Water, the elixir of life, is a soothing presence at the 65,000-square-foot resort Olea All Suite Hotel, located on the Greek island Zakynthos. Housed in cubic one- and two-story concrete buildings, its 93 suites surround an expansive free-form pool that covers no less than two thirds of the property.
Indoor-outdoor flow was paramount to Block722 Architects+ co-founder Katja Margaritoglou. Guests that book the ground-level suites can swim right up to private platform decks set with simple outdoor beds for two. Second-floor accommodations have minimalist square-frame terraces and balconies with frameless glass balustrades offering views over rolling hills to the Ionian Sea. “The design brings people in sync with nature,” Margaritoglou affirms.
Olea’s vibe is sybaritic yet organic—and entirely modernist. Terrace lounges shaded by carob and olive trees appear to float on water. Knobbly bamboo partitions and rustic thatched ceilings of woven palm leaves abound. Furniture is largely oak or rattan, and walls are hand-troweled plaster.
Befitting the current vogue for self-care, the spa offers a yoga pavilion and a hammam alongside cryotherapy and essential-oil treatments incorporating local herbs. And to keep the resort a true retreat from the grind of everyday life, it is politely requested that kids under 12 stay home.
Project Team: Sotiris Tsergas; Efi Spyrou; Vasiliki Moustafatzi.