Manna Hotel in Arcadia, Greece

As a young boy, Stratis Batagias used to spend his summers at a camp in Arcadia, the central Peloponnese region in mainland Greece where his family’s roots stretch back 200 years. At night, he and other kids would sneak out with flashlights to the long abandoned sanatorium up on the mountain, scaring each other with increasingly lavish ghost stories. But the magic of this neoclassical-inspired building, with the forest growing inside it, bewitched Batayias. ‘Apart from the terrible condition it was in, it had so much energy,’ he remembers. ‘I felt this energy and I dreamed of creating a place where other people could feel it too.’

 

This 12-year-old’s dream was realised more than 30 years later when Manna opened in July 2023 following a nine-year restoration project. The result is a luxurious mountain refuge that aims to leave its guests feeling soothed and grounded.

First built in 1929 for soldiers suffering from tuberculosis, the handsome building has been reinvigorated using an approach of minimal intervention. ‘The Arcadian ideal is that man never imposes on nature but lives in harmony with it,’ Batayias explains.

Photos by Ana Santl

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