Santa Marina Mykonos Review: Inside Celebrity’s Favorite Luxury Resort
ykonos has been a global hedonist destination since the 1920s, when all the superyachts started vacationing there. Among the ever-growing celebrity clientele, the island has played host to former US First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Old Hollywood royalty like Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Brigitte Bardot. This is a must see location for any island hopping adventure.
While no destination is certain in these mad coronavirus times, strict regulations have meant relatively low case rates in Greece and as a result, the country has remained firmly on the Green and Orange Lists. To make up for time lost during confinement, the traditional season has been extended from April to the end of October so if you are looking for autumn sunshine, don’t rely on the UK weather. Show your vaccination passport and head to the picturesque Greek Party Island, known for its nightlife, vibrant restaurants, and sparkling shores.
When it comes to choosing the optimal bolt hole, competition is fierce. Santa Marina has remained one of the top hotels for many years and is home to two of the island’s most renowned restaurants; Jason Atherton’s recently opened Mykonos Social and legendary restaurant-club, Buddha Bar.
The lavish resort is both a place to see and to hide with the vast selection of private villas.
A luxurious base for your Mykonian exploration, Santa Marina is the only hotel on the island with a private beach. It offers a feel of the best of both worlds, combining everything we love most about resort hotels – everything close at hand, top-notch cuisine, and a choice of sparkling pools – but the hustle and bustle of the city is 10 minutes to go by car. The serene shrine offers panoramic views of the Cerulean Aegean Sea, rocky landscapes and beautiful golden sands.
Away from the hustle and bustle, Santa Marina feels like its own corner on the private peninsula of Ornos Bay, well placed on the southern tip of the island. It sits between the airport and Chora – the quaint town with its cobbled streets, lively bars, stellar restaurants and independent boutiques. The hotel offers transfers or you can hire mountain bikes and mopeds to get around with the breeze in your hair.
Mykonos is only 20 minutes by plane from Athens or three hours by boat. It also has its own airport with regular flights from the UK. It is located in the Cyclades, made up of rocky hills. In Greek mythology, the island was created when Hercules, in his twelve tasks, fought the giants and threw their defeated bodies into the sea where they turned into giant boulders.
Santa Marina is decorated in an iconic Cycladic style. The buildings all feature stone walls painted in bright white. The resort is set on a hill where every room offers stunning panoramic seafront views. They are interspersed with private pools and vibrant greenery.
The relatively low-key interior reflects the laid-back Mykonian lifestyle with natural materials throughout. The beach-chic aesthetic is achieved with rattan and wood that are interwoven with modern amenities.
There are 101 rooms and suites as well as 13 villas consisting of two to seven bedrooms.
Immerse yourself in one of the private villas, especially the Crystal and the Turquoise which have just undergone extensive renovations. They can accommodate up to 14 people and feel awe-inspiring. The villas house indoor and outdoor living areas as well as two exclusive swimming pools. Each bedroom is en suite. The villas are located at the top of the hill and thus offer some of the best views on the island.
The hotel does not have one, but two infinity pools. The most famous and most photographed is without a doubt the Oasis Pool, which has white wicker cabanas set in the water and is the perfect setting for sunsets and cocktails.
The famous Ginkgo Spa has an upscale gym to keep your fitness under control. Keep an eye out for the beautiful blue sea as you cycle through the miles on the treadmill. There is also a hairdresser on site and an extensive treatment menu offered by ESPA and now 111SKIN. The latter is a luxury skin care brand founded by science and founded by Dr. Yannis Alexandrides that delivers glowing results. Book for a facial using the brand’s range of luxury products. There are five treatment rooms and a sauna.
A new addition to the hotel’s food offering, celebrity Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton – the man behind London’s Pollen Street Social and Little Social – has taken up residence from June 2021 with a unique take on Mediterranean cuisine. Courageous to serve local cuisine, but Atherton’s first foray into the Mediterranean found a way to make it entirely unique, overturning traditional dishes.
It is a refined cuisine but in the Mykonian way with relaxed atmospheres and dishes to share that emphasize the starters and an impeccable presentation. The meal begins with sourdough and dips where the tzatziki is served with ginger instead of garlic and the hummus is spicy – don’t hit it until you’ve tried it. Menu highlights also include gazpacho – a welcome relief from the heat – but paired with melon sorbet for unparalleled freshness, salmon with a bed of orzo pesto, and saffron pasta surrounded by water mussels. deep. Save space for dessert where the fig is placed in the heart in homage to the region and the Ornos Cube – an Instagram-ready chocolate and honey box-shaped dish – seems to defy gravity.
With the most breathtaking view of the brilliant blue of the Aegean Sea, Mykonos Social is also where the breakfast buffet is served in the morning. The spread caters to everyone with local cuisine, complete in English and American style, as well as fresh fruit and a seemingly endless selection of pastries.
It might be a Greek island, but Mykonos is populated by Asian restaurants – and the best of the best is the Buddha Bar, located on Santa Marina’s private beach. People come from all over to dine in the exclusive restaurant and taste the delicious fresh fish. Overlooking the water, the restaurant exudes an impression of high luxury which is reflected in the price. You get what you pay for here and each dish is as sensational as the last – from the signature chicken salad with peanut sauce to sushi maki rolls. If you don’t do it for lunch or dinner, opt for a drink to experience the electric atmosphere. The restaurant hosts international DJs and stays open until 2 a.m.
The beauty of the Santa Marina is in the sheer volume of room types, which means anyone from honeymooners to families wouldn’t feel out of place at this luxury resort. The latter is guaranteed with facilities designed exclusively for children, including a swimming pool and a playground.
Prices start from € 550. For more information on Santa Marina, a Luxury Collection Resort, Mykonos, visit santa-marina.gr