January 11, 2023
Tablet is your source for discovering the world’s most exciting boutique hotels — places where you’ll find a memorable experience, not just a room for the night. For over twenty years we’ve scoured the earth, evaluating hotels for every taste and budget, creating a hand-picked selection that’s proven and unforgettable. Now, we’re the official hotel selection of the legendary MICHELIN Guide.
Here are the top boutique hotels in the Greek islands:
This stretch of Cretan coastline, heading north out of the town of Agios Nikolaos all the way up to Elounda, is home to more than a few hotels. And while Minos Beach Art Hotel isn’t the biggest, the flashiest, or the most expensive of them, it still manages to stand out. It’s long been a low-key favorite for high-profile guests who love its sense of seclusion — though not hard to reach, it’s set on its own little peninsula and feels as private as can be.
If seclusion is what you’re after, the rooms and suites in the main building are a good start, with their sedate sea views and private patios. Meanwhile the freestanding bungalows get you closer to the water’s edge (and farther from your neighbors), and the one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas add extra space as well as private plunge pools. At all levels they’re luxurious, if not ostentatious, so comfortable you’ll find it hard to tear yourself away.
There are times when you don’t want to get away from it all. Mykonos isn’t exactly a desert island, but nobody’s asking it to be one. If you’re going there it’s because along with your sun and surf, to paraphrase the Bard, you want to see people and you want to see life. So why not skip the whole shipwreck fantasy and book in to a stylish boutique hotel in Mykonos town itself? We’ve got just the place, as you might well have guessed, and it goes by the name of Boheme Mykonos.
Sun and surf are of course included in the package. All twenty suites have views out to sea, though their directness varies, along with the inclusion, as you work your way up the range, of niceties like terrace loungers and outdoor Jacuzzis. All of them are contemporary in style, just about entirely white, and just as profoundly relaxing as you’d hope a Greek island hotel would be.
One must be at least somewhat comfortable with minimalism to appreciate the landscape of the Cyclades — stark cliffs, stark sky, stark sea — and the region’s architecture, with its white walls and simple, squared forms, was minimalist before the concept had a name. It’s a formula that can’t miss, just about anywhere in the Greek islands, but Folegandros, a relatively remote little speck of a place, offers up some of the most breathtaking emptiness in the whole archipelago.
Anemi’s forty-four rooms, while extremely comfortable, are a studied (and decidedly modern) arrangement in spare luxury. The bright whiteness of the bedroom is offset only by large-scale artworks over your bed and the view of the bay of Karavostasis beyond your verandah. Restroom fixtures are beautifully utilitarian with modern tile work worthy of your vacation photo album. All rooms are equipped with kitchens and can make for a luxurious home away from home, and a couple of suites also boast private personal swimming pools, which make leaving almost entirely unnecessary.
High above the sea, at the highest point of Santorini’s volcanic caldera, Chromata would be remarkable enough for the view alone. Some of Santorini’s hotels attempt to compete with this natural spectacle, perhaps not realizing that any attempts at arresting interior design would be overshadowed by the natural beauty of the place.
This is not the case here, however. Chromata draws all of its color in from the outside, its rooms and suites a blank white canvas, or a frame for the deep blue of the sea just outside. Clean-lined modern furnishings recede into the background, and the bathrooms, however indulgent, are as sleek as can be.
Attempting to rank the Greek islands strikes us as something of a fool’s errand. It’s safe to say that any number of them would make for a perfectly beautiful place to hide away. Paros has its partisans, though, and from the vantage point of Parīlio, on the island’s northeast coast, it’s hard not to be won over to their view — in fact your hosts’ previous hotels are all on Santorini, so you know they’re a tough pair to impress.
Parīlio isn’t just an exemplary high-end, high-design boutique hotel, but an exemplary piece of Paros architecture, constructed in the local signature style — minimalist forms in whitewashed stone, decorated in soothing neutrals that complement the island’s landscape. The 33 suites are part modern, part classic, and for all their simplicity they feel warm, organic, and welcoming. At very least you’ll have a terrace with sunbeds; upgrade a bit and you’ll find yourself with a jacuzzi or a private pool.