For decades, Mykonos’ azure seas, clear skies and picture-perfect towns have made it a mecca for partygoers and Europe’s jet-setting elite.
However, there’s another side to this famous island. In the seventies, it attracted hippies, artists and bon vivants looking for peace and enlightenment – and now, The Wild Hotel is seeking to offer tourists a taste of the same.
Owned by the Varveris family, who used to holiday on Mykonos as children, the hotel is tucked away in a quiet corner of the island, and its laid-back vibe and gorgeous view makes this a slice of Greek chic that’s well worth your time checking out.
Where is it?
While Mykonos is known as the party island, The Wild’s USP is wellness and relaxation, and this is reflected in its location too. It’s on the opposite side of the island to the tourist strip, with all its requisite bars and clubs – though in a place as small as Mykonos, that’s still only a twenty-minute drive away.
Instead of thumping bass beats, you’re instead treated to the blessed quiet of Kalafatis Beach on the south of the island. The hotel is built on top of a cliff overlooking the sea, Agia Anna beach and the fishing village of Divounia, so be prepared for a spectacular view that will take your breath away the moment you get through the front doors- though its elevated location means it can get a bit breezy at times.
The hotel itself comprises a series of low-level stone buildings built into the hillside. At the front is the eating area, fronted by an infinity pool that seems to give way directly to the sea, about twenty metres below – while the outdoor area is scattered with huge daybeds and hammocks curl up in and soak up the sun.
Inside, expect to see miles of white paint, artfully distressed wooden furniture, woven rugs and rattan furniture. Oh, and a lot of plants, of course. It’s a millennial’s dream – and indeed, we did see a lot of influencers taking selfies in front of the view.
Top of the list has to be the hotel’s much-touted private beach, which is a short climb down from the hotel’s main complex and set in a private cove that feels deliciously tranquil. Scattered with daybeds, it gets all of the morning sun (but none of the evening’s, past 5pm) - and there is also an infinity pool on the top level, by the restaurant.
While there is also a small gym on one of the terraced areas, there’s not a lot of equipment there – an exercise bike, some weights and a rowing machine – and the sheer heat of a Grecian summer makes it hard to imagine it’s often used.
Given that The Wild’s ethos is wellness, it’s no surprise to learn that the complex also contains a small spa, which offers a range of treatments that start from a €60 half-hour back massage and goes all the way to a €170 Sound Healing experience. In addition, those willing to splash out can also avail themselves of the range of extra-curricular activities on offer, from tennis lessons to martial arts training and yoga.
Situated as it is on the quieter side of Mykonos island, The Wild is pretty remote: if you’re hoping to get out and about, consider investing in a rental car, especially if you’re coming off-season, when the buses and ferry boats stop running.
That said, the gorgeous Kalafatis beach is a ten-minute walk away, while the nearby Paralia Kalo Livadi is around twenty-five minutes by foot and boasts a high-season beach bar to kick back and relax at. For culture vultures, the tiny, picturesque village of Ano Mera is fifteen minutes by bus, and contains monasteries, castles and many tavernas: perfect for a spot of sightseeing. And if you’re willing to brave the forty-minute bus trip into Mykonos Town, you’ll be rewarded with picture-postcard views of tiny, cobbled streets and the island’s famous windmills, as well as clubs and restaurants galore.
Food & drink
The Wild boasts two restaurants: Taverna and Raw. While Taverna is located in the main dining area, next to the pool and sun loungers (and offers lunch and dinner options), Raw is situated on a set of terraces built into the cliffside, making for a spectacularly romantic dining experience – a good thing too, as there are precious few eating options near the hotel.
Neither option is cheap – wine starts at around €45, while the mains cost around €20 each, if not more – but the food is excellent. Taverna serves quintessential Greek food with a twist: think grilled octopus with fava-bean puree, prawns cooked in orzo, grilled peach salads and freshly-caught fish.
Raw is a little more avant-garde: it’s essentially a Greek-Japanese fusion restaurant, and it’s well worth taking the chance to try it out. The flavours are delicious and sometimes unexpected – we feasted on spinach and tahini salad, seabass carpaccio and a trio of sushi which included Greek crab and a spicy tuna offering which blew our socks off.
For breakfast, the hotel puts on a truly spectacular spread: picture the upmarket buffet of your dreams, encompassing fresh pastries, a make-it-yourself granola station, cheese and charcuterie boards, as well as an à la carte menu where you can order everything from omelettes to smoothies.
Although all The Wild’s forty rooms offer gorgeous views of the Aegean Sea beyond, if the budget stretches to it then consider booking one of the Honeymoon Signature Suites.
In addition to a view that gives directly onto the sea, you’ll also be able to benefit from a private plunge pool and outdoor area, stuffed with cushions for you to relax on – or if you’re travelling with friends, there’s also the option of booking a two-bed villa, which comes with a private pool.
Greece is one of Europe’s hottest summer destinations, so expect the hotel to be booked up from May to September (though if you don’t mind slightly cooler temperatures of around 25 degrees, October is a good time to escape the crowds).
The emphasis on wellness and lack of children’s facilities mean that this probably isn’t where you’ll be finding families; instead the hotel caters to mainly international tourists, especially couples on romantic breaks, many of whom stay between 4-8 days.
Indeed, the hotel’s complimentary airport shuttle service makes this an easy choice for a long weekend: fly in on Friday, stay two-to-three nights soaking up the Mediterranean sun and head back to London feeling refreshed and bronzed.
Rates start from £290 per room per night on a double room basis, including breakfast. This winter, The Wild will be closed between November and April. Kalafatis, Loulos- Ag. Anna, Mykonos, Greece; thewildhotel.com