Greece is clearly a perennial favorite for travelers in season, this year even more so with the reduction of travel restrictions and pent up demand. Hoteliers and restaurateurs have been especially busy preparing for it so those who go will find a raft of new openings.
Nobu Santorini The rapidly expanding empire of hotels springing forth from Nobu Matsuhisa’s famous restaurants opened its first hotel in Greece on this marquee island in late June. A Nobu restaurant featuring its trademark dishes such as miso black cod and yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno along with Greek specialties is, of course, part of the property which is composed of 25 rooms and suites including five pool villas all in minimalist, whitewashed Cycladic style. The location is optimum Santorini: on the caldera near the village of Imerovigli on the island’s northwest coast.
O by Myconian Collection On Greece’s other marquee island, Mykonos, the latest and first beachfront hotel from the Daktylides family, their 11th on the island, opened in June on Ornos bay. The 65 rooms are designed in an earthy style using stone, wood and marble in their natural state; all have private balconies or balconies, some also have private pools. Thalassotherapy pools are part of the facilities at the DTOX Spa which draws on the serenity of the Aegean for an array of therapeutic treatments. The hotel group has an emphasis on culinary offerings built around exceptional ingredients that are available to them since the family, longstanding residents of the island, has deep connections to local purveyors and fishermen. And since guests here have reciprocal arrangements with the group’s other hotels, they’re welcome to try their restaurants and facilities.
Cali Mykonos Seclusion and serenity aren’t always the words used to describe a hotel experience on socially active Mykonos, but those terms do apply here. The 40 suites and villas plus one with two bedrooms and another with three, each with its own private pool, are designed for maximum privacy as are the stretch of private beach below the clifftop resort and the fleet of yachts to explore other points in the Aegean. Guests can also stay clifftop, swim in the saltwater pool shaped like a meandering river and admire the views. And fitness buffs have a branch of the award winning Athens fitness studio Athlesis for personalized workouts.
Zuma Mykonos Fans of the modern Japanese restaurant that started in London and now has 11 outposts in other major international cities have been able to experience it in Mykonos as a popup the last two years. This year in a new location on the island, the restaurant expanded its facilities on July 12th with an infinity pool, day beds and a resident DJ added to the mix. By day, the pool will be available to those who book in the lounge or sunbed area and the restaurant will serve the full Zuma menu including dishes such as thinly sliced seabass with yuzu, truffle and salmon roe; roasted lobster with green chili and garlic shiso butter and spicy beef tenderloin with sesame, red chili and sweet soy. At night, the pool closes, the DJ gears up and the full menu will be served in both the restaurant and the lounge.
Cosme, A Luxury Collection Resort, Paros Elsewhere in the Cyclades, Paros is often described as Mykonos 20 years ago: charming with great beaches but not as crowded as the more famous island (although its popularity has been growing in recent years.) This resort, the island’s first luxury resort, opened in June composed of 40 suites in local stone designed to replicate the structures in the island’s fishing villages. All have bespoke furniture, a bold color scheme highlighting Greece’s signature blue along with burgundy and red; some also have private pools. Other aspects of the property: a Greek-Mediterranean menu created by celebrated Greek chef Yiannis Kioroglou; a private beach and a holistic spa utilizing the products of the local company Korres including a Greek yoghurt facial.
Xenodocheio Milos Chef Costas Spiliadis of the popular Estiatorio Milos restaurants, now in seven cities worldwide, returned to Athens for this gastronomically focused hotel which opened in the center of Athens in January. The restaurant specializes in impeccable seafood like its siblings and the hotel features 43 rooms located in two Neoclassical buildings between the Pláka and Kolonaki neighborhoods within walking distance of the Acropolis. The room décor is soothing with a color scheme of beige and taupe with slate blue accents and contemporary, clean lined furniture; some also have balconies overlooking Parliament Square and Lycabettus hill.
Toro Del Mar Athens South of the city, Mexican-born restaurateur Richard Sandoval opened this combination Latin restaurant/beach club this week on Voula Beach. There are multiple lounging areas separated by lush greenery, a show kitchen so that guests can see signature dishes being prepared and a menu showcasing Mexican-Peruvian specialties in the restaurant. Expect classics such as fish tacos featuring the day’s local catch and empanadas along with creations spotlighting fish such as red mullet, octopus, prawns and sea bass. As usual with a beach club, the relaxing vibe during the day transforms into a more energetic tone at night complete with DJ.
W Costa Navarino The newest addition to the Costa Navarino hospitality development in the southwest Peloponnese, this 246 room/suite/villa resort is set to open its doors in August. Designed to resemble a Greek coastal village spread out on a 32 acre site overlooking the Bay of Navarino in the Ionian Sea, it features a Beach Club as a major focus with a watersports center for kayaking, snorkeling and kite surfing. A unique feature, similar to one in the other resorts in the complex, is an open square with a food marketplace, open air cinema and live programming throughout the day.