MANNA Arcadia: A Unique Hotel in the Greek Mountains

Ever wondered what it would be like to step out of the madness and chaos of everyday life and step into a singular moment of bliss? Well this is possible in Greece, in the heart of the Peloponnese, and is what I now call the ‘MANNA Arcadia Experience’.

In less than an hour-and-50 minute drive from Athens, I found myself in the heart of a virgin fir tree forest breathing in the crisp mountain air as I listened to the cheerful chirping of the birds hidden in the trees around me.

I had arrived at MANNA Arcadia Hotel and a much-needed wellness experience was about to begin.

 How to Live Long and Happy Like a Greek

Slow Down, Breathe In: Welcome to MANNA

MANNA Arcadia: A Unique Hotel in the Greek Mountains

With my busy schedule and as a resident of loud and often hectic Athens, the MANNA experience was exactly what I needed, and if you find yourself in the Peloponnese, then I strongly suggest you plan a stay for at least two nights. You won’t regret it.

Picture huge airy windows with 365 views, sun-filled suites and relaxation spaces in wood and stone and all this with the bright blue sky above in the embrace of the peaceful Arcadia forest. 

Add to this the finest local products used to prepare a menu of select traditional Greek dishes with a twist, a carefully selected wine list featuring wonderful Greek wines, and a Greek breakfast with homemade pies, local cheese, honey and nuts.

Ideal for the outdoorsy types like me who love to walk or hike or explore and then chill out in the cave pool.

And above all you are made to feel right at home thanks to the soft-speaking and smiling staff.

 The Ultimate Travel Guide to Arcadia Greece

What is MANNA Arcadia

MANNA Arcadia: A Unique Hotel in the Greek Mountains

I would to dare say that MANNA Arcadia is a ‘portal’ that transports you to a place of tranquility and connection. I only understood this after leaving and re-entering the real world!

And it’s no wonder. MANNA is not your usual hotel. It has a unique history, one of healing.  

Almost a century ago, you would find sick soldiers who fought in the Balkan wars being cared for by a volunteer nurse from the Hellenic Red Cross. Her name was Anna Mela, she was the sister of a revered Greek revolutionary who fought in the Greco-Turkish War in 1897.

Asclepius & The Ancient Wellness Centers of Greece

MANNA Arcadia: A Unique Hotel in the Greek Mountains
Nurse Anna Mela in a sketch by Greek artist Thalia Flora-Karavia (1871-1960).

Mela decided to gather funds from diaspora Greeks in the US and Egypt to build a sanatorium for soldiers who suffered from tuberculosis. She built it in the heart of a lush forest in Arcadia, at the foot of Mt Menalon, where the god Pan was believed to have once roamed. Here, in the fresh air and serenity she nursed the sick soldiers back to health. Among the hospital’s patients, Mela was known as the “mother of the soldier” or “mana”.

The sanatorium would operate until 1938 when Alexander Fleming’s discovery – penicillin – became accessible. Mela died that very same year in Athens, ironically of tuberculosis.

From Deserted Sanatorium to Healing Hotel

MANNA Arcadia: A Unique Hotel in the Greek Mountains

Some 95 year later, the very building which housed the ailing soldiers in the 1920s and 30s has today been transformed into a beautiful 5-star hotel, given a new lease on life thanks to a visionary young man who played in the building’s ruins as child carried away by the tales he heard from elders in the nearby villages.

MANNA Arcadia has be reinvented thanks to Stratis Batagias who dreamt as a boy that one day he would turn the once eerie ruins of the abandoned building into a hotel like no other where healing and balance would be at the center of its philosophy.

As a tribute to Mela, he named the hotel “Manna” – a play on two words “Mana” which means “mother” in Greek and “manna” which means “a gift from god”. Today, MANNA is a luxury boutique hotel listed among Europe’s finest.

Allow Yourself the Luxury of Wellness 

MANNA Arcadia: A Unique Hotel in the Greek Mountains

I know many The Greek Vibe readers from all over the world are looking to visit the Greek islands. And you should. But like I always say, please find the time to visit mainland Greece. You’ll be surprised by the utter beauty of the landscapes and you will come very much closer to the genuine Greek experience.

MANNA Arcadia is that combined with a luxury we often bypass: the luxury of slowing down, breathing in, listening to our needs and enjoying the simple things: a good night’s sleep, excellent food, fresh air and a kind word.

