount each (on the A La Carte menu), there are dozens of restaurants that you can try out. We particularly loved the Beach House, which allows spectacular views of the sunset over a gorgeous, golden beach with particularly delicious seafood dishes (we would recommend the scallops to start, the sauce is out of the world).
We also enjoyed Katsu, a Sushi restaurant that is definitely only for when you fancy a splurge on a fancy dinner with slightly eye-watering prices (though all very much worth it). The black cod main and the California sushi rolls were particular favourites.
How much is it to stay at Porto Sani?
Prices at Porto Sani in a Suite with Terrace or Balcony start from €256 per night, on a full-board basis. For more information, visit www.saniresort.gr.
rate per room per night starts from
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