Last September I was beachside in Santorini, Greece soaking up the sun with a Mythos beer (and/or a mojito) in hand almost daily. The little island had me swooning from the moment we met and soon a full-fledged love story had grown between us. . Santorini is known as the romantic island of the Greek isles, but having gone with four of my girlfriends, it wasn’t the kind of chocolates-and-roses vacation that it is usually meant to be.
While having experienced (and loved) the slower-paced side of Greece, my next visit to the European country will most likely be to Mykonos. Known for its lively atmosphere and hoards of crowds (around 15,000 people a day during the high season), the great glamour island of the Cyclades is the type of destination where you can really let your hair down. When it comes to luxe accommodations, the island boasts a number of ideal hotels, but one of its standouts is the Belvedere Mykonos. Here’s what we discovered about this Grecian gem.
The five-star property sits in the heart of the island above the town of Chora against a plateau of whitewashed Cyclades houses. At the hotel, bougainvilleas greet you in the courtyard that is filled with lush gardens of cypress trees, and views of the Aegean Sea reflect the understated elegance of the property.
With 35 guestrooms and eight suites, the accommodations sit across seven buildings and are designed to reflect the island’s simplicity and calming ambiance. White interiors and furnishings decorate each room and are paired with dark wood elements and minimal décor. In the one-bedroom Junior Suite, guests can enjoy a ground-floor room with views out onto the garden or Mykonian courtyard. Situated off of the living room is an outdoor terrace and the bedroom includes its own balcony as well. However, some reviews point out the small size of the balcony, so if you’re looking to host guests, inquire about the actual size before booking.
Beyond the bedrooms, guests can experience an number of activities on and around the property. At the pool, travelers can rest on either comfy sun loungers or can opt for a cabana and take in the panoramic view of Mykonos in the afternoons. Cocktails and a bar menu are all available by the pool and the staff will gladly accommodate restaurant reservation requests as you lay by the pool, so that you won’t have to bother lifting a finger. If you’d like to read and forgot a book, ask for one of the many magazines, newspapers or literature that the hotel has on hand and a concierge will bring it to you poolside.
At Belvedere Therapies, guests are treated to spa treatments using modern techniques and old philosophies that are combined to replenish mind, body and soul. Along with body treatments, the facility offers aromatherapy, hot stone therapies, hydrotherapy and hammam steam baths. There is also an on-site fitness center, boutique shop and rarity gallery which exhibits the works of internationally acknowledged contemporary artists.
One surprising thing about Belvedere, however, is that the hotel boasts a Nobu restaurant featuring renowned Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s cuisine. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the restaurant serves signature dishes that fans of the chef have come to love such as Black Cod with Miso, Tiradito and New Style Sashimi. Hanging from the trees, sparkling lanterns light the space that views into the open-kitchen floor plan, the perfect setting for a romantic dinner. Also, in 2007, the venue was renovated by David Rockwell Group NYC (Nobu NYC, Nobu 57, Matsuhisa Athens) and now offers poolside dining.
Along with Nobu, the hotel has its own signature restaurant, a martini bar and an impressive wine cellar. So if you’re looking for true Mediterranean fare you won’t have to go too far to find it. Dishes are simple yet bold, and honest to their Greek heritage.
Belvedere Mykonos is definitely more of a tranquil property than others (partiers look elsewhere), but this is most likely the reason why many choose to call it home during their stay. At night, the pool area does turn into more of a lounge atmosphere though, so if you really want to mingle with other guests and stay out late, you can do so only feet away from your room. To get there from Athens, catch a daily flight by Olympic Air or Aegean Airlines. The flight is approximately 25 minutes. Standard guestrooms begin at around USD $283 a night while suites start at USD $383 per night.