17. Krabo, Athens Riviera
In 1960, a doctor named Giagkos Stavridis built a complex of holiday apartments in Vouliagmeni, a pine-fringed finger of land curling into a deep-blue bay 12 miles from the Acropolis. He called it The Margi, after his two daughters, Maria and Gina. That same year, the Astir Palace hotel opened around the headland. And just like that, the Athens Riviera was born. Sixty years later, Vouliagmeni is still the capital’s most refined seaside enclave, with its yacht club, Matsuhisa restaurant and high-rolling beach scene. The Astir Palace has just reopened as Greece’s first Four Seasons.
And The Margi is still in the same family. In summer 2020, architect-owner Giagkos Agiostratitis and his brother Theo snapped up a simple taverna on nearby Zoska Bay and in its place created next-step-up Krabo, a Scorpios-inspired beach bar where the marinated king crab comes with corn bread and salmon roe, and the Aperol Spritz is infused with watermelon syrup. It’s as close as you’ll get to Mykonos without leaving Athens – cheeky prices, patchy service and glammed-up crowd included.
Address: Krabo, Zoska Bay, Thespidos Street,Vouliagmeni, 16671, Athens Riviera, Greece
18. Four Seasons, Ile Aux Cerfs, Mauritius
Local fishermen deliver the catch of the day straight to this new little bar and grill on Ile aux Cerfs, the tiny off-shore private island that has some of the best beaches in Mauritius. Referencing the rustic shacks where islanders go for barbecued seafood with their families, it has rope swings hanging by the shiplap counter, Phoenix beers in the fridge and sunbeds clustered under straw umbrellas on the sand and in the shade of the filao trees. And the only way to get here is via the Four Seasons at Anahita, as a hotel guest, taking a boat across the glittering lagoon.
Leave espadrilles and flip-flops on board, have a swim in the Indian Ocean, then dig into tuna ceviche with mango and avocado or rock lobster with fiery Creole sauce, plus pineapple dipped in chilli flakes and tamarind sauce for pudding. An authentic island set-up? Not quite – how could it be? But for Mauritius, it certainly comes closer than anything else its big-name hotels are offering.
Address: Four Seasons, Ile aux Cerfs, Coastal Road, Beau Champ, Mauritius