A short stroll from Mykonos Town, this beachside hotel boasts just 24 suites and a gorgeous infinity pool, surrounded by sleek glass and wood flooring. It’s overlooked by a lounge bar and restaurant – the natural stone of the hillside provides its back wall, framed by glass.
There’s a glass of bubbly on arrival and the poolside bar is the perfect spot to watch the sun set over the Aegean Sea while sipping a daiquiri. When the sun disappears, fibre-optic lights flicker in the pool.
Voted Best Hotel Restaurant by Condé Nast 2012 Readers Choice, the restaurant’s head chef Athinagoras Kostakos has been guest chef at several other hotel restaurants recently, including Knightsbridge’s The Capital Hotel. The friendly staff were clearly proud of their restaurant so we were looking forward to choosing from the seasonal Mediterranean menu.
Unfortunately my initial question on what they could prepare for vegetarians was met with another question; ‘what would you like us to make?’ Instead of doubling up on one of the vegetarian options among the three test tubes making up the delicious amuse bouche, I was given a seafood one which remained untouched. There was a lot of ‘texture’ and ‘foam’ served on a variety of silly plates (including a glass bowl for the lobster) on the hit-and-miss menu that generally consisted of small portions at steep prices. We did have fun with the bright red strawberry sorbet which arrived in lipstick holders, though.
Cocktails were excellent, plus breakfast was good, offering a generous mix of traditional and local. However, we noticed the orders were mixed up for four tables during the first morning and the breakfast service, although friendly, remained incompetent throughout the week. We also thought it a little incongruous that, although breakfast was included in the room rate, some things weren’t, such as a cappuccino at €5 (which staff forgot to charge us for until half-way through the week).
Our Art Deco-inspired, spacious white-and-baby-blue suite had a terrace overlooking the sea; a large, comfortable bed; a decent jet shower; all-natural Apivita toiletries and all the amenities you’d expect from a Small Luxury Hotel of the World (the Deluxe Suite has a hot tub on its terrace). The downsides included inconsistent room service and a faulty room key (which staff seemingly already knew about).
Who Goes There?
Double sunloungers equals lots of European couples, although we spotted one family.
Out & About:
Lukas, on the front desk, was a brilliant guide to the island – proffering advice on the island’s hotspots and organising convertible mini hire (through iCar Rental). The coastline is sprinkled with sugarcube houses and beautiful bays. Head north to the gorgeously romantic Kikis Taverna. Sheltered by trees and overlooking Panormos Bay, it offers wonderful salads plus meat and fish from the outdoor grill. Another favourite was Fokos Taverna, with views over a heather field leading to Mersini Bay. Head south for some of the best beaches. Aghia Ioannis is where Shirley Valentine was filmed, while Psarou beach is home to Nammos, the hottest restaurant, bar with lounge and beach club in Mykonos – it’s the place to spot fashion designers and celebs.
Mykonos Town (Chora) is where the action is – wander through its whitewashed alleys until you find Nautilus, for lovely service and more interesting Greek starters (plus shots of mastic), Casa di Giorgio and Sale and Pepe for good Italian food (SaP, arguably, has the best wine list) and the upmarket steak restaurant Uno Con Carne – a beautiful place with a long bar and large tables – perfect for people watching. We also found a tiny traditional taverna recommended by someone working in the Diesel store, while Niko’s and Koynelas are good for fish lovers. Sky Bar, which plays more unusual house music, is currently the bar of choice among the sunset bars in Little Venice, although we also liked glam Bar Caprice.
The Best Thing:
I’m missing my daily swim in that pool…
The Worst Thing:
The hotel’s highlight (its pool) was let down by the fact that there weren’t enough sunloungers for every guest. Much to the boyf’s embarrassment, I left a half-eaten breakfast to get a book and bag to claim the last one during our third morning.
There were a few (other) Fawlty Towers moments. When we called for an iron and board, we were asked which we’d prefer; I ran out of loo roll one morning not long after room service; and when I mentioned that the fruit salad should be re-named apple salad, the chirpy waiter took a look before replying, ‘What do you mean apple salad? There are green and red apples in there.’