Review: Amanzoe Dining & Activities

Introduction: The Very Long Way To Italy & Greece
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Review: Emirates First Class A380 Los Angeles To Dubai
Review: Le Meridien Dubai (Emirates Dubai Connect Hotel)
Review: Emirates A380 First Class Dubai To Milan
Review: Park Hyatt Milan
Review: EasyJet A320 Milan To Santorini
Review: Mystique Santorini Hotel
Review: Amanzoe Pool Pavilion
Review: Amanzoe Dining & Activities
Review: Sofitel Athens Airport
Review: Emirates Lounge Milan Airport
Review: Dubai International Airport Hotel


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In the previous installment I wrote about our Pool Pavilion at Amanzoe, and in this installment I wanted to look at everything else the hotel has to offer, including the pool, gym, spa, beach club, restaurants, service, and much more. So, let’s get right into it.

Amanzoe’s main building

While the resort’s 50 villas are spread out over acres, there are two main public areas. There’s the main resort building, and then there’s the beach club, which is a few kilometers away.

Amanzoe has impressive architecture. When I first saw pictures of it online I thought it almost looked cheesy, like the Castle Hotel in China, but in person it looked so much more beautiful. You really feel like you’re in a Greek palace.


Amanzoe exterior

Just inside the entrance is the main reception area. In reality you’ll never really spend any time here, since with the way service works at Aman, they always come to you.


Amanzoe reception

There’s a pond (or whatever you’d like to call it) that runs alongside the main building, which is beautiful, especially at sunset.


Amanzoe property


Amanzoe property

At the end of that was some seating, which had views of the nearby hills and the water in the background. This faced directly west, so was a gorgeous setting from which to enjoy the sunset.


Amanzoe seating


Amanzoe view

Even just walking around the hotel is a treat. How palatial is this?!


Amanzoe walkway


Amanzoe walkway

Now let’s look at some specific features of the hotel.

Amanzoe pool

Amanzoe has one main pool area, which was located next to our room, up a set of stairs.


Amanzoe pool entrance

The pool would be a treat everywhere, but it was especially a treat here, given that it was always empty. That’s in spite of the fact that the hotel was at capacity. Why? Because everyone hangs out at the beach club during the day (more on that below).


Amanzoe pool


Amanzoe pool

Off to the side of the main pool was a smaller pool. I’m not sure if this was intended for kids or what, but since I never saw anyone there, I guess it could be whatever you want it to be.


Amanzoe pool

From the pool you also had views of the rest of the property, which maybe gives you a sense of the hotel’s geography. The below villas are some of Amanzoe’s residences, I believe.


Amanzoe view

Amanzoe library

Most of us probably aren’t going to Greece to read, though the hotel has a breathtaking library. There’s really not a need for something like this, but my gosh, it’s beautiful. Sometimes I came here to work, since it was such an underutilized space.


Amanzoe library


Amanzoe library


Amanzoe library

Amanzoe gym

For a fairly secluded resort, Amanzoe had an impressive gym, with tons of equipment, and even a separate yoga room.


Amanzoe gym


Amanzoe gym


Amanzoe gym


Amanzoe gym

Amanzoe spa

Amanzoe has an incredible spa, located near reception. It’s open from 10AM until 8PM, and has nine treatment rooms. As you’d expect, prices aren’t cheap, though all taxes are included, and there’s no tipping at Amans, so at least it’s an “all-in” cost.


Amanzoe spa

The spa treatment menu read as follows:

I only had one treatment while here, though it was truly one of the best spa treatments I’ve ever had.


Amanzoe treatment room

Amanzoe beach club

Since Amanzoe is on a hill, the main resort doesn’t have direct access to the beach, though there is a beach club about 5km from the hotel.

There are two ways to reach it. One way is using their constant (complimentary) shuttle service, as the drive only takes 5-10 minutes. The shuttles run all the time. Like, all the time, as you can see based on the number of cars lined up in the below picture waiting to transport guests back and forth.


Fleet of cars to & from beach club

Alternatively you can bike. Most people just bike down to the beach club, since it would probably be pretty tough to bike back up.