► What to do during your stay at MANNA Arcadia?


Welcome to MANNA Arcadia. From 1929 to 1938 this building was a sanatorium for sick soldiers. They lovingly called a nurse who cared for them “mana” (“mother” in Greek). After 80 years of neglect, this place of healing was transformed into one of the finest design hotels in Greece offering peacefulness, balance and wellness. #traveltok #fyp #trending #tiktokgreece #luxury #discover #mannaarcadia #arcadia #hotel #nature #traveltiktok #manna

♬ Distance – TWO LANES

✓ In addition to horseback riding, canoeing, skiing (winter), archery, yoga classes, body treatments, hiking and mushroom hunting, even bee harvesting, you should also visit the nearby villages of Magouliana, Lagadia, and Chrysovitsi. 

✓ Visit the tiny cave of Kapsia.

✓ While there make sure to visit the famous monasteries in the region, go rafting in the Lousios River, visit traditional villages like StemnitsaDimitsana and its Open-Air Water Power Museum, Karytaina, Andritsaina, Levidi, Magouliana, Lagadia, and Vytina.

✓ Arrange a day trip to Ancient Olympia, where the world’s first Olympic Games took place, and the Temple of Epicurious Apollo, one of the best preserved ancient temples in Greece. 

✓ Visit family-owned organic Kalogris winery in the village Kapsia. 

✓ Drop by my mother’s hometown Tripoli for a drink. (I also went to university there!)

✓ Or simply be: take a walk in the woods, connect with nature, treat your body with love and respect. 

Hiking Greece: The Menalon Trail Experience

► What I liked about MANNA Arcadia

MANNA Arcadia: A Unique Hotel in the Greek Mountains

I would say everything but I particularly appreciated the fact that the hotel supports local producers and their top quality products and in this way helps revive villages that were once abandoned. I also liked theft that it is pet-friendly, accessible to people with disabilities or mobility issues and is children-free as part of its retreat-style philosophy.

I also loved my time in the heated cave pool, walks in the woods, the food, reading by the fireplace in the bar and reaching out to the universe in the stargazing deck.

Kapsia Cave: A Tiny Greek Wonder in the Peloponnese

► Getting to MANNA Arcadia 

It will take you a little under 2 hours to get to MANNA from Athens Airport or an hour from Kalamata Airport.

► When is the best time to visit

MANNA Arcadia: A Unique Hotel in the Greek Mountains

MANNA Arcadia is open all year round and you could definitely find things to do. I would visit in spring and get the mystical experience of Greek Easter, in the autumn and winter for a different side of Greece. And for those who prefer cool weather in the summer. 

► What to taste

MANNA Arcadia: A Unique Hotel in the Greek Mountains

Absolute musts: the cheese pie made with fermented local goat cheese and Menalon truffle, the roasted beetroot salad with Greek yogurt and a pine nut-walnut pesto, the wild greens salad with local mushrooms, paccheri pasta with local morchella (morel mushrooms), the slow cooked boar in Greek Mavrodaphne wine accompanied by a pumpkin risotto, for the vegetarians the cauliflower roasted in a charcoal oven with tahini and cumin sauce, the perfectly grilled in herbs chicken, for dessert a novel take on the traditional Greek “karydopita” or half-baked walnut pie with vanilla ice cream, and the perfect Greek coffee mousse with chocolate, touched up with Greek spoon sweet “triantafyllo” (rose petal), hazelnut crumble, wild berries and ice chocolate cream (no words!) – all wonderful creations of award-winning Greek Chef Athinagoras Kostakos perfectly executed by his team with the guidance for wines by friendly sommelier and local organic winemaker Tatiani Kalogri.

► Don’t forget to buy

Absolute musts: local honey, cheese, wines and homemade “glyka tou koutaliou” (spoon sweets). Ask the people at the hotel to suggest local producers.

🛎 Still wondering? Book now and get the MANNA Arcadia experience for yourself. Visit on Instagram and Facebook to get inspired.

 For the trusted resources I use when I travel in Greece and abroad go here

I end today’s post with a perfect song to put you in “relax mode” – Cretan poet/songwriter Loudovikos ton Anogeion in a soothing tale of how “No” and “Yes” came together in a single embrace. “To Ohi Apokimithike stin Agalia tou Nai”.

Be well. Travel!

MANNA Arcadia: A Unique Hotel in the Greek Mountains

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