SPETSES & PORTO HELI
The Grande Dame: Spetses
With an air of unassuming prestige, professedly spotless natural beauty, rolling hills peppered with vineyards and vegetable gardens, quayside coffee shops and colonial-style charm, Spetses is all about nautical glamour, vibrant culture, as well as old-money and royalty sightings.
A two-hour hydrofoil voyage from the port of Piraeus, and a few kilometers from mainland Peloponnese, the corniche pavements of the island remain clear of vehicles (with the only exception being horse-drawn carriages, wooden caiques, bicycles, and vintage Piaggio Apes that will carry your suitcases to the hotel or provide for the day's groceries). Yes, the 19th-century outpost's alternative street life will have you check back into a time capsule.
If are new to the island's rich naval history or the stories about Laskarina Bouboulina (the world's first female admiral) you're bound for some bewilderment visiting her mansion, commodiously unaltered, and while glow-in-the-dark tanned travelers bask in the sun, elegant and sturdy Aegean low-riders are still built by hand here. Afroessa, the lateen-rigged caique of King Constantine of the Greeks, is often at anchor, especially during the Spetses Classic Yacht Race when 1930s J Class and vintage vessels compete at the Armata.
In October, dozens of vintage cyclists gather on the island to take part in the Tweed Run, the annual cycling event organized by the Poseidonion Grand Hotel, where mustache grooming, tailor-made hats, and classical post-war attire are the norm, while “Concours d’Elegance” – a competition of elegance for vehicles is held at Cine Titania. In spring, the vintage car rally gives locals and visitors the opportunity to walk around and gaze at classical motors that arrive from across the globe on a 25km race around the island.
It takes as little as three hours to navigate around Spetses around winding hillside curves, age-old mansions, and crystal-clear coves. In the bright sunlight, bougainvilleas splash buckets of blue and purple against high, white walls. At noon tavernas such as Patralis on Kounoupitsa beach counterattack with live grey lobster and spaghetti. Not to be outdone in freshness, Tarsanas, on the Old Harbour, barbecues fish caught that morning and serves it with lashings of local gossip supplied by the owners. At twilight, music will sway you in jasmine-scented air, as elegant head for Honolulu, the club, restaurant and bar successor to Figaro, the disco where Jackie Kennedy was courted by Aristotle Onassis.
One cannot dream about Spetses and not wish to spend at least one night at the Poseidonion Grand Hotel, the elegant 1914 colonial beauty (and vintage landmark) whose guestbook bares signatures the likes of Bobby Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Ingrid Bergman, Elizabeth Taylor just to mention a few of its illustrious tenants. The stunning facade may remind you of the early 20th-century Carlton in Cannes or the Negresco in Nice, and its period-furniture, marble staircases, original English tiles and stately flooring will immerse you in a world of grace that refuses to perish.
The Orloff Mansion an atmospherically restored 19th- century sea captain's house, the Orloff Resort Hotel with its built in metal frame beds and the eponymous Orloff Restaurant blend design with tradition, will make you feel like an old friend visiting.
View some of our events at Spetses & Porto Heli.
Need help to plan an elegant wedding in Spetses?
Maria worked around the clock with us to make our dream island wedding come true! We had a tight budget, a few cultural twists in our ceremony, some complicated logistics (and an anxious bride 2 hours before the wedding) and yet nothing was impossible. Forever grateful for Maria's dedication, hard work and organisation :) Highly recommended! Thank you so so much (and to your lovely ladies who were amazing throughout the whole weekend). Will miss working with you xxx
The best person to trust for this special day! I cannot recommend Maria and her team highly enough. Her expertise, support, attention to the detail, organization skills and taste allowed us to enjoy our day to the fullest. Thank you!
Planning a wedding is hard. Planning a wedding in Greece when you live in California is even harder. Unless of course, you work with Maria and her incredible team at InEventive. My husband Chris and I used Maria to plan our wedding on the island of Paros this past August, and honestly - it was the best decision we ever made. She worked tirelessly with us over the course of 10 months to take our hopes and dreams and bring them to life. The absolute best photographers, videographers, dj’s in the business? Maria is friends with and works with them all. Florists that can take a minimalistic venue and have it dripping like the Garden of Eden? Table stakes. Ideas for how to take something ordinary and make it extraordinarily? She’s got hundreds. Want to take a boat from the church to your venue? No problem! Fireworks? Obviously...Handling the annoying things like paperwork and forms? She’ll hold your hand the whole way through. More importantly, Maria and her team go into absolute beast mode on the day of. Every single detail is covered, down to the smallest piece of minutia, so all you have to do is show up. Thanks to Maria, our wedding blew all of our expectations and our guests expectations out of the water. People are still talking to me about how it was hands down the most amazing wedding they had ever been to! If you’re thinking about working with her - take my word and just do it. You won’t regret it for a second. Maria - thank you SO MUCH, from the bottom of our hearts. You made the first day of the rest of our lives more beautiful and unforgettable than we could have ever dreamed. We are so grateful to have worked with you and your team!!
