We arrived in Kavala with the 5:30 flight from Athens. Thankfully, Imaret is just a short 30-minute drive from the airport. This was our first visit to the area and the driver was kind enough to give us some information along the way.
And then we stepped into Imaret! I immediately felt like I was beamed back to another era… I was captured by the warmth, the tranquility, the nobility of the place. A spiritual heaven on earth…
Forget about Mykonos and Santorini, this is the place to host the perfect intimate wedding. I could already hear the mystic music, imagine the light of the candles, smell the orange blossoms hanging from the balconies… Pure romance, pure magic!
Imaret is an intimate luxurious hospitality property, located within the homonymous historical monument. Built in 1817 right in the middle of the historical district of Kavala, in northern Greece, it is an unexpected oasis of serenity and sophistication.It was built by Mohamed Ali, who was born in Kavala and later became the founder of modern Egypt. It originally served as a seminar school.The old mansion where Mohamed Ali was born is nearby and it houses a museum of civil life of the 18th century. During the last decades leading up to 2005, Imaret was abandoned and neglected. It was then fully restored and turned to an exclusive hotel, thanks to the vision and persistence of an extraordinary woman.
The monument itself is a masterpiece of late Ottoman architecture, rarely found in Europe. The artful decoration, the quality of the delicate structures, the merge between the indoors and the outdoors create an original mosaic of high aesthetics and cultural value.
The 26 elaborate rooms and suites lie beneath the graceful domes of the original construction, some of them overlooking the bay of Kavala and others the orange tree garden. They are decorated with lavish materials, rich velvets and silks in the winter, elegant handmade French linen in summer and handmade oriental carpets spread over the waxed chestnut floors that smell of orange blossom. A hand-picked variety of exclusive room amenities, candles and flowers, create Imaret’s indisputably voluptuous atmosphere. There is no doubt, attention to detail is the name of the game here!
The accommodations are surrounding three thousand square meters of inner gardens and marble arcades, reflecting the charm of an original Islamic garden set in the past. The variety of plants, the peaceful corners, the candlelight, the whisper of running water and soft music, make Imaret a perfect backdrop for relaxation and meditation. Combine it with exceptional and discreet service and you are ensured an unforgettable stay.
The original hammam and the hidden impressive cistern are Imaret’s best-kept secret. Bathing with flowers and spices, massages with essential oils, scrubs with fruits and nuts are the finest and most natural approach to an absolute well-being and sensuality. The treatments include the “Bedouin treatment” and the “Harem massage”!
Imaret’s gastronomy is located in the newest part of the building, offering undoubtedly the most impressive view of the town of Kavala and the gleaming bay.
Savour an old fashion English breakfast with homemade marmalades, fresh eggs from the private hencoop, freshly baked breads and cakes.
A la carte lunch and dinner can be organized with the chef to be served in the dining room or in a private corner, within the impressive inner courts.
Afternoon tea is a ritual here. With a large selection of traditional and exclusive blends, including Mariage Freres Teas! It is served in original Haviland-Limoges porcelain, named after the Empress Eugenie, to remind the romance of an Egyptian ruler and the European Empress. Enjoy it at the elegant lounge with a library featuring history, art and travel books at the disposal of the guests.
In conclusion “Go live your fairytale in Imaret…”
Exploring the greater area
There are lots of great activities that can be combined with a stay at Imaret.
Discover some of the best Greek wines crossing the “Road of Dionysus” from Drama to Maronia. Charismatic lands, which, as evidenced by archaeological findings, were inspired during the Neolithic times for the art of viticulture. The Winery Macedon of Nico Lazaridi (Platanotopos), the Chateau of Nico Lazaridi (Agora), Estate Techni Oinou (Mikrochori), Estate Pavlidi (Kokkinogia), Estate Giorgou Manolesaki (Adriani), Estate Kikones (Komotini), Estate Chatzigeorgiou (Karyani), Estate Kosta Lalikou (Palia Kavala).
Mount Athos (commonly referred to as the Holly mountain) has been inhabited since ancient times and is home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries under the direct jurisdiction of the patriarch of Constantinople. The right to visit Mt Athos is reserved only to men, but women can enjoy the cruise around the peninsula.
Thasos island is located in the northern Aegean sea approximately 7 km from the northern mainland and 20 kilometers south-east of Kavala. With thousands of years of Greek history and its unique natural landscape, Thasos is known as the “Emerald of the Aegean sea”.
The Tobacco Museum of Kavala is a thematic museum, which includes objects and archival material for the cultivation and production of tobacco, its rural and commercial processing, industrial tobacco products and exhibition samples. The uniqueness of the Tobacco Museum is not only that contains and exposes the commercial processing of oriental tobacco (not in any other museum in the world), but that it is a technology museum that brings out the social history of Kavala and the wider region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace.
The nearby ancient city of Philippi is the site of two major European historic events: the battle that defined the route of the Roman history and the place where Christianity was introduced in Europe by St Paul. The ancient Theatre of Philippi is a remarkable and important monument, built in 356BC by the king of Macedonia Philip II. It is one of the biggest theaters of antiquity, located at the foot of the acropolis and supported by the eastern wall of the city of Philippi. Even though it has undergone many changes over the centuries and some interventions, it still preserves many of its original elements.
The Baptistery of St. Lydia lies in about 1 km far from the archaeological site of Philippi, next to the banks of the Zigaktis River. It is the place where Lydia of Philippi became the first European recorded of converting to Christianity in Europe by Apostle Paul. The Christian church honors Lydia of Philippi as a saint.
Some of the photos were kindly provided by epitome.xyz