The allure of the Greek islands captivates travelers from all over the world. Greece welcomes around 30 million international visitors each year, many of them heading to the Greek Islands. There are 227 of the 6,000 inhabited islands that dot the Aegean and Ionian Seas, and two of the most popular are in the Cyclades. Mykonos and Santorini lie in a group of islands located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea, known as the Cyclades.
This archipelago is south of Athens and north of Crete. Mykonos and Santorini each have their own virtues that make them popular tourist destinations. Mykonos has some of the best beaches in Greece, great shopping and fantastic nightlife. Santorini is known as one of the most beautiful places on the planet. The unique landscape was formed when a volcano erupted in 1650 BC, causing a drastic change in the circular earth. The crater has sunk beneath the sea, the shape has become a crescent, and the fertile volcanic soil produces grapes that produce award-winning wines. The romance of cliffside hotels, iconic white churches with blue domes, and incredible sunsets is legendary.
There are many accommodation options on each island. You can choose from an ultra-luxury experience, a boutique hotel or a budget hotel. Boutique hotels offer a more personal touch to every guest and tailor visit with amenities and options that big chains or budget hotels don’t normally offer. There are fewer rooms, so fewer guests allow more attention to their needs or organized experiences. The locations are fantastic and the rates are better priced than the luxury hotels.
While large chains offer loyalty programs and point systems, stores do not offer these types of benefits. But because they don’t have corporate affiliations, they offer unique decor or local, organic ingredients in their kitchens that a larger venue typically doesn’t provide. Here are six different shop experiences to consider, three on each island. They are in fantastic locations, but there is a lot to choose from in each location. It is always recommended to research what best suits your budget and vacation.
Mykonos Hotels With Indoor Pools
1. Bill & Coo Suites And Lounge, Magali Ammos
Bill & Coo Suites and Lounge is in Magali Ammos, a 10-minute walk from the hustle and bustle of central Mykonos. You are close enough to the center of everything at this boutique hotel but far enough away to feel relaxed. An on-site restaurant, Gastronomy Project, is for guests and visitors. It is a haute cuisine experience where you can taste a modern take on traditional Greek cuisine. The Sunset Lounge offers music and handcrafted cocktails by the beautiful infinity pool. The Spa Valmont offers the ultimate relaxing spa treatments to pamper you completely. Villas added in 2021, offer more extensive private accommodation with all the services that hotel guests receive. The second property is only a short drive away. Bill & Coo Coast Suites is on Agios Ioannis Beach and is an intimate, adults-only seaside retreat with restaurants and beachside amenities. Guests from either location have access to both properties via a free transfer service.
2. Hotel Tharroe Of Mykonos, Cyclades
Tharroe of Mykonos has a unique location perched on a hill above Mykonos Town. This place offers guests a breathtaking panoramic view of the Aegean Sea and the iconic Mykonos windmills. The traditional Myconian architecture and the simplicity of the decoration are simple and the personalized service makes you feel right at home. There are 28 rooms, including suites for two to four people, with sea or garden views, and an on-site spa. A buffet breakfast is served daily by the pool. Dining at Barbarossa, the hotel’s restaurant, is exquisite. The executive chef visits local markets to select ingredients that result in some incredible entrees. The reception staff is at your disposal and at your service. We were offered a room upgrade, port transfers, and even a list of suggested excursions for our next destination. The location is great, but getting to the beach or town requires a walk or rented transport. Renting a car or ATV depends on your level of riding comfort.
The bus stop for local beaches is a short walk away, and buses arrive on time (cash payment for tickets). You can take a short walk to the town square (Fabrika) to the bus and taxi depot (half a mile downhill), but the walk is intimidating as there is no sidewalk. If you prefer not to hire a vehicle, ask the hotel to book a taxi for you. We had organized day trips with a bus service that picked us up from the hotel. We used a mix of walking, taxis and public transport. It depends on your preference.
