Travel

The Esquire Guide to a Stylish Grecian Getaway

We’ve come a long way since the jet-set era of the Sixties, when getting on a plane was all three-piece suits, Panama hats and cocktails on take-off. Mostly, this change has been for the better. Air travel is more affordable, easier and more democratic than ever before. But, a touch of luxury wouldn’t go amiss when travelling internationally.

Turns out, it’s easy to bring back some of that old-school glamour with a little effort, some insider know-how and a host of benefits courtesy of The Platinum Card® from American Express. From dressing the part for departures to finding the best pre-flight martini, here’s how.

How To Dress

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Faced with a choice between departing in style and arriving in comfort, there’s a clear winner. But what if you could combine both?

Travelling clothes have never looked better than Homme Plissé Issey Miyake. Designed to “liberate the way men dress”, the Japanese brand’s signature heat-formed pleats give an architectural vibe to everyday basics that are comfortable, incredibly lightweight and crease-resistant (translation: you can shove them in your suitcase and not worry).

Grab a set from Harvey Nichols, where you’ll also find an eclectic range of luxury and cult brands including one hell of a luggage edit.

Platinum Cardmembers can enjoy up to £100 statement credit per calendar year at Harvey Nichols (with a maximum of £50 back every six months). Spend online and in-store throughout the UK.

How To Travel

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Brad Feinknopf

Your flight fit is on point, which is problem number one sorted. The next airport dilemma though is where to catch a bite to eat. If you’re looking for an upscale culinary experience in the airport that’s away from the hustle and bustle of fellow travellers, the Platinum Card from American Express offers something a little more refined.

The Centurion Lounge in Heathrow’s Terminal 3 serves cocktails by award-winning bartender Jim Meehan, along with a Middle Eastern fusion menu designed by chef Assaf Granit of the Palomar in London and Michelin-starred Shabour in Paris.

This is proper, considered dining — dishes include chicken marinated in milk, sumac and ras el hanout, served with freekeh mujadara; a breakfast offering of traditional shakshuka (eggs cooked in a rich tomato and pepper stew); and an all-day dish named simply “a lot of mushrooms”.

Finish it all off with breakfast “marteani” (cognac, tea, marmalade and bitters) and be on your merry way.

Platinum Cardmembers can access over 1,400 airport lounges in more than 140 countries around the world*

Where To Stay

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HEINZ TROLL

Crete, just a four-hour flight from London, is like stepping into a time capsule. Think pastel-washed streets, ornate churches and mosques, and harbours lined with traditional sailing boats that’d have old Tom Ripley weak at the knees.

The apex of this hazy, nostalgic glamour has to be Rethymno, on the north coast. One of the most well-preserved cities in Greece, it’s packed with old Venetian charm, stunning landscapes and incredible hotels such as the five-star Caramel Grecotel Boutique Resort. Think white-washed walls punctuated by welcoming arches, ornate tiled floors and hand-carved furniture that nods to the island’s history, and private terraces boasting outdoor whirlpool baths (with select suites). It’d be tempting to spend a week luxuriating in its manicured gardens and private stretch of beach — but there’s so much to be found just a short wander away.

At the Caramel Grecotel Boutique Resort, Platinum Cardmembers can receive complimentary breakfast for two and up to $125 (USD) of experience credit to be used at the hotel during your stay. Across the vast Fine Hotels + Resorts Collection, Cardmembers could also receive complimentary wifi, a guaranteed 4pm checkout, and — when available — early (12pm) check-in and room upgrade*

Where To Eat

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Avli

Although your hotel offers succulent seafood in an al fresco dining area as well as handmade cocktails in an opulent piano bar, it is important to explore the area and see what the locals are cooking up.

If Greek fine dining is number one on your travel bucket list, then Avli, in Rethymno’s old town, is an absolute must. Its menu blends Cretan and Greek tradition with contemporary flair, with offerings including cuttlefish served with potato foam, and ravioli of locally made anthogalo cheese, courgette and herbs, served in a goat butter broth. Downstairs in the enoteca (wine cellar) — one of the largest in the country — there are wines from across Greece. Afterwards, take a short, leisurely walk to the old harbour for a nightcap, and toast to the good life.

Platinum Cardmembers receive Membership Rewards® points when shopping (1 for every £1 spent) that can be redeemed anywhere from Selfridges to British Airways


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*Harvey Nichols benefit requires enrolment and you get maximum £50 back every six months

*For more information on airport lounge benefits, click here

*Hotel Room Upgrades are subject to availability