Amanzoe bikes

We decided to bike both times we visited, and enjoyed the ride. In reality it wasn’t much exercise at all, since it was all downhill.


Drive to Amanzoe beach club

The beach club has a similar design to the hotel itself.


Amanzoe beach club exterior

I didn’t know what to expect, though once there, I realized why everyone spends most of their days here. The beach club has two pools that run along the length of it.


Amanzoe beach club pool


Amanzoe beach club pool

The beach is pretty, and the water calm.


Amanzoe beach


Amanzoe beach

There are all kinds of non-motorized water sports to choose from. Both days we were there we decided to kayak.


Amanzoe beach club activities

There are tons of lounge chairs, both in the sun and in the shade.


Amanzoe beach club

The beach club also has a restaurant that’s open for lunch and afternoon snacks.


Amanzoe beach club restaurant


Amanzoe beach club restaurant

There’s even a spa at the beach club, should you want a treatment here.

Service at the beach club was incredible, as it was everywhere at the hotel. When we first arrived every day we were brought a welcome drink.


Amanzoe beach club welcome drink

Then we were constantly brought cold bottles of water and towels.


Amanzoe beach club water & cold towels

Now let’s talk a bit about dining at Amanzoe.

Breakfast at Amanzoe

Breakfast was available every morning from 7AM until 11AM either in the main restaurant, or via room service. The main restaurant has plenty of outdoor seating, as well as an interior area with about a dozen tables.


Amanzoe main restaurant


Amanzoe main restaurant


Amanzoe main restaurant

All rates at Amanzoe include breakfast, and you can order whatever you’d like off the menu (and as much as you want). The menu read as follows:

Every morning we’d first be brought some bread. This was the most boring part of breakfast, given that everything else was amazing, and the bread was just alright.


Amanzoe breakfast — bread

There were all kinds of great drinks, and most mornings I had an iced cappuccino and a green juice.


Amanzoe breakfast — drinks  

Below is a sampling of some of the food we had over our stay here.


Amanzoe breakfast — yogurt parfait


Amanzoe breakfast — myzithropita


Amanzoe breakfast — bougatsa


Amanzoe breakfast — rizogalo


Amanzoe breakfast — eggs benedict


Amanzoe breakfast — omelet


Amanzoe breakfast — kagianas

There was also a small buffet with cereal, fruit, yogurt, and some pastries. I never did get anything from here, since the menu was so good.


Amanzoe breakfast buffet

Lunch at Amanzoe

You have a couple of options for lunch at Amanzoe, aside from in-room dining. The most popular lunch venue is at the beach club.

The lunch menu there read as follows:

On top of that there’s a snack menu, should you want something closer to dinnertime:

Below is some of the food we had over our two lunches at the beach club.


Amanzoe lunch — Greek salad


Amanzoe lunch — spread and tuna and watermelon ceviche


Amanzoe lunch — chicken olive focaccia


Amanzoe lunch — Greek pizza

The other lunch venue is the restaurant at the main pool (not the beach club pool, but rather the one attached to Amanzoe). This transforms into their Japanese restaurant at night.


Amanzoe pool restaurant


Amanzoe pool restaurant

The pool lunch menu read as follows:

We only ate lunch here our last day, and ordered the pulled beef tacos. While they tasted good, I thought the portion was comically small.


Amanzoe lunch — pulled beef tacos

Dinner at Amanzoe

Then for dinner there are two options, in addition to in-room dining.

In the main restaurant (where breakfast is also served), the dinner menu read as follows:

There was always a selection of bread.


Amanzoe dinner — bread

We only had dinner here one night, so below is what we ordered.


Amanzoe dinner — Greek style tomato salad


Amanzoe dinner — smoked ravioli


Amanzoe dinner — black feather pressed chicken

Then the second dinner restaurant is by the pool. That’s a Japanese restaurant called Nama (Aman backwards). The menu for that read as follows:

Below are some pictures of our dinner here.


Amanzoe dinner — edamame


Amanzoe dinner — spinach and enoki mushroom


Amanzoe dinner — steamed organic


Amanzoe dinner — sushi


Amanzoe dinner — trilogy of matcha

Drinks at Amanzoe

Across the pond from the main restaurant was the bar, which was huge. It was open all day for drinks and snacks, and was a hybrid indoor/outdoor space.


