The first thing anyone is going to mention about this gorgeous new Mykonos hotel is the pool. The longest on the whole island, it hugs the edge of the property like a blue ribbon with views right down to the Aegean and across the bay. But it’s long, so long you almost can’t swim from one end to the other without a break (or are we just really unfit?) But then we did stop for drinks from the bar halfway through.
And though that pool sucks up a lot of the attention – whether you’re at the bar, having lunch outside on the terrace, lazing on a lounger, or even up there in the restaurant proper – it’s not the only show in town, so to speak. And Cali does offer up a whole different way to do Mykonos, seeing as it’s not in town, which is party central, or on Ornos Bay, the other busy bit. Mind you, it’s also not that far from either or from attractions like Jackie O Beach Club, so you can have your cake and eat it then have some more, greedy!
Step into reception – is that a pool in reception? They do like their pools, clearly – and you have the style of the place right there. Classic Greek white-on-white but through a contemporary filter thanks to Athens-based designers SFTN Labs. Natural materials, lots of that white so as not to clash with the general blue-ness of the sea and sky and nothing over the top of fancy-schmanzy.
Get a buggy down to your room – although it’s super easily walkable: this is not one of those massive estates where you can’t get anywhere on your own – and you’ll see more of that immaculate taste in action. All the suites have sea views but if you can stretch to one with a private pool, then you really should. We even had a Pilates class and a massage out there on the terrace by the water, it’s that secluded. And apart from the great gym, they really do know how to bring first-rate teachers right into your room for a private one-on-one. Our masseur was one of the best we’ve ever had!
Inside the room, it’s all floaty fabrics, sea-views out of multiple windows and a simple, natural-feeling aesthetic that’s minimal and relaxing. But just dump your bags and let’s head to the bar – the one by the pool, not the one in the restaurant which we’ll save for later. Or we could even go to their little private beach just down there, to dip our toes in the water.
As far as stuff to do goes, lazing about is favourite. The food at lunchtime is so simple and delicious, you will need a will of iron to drag yourself away from the poolside… but if you did, you could get a transfer into the famous bars of Mykonos Town, Soho Beach House (if you’re a member of course), Jackie O Beach Club, whether it’s for daytime drinking or the evening DJs and drag shows. You can even charter a yacht to take you to a neighbouring island. Naxos perhaps.
You don’t even have to leave for dinner as the menus here have been hand-crafted by the first Michelin-starred chef in all of Greece, one Lefteris Lazarou. Dress down (or up… your call but it’s not a starchy place by any means) and tuck into anything from garlic shrimps to classic gyros. Oh and the delightful owner, Eric (Kyriakos if we’re sticking to Greek) treated us to the tastiest gin martini (or five) we think we’ve ever had. Maybe we should have another just to be sure.
It’s hard to make a splash on an island so full of amazing properties but with the coolest, most stylish of credentials and that pool to boot, really, how could Cali Mykonos fail? It couldn’t.