Six days after Greece reopened to vaccinated American travellers, one of the country’s most anticipated hospitality ventures followed suit: Kalesma Mykonos opened its meticulously carved doors on May 20. The suite- and villa-only hotel offers some of the most luxurious accommodations in Mykonos – with each of the 25 suites featuring infinity-edge pools and a view of yacht-littered Ornos Bay. By Maya Kachroo-Levine
The property is simultaneously an embrace of Mykonos culture and a departure from it – really, you can tailor your stay at Kalesma to be as intimate or as sceney as you like. The common spaces, from restaurant Pere Ubu to the property’s sunset lounge, Aloni, are meant to garner a sense of community, while the villas offer complete seclusion and effortless air of romance.
International hospitality talent has flooded Mykonos in the last decade, but Kalesma proves that local roots prevail on this island. The hoteliers behind the project – including one whose family has owned the land Kalesma is built on for more than 100 years – wanted every inch of the space to feel lavishly Greek. The Haute Grecian design, executed by K-Studios and Studio Bonarchi, uses found materials (think: impressive stone and woodwork) and modernises the classic white-and-blue Cycladic style.
Owner Aby Saltiel said he wanted Kalesma to feel like a sanctuary. No matter how much raucous mischief you get up to at night, Kalesma is a tranquil oasis to come home to. You can nurse a hangover in your private pool without feeling like anyone is going to bother you – unless of course, you require an array of authentic Greek dips and a glass of hair-of-the-dog sparkling wine, which will arrive in a few short minutes. You don’t even have to go outside to feel you’re getting a bona fide Mykonos experience. The privacy of the outdoor patios means clothing is optional if not downright discouraged. Stunning floor-to-ceiling French doors mean you can literally lie in bed and take in a view that rivals the views from the best Mykonos beach clubs. It’s a fabulous place to be lazy in style.
Mykonos has long been known as the Greek party island, where the boozy, fun-loving culture thrives at pretty much all hours, whether by day at sun-drenched beach clubs or by night at the iconic clubs. But the emergence of five-star hotels and prevalence of culinary talent on the island carves out Mykonos’ niche as not only a luxury escape but a foodie destination as well. Pere Ubu, the on-site restaurant at Kalesma, is leading that charge this summer. They’ve crafted an innovative, seafood-focused menu, alongside Greek meze offerings, house-baked bread that falls somewhere between Naples pizza crust and pita, and a cocktail and wine program that pairs perfectly with the sunset views from Aloni lounge.
If you have ambitions for your days at Kalesma, beyond languishing by your private pool, feasting on contemporary Greek fare, and watching the sunset from Aloni, the cheery, helpful staff will arrange transfers around the island for lunch, dinner, beaching, or any other adventures you have in mind.
Editor’s Note: Keeping the current situation of the pandemic in mind, T+L India recommends every reader to stay safe and take all government-regulated precautions in case travel at this time is absolutely necessary. Please follow our stories on COVID-19 for all the latest travel guidelines.