Sometimes it is hard to pin down what exactly it is that makes me fall for a particular hotel. That’s how it is with Armonia Bay in Samos. It somehow evoked childhood memories of family vacations in the south of France or northern Italy. The marble-floored reception and lounge area, the unassuming architecture, the French windows opening on to small balconies, the checkerboard floor tiles on the terrace all give it an irresistibly (and probably unintentionally) old-fashioned feeling. But in a very refreshing way. The hotel was completely full when I stayed, but it still had a quiet and laid-back atmosphere, and I was impressed how hosts Elpida and John seemed to know every guest by name, and took their time to ask about their day, give restaurant recommendations, and help with travel arrangements. Spread over several floors, the 24 bedrooms are maybe a little standard in their layout, but new beds are superb and marble bathrooms have been thoroughly modernised. All rooms have a balcony or private terrace. Most look out to the sea, while a few have a view of greenery. Outside there are gardens and a lovely terrace with a swimming pool, and the beach is only five minutes’ walk away
The mellow atmosphere which permeates Hotel Armonia Bay, the friendliness, the light, the sea views, and the location, so close to one of the most beautiful beaches of Samos.
During the summer, the beach usually gets crowded. But rent a car (kind of a must on this relatively large island) and you will find quieter swimming spots as well.
En-suite bathroom (shower)
Internet corner, free use of computer
Outdoor swimming pool
In the morning you can help yourself from a breakfast buffet at Armonia Bay. I was happy to find my summer favourites (tomatoes and feta, yoghurt and fruit salad). There are also eggs (you choose how long you want to boil them), ham, cheeses, cakes, jams, bread of course, cereals and fresh fruit. And a pile of oranges with a juicer, so you can squeeze them yourself and have your juice as fresh as possible.
There’s no restaurant at the hotel, but on the beach below you will find a few tavernas offering simple fare (lunch and early dinner). There are plenty of Greek restaurants in Kokkari, and also, more romantic, in the fishing hamlet of Avlakia, 2 km from the hotel.
Children are welcome at Armonia Bay Hotel and I believe it is a great hotel for relaxed family holidays in Greece. If you have two children, try and book the spacious family apartment (which comes with a kitchenette) or the family suite. Otherwise, ask for adjacent rooms for you and your kids – there are rooms with twin beds rather than doubles.
Parents are kindly asked to supervise their children, especially because the swimming pool is directly accessible from the main terrace.
Hotel Armonia Bay is on the northern coast of Samos, a few kilometres from the village of Kokkari. It is set below the coastal road, above Tsamadou, which is considered one of the best beaches of Samos. It is popular with families (on one side) and naturists (on the other side) and the water is an amazing turquoise. From the hotel, it is less than five minutes’ walk to get to it.
Samos has an airport, served by several flights a day from Athens, and by international flights as well. It can of course also be reached by ferry. It’s about 9 hours from Piraeus and a lot less from other islands. Once on the island, I strongly recommend you rent a car to get around. From the ports of Vathy or Pythagorio, drive to Kokkari and continue for another two km on the coastal road. You will see the hotel on your right, above Tsamadou beach.
We – a family with teenagers – have been staying at Armonia Bay hotel several times. Every time we arrive at the hotel it feels like coming home. We love the special atmosphere of the hotel and the personal service of John, Elpida and the other ladies. Rooms are clean with perfect beds and marble bathrooms. We stayed in the Junior suite which was ideal for us with an extra room for our daughter and a large balcony. Breakfast is varied and healthy with fresh Samos-orange juice. The view from the hotel is breathtaking and Tsamadou Bay with its very clear water is a 5-minute walk away – the sea is bliss! Springtime is excellent for hiking: it takes 2 hours from the hotel to reach the mountain village Vourliotes, where we had lunch at ‘The Blue Well’ of the kind owner Christos. Another 2 hours to Manolates, with nice shops, tavernas and a lovely pottery.