The resort created by the Milanese entrepreneur on the magical island of the Aegean Sea, in Greece, is called SOPHID WELLNESS SUITE. Relaxation and breathtaking views but also a high level cuisine. In the name of style and taste
Where do we start? From the radiant smile of Ilias Marketis, the director, who welcomes you as if he has always known you? Or from the (real) orange juices served at breakfast, which you haven’t found for years even in the most pretentious hotels (where you need juice instead of juice)? Or from the cock crow that reminds you of the rhythms of nature, together with the lapping of the waves of “your” pool, moved like the sea by the magical Meltemi, the warm wind of the Dodecanese that caresses you gently? Perhaps it would be enough to pronounce the magic word SOPHID to introduce the reader into a world made of breathtaking views, crystal clear sea, exclusive beaches, set as they are among promontories of olive and tamarisk, rosemary and lavender that illuminate the air of Karpathos with their intense aromas.
SOPHID WELLNESS SUITE is nothing more than the (realized) dream of a Milanese finance professional, Giuseppe Baxiu, who has always been in love with this island on the Aegean Sea, strongly determined to create a temple of hospitality of the highest level. And to enhance, with an instinct of unprecedented generosity towards a territory and a people who love, this paradise island of 6,000 inhabitants, with the capital Pigadia, the suggestive tourist port, with dozens of typical restaurants (one for all, the familiar Tò Perasma, the best moussaka on the island) and small shops. A colossal investment, that of Giuseppe Baxiu, of personal energy as well as economic resources, made above all in the name of beauty and good. Italian values, one might say. And the vision of an entrepreneur who looks ahead with courage.
Twenty suites, autonomous and independent, each with an infinity pool overlooking the horizon of the sea, a spa equipped with what is needed to increase one’s well-being, a boutique with the best of Italian clothing (led by the sweet and refined Paola, sister of Giuseppe, who left Milan – reachable by direct flight of a couple of hours – for this magical strip of Greece). SOPHID is all this, as well as a gallery dotted with works of art, in the apartments and common areas: from the Second Writing by Lucio Fontana, with texts by Francesco Leonetti, to Pablo Picasso’s Femme à la Resille (lito signed by author), to dozens of contemporary artistic expressions, with Andy Warhol in plain sight in the hall, which more than a hall is a small museum of artistic, intellectual and convivial interest. But SOPHID is also a forty-seat restaurant, which offers the best of traditional Greek cuisine reinterpreted, plus a line of regional Italian dishes, created thanks to the inspiration of chefs who succeed one another in the brigade and who believe in Baxiu’s project: simple cuisine, with quality dishes, without fancy flights but consistent with the expectations of a demanding clientele.
The luxury of simplicity that Gianfranco Bolognesi was talking about, so to speak … Or the “intelligent luxury” to use the expression coined by Guido Bernardi in reference to the Soneva Resorts in the Maldives and Thailand Of course, the Greece of catering and hospitality is not Italy: Fine dining is still in its infancy here, but the potential is enormous. And the possibility of offering the international visitor a high level cuisine is confirmed by the presence of great raw materials, from meats to dairy products, herbs and vegetables, of which Giuseppe Baxiu has made himself a careful and capable selector.
Thus, among the dishes of the SOPHID Restaurant we find a widespread presence of local ingredients, with a great use of vegetables and wild herbs, but also with a wise proposal of meat, starting from the baked Lamb with artichokes, a memorable dish, up to to more delicate dishes such as sea bream cooked on embers with local herbs, or chicken Suvlaki flanked by the legendary, omnipresent, tzaziki sauce which is much more digestible than the versions proposed in the many “taverns” of the island. The room is led in an impeccable way by some young people of commitment and will, such as Viktor or the sweet Athena.
Giuseppe Baxiu’s goal is to create a gourmet center that fully expresses the desire to use local products, without giving in to exoticism and contamination that would distort the proposal. The only exception is some iconic dishes of Italian cuisine which, properly made, add value to the gastronomic experience and further characterize the SOPHID offer. Let’s not forget that a large part of Karpathos tourism is Italian and, as such, does not disdain the opportunity to eat (and drink) well, with a nod to local tradition, but also looking for their own tricolor flavors and tastes. In a context destined to become a reference for a clientele in constant search for excellent experiences, far from the dominant model of “tourist catcher” structures, which we would all like to do without.