Taking the crown for the chi-chi spot of summer would be oh-so-stylish Mykonos, which has usurped Ibiza as the place to see and be seen. And it’s not hard to see why. The white sand beaches and hotels have it all here sitting alongside a lifestyle suitable for those of you partial to a magnum of rosé and a boogie in the middle of the day. Sunbathing takes a sidestep with the world-famous Nammos restaurant or stylish Scorpios to dine at in sumptuous style. This is hedonism at the height of luxury and that’s just the way we like it.
But don’t let the party lifestyle put you off. Secret coves and turquoise sea are in abundance and there are quieter islands to explore if you enjoy the simpler life. Al fresco lunches, boat trips and twinkling tavernas are a given. The island of Santorini is famed for its jaw-dropping vistas and boutique hotels. Crete, Thessaloniki and Corfu are perfect for families with young children. Meganissi and Lefkada retain their traditional way of life and yet deliver on luxury villas for large groups.
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Housed in a cluster of white-washed stone buildings overlooking the Aegean Sea, this boutique hotel is the pared down, boho retreat from the island hedonists. Lazy hammocks set around the pool, a private rocky beach and gorgeous, light-filled bedrooms make this is the ultimate in laid-back chic. With only 32 rooms to share the palm-filled garden and an unheated saltwater pool, you’ll be pleased to hear this is an adult-only haven. A healthy, organic restaurant and poolside bar are on site or you can explore the party bays close by (Paradise and Paraga) or head slightly further afield to the gorgeous Agios Ioannis.
This contemporary boutique hotel overlooks Ornos beach with picture-perfect views and is just a short drive from Mykonos Town. With private transfers into Mykonos Town, it’s a handy extra for an island where taxis are notoriously difficult to find. With its whitewashed walls and stone floors, the bedrooms are some of the most stunning on the island. They may look sparse in decoration but their private plunge pools, Hermes toiletries and sea views make them hard to beat. The hotel has a spa, air-conditioned gym and 80 square metre pool along with a rooftop bar for evening cocktails.
This 5* hotel in Mykonos is situated just 3km from Mykonos Town offering the ultimate in privacy and seclusion. Expect enormous beds, crisp white fabrics and ultra-modern furnishings in your Bill & Coo Coast Suite, which is set on the ground floor opening out onto a spacious terrace with your very own private pool with the stunning Aegean Sea in the background. With a direct concierge phoneline, you will never want for anything at this luxury retreat. Set within 10 acres of grounds, Bill & Coo Coast offers all the services of a luxury hotel. With a tranquil pool lounge, nearby beach and Tavern and Lounge Bar, there’s plenty to keep you entertained.
With the jaw-dropping clifftop views, the vistas are not for the faint-hearted. Clinging to the rocks above the bright blue sea below, Astra Suites is the perfect island hideaway. With only 26 rooms – all with private terraces – an infinity pool and spa, Astra Suites tops the list for a romantic retreat. Explore nearby 15th century forts or head down the hill to the capital Thira. And although there’s lots to do locally, we think you might just laze under your four-poster daybed and stare out to sea.
Quietly located on the southeastern side of the island sits the Istoria. This 12 suite hotel is just across a small road from Perivolos Beach, which stretches 3 km and is characteristic by black volcanic sand and crystal clear water. All suites have private terraces and many feature outdoor hot tubs, private pools or panoramic sea views. You’ll also be spoiled with a spa and a restaurant which serves modern taverna fare in a simple alfresco setting with a sandy floor. Plus you’ll have sunset views right on your doorstep, away from the crowds in Oia!
Located in the heart of Oia and facing the ancient caldera, Canaves Oia Luxury Properties redefine hospitality as we know it. Each property delivers (Epitome is fantastic for families, Canaves Oia Sunday Suites mean you benefit from three members of staff per guest), but Canaves Oia Suites is our personal favourite. With only 32 suites, all boasting spacious living areas and private pools, their two pools are Instagram-worthy in their own right.
Breath-taking views and absolute tranquility ensures Perivolas sits among the best hotels in Conde Nast Traveller’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards. On a cliff above the island’s famous caldera, this resort “embodies simplicity, elegance, and tranquillity.” Modern, spare rooms converted from 300-year-old caves have clean white walls with splashes of colour in the cushions and bedding. There are no TVs, but there is an “absolutely marvellous infinity pool”and fantastic restaurant.
Parīlio, a Member of Design Hotels, is a 33 room, luxury hotel on the northeastern coast of Paros. The name, Parīlio, is derived from ‘Paros’ and the Greek word for the sun ‘ilios’. Although there is plenty to do on Paros, the beautiful architecture and interiors of the hotel, along with the spa, impressive cross-shaped pool and gastronomic delights at the restaurant make you never want to leave!