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Grecian Grandeur

 

The best time to travel to the islands is from April to October (high season is during July and August), and with such choice for islands to visit and places to stay, we’ve selected six stunning resorts on equally stunning islands to help you plan your own Greek Island adventure.

 

The Cyclades

Santorini

Andronikos Hotel Santorini

Stay here for: the best view on the island

Santorini is renowned for some pretty spectacular vistas. Set upon the monstrous cliffs of a long-since imploded volcano, the main towns have breathtaking views of the glittering caldera below (and the sunsets aren’t bad, either). The newly constructed Andronikos Hotel Santorini might just have the best view of them all.
Nestled amongst the rolling white buildings and winding paths of Imerovigli, these boutique suites are a luxe update on Santorini tradition. If private jacuzzis and balconies overlooking miles of blue ocean are more your style, you’ve come to the right place.

The rooms are set back into the cliff and are cool, clean-lined and cavernous. You might expect them to be a little dark, but sunlight streams in over the soft, organic forms and fresh ocean palette. My suite fronted onto one of the main walkways of the island, which made for a little foot traffic outside. Ask for a room on the upper levels if you prefer the quiet. It is about a 25-minute walk to the heart of the capital town Fira and a beautiful 2.5-hour hike to Oia (wear sneakers or hiking boots). Andronikos can also organise semi-private or private sailing trips in the caldera as well as helicopter, airplane or boat charters for short stays on other islands. Breakfast is served at the hotel’s partner restaurant, The Athenian House, next door, and is not to be missed.

Gorgeous views and luxurious rooms aside, perhaps the best thing about this hotel is its incredible staff. They are willing to go above and beyond to make each guest’s Santorini experience one to remember.

The Andronikos hotels group plans to expand to new destinations in Greece with the first new addition, Andronikos Athens, due to open at the end of 2017.

Suite rates range from €355 (about A$508) per night in the low season (April and October) to €685 (about A$980) per night in the high season (end of June to mid-September) and include breakfast. andronikossantorini.gr

 

Folegandros

Anemi Hotel

Stay here for: untapped escape

With just over 700 permanent inhabitants, Folegandros is off the beaten track, to say the least, but that certainly doesn’t mean Folegandros doesn’t do luxury. Case in point? Anemi Hotel.

Set against the rugged terrain of Karavostasis village, the cluster of pristine whitewashed buildings surrounding an electric blue infinity pool make a lasting impression. A Design Hotels, Anemi Hotel’s buildings house 44 unique rooms and suites that expertly combine traditional Cycladic architecture with contemporary Greek style. High, exposed-beam ceilings, sparkling ocean views and white everything, this is barefoot luxury at its best. All rooms feature large bathtubs and comfortable king-size or twin beds, and two of the larger suites have their own private pool.

The hotel is home to one of about three gourmet restaurants on the island, with a selection of local and international dishes to be enjoyed overlooking the pool area. While there’s no spa onsite, the hotel has partnerships with a number of local therapists and can organise in-room services on request. There is also a small fitness centre and a tennis court. The internet connection is what you’d expect from an island with less than 1000 inhabitants. It works, most of the time, but you’re not going to be streaming videos all day. But I promise, you won’t want to.

If you’re after a secluded escape completely removed from the hustle and bustle of the real world, Anemi Hotel is for you. Unwind, relax and enjoy this untapped paradise for a few days. It will not disappoint.

Suite rates range from €310 (about A$443) per night in the low season (May and June) to €740 euro (about A$1058) per night in the high season (August) and include breakfast. anemihotel.gr

 

Mykonos

Bill & Coo Suites & Lounge

Stay here for: a lavish paradise close to the party

When I’m picked up from the bustling docks of Mykonos, swept into a sleek black four-wheel drive and handed a cool towel and icy bottle of water, I’m pretty sure I’m in for some seriously good service. When I arrive at Bill & Coo Suites & Lounge, and am treated to an arrival ritual of cocktails and amuse bouches overlooking the infinity pool, my hunch is confirmed.

Just 15 minutes’ walk from the heart of vibrant Mykonos Town, Bill & Coo is your very own luxury hideout away from it all, but close enough that you can join the party (quite literally) whenever you feel like it. The suites are spectacularly designed for comfort and style, seamlessly blending contemporary clean lines with an almost Indigenous, ethereal finish. My suite had its own jacuzzi and outdoor sunlounge area with pristine ocean views, while other suites feature private infinity pools. Massage sessions and spa treatments, personal trainers and personal assistants as well as private jet and yacht charters can all be arranged upon request.

Absolutely not to be missed is a dinner in the hotel restaurant, indisputably one of the finest on the island. Grab a cocktail in the pool lounge and catch the sunset before treating your senses to a truly exceptional gastronomic experience from award-winning chef Athinagoras Kostakos. I’m not afraid to say his sea urchin risotto was the best entrée I’ve ever tasted.

Drenched in luxury, Bill & Coo is a Mykonos encounter like no other and the ideal destination for lavish island living.

Rates for rooms and suites range from A$750 to A$3000 per night in high season and include breakfast. billandcoo.gr

 

Serifos

COCO-MAT Eco Residences

Stay here for: sustainable luxury

In its previous life, the newly renovated COCO-MAT Eco Residences were a complex of early 1900s miners’ houses. They’ve since been given a spectacular facelift, one that’s been deeply respectful of both the traditional architecture and eco-friendly practice. The roomy two-storey apartments are designed to unify simplicity, sustainability and elegance, resulting in spaces unlike anything you’ll see elsewhere in the Greek Islands. It’s the ideal spot for a carefree island holiday, in a hotel that cares for the island in return.

