The Boutique Hotel "Rastoni"

Trip Start Sep 25, 2012
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Flag of Greece  , Saronic Gulf Islands,
Tuesday, September 25, 2012



"R A S T O N I"

I tried to find a nice hotel very different to the previous one which was huge. I preferred a boutique hotel and after much studying I spotted Rastoni. In Greek this word means "doing nothing". See below my original review the one I have on TripAdvisor.

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A Paradise-like little Oasis-The Gem of Aegina!!

We spent 3 amazing nights at Rastoni and our stay was so exceptional that exceeded our expectations. Dagmar, the soul of the business, is the lovely lady who truly is professional, speaks German, Greek and English fluently and for her nothing is too much trouble. She knows well the island and her tips are truly helpful. I noticed how she welcomes her guests many of whom know her for years and keep coming back again and again. She is an excellent host and if I had to grade her presence at the hotel, her ability and the way she treats her guests I would certainly give her an A+.

"Rastoni" certainly deserves the certificate of Excellence received from TripAdvisor!

The hotel seems clearly designed with loving care, focusing on comfort and detail. It has a style of its own but at the same time does not lose the essential Greek island simplicity. I am so happy to have come up with this small boutique hotel which I consider the little gem of Aegina and I am proud to include it in my new Guide of Aegina.

Location: Rastoni is built on the most idyllic quiet spot on the hill opposite the ruins of 'Kolona.' It is only a 6 or 8 minute walk from the harbour and there is a bus stop outside the main entrance as well. A well-stocked mini market is in short distance –only 100 metres away, so I would say – A Unique location!

Room: There are 12 different rooms in all each with a different name, style and personality. We had the Romance room (spotlessly clean) on the first floor on the right hand side corner with the bougainvilleas overlooking the beautiful gardens and the Temple of Apollo (Kolona ruins). The room was big and comfortable. The centre piece –a four poster canopy bed really makes the difference.  It is made of hard thick wood (Swedish style) with matching bedside tables and lampshades of the same style.  By the corner next to the porch, the dressing table with a matching heavy wooden chair and mirror. Two nice posters are hanged opposite the bed and even the colour of the walls and furniture even the balcony with the wooden blinds are in complete harmony with the surround area. It is obvious that attention is given to the least detail. There is adequate drawer and wardrobe space. There is a ceiling fan but also air condition system ….we preferred the first option. Kitchenette is also provided, a small fridge, a kettle, even a hair dryer and a mosquito plug-in device.  These extras are rarely to be found even at 3 or 4* hotels the majority of times. Our beautiful porch was spacious and had the most stunning sunset views each afternoon.

Bathroom: The bathroom, -a bit narrow but ok. It is modern, nicely decorated with light blue and white tiles, a stool provided to place toiletries but there is also a hanging stand by the mirror. Take along a shower plastic cap though because this is not provided! Towels, bright white that smell freshness are changed every two days or upon request. 

Garden: How can I describe the amazing gardens!!

The property used to be a pistachio farm and there are still a few of these trees on the left side of the main entrance door and at the hotel’s parking area. What makes the flower-scented garden amazing are the shady ‘secret’ nooks and sun traps hidden well behind huge colourful bougainvilleas, jasmine, palm trees, laurel, thyme and basil plants. Sun reclining wooden chairs and small tables even a couple of garden sofas are to be found, hidden behind flowery little private corners all over the garden. There is a continuous pouring of water coming from the two fountains, and in different spots you will find clay vessels and pieces of art. There are a few very friendly cats on the premises as well.

Breakfast: A Super Buffet indeed! The first morning coming down for breakfast I was amazed. Even before being served I ran to Dagmar to congratulate her on the beautiful atmosphere she creates in the dining corner and the food presentation. The huge rectangular wooden table had everything. I had the feeling of a family or friendly gathering with Dagmar our host! There is ample of everything with daily homemade fresh cake, jams, honey, yoghurt, cheese, ham, boiled eggs, seasonal fresh fruit, nice quality tinned orange or grapefruit juice. The juice is NOT the type we usually find in 4* hotels made of sugar and colour diluted in water! Here the juice is also served in a crystal jug.

