Our collective tolerance for beautiful places is too damn high. Blame it on Instagram, on listicles, on the way the internet bombards us with so much content that it's nigh impossible to ever feel genuinely surprised or excited by something — but we've all become a bit desensitized.
Then, once in a while, a photograph of some farflung retreat pops up that's so patently ridiculous we get set to zero again.
That's how we feel about the Tainaron Blue Tower Retreat, a restored three-story lookout built over the sea on Greece's Mani Peninsula. The Mani is in the southwestern part of the country, a region known for its elaborate system of coastal caves, much-hiked Taygetus Mountain and 2,000-year-old ruins, headed by Sounion, the Temple of Posideon. But we'd be content to make the trip for the Blue Tower alone.
tainaron (7 images)
Originally built in the 1800s and staked with similar duties to other defensive-minded towers of the area, the stone monolith had long since fallen into disrepair before a recent renovation. Now up and running for a different purpose, the Blue Tower offers guests just three different suites: the Master Suite (top floor of the terrace, sleeps four, comes with a generous sea view), the Junior Suite (bottom floor, sleeps three) and the Executive Double Room (a sort of sidecar to the main tower, sleeps two). Each room has a private bathroom, beds with organic cotton linens and rustic wooden finishings that play on the area's past.
But you won't be spending much time inside. Just look at that infinity pool. Those lounge chairs. That view. Your marching orders? Show up here, log out of your devices and forget your Gmail password. When you get hungry, take advantage of Chef George Samoilis' Maniot-inspired creations. Try the fresh catch of the day, tataki (that's Miedterranean-style beef) or orzo pasta with sweet wine, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and smoked monastery cheese. You get the picture.
For more information on booking the Blue Tower, head here — rooms start around $200 a night, which seems a helluva bargain to us.
All images via Tainaro Blue Hotel