Boheme Mykonos hotel slaps delicious design flourishes and bold flashes of colour onto the lily-white simplicity of a traditional Greek hideaway. With a gently bohemian atmosphere, it sits on a serene mountainside overlooking the Aegean Sea, a dainty old port and the giddy excess of Mykonos Town.
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A traditional homemade dessert made with seasonal fruit
11am but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £211.60 (€238), including tax at 13 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional government tax of €4.00 per room per night on check-out.
Includes a Continental or a-la-carte (local) breakfast in your room (speciality coffees are an extra €2 to €4).
Each couple gets a local mobile phone for use during their stay, so you can always call the hotel for advice on the nearest place for an impromptu dip, drink or dance while you are out and about.
Annually from 1 November to 31 March.
At the hotel
Spa treatments, small garden, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: private terrace or balcony, flatscreen satellite TV, iPod dock, minibar, free bottled water, slippers, bathrobes, air conditioning.
Our favourite rooms
The open-plan Bohemian Sea View Suite has a huge secluded terrace and your own outdoor Jacuzzi, so the two of you can ease back and admire your earthly domain below, like a pair of Greek deities. Every room has a glorious view of the sea and the sunset from a private balcony or terrace.
The hilltop pool, lounge and sundeck are next to the bar and restaurant, with 360-degree views across the Aegean Sea. There are beanbag armchairs and cushions for idling in the sun, and bamboo and wood gazebos offer shade at the restaurant and bar.
If all the loafing becomes too much, massages and treatments are available in the hotel grounds. They range from a 20-minute face and scalp kneading to a 45-minute full-body massage with warm, Pacific Ocean clam shells.
Summer linens and a notepad and pen for when inspiration strikes.
Over-13s are welcome in this pristine white stay. All rooms except the Classic Sea View Suites can fit an extra bed (25% of rate).
The tables parallel to the cliff edge peer straight over the sea, giving a Zeus-like feeling of mastery over all that lies below.
Gentle summer loafing with a little flourish.
Peer across the Aegean from the hotel’s open-air terrace as you nibble on modern Mediterranean dishes such as kritharoto pasta and shrimp, or a marinated pork souvlaki (and a few international staples, including an almost insurmountably large club sandwich). A cane gazebo offers shade for the wooden tables and chairs, and a mountain of cushions give ample comfort for post-prandial digestion on the long concrete bench nearby. The restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients where possible.
Grand sunsets require exquisite drinks: luckily, the restaurant’s Bilo Bar, typically soundtracked with chill-out tunes, is run by some masterful mixologists. The frozen margarita is a particular treat, but they can turn their talented hands to most things colourful and boozy, and beer and wine are also available. The long concrete bar is shaded by a wood and bamboo gazebo and sits next to the restaurant and pool, with big bean bags and cushions around the terrace for sitting back to sup.
Lunch is served from 1pm-4pm; dinner from 7.30pm to 10.30pm, with light snacks available in between. Timings for the bar are more bohemian in their flexibility.
Drinks, sandwiches, desserts and salads are available through the night (11pm to 8am), and in the civilizing spirit for which Greece became renowned, breakfast (pastries, eggs, meats and fresh orange juice) is always delivered to your room.
Up a rock-strewn mountain overlooking the Aegean, Boheme is just over a kilometre from Mykonos Town and the sea.
Mykonos Airport is two kilometres away and less than 10 minutes’ drive. The hotel can arrange a taxi pick-up for €30. Daily flights to Athens connect the island to major cities in Europe, the Middle East and beyond.
The island is just over 15km across at its widest point and a car or scooter can be useful for reaching more isolated beaches, as taxis can be hard to find. Avis hire cars can be collected from the airport. If you get your own wheels, follow the main road towards Mykonos Town and Boheme will appear on your left shortly after a roundabout, with a private carpark for guests.
Boats run to the islands of Tinos, Rafina, Siros, Paros and Naxos from the new port. In summer, converted fishing boats putter from Mykonos Town to the southern beaches. Times vary, but the lovely hotel staff can check in advance and arrange excursions to these beaches and nearby Delos Island.
Worth getting out of bed for
The views from your private patch of Mykonian paradise may mean you don’t stroll too far, but the winding alleyways of Mykonos Town and the old port are a 10-minute amble down the hill. At night, take a turn around Little Venice, a waterside strip of wooden buildings leaning over the waves: the best food tends to be set back from this tourist favourite. The bottle-clear waters of Psarou Beach (and its carefully aligned loungers and shades) are three kilometres away. Pretty, 16th-century windmills can be found on the western edge of town, from where you’ll see some of the islands most dramatic sunsets.
The most authentic local dishes tend to be behind the scenic strip of Little Venice. Bakalo (+30 (0)228 907 8121) in Lakka serves up Mykonian takes on modern Greek in a brightly refurbished 18th-century home with a shaded garden. The fresh fish dishes are particularly good. For the traditional taverna experience, there is Niko’s (+30 (0)228 902 4320), behind the port’s promenade. It’s always busy, prices are reasonable and the atmosphere jovial. The Greek salad, a much-abused item on menus the world over, is as authentic as you’re likely to find outside classical antiquity.
Mykonos Town is rightly famed for its raucously intense nightlife and vibrant gay scene. Caprice (+30 (0)228 902 3541) in Little Venice is a cosy but airy bar that sits so close to the sea you may occasionally get a salty splash in your fruit-strewn cocktail. Over on Paranga Beach, Kalua (+30 (0)228 902 3397) is a simple but sophisticated beach bar by day that becomes gradually more boisterous as the evening wears on and the DJ gets to work. Over on Paradise Beach, Cavo (+30 (0)228 902 6124) is the island’s megaclub, occasional host to the likes of Roger Sanchez and Tiësto, and open from midnight to mid morning in July and August.
