An escape to sunshine is something a lot of us have dreamed about for the last three years. Heat that lasts longer than 24-hours, views that make you want to stop scrolling instagram, delicious food that encourages seconds and a chance to unwind, reset, and relax in a space that’s outside of your four walls. Sounds like a familiar dream, right?
Mykonos has been a global destination for the rich, famous and equally glamorous since the 1920s, so as we eagerly return to the summer holiday season post-pandemic, heading to this much-loved Greek Island for my first taste of 2022 sunshine was incredibly inviting.
And what better place to reset than the A-list favourite luxury resort that is Santa Marina Mykonos?
Perched on a private peninsula in Ornos Bay, Santa Marina is the place to stay in Mykonos. It’s just 10 minutes from the airport by car, the port and Mykonos Town - the hub of the island - yet fully enveloped by the tranquillity of rolling hills and sparkling Agean sea.
It’s simultaneously a place that ignites and excites you, yet provides the privacy and seclusion needed for proper restoration.
Oh, and did we mention that the hotel is home to the only private sandy beach on the island and houses two of the islands most sought after eateries: Buddha-Bar Beach - the Aegean interpretation of the world-famous Buddha-Bar lifestyle experience - and Mykonos Social by Jason Atherton, a world-renowned Michelin star chef.
Intrigued? Let’s dive into the details.
The hotel grounds
The hotel has 101 guest rooms and suites and 13 villas which are scattered across the hillside in classic white Cycladic buildings, each interwoven with sparkling pools and lush gardens.
If it’s traditional Mykonos aesthetic you’re after, you’ll be spoilt for choice here as the hotel combines beach-chic interiors with luxury natural textures to create a clean, minimal and modern vibe.
The hotel itself is 10 minutes by car to Mykonos town and its abundance of restaurants and shops to wander around. I really enjoyed a trip to the town itself, which has some of the most beautiful spots to enjoy the sunset. But, if you’re in search of some extra special experiences during your visit, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
The archaeological site of Delos Island is just a 20-minute speedboat ride from Santa Marina (more on that later). Delos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of Greece’s most important mythological and historical locations, even featuring a preserved town. It is said that Delos was the birthplace of the twins, Apollo and Artemis and the entire island overflows with incredible historical discoveries, including iconic Naxos stone lions, intricate mosaics and the columns of the House of Dionysus.
Circling back to the boat. Santa Marina own a state-of-the-art Rib boat that can be booked at the guests’ request. With their own jetty on the shore of their private beach, guests can reach some of the most in-demand islands, beach clubs and sites in half the time during peak season, where a 10 minute drive can turn into an hour. We took a trip to the famous Scorpios Beach Bar for sunset cocktails, which is well worth the trip.
Cementing the resort’s restaurant offering as one of the best on the Island, Mykonos Social, Jason Atherton’s new outpost at Santa Marina, is a luxurious fine dining experience. It’s a vibrant all-day dining destination serving a selection of Mediterranean dishes, delicious cocktails and small plates. The food is of exceptional quality - which is of course expected from a Michelin star chef - but it doesn’t feel inaccessible in the way that other fine dining does, perhaps down to the signature Mykonian way of relaxed, family-style sharing dishes. The emphasis on fresh ingredients and unique flavour combinations is a truly enjoyable experience, and being a vegetarian, there was still plenty on offer to get excited about.
We began our meal with an array of flatbreads, sourdough and dips with a twist - think spicy hummus, zingy tzatziki and creamy feta - before moving onto a selection of impeccably presented small plates, ranging from fresh fish and meats, vibrant salads and delicious sides. I’m still dreaming of the watermelon and feta salad with a balsamic glaze.
And if by any chance you’re not feeling like Mediterranean food, Santa Marina has the best of the best when it comes to Asian restaurants, with their famous Buddha Bar set right on the private beach. Foodies come from all over the world to dine at this exclusive restaurant and experience Asian food like never before. Incredible cocktails, fresh fish and its signature sushi, it is elevated luxury, which is of course reflected in the price, but a truly unforgettable experience for food-lovers. Plus, the restaurant is open until 2am, playing host to international DJs with a truly invigorating atmosphere.
Facilities and Spa
If you’re going to workout on holiday, then you’ll want to do it in a facility that’s not only light, airy and overlooking the sea, but with some of the best of the island’s fitness at hand. Guests can enjoy private or group yoga sessions, overlooking the ocean or from the comfort of your villa, and can also make use of the hotel’s personal trainer, who is on hand to guide you through the state-of-the-art equipment in the gym, and get your blood pumping. Guests can also enjoy group exercise classes, so there really is something for everyone.
And following your sweat sesh, you might want to finish off your entirely indulgent holiday experience with a trip to Santa Marina’s world-class Ginkgo Spa, known for its unique blend of medical-grade facials and holistic wellbeing. The therapists on site are incredibly knowledgeable and work to tailor your treatment so that you receive something completely bespoke. The spa exclusively offers treatments and products from ESPA, a brand loved by the hotel owner, and 111SKIN, a Harley Street skincare brand celebrated for its remarkable results.
New for 2022
If the above doesn’t already sound like a retreat, Santa Marina are introducing a brand new 4-day, women- only wellness retreat, taking place from 29th September – 2nd October this year.
Focusing on reconnecting with mind, body and soul, the carefully curated yoga programme will flow through a journey of the chakras. Guests will learn to tap into their chakra as a source of energy and re- align with their bodies, feeling empowered and ready to conquer the challenges ahead. Through yoga, mind-body personal development, movement workshops and cultural excursions, those attending will not only leave restored and refreshed, but with new insight, wisdom and self-awareness. Inspired by the stunning surroundings, they will harness the strength, bravery, power and love of the mythical Greek goddesses and feel energised to achieve the successes they seek.
Is it a family affair?
The best part of Santa Marina is that you can really have a unique experience tailored completely to you. The sheer volume of room variations mean that everyone from couples to families can enjoy what the hotel has to offer. And if you are travelling with little ones, there are amenities tailored for them, including a kids pool and a playground.
Santa Marina is the height of luxury, so if it’s utter indulgence that you’re after, that’s exactly what you’ll get. Every detail is taken care of from the minute you enter the hotel’s grounds, and will stay that way for the duration of your stay. Extra experiences such as the restaurant dining, Buddha Beach Bar and spa treatments are on the pricier side, but whether you choose to indulge in these or not, your experience in Santa Marina will be one you won’t forget.
Santa Marina, a Luxury Collection Resort, Mykonos, offers rooms from €500 per night, based on two adults sharing on a B&B basis. Santa-marina.gr
The MENTE CORPO ANIMA Retreat at Santa Marina, Mykonos runs from 29th September – 2nd October and is available from €4,300 per person, excluding taxes and fully inclusive of the full programme. For further information, please visit santa-marina.gr.
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