Amanzoe bar


Amanzoe bar


Amanzoe bar


Amanzoe bar


Amanzoe bar

The cocktail menu read as follows:

We typically came here for sunset, given the views, and all the drinks we had were excellent.


Amanzoe cocktails


Amanzoe cocktails

In-room dining at Amanzoe

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were available via in-room dining, and that menu read as follows:

We had lunch in our room the first day, and ordered a club sandwich, a Greek salad, and beef tataki, all of which were excellent.


Amanzoe room service lunch

Amanzoe service

What makes me love Amans so much is the level of service they provide. Most of the Amans I’ve stayed at have been in Asia, where you’ll generally find a better service culture than in Europe. Furthermore, I’ve stayed at many Amans that were nearly empty. So I was very curious to see how service would be at a full Aman in Europe in summer.

Suffice to say that service was flawless.

I’m not going to lie, half of the reason I love staying at Amans is just to observe their ridiculous attention to detail. Aman is in a league of their own when it comes to their obsession with getting the details right (the only non-Aman I can think of with a similar service level is Fogo Island Inn).

There are a few “standard” Aman features you’ll find at just about any Aman, including:

  • You won’t ever be asked for your name or room number
  • You’ll never have to sign for anything, because stuff will always be charged directly to your room
  • Your room will be refreshed just about as often as you leave it, and you’ll never notice housekeeping; they even refreshed our room one hour before our check-out time
  • The GM and other managers check with each party at least once (but often twice) per day to see how everything is, if there’s anything they can plan for you, etc.; this might sound annoying (at least it sounds annoying to me, as an introvert), but I find Aman managers have a brilliant ability to read people, so they can sense if you want to talk or don’t, and will excuse themselves appropriately

That’s impressive, but in a way, expected. What amazes me is everything else. Maybe the easiest way to explain the Aman magic is to give a couple of examples:

  • One day at lunch I asked Ford “did you have the tomato salad last time, I forgot?” This was the same time that the server was pouring us water, and she said “yes he did, and you had a bite of it.”
  • We did a day trip to the island of Spetses, and the Aman recommended a restaurant. We didn’t ask them to make a reservation, didn’t say whether we’d go, etc. We decided to go to the restaurant after biking around the entire island, and when we arrived they said the following, before I could even say anything: “Mr. Schlappig from Aman? We have a table for you.”

Sometimes it’s tough to describe, but the degree to which every detail is always perfectly thought of is nothing short of a miracle to me.

What is there to do around Amanzoe?

While the resort and beach club are beautiful, there’s also quite a bit to see around the hotel. There are several small towns near the Aman, including Porto Heli. Perhaps what makes this so cool is that there are very few tourists in these towns, so it’s very different than going to Santorini or Mykonos. You can have a great dinner at many of these restaurants for 20EUR.

Our favorite activity was a day trip to the island of Spetses. This is a really cute island that’s about a five minute ferry ride from the mainland. The island doesn’t have any cars, so you can rent an ATV or electric bike and explore the entire island in just a few hours.

Ultimately I recommend visiting Amanzoe if you’re looking to relax, though, rather than if you’re looking for a super active vacation (unlike some other Amans).

Amanzoe bottom line

Many Amanjunkies rank Amanzoe as the best Aman outside of Asia, and in many cases as one of the best Amans in the world. That is very well deserved, and I’d say this is one of my five favorite hotels ever.

Amanzoe impressed me in so many ways. Yes, the resort itself is stunning and the entry level villas are some of the nicest I’ve seen. But what really impressed me was the fact that service was on par with what I’ve experienced from Amans in Asia, which is saying a lot.

Yes, this hotel is really, really expensive. But at least I feel like they deliver an unforgettable experience. I’d rather spend the money they’re charging for a hotel like this than a Ritz-Carlton resort factory (and yes, some of those hotels charge $1,000+ per night, and give you next to nothing).

