The Hydrea Hotel, or to give its real name Hydrea Exclusive Hospitality, is ideally situated, perched on a raised spot with a panoramic view of Hydra port. The island’s ancient and historic harbour is one of the most impressive in the Greek Islands, and the Hydrea takes full advantage of this stunning view from its broad terrace set with deep sofas that sit under large cream coloured parasols.
Horseshoe-shaped, the land rises quickly from a pretty harbour lined with fishing boats, luxury yachts and beach kaikis. The tavernas, kafeneion and shops of the cobbled waterfront and adjacent alleyways give way to a picturesque stack of whitewashed buildings. These in turn sit below impressive crags and peaks that enclose the bay in a wide, natural amphitheatre.
It would be easy to while away whole days on the Hydrea’s terrace; from breakfast watching the mules being loaded with goods, to cocktails at sunset accompanied by bells from the monastery. However we make sure to drag ourselves away daily to visit the islands and half a dozen beaches. These are modestly sized shingle bays that more than make up for lack of soft sand, with stunning clear azure waters and timeless views of rocky headlands and distant islands.
There are no private vehicles allowed on the island, so beach transport is either by a short walk – to the couple of local rocky inlets close to the village – or a delightful kaiki ride to those farther along the coast.
If we have left the hotel details to farther down this article it is not to be unkind, but inevitably the attractions of any Hydra Hotel tend to play second fiddle to the multiple attractions of the picture postcard village.
With minimal space available to build, and older buildings being modestly-sized, establishments are relatively small, including Hydrea Exclusive Hospitality which has just eight suites.
Hydrea Exclusive Hospitality is set in a wonderfully grand 19th century mansion that actually played an important part in Greek history. During the Greek War of Independence, major revolutionary treaties were signed here and many important naval commanders visited the mansion, which has been declared as a national historical monument.
What must have been the main room of this imposing mansion is now the hotel’s sitting room. This holds a small bar at one end, but with the open air spaces beckoning few people seemed to venture inside to enjoy this great beamed and antique furnished room hung with grand oil paintings.
Each of the suites is unique in size and facilities, the largest having private terraces or extra sitting areas. We were slightly disappointed that they did not quite pay homage to the historic building whilst the modernised elements were sometimes a little dated. Despite minor hiccups with what seemed to be a somewhat skeleton service (Covid related?) and minor maintenance issues, the location made up for any of our misgivings.
Service was always eager and friendly and we had prompt assistance whenever we need room extras like a kettle or an endless supply of cappuccinos and fresh orange juice for breakfast, naturally served out on the terrace.
Food selections are made the previous evening (although not rigidly set), were high quality and generous and included cooked items like feta and tomato omelette or spinach frittata, a choice of fresh pastries and cakes, fruit salads and cereals. The perfect way to start the day.
After days at our chosen beach we were back on the terrace to watch the sunset over the village, whilst after dinner back again for a night cap as we watched the lights of the harbour sparkle below.
A lovely stay in a perfect location.
For more information visit Hydrea Exclusive Hospitality