Our correspondent Julie Chang Murphy has curated a list of the 8 best luxury hotels and resorts for a romantic summer vacation right now on the Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini.
what are the best luxury hotels for a summer vacation in the Greek islands?
In a highly unscientific survey amongst our friends and family about their dream vacation destinations, the Greek islands always seem to be mentioned with the most frequency. Along with an African safari, it’s one of those mythical trips that people talk about with a dreamy look in their eyes.
One reason for that dreamy look could be that it’s hard to imagine island hopping. And in this case, there’s a good reason. There are actually 6,000 Greek islands, of which only 200 are inhabited.
And of those 200 isles, with limited vacation time and a budget, we’re really talking about a few island groups that are realistic to travel to. Suddenly, a romantic luxury vacation in the Greek islands doesn’t seem so nebulous and out of reach.[white_box]
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The most popular island group is the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea. Home to the most popular and iconic destinations, Santorini and Mykonos, this is where the postcard scenery of sun drenched blue and white houses and churches overlooking turquoise waters come from.
They’re also the most straightforward to travel to, with their own airports and ferries from Athens. For a dazzling vacation to the Greek isles, there is no shortage of luxury accommodations in Santorini and Mykonos. Here are 8 must-know hotels and resorts that are worth building a romantic luxury summer vacation around.
the 8 best luxury hotels for a romantic summer vacation on the Greek islands of Santorini and Mykonos
The crescent-shaped island of Santorini cradles the sunken caldera of a volcano which some believe is the site of the mythical Atlantis.
Though that may be the stuff of legend, equally magical are the island’s cliffside views and iconic, breathtaking sunsets. Spend the days hiking up an old volcano, café-hopping, wine-tasting, visiting ancient sites and swimming on black sand beaches.
1. Grace Hotel
Part of the Auberge Resorts portfolio of extraordinary hotels, Grace Santorini was named the top resort hotel in Greece (and in all of Europe) in 2021 by Travel & Leisure readers.
Overlooking Skaros Rock and the caldera, travelers in search of breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea will not be disappointed. Beautifully appointed modern suites cascade seven levels down and come with private plunge pools.
The whitewashed restaurants and bars are the epitome of laidback elegance, serving Mediterranean specialities and cocktails. Your stay can be made even more luxurious with the hotel’s Bespoke by Grace service, which allows guests to customize their stay with a pillow menu, choice of fragrances and bath products, bespoke in-room cocktail kit and a personal fitness kit.[white_box]
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Family-owned for three generations, the hand-dug, cave-carved rooms at Perivolas offer luxury and tranquility for the discerning traveler. Set on the caldera’s edge at the entrance to Oia, the property is done in a minimally chic style with splashes of fuchsia and lilac.
There is an infinity pool and spa onsite, as well as a large gym, yoga and Pilates studio set among the resort’s vineyards. Healthy, beautifully plated meals are served in a a converted wine cellar with tables spilling out onto the terrace.
Not to be missed is the hotel’s fleet of speedboats that whisk guests off to secret beaches, sea caves, and nearby islands.
3. Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites and Spa
There’s no doubt that Santorini can be overrun in the high season. But within the walls of the charmingly earthy and boho-chic Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites and Spa, it’s possible to feel like you’re alone on the island. The hotel has not one, but five infinity pools overlooking the Aegean Sea.
And of course, many of the 65-suites and villas come with private verandas and pools of their own as well as jacuzzis. The onsite restaurant, ALIOS ILIOS is dedicated to fresh and local ingredients that celebrate traditional Minoan cuisine. For excursions, the hotel arranges bespoke services like sailing, wine tours, horse-riding, hiking, diving, and kayaking.[white_box]
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4. Andronis Luxury Suites
Located on Oia’s main pedestrian thoroughfare, you have to be in-the-know to recognize this award-winning hotel. From the street it looks like a sea captain’s mansion but from the water, it is a picturesque wonder of 27 suites descending down the cliffside.
The Andronis can be credited with the creation of the cave-style hotel style on Santorini. Old peasant dwellings and stables have now been transformed into luxury suites carved into the rocks.
The serene and sumptuous rooms offer private infinity pools, cave pools or heated hot tubs for romance and relaxation. For meals, you can do no better than dining at the al fresco Lycabettus restaurant. It is one of the country’s finest, having won Greece’s equivalent of a Michelin star three years running.
Mykonos is Greece’s most cosmopolitan island renowned for its glamorous nightlife. It also has sun-kissed beaches, spellbinding Cycladic architecture, and scenic streets full of charm and color.
For sporty types, it is only natural that the “Island of the Winds” attracts surfers and windsurfers and secluded beaches offer a magical underwater world for divers.
5. Belvedere Hotel
Widely considered the most luxurious boutique hotel on the island, Belvedere Hotel is a collection of seven stylish whitewashed buildings nestled on a hill just 5-minutes from the lively town center. The hotel has a sophisticated, contemporary vibe that attracts VIP and celebrity clientele but still maintains an intimate and peaceful atmosphere.
There are two gourmet restaurants on site: Nobu Matsuhisa (of the famous Nobu empire) and Thea, serving innovative Mediterranean cuisine. A central pool offers stunning views and for all your wellness needs, there is a spa offering a full menu of treatments as well as detox programs and a fitness center with a fresh outdoor feel.
6. Soho Roc House (formerly San Giorgio Hotel)
This bohemian beachside retreat is conveniently located between Paradise Beach and Paraga Beach and has an away-from-it-all atmosphere even though it’s a short walk to pulsing nightlife, notably the famous Scorpios nightclub.
It’s part of the elite private members’ club, Soho House where the crowning glory is traditionally the Pool Bar. Sun bathe and mingle all day amidst lush greenery while cocktails and smoothies are served all day. An open-plan restaurant serves organic Mediterranean food in a bright, breezy space with communal tables. There is also an outdoor gym and a massage hut for treatments.[white_box]
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7. Bill & Coo Suites
If you’re dreaming of barefoot luxury, Bill & Coo offers three properties split between two locations — beachside and Mykonos town. While Bill & Coo Suites and Lounge in Megali Ammos welcomes families with children, Bill & Coo Coast Suites on Agios Ioannis beach is an adults-only area. The Beach Club and the Villas welcome all guests. No matter which you choose, expect a high-end design experience where no detail has been overlooked.
Suites are spacious and flooded with natural light and complemented with minimalist décor. Artful dishes at Gastronomy Project, the hotel’s renowned restaurant is one of the island’s true fine dining experiences. Jetsetters can relax and rejuvenate at the in‐house Valmont Spa with customized facials, massages and beauty treatments.
8. Nomad Mykonos
This intimate adults only enclave only has 14 suites which makes every unit feel like a private villa. Its location on the southeast coast, halfway across the island from Mykonos town, and steps away from the lovely Kalo Livadi beach has a feeling of isolation that’s hard to find at this partying island.
All suites have a terrace and a private pool or Jacuzzi. The bar has a scattering of hammocks and pouffes gathered around an open fire. The restaurant serves farm-fresh, authentic Myconian fare in an alfresco setting. This epitomizes the hotel’s philosophy of blending indoor and outdoor living.
best luxury hotels for romantic summer vacation on Santorini and Mykonos
There you have it — 8 luxury resorts on Santorini and Mykonos to consider if you’re dreaming of a Greek island vacation this summer. Happy travels!
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Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, and fitness. Julie lives in New York where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing. And spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.