Many people often — and mistakenly — advise first-time Greece travelers to skip the well-loved islands of Santorini and Mykonos in favor of other less-traveled isles. But from the moment you step foot on each, you understand what makes these two spots so sought-after. The two destinations, often paired together, offer different atmospheres, landscapes, and even island-specific dishes and ingredients.
The quintessential image of Greece’s Cycladic islands is Santorini’s jumble of whitewashed, sugar-cubed villas cascading down the cliffside. It’s primed for honeymooners with its romantic suites, picturesque sunset spots, and laid-back nature. Mykonos, with its desert landscape and many beaches, is known as a lively island filled with late-night parties and high-end beach clubs where the global jet-set crowds go to rub shoulders every summer.
For those in the know, boutique Greek hotel brand Katikies is a sweet escape for travelers seeking five-star, yet luxuriously authentic Greek holidays on these islands. The brand has five distinct hotels on Santorini and two on Mykonos. All excel in providing consistent and personalized service that allows you to experience it all without ever having to lift a finger.
As Greek history goes, Katikies’ 35-year run might not seem that long, but the boutique hotel brand has single-handedly elevated the luxury hotel experience on each island since its flagship property, Katikies Hotel Santorini, opened in 1987. It’s perched on the outskirts of Oía, one of Santorini’s most iconic and picturesque towns with centuries-old fortresses and churches, and situated along a cliff’s edge at the start of a car-less road.
While you can’t go wrong with any room (all of which were recently redesigned), we suggest booking a Katikies Suite or Master Suite, both of which have their own plunge pool. There are three infinity pools, a Champagne Bar by Fleur de Miraval and three dining options, including Botrini’s, which opened in May.
Botrini’s is elevating the island’s fine dining options thanks to Athenian chef Ettore Botrini’s conceptual menus and inventive dishes (his Athens restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 2020). Chef Botrini also had a hand in revamping the menus throughout the entire Katikies portfolio to include elevated Greek dishes with global inspiration and ingredients. Even the seemingly simplest dishes have their own special twist — do not miss the chicken sandwich while lazing poolside with a glass of rosé.
Katikies’ other properties offer varying atmospheres and appeal to all types of travelers, though kids under the age of 13 aren’t allowed at any of the portfolio’s properties. Katikies Kirini, for example, located three minutes away from the Katikies Hotel Santorini, is a wellness-minded hotel. It has a decidedly Zen atmosphere, as well as a relaxing pool, restaurant, and the Katikies Spa.
Also on Santorini is Katikies Garden, which opened in 2020, and is built within a former monastery. Not only is the architecture and history awe-inspiring, but it has everything you need, like a spa, rooftop pool, a wine cave, and the fine dining Selene Restaurant, an island mainstay since 1986. The wine cave is great for groups of friends to enjoy wine tastings, which includes sampling of Selene’s very-own label and other local wines. Be sure to ask the sommelier about kouloura, an ancient winemaking practice practiced exclusively on Santorini where the vines are trained into a wreath-like nest close to the ground, creating a microclimate for the grapes.
For a bit of a less formal experience, Katikies Chromata, which means ‘color’ in Greek, is located in the capital, Thira. It’s a great way to see a different part of the island, with equally impressive views. There are also private villas to rent.
In 2018, Katikies opened up their first hotel in Mykonos, located just above Agios Ioannis beach with two restaurants, two pools, a pool bar, spa, and plenty of tucked-away, cave-like nooks to enjoy. While Mykonos might be known for its liveliness, this hotel provides guests a chance to enjoy a quieter side of the island.
No matter which hotel you choose, warm Greek hospitality, thoughtful touches, and expert service makes your Katikies experience feel incredibly personal. However, it’s not just romantic suite experiences and incredible food that draws well-traveled folks to Katikies. The hotel’s experiential arm, Katikies Club, provides everything from arranging wedding proposals and historic tours to private shopping and private yacht excursions aboard one of the Katikies-owned yachts.
The yachts, ranging in size from 42 to 63 feet, are at your disposal for day excursions, overnight trips, or even island transfers between your stays at Katikies’ Santorini’s hotels and Katikies Mykonos. Each has a dedicated, full-time crew and they’re able to arrange catering from Katikies restaurants, as well as wine and champagne.
There’s nothing better than a dip in the cool, salty water followed by a chilled glass of Assyrtiko. The Club also can provide gourmet catering for private jets, should you want to indulge in the hotel’s elevated Greek cuisine one last time on your journey out.
Katikies Hotel Santorini suites from $1,120 per night. Contact Danai Passa, director of sales and marketing, +30 22860 72382, email@example.com, katikies.com