Tuesday, August 19, 2014

WE HAVE JUST BEEN TO MYKONOS

Our Norwegian travel consultants look at one of the most glamourous spots in the world, and our chosen hotels...

Between Mykonos’ rocky formations, gods have fought in legend, pirates have found their den and the world’s most famous people have swum. Mykonos is maybe the most beautiful island in Greece with the sun reflecting on the white landscape and the sandy beaches. And it is still celebrities’ island.

Mykonos remains as expensive as it always was, maybe the most expensive place to holiday in Greece, though definitely worth it if you consider the high standards and the glamour. This is the way they want it to be and they have succeeded.


Iconic Greek island charm and glamour
Families, couples, singles, young and old all enjoy Mykonos. If you want to party this is the place, if you want champagne on the beach it’s there, if you want a traditional Greek tavern and family holiday it’s easily arranged, and if you want to be alone on a beautiful beach – no problem – there are almost 100 beautiful beaches to choose from and isolated rocks in the middle of the sea where you might meet a goat or two.

The main town of Mykonos – Chora – is a small and picturesque white-chalked village with narrow alleys with cafes, restaurants and designer shops like Luis Vuitton and Juicy Couture and much more. There is also a small city beach and a pier where cruise lines like Silversea, Seadream and Seabourn lets their guests start their exploration.

Our chosen hotels – Mykonos Grand and Petasos Beach Resort  –  are both located 10-15 minutes from Chora on different beaches. We stayed at Mykonos Grand.

See map showing beaches and hotels…


MYKONOS GRAND 


Perfect pool area at Mykonos Grand

This hotel is beautifully built in the Cycladic tradition of white-chalked walls and blue, red and green details of wood. It is built on a slope with the reception on top and three rows of rooms with stairs between (and elevators). Below them you find the suites, all with full Seaview and then there is the Pool Area. There are also a few Suites at higher levels with total privacy.

Its certainly worth it to take a  seaview room – our favourite being the Premium Seaview Room (renovated in 2014 with egg-shape bathtub) and the Superior Seaview Rooms (renovated in 2009 with egg-shaped bathtub and open plan bathroom).


White, fresh, elegant rooms

There are five kinds of suites with Jacuzzi baths or private pools. . Perfect for a honeymoon is the Executive Suite. Deluxe Suite with Private Pool is close to the beach. The oversized master bathroom has a deep soaking Jacuzzi tub for two, separate walk-in rain shower, steam cabin, double vanity and a Technogym treadmill.

The Althea Spa and Fitness Center is located close to the pool and offers all you need with new state of the art Tecknogym equipment. It is nicely air-conditioned, but has no view to the outside, only the mirrors showing how hard you work. The Spa has some very luxurious treatments.

Dining

Mykonos Grand has 2 restaurants – the Dolphins of Delos open for Breakfast and Dinner and the Aqua & Sole by the pool that offers light meals for lunch and early dinner. Then of course you will also want to dine out…

There are 2 further restaurants on the beach a short walking distance – the Hippie Fish and the Pili Restaurant, both reasonably good tavernas with traditional Greek cuisine with a touch of France. Good, but not excellent.


Lunch in Hippie Fish - image by another of our inveterate Select travellers, Ann Jurk

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In Chora there are several good restaurants – like the famous Argentinian steak house UNO CON CARNE and Catari Restaurant for Italian dishes. And at Hotel Belvedere there is also NOBUYUKI MATSUHISA’s Sushi restaurant.

For traditional Greek Cuisine our taxidriver  recommended  SPILIA in Agia Anna , and TO MAERIO in Kalogera. According to our friend Theo at The Margi we should also visit KIKIS at Agio Sosti. Unfortunately we did not have time to visit either this time.

Location
The location is 4 km from the airport and 4 km from Mykonos town. Since it is difficult to find a taxi (only 30 taxi cars on the island) I suggest to use the hotel’s shuttle bus that goes from the hotel every hour and is free of charge.

Petasos Beach Resort & Spa

This is the sister property of Mykonos Grand and has the same style of rooms, though a bit more modern, and built on flatter ground (while its sister property is built on a slope). They have a brand new spa – Aqua Marine – of 500 sqm and one restaurant – the V.I.P.

White, fresh and contemporary
By contrast this resort is more See and Be Seen for the young and chic, whereas the Mykonos Grand exudes casual elegance and old money.


View from Petasos Beach Resort

Dining with a view, close to it all

Nightlife

Go to Chora at night if you want to party. The most popular and famous bar at the moment is Jackie O’ http://jackieomykonos.com/ This is a gay-friendly bar for adults only. ODE bar is also popular and so is Remezzo. A good start is Galleraki in Little Venice for cocktails before  exploring the rest. Party all night if you want to…

Taxi/Transport

Mykonos Grand has free shuttle transport from/to the hotel/Chora, but the first is at 18.00 to town and the last back is 23.30. Petasos Beach has no such service.

The taxi licenses in Greece are given based on the number of inhabitants on each island, not counting the summer guests. So, on Mykonos there are only 30 taxis. This makes it hard to find a taxi quickly between 23.00 and 02.00 at night. There are some pirates that can be found around the minimarket at the entrance of Chora, but we recommend booking a private driver with the hotel.


Beaches

Agios Yiannis – Where Mykonos Grand is situated is a quite nice beach where the hotel has a private part with complimentary sunbeds for hotel guests.

Platis Yialos Beach (next to Petasos Beach Resort) - there is a small harbour next to the beach where small taxi boats leave regularly to nearby beaches such as Paraga, Paradise, Super Paradise, Elia and Agrari

Nearby Petasos Beach Resort - Psarou Beach offers the popular Nammos restaurant. 

Kalo Livadi – 10 km from Chora, quite large and on the south part of the island, between Elia and Kalafatis. Good for families.

Ornos Beach – 3 km from Chora on the way to Mykonos Grand, very picturesque and family friendly.
Elia – 10 km from Chora. Fine sand, easy access and a great crowd. Gay friendly

Panormos – 5 km from Chora – one of the islands alternative “progressive” beaches – good for surfing –no sunbeds.

Kalafatis Beach – 12 km from Chora. Good for windsurfing and diving, with schools on site.

Super Paradise Beach – 7 km from Chora; this is the famous beach. Beware of narrow steep roads to get there and expect nude sunbathing on the beach. Gay friendly. Wild parties, clubbing and unlimited fun are the trademark of this beach. This is also the location of Jackie O’ Beach Bar and Pinky Beach – see and be seen, not for too-sensitive souls.


Other experiences

-  A spa treatment at the outdoor Spa Pavilion at Mykonos Grand located under the main pool area, overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Aegean and listening to the sea waves during the treatment

-  A romantic dinner on the beach, as seen in the movie Shirley Valentine 

-  A yoga or Pilates private session at the inspiring outdoor amphitheater at Mykonos Grand





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