With Greece likely to be one of the first destinations to open up to UK travellers, we’ve started plotting our dream Greek getaway. From an adults-only hideaway on the Dodecanese island of Kos, to a boutique Cycladic retreat on Mykonos and a family adventure on the Peloponnese, we’ve handpicked our favourite properties to ignite wanderlust for the summer ahead…
*BEST FOR ADULTS* OKU KOS – OPENING 24 APRIL
OKU Kos, which will be fully operational from 5 April 2021, is an adult-only village-style beach hideaway located on the shores of the Aegean. Inspired by the Greek way of life, it offers 100 spacious guest rooms, including suites with private and semi-private pools and a handful of private two-bedroom villas for the ultimate in secluded luxury. When it comes to R&R, guests will love the OKU Spa, which includes a heated indoor swimming pool, relaxation area and a hammam for unique rejuvenating rituals. The spa is complimented by a carefully curated movement programme which includes an array of group fitness classes in addition to yoga, which is offered on a complimentary basis daily at either the beachside yoga pavilion or open air terrace. When it comes to dining, Executive Chef Mark Vaessen, formerly of SUSHISUMBA, has overseen the menu of the beach club, bar and restaurant, To Kima. A relaxed setting which boasts dramatic views of the ocean, here guests can enjoy cuisine inspired by local traditions and produce, using the freshest ingredients to create farm-to-fork Greek specialties and international favourites with a modern twist. Kos is an enchanting island, with lots to discover and experience.
Highlights include a boat trip around the stunning Lipsi Archipelago – home to turquoise waters, the islands of Arkoi and the caves of Makronisi; a hike to the remnants of a Byzantine castle or to the top of Mount Dikaois, and local wine tasting at family-run vineyard, Hatzimmanouil. A stay at OKU Kos allows travellers to live like a local whilst experiencing the island’s treasures and best-kept secrets. Sister property OKU Ibiza will be launching in May this year.
*BEST FOR DESIGN LOVERS* KALESMA, MYKONOS – OPENING 29 APRIL 2021
Set to elevate the desirable island of Mykonos, Kalesma is a brand new 25 suite and two villa hotel, opening 29 April 2021. ‘Kalesma’, meaning ‘inviting’ in Greek, is perfectly suited to the ethos of this boutique, privately-owned property. The whitewashed designed collection of houses have been created to resemble a charming Mykonian village, tumbling down a slope to Ornos Bay, just a short walk from the beach. The look and feel of a traditional village is deliberate, as Kalesma is all about making guests feel at home and encouraging a neighbourhood vibe, enhanced by laidback weekly supper clubs. Inspired by Cycladic architecture, combining tradition with contemporary elements, Kalesma is a design aficionados dream – offering sleek and minimalist interiors using locally-sourced materials. Spectacular sea views are promised from every part of the hotel and its location is truly unique, with guests being able to see the sunrise and sunset from the same spot. Kalesma’s accommodation is in the form of suites and villas and it is the only hotel in Mykonos where each room comes with its own private heated pool. All accommodation features original artwork and expansive bathrooms with freestanding bathtubs and an outdoor shower on a private patio. Created by the Greek owners of acclaimed Athens restaurants, Pere, Ubu and Sea Spice, Kalesma will feature a modern destination restaurant, leading the food scene on the island. Kalesma prides itself on providing guests with exclusive access to lesser-known hotspots, within the sought-after destination of Mykonos.
The bustling Mykonos town, covered with bougainvillea, is just 3km away. The hotel team has a deep-rooted connection with the island and Private Experience Managers are on hand to help guests discover the hidden gems of Mykonos. Upon request, private yacht charters and helicopter transfers are also available for those who wish to experience the island from a different perspective.
*BEST FOR FAMILY FUN* DAIOS COVE, CRETE
Tucked along a craggy cliff overlooking a private sandy cove, Daios Cove is a collection of contemporary villas and suites with private pools and beautiful sea views of the sparkly clear waters of Daios Bay. Ideal for families, there is a choice of one, two or three bedroom villas set across two levels, each with a heated private saltwater pool and private terraces. Villa guests can indulge by opting for premium all-inclusive, which offers everything from unlimited cocktails or champagne and endless ice cream to healthy juices – allowing a truly stress free holiday for all. While parents sit back and relax, children from 4 months and upwards can enjoy the Scott Dunn Explorers kids club. The childcare team will organise fun and exciting activities for all ages, from archery and trips to a local olive farm for the older children, and treasure hunts and games on the beach for the younger guests. If guests are not relaxing by their own private pool, there is an outdoor infinity pool and children’s pool. For sports enthusiasts there are also two tennis courts, a fitness centre and Spa with an indoor pool. Daios Cove has four restaurants, all of which have a children’s menu.
