In Mykonos, Senior Leisure Advisor Debra Eustice uncovered the charm of the Myconian Collection, a family-owned group of nine leading luxury hotels on Mykonos, including three Relais & Châteaux, two Leading Hotels of the World, two Design Hotels and two Preferred Hotels & Resorts.
Q: Who founded the family-owned Myconian Collection?
The Myconian Collection was founded in 1979 by George and Elefteria Daktylides and the hotels are run today by their four sons Panos, Markos, Vangelis and Marios. As a genuine Myconian family, they welcome guests with warmth and attentiveness and create the ultimate hospitality experience that comes straight from the heart.
Q: All 9 Myconian Collection properties are all in spectacular settings. Besides the boutique family mentality of personalised service, what would you say is another universal feature about all the properties?
Their pools. Myconian Collection hotels seem to have a monopoly on the most fabulous saltwater pools. They are renowned for unusual laps of luxury – pun intended! Each sparkling blue gem is set into decks that command the best views on Mykonos. One pool is positioned on the longest beach on the island, several are perched above Mykonos town and overlook the historic harbour’s famous windmills, one looks out across the glamorous arc from Scorpios to Psarou. I recall infinity-rims and multi-level waterfalls, broad daybeds, tasty bar menus and complimentary iced smoothies every day. I could have just parked myself at any one of their pools and stayed right there for a week!
Q: Let’s begin with Elia Beach which has 5 properties – Utopia, Avaton, Imperial, Royal and Villa Collection. Your Myconian Collection tour started with a welcome dinner at Pavilion restaurant at Utopia.
Pavilion is a truly stunning restaurant which offers indoor and outdoor dining for those with an affinity for panoramic views during a culinary feast. The alfresco dining feels like an infinity pool restaurant as the tables are right up against a glass partition hanging over the blue sea. As a Relais & Châteaux restaurant, Pavilion really sets the standard for culinary excellence on Mykonos with Head Chef Nikos Moroglou at the helm. Its extensive menu has mouth watering Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.
The property itself, Myconian Utopia Relais & Châteaux, is set into the rock 300 metres above Elia Beach. The setting is sublime. With its luxurious suites and villas, Utopia is a favourite with couples and honeymooners who seek a romantic atmosphere, minutes from the longest beach on Mykonos.
Q: As a guest of Avaton, you’ll enjoy proximity to one of the island’s most beautiful beaches, Elia Beach, which is the longest fine sand beach on Mykonos. Also a draw is Avaton’s state-of-the art spa, panoramic restaurant and pool bar which transforms into a hotspot by night. A Design Hotel, Avaton is truly original. What aesthetic touches stood out to you?
Avaton has a great vibe and feel, fabulous restaurant by the infinity pool that has an excellent DJ to entertain night time diners. Guests literally dance around their table in between courses. I’d suggest this property is highly recommended for younger guests in their thirties who like the music and dance scene.
Q: Myconian Imperial is a Leading Hotel of the World property, an oasis of white known for all the grace and none of the airs. Some might call it ‘barefoot luxury’ on Mykonos. But yet, always expect high-end service. I understand this hotel is popular with young couples who want laid-back luxury near the island’s exciting nightlife. How far to town?
It’s only a short 25 minute ride to town via a complimentary shuttle. But be sure to sample what the hotel has on offer before you set off to town though. Imperial’s pool deck has twin saltwater pools and a Jacuzzi tub, a feet-in-the-water cocktail bar and choose from three different restaurants including a sushi bar. Imperial is also known for its superlative concierge service organising adventures further afield, and has been known to meet even the most far-fetched request.
Q: The Royal Myconian is another luxury resort in the Leading Hotels of the World collection with sweeping views over Elia but this time the design is a blend of antiquity and new age fantasy. Tell us about the accommodation at Royal.
I really loved this hotel – plenty of lounges, cool bars and restaurants and the best hotel boutique shop! A celebrated Greek designer made this hotel very special. The spacious rooms and suites are cool sanctuaries with vast terraces or private balconies and some even have their own infinity pool or Jacuzzi. Every room opens out onto blue views of the Aegean framed by whitewashed walls and grounded by sun-bleached driftwood. I’d suggest this hotel for clients wanting plenty of variety and choices without having to leave the hotel.
Q: Nestled into a hillside above Elia Bay, Myconian Villa Collection is the ultimate in style and privacy on Mykonos. Unbounded opulence of a private home complemented by 5 star service 24-7. Can you explain this property – it’s not all villas like the name suggests, correct?
Correct, it has both suites and rooms as well as villas. All the terraced villas have uninterrupted views of the Aegean. And the property still has all the convenience of a hotel with its vast entertainment deck, saltwater infinity pool, a Thalasso Spa and an epicurean restaurant.
Q: Next it was onto the ‘town’ hotels of the Myconian Collection – Korali, Kyma and Naia. Overview each one and tell us in your opinion what is the highlight for each?
Korali Relais & Châteaux enjoys the best of both worlds. Perched on the hills above the historic harbour, it is a coveted haven minutes away from the cafés of Little Venice, boutiques, tavernas and famously alluring nightlife of Mykonos Town. Aesthetically, I loved the color – the vibrant touches of yellow and red and orange got my first three chakras buzzing!
Kyma is a Design Hotel with 76 rooms and hip and happening pools.
Naia is a new boutique hotel, only two years old, with a mere 18 suites. Adults-only this property is recommended as a retreat for couples or singles who just want to relax and have some privacy.
Q: Tell us about the cruise to Delos.
We caught a public ferry which was adequate but quite basic for the 30 mins crossing over to Delos. Having no idea what to expect at Delos I was quite surprised. We had about 2 hours to explore the ruins and the grounds which were amazing. We were under the impression that you can swim on Delos but that is not the case as it is heritage listed and no swimming is allowed.
Q: Your last stop on your whirlwind Myconian Collection tour was Ambassador, which is situated just above Platis Gialos beach on the south coast of the island. Town is still only a mere 5 kilometers away. Another Relais & Châteaux, this cool contemporary chic hotel is in a league of its own. Can you explain why?
I really loved the Ambassador – its pool and views are just stunning. Also, the tranquillity of being away from the island’s party pulse is a plus for many luxury travelers to Mykonos. But that said, there is an abundance of activity in this location to enjoy. Ambassador is only a short stroll across to Psarou, with its super yachts at anchor, or to Paranga’s lively small tavernas frequented by the locals. Ambassador also has a private launch which can take guests to the ruins of ancient Delos or Rhenia’s hidden coves. Or if you want to head to town (Chora) you don’t have to party – just explore the whitewashed maze of restaurants and boutiques that Mykonos is so famous for, only minutes away by car.
In general, all the hotels are so different that there is an option for any guest traveling to Mykonos in the Myconian Collection. The properties located at Elias beach all enjoy wonderful views and the beach below is amazing, not crowded and only takes a few minutes to drive down the hill. For anyone who is super duper fit you could walk down to the beach but the walk back could be a challenge. It does not take long at all to get into Mykonos town or you do have the choice of the 5 hotels that you can wine and dine at.