THE BEST OF GREEK ISLAND LUXURY
Although small is size, Mykonos has long been known for its flamboyant and glamourous nightlife, which of course attracts a very fashionably international crowd. So it’s no surprise that the island is now home to some of the best destination boutique hotels in Greece, as well as setting standards for the most fabulous and decadent beach clubs, which have been attracting an A-list clientele since the 1960s.
The beauty of the Greek islands is almost mythological - white-washed cube-style architecture and Byzantium churches set against the Mediterranean blue. Each island certainly has a charm all its own; Corfu’s sandy beaches, Santorini’s volcanic caldera and Delos’s ancient ruins…making it almost impossible to choose between them. As we were celebrating my sister’s 40th birthday, we wanted five-star luxury along with decadent fun – so Mykonos was the obvious choice.
Nammos Beach (www.nammos.gr), the lively bikini-and-sushi beach club and restaurant at Psarou Beach renowned for attracting a traffic jam of superyachts anchoring off the shore in high season, is world famous. Everyone goes for lunch, and stays for sundown – if you are lucky enough to get a table. And Nammos just got a little better with the addition of new beach cabanas featuring a private outdoor Jacuzzi, a butler to serve champagne, and even a dedicated private chef serving up delicious treats. Set slightly up from the beach, it’s certainly the most luxurious way to enjoy the famed party beach as you are guaranteed five-star service and a little privacy to relax.
The Psarou Beach crowd does glamour like nowhere else – this is designer beach fashion at its best and people are here to be noticed. Don’t be surprised if you feel a little underdressed upon arrival, so it’s rather lucky the international stores of Nammos Village are a short dash up from the beach. Brands such as Dior, Oscar de la Renta and Louis Vuitton and Christian Louboutin are among the stores set in lush botanic gardens, and the chances are you will return to the beach in an entirely new outfit – probably with five new resort outfits! (www.nammosvillage.com).
As we were celebrating a landmark birthday, we’d opted for a tailor-made trip to ensure we experienced the best this amazing Greek island had to offer – and our Mykonos concierge Angela (www.mykonosluxurytravel. com) took care of the finer details with a superbly planned trip.
Location is everything in Mykonos; a shortage of taxis means travel around the island can be challenging, so you need to ensure you have a hotel in a good location and 24-hour driver or hotel shuttle. The plush 5-star Kourous Hotel (www.kouroshotelmykonos.gr) has both – as well as a stunning clifftop location. It’s a picture-perfect Greek hotel, with serene all-white interiors and to-die-for views rolling down to Mykonos town, set off by the dazzling cobalt blue of the Mediterranean. With interiors by French designer Fabienne Spahn and spacious rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, the Kourous feels more like a stylish private villa than a hotel. Our suite came with its own private pool, so we could have happily stayed relaxing there all day (with a few trips to the Zoe spa for good measure) – however, the amazing selection of pastries and healthy breakfast (including the traditional local filo pastry pies with fillings such as spinach and feta) served around the main pool, with the views down over the activity of Mykonos town, always tempted us out to enjoy the atmosphere of the hotel.
Sunset is also a big occasion here, when it seems almost the entire population of the island emerges to watch the sky softly fade into the most spectacular rose-gold light. Little Venice, a quirky waterside area in Mykonos town that takes its name for looking strikingly like the real one, is probably the most popular spot for sunset, but as you’d expect it’s thronged – luckily, we had the most panoramic views in the luxury of a VIP private terrace at our hotel. I doubt there are better views anywhere on the island, especially as ours came with chilled champagne and fivestar service.
Kourous’ central location was perfect for making the most of the renowned Mykonos nightlife. The New Remezzo (www. remezzo-mykonos.com) restaurant, the newly renovated legendary island hotspot, is so good it features in every jetsetter’s little black book. The atmosphere is buzzy, the crowd glamorous and the fresh fish amazing. Mykonos devotees come back here year after year, it’s almost a ritual to do a big dinner at Remezzo – and we totally succumbed to its charm, so much so that we had to return a second night during our trip, and loved it just as much again.While the fabulous nightlife is definitely part of the charm of Mykonos, we were also in need of some pampering and time to unwind after a hectic few days. The second half of the holiday was going to be all about leaving the crowds behind and relaxing, and the majestic Blue Senerity Villa (www.mykonosluxurytravel.com) in Panoramas, in the north of the island, was certainly the perfect place for that – especially as it came with a concierge and five-star service, including a private chef who spoilt us with out-of-this-world cuisine (her peach and seabass ceviche was so good we demanded it daily).
So after a few days of doing nothing (despite the attempts of the concierge to tempt us on a private charter and guided excursion of the ancient ruins of Delos, the closest island) but admiring the stunning view of the Mediterranean from our infinity pool, working on our tans, having massages by the pool and eating like Royalty, we were ready to join the beach party set again. Luckily, the lavish Principot beach club (www.principote.com), was next door and boasted an amazing wine list to match any Michelin-star restaurant in the beautiful beach décor surroundings – proving it is possible to have the best of fine-dining while barefoot at the beach, a very unique experience.
That’s the charm of Mykonos, it serves up the most glamourous fun, set against the beauty of the Greek islands – something certainly on the wish-list for those big celebration holidays.