The traditional Cretan fishing village of Plaka, opposite the island of Spinalonga, is home to authentic tavernas and local artisan shops and is well worth a visit. Slightly closer are the bustling shops, bars and restaurants around the marina of Agios Nikolaos.
*BEST FOR ADVENTUROUS KIDS* EAGLES PALACE, HALKIDIKI
Set on its own sandy beach on the unspoilt Aegean coast, Eagles Palace is an intimate and charming family-run hotel, with villas that are particularly suitable for families. Eagles Villas are located up in the hills – 40 in total – all with private pools, amazing views over Ammouliani Island and two separate restaurants. The focus at Eagles Palace is the beach and crystal clear waters. The water sports centre has a brilliant range of equipment and also offers private tuition – guests can charter their own motorboat to explore the surrounding coastline and beaches, or even a skippered yacht, whilst the resort’s dive centre offers PADI courses and trips out into the waters surrounding Halkidiki, which are teeming with aquatic life. Guests who prefer to relax on the beach can order food and drink just by pressing a button on their parasol. The more adventurous can join one of the tailor-made excursions from mountain biking and hiking to sea kayaking. In the restaurants, fresh, local food is the order of the day. Younger children and active teens will love the Scott Dunn Explorers kids club for children aged 4 months to 11 years, and Aqua water sports programme, available during May half term to early September for children aged 5 to 13.
Guests can choose from a 6-day or, new for 2021, 3-day water sports programme that will see younger guests paddle boarding, windsurfing, sailing and snorkelling led by fully qualified instructors. While children are divided into groups according to age, Junior and Senior Groups run alongside each other, so that siblings can join the club together. The expert team will ensure that children have a truly adventurous holiday, making friends after time spent in lockdown and on screens.
*BEST FOR ACTIVE TEENS* COSTA NAVARINO, THE PELOPONNESE
Amidst olive groves overlooking the Ionian Sea sits Costa Navarino – The Romanos, which offers a super time for families, with Scott Dunn’s renowned Explorers kids club and a variety of water sports. The Romanos stretches along the beautiful and uncrowded Dunes Beach – an area largely untouched by mass tourism – making it the perfect place to unwind and enjoy everything that this part of the Peloponnese has to offer. The Costa Navarino Villas offer absolute privacy, each with a private pool. With ten to choose from, all take inspiration from the beautiful countryside surrounding the resort. Master Infinity Villas have direct access to the beach, while Villas Koroni and Mehoni comprise three bedroom, private Spa facilities, gym and 24/7 butler service The Scott Dunn Explorers Kids Club keeps children from 4 months to 11 years busy, while children and teenagers above the age of 11 can try out the CREW programme on selected dates – with adventurous activities ranging from wake-boarding to go-karting and beach volleyball.
Guests of The Romanos can enjoy the heated outdoor and indoor swimming pools, two championship golf courses, an outstanding on-site cycling centre, indoor climbing wall, and tennis centre, along with dedicated indoor and outdoor areas for children. For fun family rides, kids can join in too with tag-alongs, baby seats and stabilisers on the scenic traffic-free routes around a nearby lagoon.
…AND TO BE REVEALED SOON…
THE ROOSTER, ANTIPAROS – OPENING JUNE 2021
More than a resort, The Rooster is the vision become reality of an inspiring woman, driven to create a destination with depth, value and relevance to today’s traveller. It is a retreat for the discerning traveller on the unspoilt Greek island of Antiparos – a place that embraces ‘slow living’ through sustainability, organic food, wellness, learning and fun. The Rooster is all about space and privacy: just 17 individual suites, villas and houses of differing size, each offering stunning views of the Aegean Sea and private gardens; enchanting raw beauty with sustainability at its heart; working in harmony with the local community with wellness at its core. A place to arrive, completely relax away from the stresses of everyday life, and leave rejuvenated and renewed.