Delights of an Archipelago

These Are the Greek Islands For a Refined Hellenic Experience
Greece invokes images of never-ending island landscapes, languid days spent on the sea, an abundance of food, hospitality, and the carefree freedom of summer. While Greece is a hotspot destination, it’s also a collection of 227 islands, which means there are still secrets and gems to unearth and discover even in the most famous of places. From hotels of contemporary elegance to car-free islands, here are a few of our favorite places and stays to experience the Greek Islands in a new light. 
The Vasilicos
Santorini holds a vivid place in the landscape of the Greek Islands. It’s immediately recognizable by its cube-like, blanche-white buildings topped with cobalt blue domes, dramatic views, and sunsets which blaze every evening in otherworldly light. Nestled within this landscape is The Vasilicos hotel. Made up of only 6 suites, family is the concept that runs through its bones. In its former life, it was a summer holiday house for the art collectors who owned it, and it’s now operated by a family who is committed to retaining this sense of a familial place. While the decor is pared down at The Vasilicos (as much of the hotels are in Santorini), this property shines in the love of art inherited from the previous owners. The hotel proudly features impressive fine art on its walls and showcases original art-like furnishings created for the hotel, such as tableware, keychains, and beach towels, most of which are available for purchase. Although the thing that will truly catch your eye (and steal your heart) are the endless views of the sea below, which can be enjoyed from each suite’s private pool. 
The Rooster
Antiparos is one of the most exclusive islands in Greece, which makes for the perfect backdrop for this elegant-yet-unpretentious wellness getaway. The luxury of The Rooster is inspired by the land, as seen through its use of an earthy color palette, a slight deviation from the clean whites for which Greek island architecture is known. A collection of 17 villas, the design of each is meant to embrace guests in warmth and style through the use of materials found in nature–think marble, wood, and cotton–infused into calm-inducing furnishings, textiles, and finishings. Where this hotel sets itself apart is through its approach to wellness, which goes beyond the traditional spa treatments and delves into deeper concepts such as sleep, disconnection from technology, and the creation of meaningful and lasting connections, especially to one’s self. They call this Slow Living and The Rooster aims to infuse this philosophy into every moment spent at the property. 
Hotel Aristide
With all the richness of a Greek island holiday but with none of the crowds, Syros is the island where those in the know go to experience Greek island life in chic seclusion. In addition to indulging in the beauty, food, and hospitality for which Greek islands are known, visitors have plenty of natural and cultural beauty with which to interact, such as hikes, historical institutions, and architecture. 
For an opulent yet restrained hotel experience, the 7-suite restored mansion that is Hotel Aristide delivers a first-class experience without the over-the-top gilding and sparkle that normally accompanies this sort of period architecture. Instead, it layers modern touches and clean, contemporary colors atop its Greek Neoclassical and Art Deco bones for a revived point of view on old-world charm. Marble is one of the key elements at The Aristide and it is seen nearly everywhere–from stairs, to tables, and even the bathroom walls–which invoke the spirit of the traditionally aristocratic neighborhood in which this hotel lives. Such large applications of stone, however, also add a sense of artistic drama to the space through the natural veins and markings that make up the stone. This drama is balanced by large swaths of rich colors on walls and furnishings which range from blush to jewel-toned turquoise. Its old-world qualities are also balanced with contemporary furnishings in the form of mirrors, fixtures, and artwork. Guests are further indulged through the hotel’s pool, library, and availability of in-room massages–amenities which are all only steps away from the town center. 
The Old Markets
Symi transports visitors to a long-lost version of Greece. A former affluent fishing village, Symi’s harbor and historical relevance have earned it a protected status, which means all the architecture in town has remained unchanged for centuries. This visually stunning architectural landscape allows guests to be transported to a place where the true history of Greece can almost be tangibly experienced. 
In a centuries-old building with national monument status amidst this protected town, The Old Markets hotel creates an experience that forges the gap between the spirit of ancient Greece and contemporary life. And while history may be the soul of this hotel, luxury is the heart of it. The Old Markets lives at the very center of this town, just next to its famed harbor, and five years ago it underwent a complete restoration that updated the interiors but preserved its historical exterior. Antiques and fine artwork were added throughout the property, including in guest rooms, which also received new furnishings and upgrades of technology to bring the property in line with modern amenities and appeal. The most special area, however, is the hotel’s rooftop that overlooks the harbor and the entire town below. 
Grand Poseidon Hotel
The island of Spetses is only a 2-hour ferry ride from Athens and is edged with sandy beaches and intimate bays. It has a reputation of being one of the most sophisticated and glamorous of the Greek islands and much of this is because, as its backdrop, are stunning Venetian mansions that dot the island’s landscape. Add to that, Spetses is car-free, which means there is a languid way of being on the island. The Grand Poseidon Hotel has long been the hotel where the glittering visitors of Spetses–from high society to wealthy Athenians–come to take respite in this tranquil place. This property is rich with old-world design and its position just on the water has made it a local landmark. Built in 1914, the hotel underwent a massive renovation that took five years to bring it to where it is today, which is a combination of rich island style and crisp, modern design. The public areas of the hotel elicit this old-world sensibility with massive staircases and artistically-tiled floors, although the rooms are completely contemporary, clean, and minimal done in clean whites and light neutrals. 
Mykonos is likely one of the most famous of the Greek Isles, so much so it almost needs no introduction. It’s become synonymous with indulgent summer holidays made by throngs of international visitors every summer. Although Mykonos is a place to be enjoyed in many different ways and while its popularity is ever-increasing, it's a diverse island with hideaways yet to be discovered. The Kalesma is one of those in-the-know places which strives to give visitors a true Mykonian visit in the spirit of the island’s DNA of Philoxenia, a Greek word which means ‘friend to the stranger.’ It’s a word that is a part of every experience at Kalesma so that guests feel nothing but the comfort and warmth of true Greek hospitality. This property drips high-design and style at every turn. From its clean, cycladic-style architecture with its love of lines combined with an overall plushness that defies typical beach-life dwellings, Kalesma is the definition of a transporting Mykonian space. A collection of 25 suites and 2 villas, each guest accommodation is replete with luxuries at every turn. Among them are each suite’s private heated pool, unobstructed views of the sea, private terraces, outdoor showers, and Sonos sound systems. This hotel holds its guests in a refined and elegant environment, all while the spoils of the island lay just beyond its doors.