The best wedding planner anyone can ask for. Excellent work and attention to details. Thank you Maria for everything you have done for us!
Best wedding planner/event designer!! 5/5!! She really understood our ideas and she has been extremely engaged and helpful! Would highly recommend to anyone planning an event and would definitely use again in future events!
I don't even know where to begin! Eternally grateful are the words that come to mind though. When a friend of mine started her wedding planning, I searched through instagram to help find her a wedding planner, which is how I came across Maria's page. The photos were absolutely stunning and I loved her style. Fast forward a few months and not only had I recommended Maria, purely based on photos to one friend, but I then chose to work with her for our own wedding and was very eager to share her with yet another friend of mine. That resulted in Maria planning 3 weddings within a 2 month time frame for 3 friends with very similar guest lists! I know I speak for all 3 of us when I say how happy we were with Maria's support. Each wedding was unique and perfectly reflected our styles and preferences. Maria was extremely responsive & supportive throughout the whole process. On top of that, I felt like she and her colleagues were more like family and I truly hope to stay in touch with them. I think the saddest part once the weddings were all over was having to say goodbye to them!
Excellent company!! World class!!
Planning for a destination wedding is very stressful unless you have a trustful planner. Maria is the best. We were very lucky to find her for our destination wedding. She planned everything for us, and she followed all our ideas. The main reason I chose her beside her amazing taste was because I found her very honest. She sent me all the details of the job and made everything very clear from the first time I talked to her. She was always available during the whole year before our wedding; answering our questions, following our requests, and giving us useful recommendations. Also, she has many connections and works with the best in the industry.
We will be grateful forever to work with her and we highly recommend her to everyone.
Thank you Maria to make my big day so beautiful.
Maria helped make our dream wedding come true! We live in the States and wanted our wedding in Athens given my husband’s connection to Greece. Maria was great at taking care of everything remotely. Through many many emails (she was always responsive) and a few Skype calls, she managed to translate our vision into reality. My husband and I had the best night of our lives. Everything was beautiful and unforgettable. We would recommend her to anyone who is looking to plan their big day. Thanks Maria for your professionalism and creative eye!
I recommend Maria and her team to anyone who is planning a wedding, or party! I live in D.C. and planned to have our wedding in Athens - Island Private House. Maria made the process so much less stressful and smooth! She was very flexible in scheduling Skype calls, and was able to work around my busy work schedule. She listened to what I wanted the wedding to look like, and delivered! The decor was perfect! The day of the wedding was hectic, and it is clear that Maria is a very busy person, however, she did her best to make sure I was able to enjoy the day. I highly recommend InEventive and Maria to anyone, particularly if you are planning from abroad!
I wanted to let you know how great of a job you did on our wedding day! And in fact it’s hard to know where to start: First of all Thank you for helping us out with all the little details on the wedding weekend and for being present on all three evenings. I could probably write a book about what good of a job everybody did on this weekend but in the end, YOU put it all in place and made sure everything turned out perfectly!! And most important you took all the pressure off my shoulders and tried being patient with that German girl that is having a Greek wedding. I cannot thank you enough for the great job you did!!! Nicholas and I wish you all the best for your future as the most professional wedding planner!
Dear Maria, we are back in New York after our honeymoon and wanted to send you a note and thank you for helping us put together such a wonderful event! We loved working with you and really enjoyed meeting you and getting to know you. We certainly hope that we will have the opportunity to return to Athens and hope to work again with you if we are putting together another celebration in Greece.
Maria, I just wanted to express my appreciation again for all your amazing work that you did for Nicholas’ and Eva’s wedding. The wedding day and all the pre- celebration events were absolutely perfect and will always be an unforgettable and memorable time for all of us!! Working with you was once again a pleasure. I wish you all the best and hopefully our roads will cross again in the near future.
I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your hard work and effort that you put into making our baby girl’s christening such a special event. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend your fantastic services to all my friends and look forward to any potential events planned for the future. Thank you so much :):)
Imagination, preparation, attention to detail and superior creative skills define Maria's work. Every event, personal or corporate, is executed with proper due diligence in Greece and abroad! Whether it’s a destination wedding, a corporate function or a lavish affair Maria Maroulidou and InEventive Creative Experience will ensure that every aspect of your event will be managed and delivered to perfection! Highly recommended!
High class event organizing company, one of the best in the Mediterranean.
Success is always guaranteed.
Within my 20 years experience of djing in high level social and private events I have never met such a professional, gifted and inspiring event planner. Congrats Maria, you are top. Apart from the business, you are a wonderful person, keep on rising!
Highly recommended for all private, social and professional events!!!