In Mykonos, the air is warm and sweet and smells of hay. It’s a powerful stimulant. Forget cocaine and cocktails, this air is the real reason for the island’s wild side. I’m also being a little wild; finding myself Mr Smith-less but resourceful, I decide to recruit a dinner date for my upcoming stay at Boheme Mykonos. Hello, Tinder.
Things don’t start off well – I chop half my thumb off while mixing a pre-date G&T. Blood spatters on my forehead and I emit a piercing scream. My first victim arrives on the crime scene: a hulking, morose, monosyllabic private chef, who looks nothing like his pictures and thievishly downs a pint of gin when my back’s turned. Dismissed.
Things improve with victim two. He arrives on a moped – the new white horse – and doesn’t seem psychotic. He doesn’t rob gin. He’s handsome, with conker-brown eyes and a Greek accent that sounds like Compare the Market’s meerkat. He is as silly as I am (very). We take a beachside stroll, establish an enjoyably insulting repartee and arrange to meet again for dinner. What begins as a horror film segues smoothly into rom-com.
A few days later, I’m beautifying before date two at Boheme Mykonos’ ravishing restaurant. It would be hard to find a setting more nurturing to romance than this hillside Hellenic hideout, whose bleached cubist suites gleam like teeth on a mountainous patch of Vrisi, overlooking the Aegean. (For better views, you’d need to bed down in a bird’s nest.) Talking of birds, a fleet of black-clad Aphrodites decorate reception. They waft around ethereally, proffering sherbet-y lemonade (made with garden-grown lemons, plus peppermint and honey) and chilled towels to sun-worshipping guests prostrate around the pool.
The milk-and-honey-hued suite I’m in has a giant white bed that I starfish in each night. (Two’s a crowd.) There’s an Acapulco chair by a desk I never sit at, a stash of books I never read, lights made from thick twists of rope with exposed bulbs, a shark-grey bathroom and a balcony with a Jacuzzi in which I eat cinnamon-dusted French toast for breakfast. Jog on, muesli.
Some time has passed since French-toast o’clock and I’ve worked up a hearty appetite doing nothing. In a clinging black dress, scented with Acqua Di Parma lotion plundered from my bathroom, I wander over to meet my Mr-Smith-in-training. He looks relaxed and handsome in his goldfish-print shirt, if a tad windswept from his moped ride.
‘Brush your hair,’ I suggest.
‘I can’t. I’ll look like I’ve been put in a microwave. My hair’s like an abused cat.’
You could accuse Mr Smith of many things, but dormant hair follicles are not one of them. I let sleeping cats lie, and don’t repeat the suggestion. I do, however, lend him a bit of my AdP body lotion, which I’ve stashed in my bag. (It’s too fragrant to put down.) Mr Smith is enthusiastic. ‘I smell like I own a villa on Lake Como,’ he declares.
At Boheme’s restaurant, we both become enamoured with a fellow guest. He looks like Acqua di Parma’s octogenarian poster boy: a suntan that hints at summers in the Caribbean, a pastel shirt I’d like to press my cheek against, a flashing watch, a low laugh and teeth as ivory as the island’s architecture. If he didn’t have a wife in tow, Mr Smith and I would have battled it out to be his deckhand.
Luckily, Mr Smith’s attention is elsewhere. ‘My gosh’, he muses, staring at the waiters’ uniforms. ‘I would like to find the man responsible for making men wear such tight trousers.’ Mr Smith – a keen windsurfer – is in possession of calves as muscular as his hair is wavy, so I can comprehend that skinny jeans might pose problems. In truth, the waiters’ attire is a little startling: beige trousers – much like long johns – matched with braces and long-sleeved white T-shirts, bear a striking similarity to the Droogs in Clockwork Orange.
Dinner is beyond reproach, however: dakos salad with feta, olives and capers; squid-ink spaghetti starring seafood so fresh, I’m surprised it doesn’t swing a few left hooks while we eat it. The cocktails – mango margarita for me; a martini for Mr – are magnificent, as is the lofty alfresco setting, decorated with jaw-drop views and ghostly white lanterns that flutter in the breeze like nurses’ skirts.
Over the next few days, Mr Smith takes me on a whirlwind tour of Mykonos. We sip melon katerinaki cocktails on the balcony of a tiny bar in Little Venice. (I promised Mr Smith I wouldn’t tell you the bar’s name: it’s Galleraki.) We stock up on beach provisions at a supermarket that screens catwalk shows by the cheese counter and has a DJ by the crisps (albeit a DJ that looks like your mate’s mum). We hike to a beach that nobody else is on (to quote Mr Smith: ‘This is almost romantic’). We eat souvlaki at Fat Tony’s – not its official name – we dance to terrible music in expensive bars redolent of CK One and we pay a midnight trip to an abandoned mine (yes, really). According to Mr Smith, this is ‘a powerful insight into the island’s industrial and mining history’. According to me, it’s creepy.
Faced with the prospect of waking up in a sepulchral mine pit whose graffiti inscriptions include the unwelcome promise, ‘I’M ALWAYS WATCHING’, I’m relieved to return to Boheme Mykonos, where the only thing risky is check-out – risky, as I might never do it.
Somewhere far away, real life lurks on the horizon, obscured behind Boheme Mykonos’ dazzling panoramas, mega breakfasts and tree-filled gardens (which double up as a peaceful setting for facials and clam-shell massages). Holiday romances are as mysterious as the gods – who knows how they will end? One thing’s for life: my love for Boheme.