With some of the most beautiful beaches in the Cyclades, a surprisingly vibrant food culture and culturally significant historical sites, Serifos is yet to be overrun by tourists, despite its proximity to the mainland. COCO-MAT overlooks one such beautiful beach, Vagia, at the entrance of Koutalas bay. Its protection from the Aegean summer winds gives rise to crystal blue waters, white sandy shores and spectacular sunsets, and earns Vagia a spot in the list of Natura 2000 protected sites.

With a focus on natural materials – linen, silk, stone and wood – an abundance of natural light and a cleverly designed natural air-conditioning system throughout, the spaces in COCO-MAT feel harmoniously in tune with their surroundings. Each apartment offers one or two bedrooms, a lounge area and a fully equipped kitchen stocked with fresh local produce on request. The restaurant serves exclusively fresh fish caught by local fishermen, certified Serifos meat, vegetables grown in local orchards and bread baked daily on site.

Rates for apartments range from €240 (about A$343) per night in the low season to €620 (about A$887) in the high season. serifos.coco-mat-hotels.com

Saronic Islands

Spetses

Poseidonion Grand Hotel

Stay here for: old-world elegance, new-world comfort

When it originally opened in 1914, the Poseidonion Grand left its mark on the Spetses skyline. It’s cosmopolitan Cote D’Azur-style suites and opulent finishes saw the hotel fast become a favourite amongst wealthy Athenians, well-to-do Greek society and royalty.

The hotel reopened its doors in 2009 after an extensive five-year renovation, which saw the 38 deluxe rooms and suites in the historical wing updated with new facilities and fittings, as well as an entirely new wing added to the property.

The rooms ooze elegance, with a contemporary palette adorned with modern and traditional furniture referencing the colonial era. Marbled bathrooms, private balconies, spectacular ocean views and superior service make Poseidonion a luxury stay to remember.

Poseidonion was the very first hotel in Greece to offer guests spa services and has kept this tradition alive with an extensive spa, steam and pool area.

The hotel restaurant serves up innovative Asian-inspired cuisine based on ingredients sourced from Poseidonion’s own organic farm, nestled in the Spetzes mountains. The farm produces fresh fruit, vegetables and eggs for the hotel as well as other restaurants on the island. Tours to the farm can be organised on request and make for a very special day out.

Rates for apartments range from €170 (about A$243) per night in the low season to €355 (about A$507) in the high season. poseidonion.com

 

Crete

Daios Cove Luxury Resort and Villas

Stay here for: a luxury family getaway
The second most expensive hotel in Greece is hand-carved into the cliffs of tranquil Vathi Bay, near the town of Agios Nikolaos on the country’s largest island.
With 230 rooms, 30 suites and 40 villas across five levels connected by a funicular, Daios Cove feels more like a village than a hotel. But it’s certainly got the facilities and experiences to meet expectations of a luxury stay. There’s private yachting along the stunning Cretan coastline, scuba diving and waterskiing lessons, weekly yoga courses, a private beach, several swimming pools and restaurants, cooking lessons, on-site wine tasting, boutique shopping and external tours to a number of Crete’s historical sites – perfect for a little culture with the kids.
Everything about Daios is geared towards families, with activities to suit all ages, a games room and a kids club for little ones from four months to 12 years old. There’s also evening activates for children three nights a week, as well as in-room babysitting services on request.
Breakfast is served buffet style in Pangea restaurant, which also offers themed buffets each evening. Traditional rustic Greek cuisine is a must try at Taverna overlooking the cove, with particularly special views after dark. Ocean Restaurant offers more of a fine-dining experience, with a modern twist on Mediterranean specialties.
With so much to do in the hotel itself, you’ll be pleased to hear that the rooms and suites themselves don’t disappoint either. Spacious, light and modern, each one comes with wall-to-ceiling windows overlooking the crystal blue waters of Vathi Bay below. Standard rooms feature separate living spaces (perfect for families travelling with kids), comfortable king-size or twin beds, and bathtubs. The larger suites and villas have private sea-view terraces, plunge pools and saunas.
For parents after a little me time, the hotel spa offers top-to-toe treatments in state-of-the-art surroundings. Exclusive suites, hydro-massage, a Finnish sauna, Thai massage studio and fitness centre offer lavish spaces in which to relax and enjoy some well-deserved pampering with Anne Semonin body care products.
Of special mention is The Daios Mansion, an astonishing 900-square-metre villa featuring luxurious interior spaces with opulent designer furnishings, a heated outdoor infinity pool, private spa area, dedicated concierge, a fully stocked kitchen with a chef upon request, plus catering for private dining events.
Diaos Cove is the ultimate fly-and-flop that promises safe, memorable and luxurious fun for the whole family. And if you can stand to leave the beauty of Vathi Bay, Crete itself offers a magical tapestry of culture, landscape and ancient treasures just waiting to be discovered.
Rates for family-sized suites (maximum five guests) start from A$750 per night in the low season. Larger suites (maximum seven guests) in the high season start at around A$4,900 per night. The hotel offers a number of special room rates throughout the year. Daios Mansion rates start from A$32,300 per night during the high season. daioscove.com

 

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