In the meantime I got acquainted with several guests so the following two mornings I felt as if I was having breakfast at a friend’s villa with friends around. Now that I am home I can tell that I have already missed this exceptional treat plus the very strong black coffee Dagmar prepared for us at breakfast. There is a nicely designed sun lounge but I guess this is for some cold mornings. (The hotel stays open from March to November). There are so many different spots to sit and enjoy your breakfast in the garden under shady little corners among colourful bushes and flowers. It is a little paradise-like little oasis.  Choose the corner or spot you like most and go for it!

The Lobby: It is as if there is a continuation of the ruins of ‘Kolona’ in the building. Some preserved ruins of an ancient wall found during the archaeological excavation remain still in the building and they are found in the lobby.  As the sun goes down and gets dark the lights are on in the room creating an outstanding atmosphere. Besides this unique corner the rest interior décor and pieces of furniture are simple, but elegant and stylish at the same time.

The Beach: Pebbled just below the Temple of Apollo (Kolona) opposite the hotel. A 7 minute stroll towards the harbour tavernas’ will bring you to a sandy little beach. 

Wi-Fi wireless internet is Free by the reception area.

We shall surely be back to Aegina in spring to see our friends, -because we did make friends here. The locals are amazing people!

Things to Do: 17 nautical miles south of Piraeus, 9.50 euros fee for the boat and 27.00 the car. The charm of the island is that it does not give itself away at first glance. It unfolds slowly as you drive through but unfortunately our 3 night stay was not enough to enjoy it all.  We surely need to return. I loved the beach-front with the many taverns and the neoclassical buildings. Visit the Monastery of St. Nektarios the patron of the island, very famous for the many miracles he does. Take a stroll to the medieval acropolis of Aegina opposite the monastery on the hill with the many old chapels. It is called Paleochora. Visit Moni, the islet opposite the fishing village of Perdika. The permanent residents are deer, wild goats and peacocks which are semi-tamed. If you are lucky some deer will even approach you. Visit Marathonas sandy –organized beach and don’t miss Souvala. It has a small but beautiful beach by the harbour. I leave you the best for the end. Don’t miss the Temple of Apaia on your way to Agia Marina. Here you will find the biggest shallow water sandy beach and the best of the island, -very touristy during summer. 

Be sure to have lunch at the “Ouzeri "To Akrogiali”. We had the most delicious fish pikilia for 20 euros. Pavlos and Lia the owners are amazing hosts, and Panteli the cook will amaze you with his cuisine.

Recommended restaurants by the main harbour of Aegina:

To Dromaki” a nice restaurant where Aliki and Nikolas will surprise you happily with their local traditional cuisine. Fresh ingredients, spotlessly clean,  lovely hosts in beautiful settings and amazing food. We had the best cooked octopus and white taramosalata ever and a rich “pikilia” of shrimps, kalamari, tzatziki etc.


Klimataria” is the other worth visiting and very affordable restaurant not to be missed. Mrs. Nikoleta is another professional with her amazing (mezedes) recipes that she prepares with love and passion. She, like Aliki has several repeaters. At the corner of the same restaurant her daughter makes kebab. We tried them and they are exceptional! Probably the best in the area.


To Gramma” owned by Christina and Vasilis (Café-Meze and catering) in a charming courtyard opposite the post office. An artistry hang-out, with drinks, live music and theatrical performances and meze. Unfortunately we were not lucky to taste much here other than a small plate with a grilled peper, some tzatziki and sun dried tomato (liastes) with a couple of olives. I cannot tell much of the cuisine, but it is surely a nice spot to come to during summer when performances are on.

We shall surely be back to Aegina in spring to see our friends, -because we did make friends here. The locals are amazing people!
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Comments

mmbcross
mmbcross on

Nice little hotel decorated in really good taste. Lovely art work in the public spaces.

greekcypriot
greekcypriot on

I am out looking for these really small boutique hotels with character all the time. Yes Martin, this one is one such and the hospitality we had was even better.

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