ykonos has been a global travel destination for hedonists since the 1920s when the superyacht was vacationing there. Among the ever-growing celebrity clientele, the island has hosted former US First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis and old Hollywood kings like Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Brigitte Bardot. It’s a must-have on any island hopping adventure.
While no destination is safe in these crazy coronavirus times, strict regulations in Greece have resulted in relatively low case numbers, and so the country has stayed firmly on the green and yellow lists. To make up for the time lost by the lockdown, the traditional season has been extended from April to the end of October. So if you’re looking for autumnal sunshine, don’t rely on the UK weather. Have your vaccination certificate shown and head to the quaint Greek party island, known for its nightlife, lively restaurant scene, and shimmering shores.
There is tough competition when it comes to choosing the optimal screw hole. Santa Marina has been one of the best hotels for many years and is home to two of the island’s most prestigious restaurants; Jason Atherton’s newly opened Mykonos Social and the legendary restaurant-come-club Buddha Bar.
The spacious resort is a place to see and hide at the same time with the extensive selection of private villas.
The Santa Marina is a luxury base for exploring Mykonia and the only hotel on the island with a private beach. It offers the best of both worlds, combining all the things we love most about resort hotels – everything within reach, top-notch cuisine, and a selection of sparkling pools – and yet the hustle and bustle of the city is only a 10-minute drive away. The serene sanctuary offers panoramic views of the sky-blue Aegean Sea, rocky landscapes and beautiful golden sands.
Away from the hustle and bustle, Santa Marina feels like its own corner on the private Ornos Bay peninsula, which is well located on the southern tip of the island. It is located between the airport and Chora – the quaint town with cobblestone streets, vibey bars, excellent restaurants and Indy boutiques. The hotel offers transfers or you can rent ATVs and mopeds to drive around with a breeze in your hair.
Mykonos is only a 20-minute flight from Athens or three hours by boat. It also has its own airport with regular flights from the UK. It is located in the Cyclades, which are made up of rocky hills. In Greek mythology, the island was created when Hercules fought the giants in his twelve tasks and threw their defeated bodies into the sea, where they turned into huge rocks.
Santa Marina is decorated in the typical Cycladic style. The buildings are equipped with stone walls painted in brilliant white as standard. The resort is located on a hill where every room has a breathtaking panoramic view of the sea. They are interspersed with private pools and vibrant greenery.
The relatively restrained interior reflects the relaxed Mykonian lifestyle with natural materials throughout. The beach-chic aesthetic is achieved through rattan and wood interwoven with modern conveniences.
There are 101 guest rooms and suites as well as 13 villas with two to seven bedrooms.
Splash around in one of the private villas, especially the Crystal and Turquoise, which have just been extensively renovated. They can sleep up to 14 guests and feel palatial. The villas house both indoor and outdoor living spaces as well as two exclusive pools. Each room has its own bathroom. The villas are at the top of the hill, offering some of the best views on the island.
The hotel does not have one, but two infinity pools. The most famous and most depicted is undoubtedly the Oasis Pool, which has white wicker huts in the water and provides the perfect backdrop for sunsets and cocktails.
The famous Ginkgo Spa has a high quality gym to keep your fitness in check. Keep an eye on the beautiful blue ocean as you run the miles on the treadmill. There’s also an on-site hair salon and an extensive treatment menu from ESPA and now 111SKIN. The latter is a luxury skin care label run by Dr. Yannis Alexandrides was founded and offers radiant results. Book a pampering facial with the brand’s luxury range of products. There are five treatment rooms and a sauna.
Renowned Michelin star chef Jason Atherton – the man behind London’s Pollen Street Social and Little Social – has set up shop with a unique take on Mediterranean cuisine from June 2021. Brave to serve local cuisine, but Atherton’s first foray into the Mediterranean found a way to make it totally unique and turn traditional dishes upside down.
This is fine dining but in the signature Mykonian way with a relaxed atmosphere and shared dishes with an emphasis on starters and impeccable presentation. The meal starts with sourdough and dips, where tzatziki is served with ginger instead of garlic, and hummus is given a spicy note – don’t knock until you’ve tried it. The highlights of the menu also include gazpacho – a welcome change in the heat – but paired with a melon sorbet for incomparable freshness, salmon with a bed of orzo pesto and saffron noodles surrounded by deep-sea clams. Save space for a dessert that focuses on the fig as a tribute to the region and the Ornos Cube – an Instagram-worthy box-shaped dish made of chocolate and honey – seems to defy gravity.
With the most beautiful view of the bright blue Aegean Sea, Mykonos Social is also the place where the breakfast buffet is served in the morning. The spread has something for everyone with local, English, and American cuisines, plus fresh fruit and a seemingly endless selection of pastries.
It may be a Greek island, but Mykonos is full of Asian restaurants – and the best of the best is the Buddha Bar on Santa Marina’s private beach. People travel from everywhere to dine in the exclusive restaurant and try the delicious fresh fish. With a view of the water, the restaurant conveys an upscale feeling of luxury, which is reflected in the price. Here you get what you pay for and every dish is as sensational as the last – from the characteristic chicken salad with peanut sauce to the sushi-maki rolls. If you can’t make it for lunch or dinner, go for a drink to soak up the electric atmosphere. The restaurant hosts international DJs and is open until 2am.
The beauty of the Santa Marina is the sheer volume of the room types, so everyone from honeymooners to families won’t feel out of place at the luxury resort. The latter is guaranteed by amenities designed exclusively for children, including a pool and playground.
Prices start at € 550. For more information on Santa Marina, a Luxury Collection Resort, Mykonos, visit santa-marina.gr