Review: Kalesma, Mykonos
A hidden paradise set away from the thrum of the town
From chic beach clubs to hip hotels and dreamy sandy coves, the glamorous Greek party island of Mykonos has it all. And this cool new crashpad fits right in….
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Review: Kalesma, Mykonos
Whitewashed Cycladic-style suites spill down the hillside towards the sea at Kalesma, the big-buzz hotel opening on Mykonos this year. So far, so traditional. But inside, sought-after Athens-based design practice K-Studio has created interiors that are seriously cool. The black wood-beamed willow ceiling contrasts with the stone floor, pressed concrete walls and layered natural materials – putty linens, warm wood, raffia. There are double sinks and a sunken bath in the bathroom, and glass doors that open onto a spacious terrace with loungers by pool where you can sit watching the sunrise. For larger groups, there are also two sunset-facing villas, Artemis (sleeps 8) and Apollo (sleeps 6). Both come with butler service, their own private gym and pool.
There are a pair lovely sandy beaches, both a 20-minute stroll away. The first is peaceful Agios Ioannis, famed as the setting for the hit 1980s film Shirley Valentine, which has a small chapel at one end and a handful of laid-back beach bars and restaurants along the sand. The second, in the opposite direction, is resort-like Ornos where the calm, shallow, crystal-clear water is especially brilliant for families.
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Spend a morning wandering the narrow, cobbled streets of Mykonos Town (a 10-minute drive from the hotel); start at the windmills overlooking Little Venice, then browse the chic boutiques selling soft linen shirts, boho earrings and designer swimwear. For keen history buffs, it’s worth taking a boat trip to the ancient island of Delos, a Unesco World Heritage archaeological site, which, according to Greek mythology was the birthplace of twin gods Apollo and Artemis. Back at the hotel, there is a lap pool by the bar, a communal lounge just off reception with Rik Owens furniture and a boutique, and a basement gym (spa treatment rooms are slated to open in spring 2022).
Co-founders of Kalesma, Aby Saltiel and Makis Kousathanas, already have form as restaurateurs with fashionable Pere Ubu and Sea Spice in Athens. So, it’s no surprise that food is the focus of the social space here. This outpost of Pere Ubu takes over the terrace around the central pergola-shaded bar (there’s an indoor restaurant too, for cooler evenings or when it’s blowy) where pretty lanterns hang in olive trees and the dark wood and raffia-backed chairs stand out against the white buildings behind. Breakfast (acai smoothie bowls, ham and cheese omelettes, waffles) rolls into the all-day menu which begins with delicious dips and meze plates: grilled sardines on pita; fig and feta salad drizzled in lemony poppyseed dressing; saganaki with spicy honey. For dinner, there are heartier mains such as roast lamb or lobster and caviar. There are also a few chairs scattered around a firepit which makes a dreamy spot for a glass of Greek wine while watching the sun set.
THE FINAL WORD
Set away from the thrum of Mykonos Town, this design-led, food-focused hotel has the wow-factor.
Rates for a suite at Kalesma start from around £1,222 per night based on two sharing on a B&B basis. kalesmamykonos.com
READ MORE: Review: Villa Dwell, Porto Heli, Greece/ Five of The Best Greek Islands to Visit / Review: MarBella Elix, Greece
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