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Comments

  1. What a coincidence! I published my Youtube clip of Amanzoe (with a walk through) few days ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWC1FlIINVU. It’s an absolutely stunning resort, and ranks among my favorite 3 Aman resorts (Aman Tokyo and Amanoi are the other two). That said, I found the beauty of the beach itself at Amanzoe a little underwhelming. You should also try the Aman properties in the USA and Caribbean, Ben, since they are stunning as well (and better then some of the older Asian Aman resorts). Amangiri in Utah is truly spectacular!

  2. Those menu prices are a wee bit nuts. Though I suppose not tax and tip helps it a bit but yikes.

  3. I once drank the Aman koolaid. Having been to half a dozen or so I feel the brand has lost a bit- Too much expansion of the chain and price gouging for add on services. In general the south east Asian Aman’s do a good job not so much China. All in they are about 1500$ a day with excursions etc. While it can be great for a special occasion I have recently had wonderful experiences at boutique hotels (The Siam in Bangkok for instance), Four Seasons and Six Senses for 1/2 the price.

  4. Did you happen to eat at Water of Love in Spetses? That’s where they recommended us and we had the same experience. One thing Amanzoe staff did a few times was ask for our name and room number at breakfast but otherwise the service was flawless (shows the quality of Aman considering asking for my name and room number is an “unfortunate experience”). Peter and Sven were lovely and I do agree they have an ability to read people’s moods.

  5. @Lucky:

    Did you ever feel that the hyper-personalized attention to detail was a bit intrusive? It would seem that they’re quite literally watching you all the time. Superficially this seems amazing because they can anticipate your every need/desire, but the fact that you were recognized by a non-brand restaurant a fair distance away would leave me to believe they maintain a sort of dossier – to include pictures and habits – which unnerves me a bit. How did you feel about that?

  6. Very nice and thorough review, as always, Lucky.

    Please, Lucky, I must ask again, can you correct your spelling of the term “all right”, not “alright”? As I’ve said before, it makes you look less educated than you are.

  7. The main resort pools also seem superfluous given every room has its own pool….

    Sunset next to the fire was truly
    A remarkable view.

    Sven is a very good GM. You should try Amanjena. An older property but run really well..

  8. Thank you for the review, I was looking forward to that one! It looks just amazing and even though Amanzoe was already on my bucket list, that confirms I have to go there at some point :).
    2 things: 1/on top of being Aman backwards, “nama” means “raw” in Japanese, so that is definitely a pun and I guess many people miss it. And 2/ the “you’re not ever going to have your name asked” is not at every Aman. I was in Tokyo a few months back and they definitely asked my name and/or room number every single time (but the property is much bigger, and open to the public).
    Thanks again :)!

  9. Erick,

    all right or alright?

    Although the spelling alright is nearly as old as all right, some critics have insisted alright is all wrong. Nevertheless it has its defenders and its users, who perhaps have been influenced by analogy with altogether and already. It is less frequent than all right but remains common especially in informal writing. It is quite common in fictional dialogue and is sometimes found in more formal writing.

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alright

  10. I’m with AdamR. It sounds like a stay at an Aman is like living under 24/7 surveillance. I found the tomato salad story intensely creepy.

  11. The funny part about the prices are they are not much higher than a “ normal “ meal in Australia ha ha ha.

  12. So Ben, if you were going to choose between Amanzoe and Aman Sveti Stefan [next September] which do you prefer…Not talking $$$, just service/experience…It would be our first time at an Aman and we are not looking to have a schedule filled with activities, just an amazing experience…Thanks for any advice….Loved this trip report…

  13. How long ago have you been to the Amanpuri in Phuket ? It’s defenitely old and needs a strong renovation …

  14. Driving in Greece is ok though you might want to avoid central Athens. Airport to resort should be fine.

    Never seen you review such a people-less ‘fully booked’ hotel. Where were they all?

    Spetses (aka Spetsae) is my favourite Greek island. I hope you enjoyed it.

  15. @ Fred M — Hah, I try to take pictures when people aren’t around, but in general you really don’t see that many people. Even at the beach club during the day it felt empty when there were dozens of people there. And yes, loved Spetses!

  16. Great review, thanks Ben. Was deciding between Amanyara and Amanzoe for two weeks in June .. been to Amanyara three years in a row now and going to give Amanzoe a shot next year. Cheers

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