3. Nissaki Boutique Hotel near Platis Gialos beach
Nissaki Boutique Hotel is a boutique beach hotel. The rooms and facilities offer views of Psarou Beach, the Aegean Sea and are a short walk from Platis Gialos Beach. This beach is a favorite among locals and visitors. The hotel’s sea-view swimming pool, hot tub and spa provide guests with the ultimate in relaxation. You can enjoy massages by the pool or in the privacy of your room. The 11 rooms, including suites, offer luxurious details and beautiful views. The Coastal Life Villa offers three bedrooms for big parties. The Restaurant Phos recently won 14th place in the Travelers’ Choice Awards for 2021 by TripAdvisor for the most romantic restaurant in the world, while also placing second in Greece. In Phos, the ambience resembles a luxury yacht overlooking the sea. The cuisine, gourmet Greek and Mediterranean, is prepared with fresh local ingredients. The breakfast buffet serves regional specialties, but room service is offered and a breakfast to go for morning departures or morning tours. The establishment has a fitness center, an on-call doctor and free transfers to and from the airport or port.
Santorini Cheap Pet Friendly Hotels
4. Athina Luxury Suites, Fira
Athina luxury suites has 19 unique suites. Breakfast is served on the patio outside your room (you select breakfast choices and arrival times) on a private patio table with caldera views. The pool and restaurant overlook the sapphire blue Aegean Sea and caldera. The pool bar serves handcrafted cocktails and delicious lunch options. The staff and facility are amazing. We needed a doctor and he came to our suite. We requested an early airport transfer and our luggage was delivered to our waiting taxi. Our bartenders and waiters were attentive, friendly and constantly watching us. The location is perfect and close to all the action, but it was a steep five-minute walk to everything – shopping, restaurants, and nightlife. If you have mobility constraints, this could be difficult.
We walked up and down steps everyday, but were grateful to be close to the bus depot for transportation to anywhere else on the island and in town. We couldn’t eat at Esperisma restaurant during our visit. Still, the dining room is beautiful. Executive Chef Nickos Matsas’s menu uses local ingredients to create modern, fresh and vibrant Mediterranean creations. I would definitely stay here again.
5. Santorini Princess Spa Hotel, Imerovigli
Santorini Princess Spa Hotel is in Imerovigli, about 3 km from Fira. It is the highest point on the edge of the volcano, about 1,135 feet above sea level. It is beautiful but calm. It is halfway between Fira and Oia, the two most visited towns on the island. However, if you like to be away from the crowds, Imerovigli is for you. The hotel also offers a magnificent view of the caldera, a beautiful heated outdoor swimming pool, a hot tub and a terrace for lounging. The bar and kitchen offer handcrafted cocktails and snacks until it closes for the evening. There are 19 rooms and suites, including the luxurious honeymoon suite with private jacuzzi overlooking the caldera. The on-site restaurant is committed to providing creative Greek-inspired meals with fresh, local ingredients. The Maître d’Hôtel offers a wine list from local vineyards and Greece to accompany the incredible food.
6. Katikies Santorini, Oia
Katikies Santorini is in Oia, the most remote point of Santorini known for its beautiful sunsets and romantic ambiance. The hotel is one of a group of five properties on Oia. Each offers luxury and sustainability to its most demanding customers. At Katikies, the properties work together to combine top-notch service with a beautiful yet intimate setting in every location. They share amenities like six incredible restaurants, a gym, and a spa with free transfers. The rooms have private terraces but share a heated swimming pool, pool restaurant and bar, as well as two other unheated pools. Organized tours that are only available to Katikies clients include extraordinary wine experiences, island tours, and yacht tours beyond expectations.
There is no wrong decision when choosing a boutique hotel in Mykonos or Santorini. Boutique hotels offer beautiful care, and no matter which one you choose, you are sure to feel pampered and have the best experience while visiting these gems of the Aegean Sea.
The Greek Islands offer a variety of experiences to visitors: