Straddling the spine of a hill in Ornos, Kalesma Mykonos could pass as a Cycladic village – until you notice the Rick Owens furniture, private plunge pools and cocktail lounge with a fire pit. Inspired by old-world Mykonian architecture, the interiors have a meditative quality to them, featuring smoothly curved walls, chestnut ceilings and ceramics by Serbian artist Aleksander Vac. This organic look is heightened by the gardens, which are planted with 60-year-old olive trees, vines, citrus fruits and fragrant herbs. Cresting it all is the hotel’s plateia (town square), bordered by the infinity pool, cocktail bar and Pere Ubu Restaurant, which has eschewed the fusion trend to focus on genuine Mykonian cuisine. Around dusk, focus shifts to the open-air Aloni lounge, where you can sip sundowners and plot after-hours escapades.
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Return private airport transfers and a bottle of wine; stays of seven nights or more also get a free four-course dinner
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £868.86 (€1,020), including tax at 13.5 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional government tax of €4.00 per room per night on check-out.
Rates include à la carte breakfast. Keep it traditional with the Kalesma basket, filled with Greek honey, yoghurt, cheeses, Mykonian phyllo pies and fresh horiatiko bread baked in a brick oven. Otherwise, mix and match from an enticing range of sweet, sav
The two villas were designed for hosting, and can be connected to form one vast residence. Split over three storeys, each villa has an open plan living area, a fully-equipped kitchen and a sprawling terrace with a heated pool and alfresco dining area. A private chef and butler can be arranged on request.
At the hotel
Pool bar, sunset lounge with a fire pit, gym, boutique, private chapel, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, Sonos sound system, Nespresso coffee machine, minibar with free soft drinks and snacks, tea and a kettle, free bottled water, Frederic Malle bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Inspired by old-world cycladic architecture, the Aegean-facing suites have chestnut and bamboo ceilings, stone floors and whitewashed walls with smoothly curving corners. The king-size bed is angled to get the best of the sunrise and the bathroom has a bath tub overlooking the bay. Every suite has a private terrace with a plunge pool, shaded dining area and alfresco shower.
The outdoor infinity pool is on the hotel’s main terrace, overlooking the Aegean and the hillside across the bay. It’s heated, filled with saltwater and flanked by sunloungers angled to make the most of the view. The shaded pool bar is steps away.
A spa is currently in the works, due to open in 2022. In the meantime, you can get massages, facials and beauty treatments in the privacy of your suite or villa. There’s also a gym with state-of-the-art Technogym equipment and personal trainers can be booked for fitness sessions and yoga classes.
Chunky leather sandals from your favourite fashion house.
All rooms are on the ground floor, and there are several with wheelchair-adapted bathrooms.
All ages are welcome. Suites can sleep up to two adults and two children and the villas can accommodate larger families with ease. Children’s menus are available on request and babysitting can be arranged from €20 an hour; a week’s notice is needed.
Straddling the spine of the hill, Pere Ubu Restaurant is the highest building on the grounds, commanding views of the pool, Ornos Bay and the island of Delos. The menu is rooted to the island, full of Cycladic classics like fresh anchovies, spiced lamb meatballs, roasted octopus and Mediterranean sea bass. Alongside the mains, there’s an enticing range of lighter dishes, including rustic bread with greek dips and spreads, marinated fish dishes and organic salads. One dish that really captures the island’s tastes is the Greek meze platter, layered with grilled sardines, shrimp and octopus, marinated anchovies, Mykonian sausage, fried courgette, grilled broad beans and fragrant tzatziki.
Shaded by a roof of dark timber, the pool bar overlooks the olive tree-studded terrace and Ornos Bay. Sountracked by laid-back beats, it’s the perfect spot to plot your after-dark itinerary. Get in the mood with a Mediterraneo, made with Greek Mastiha liqueur infused with thyme, lime and blue dust tea. Towards sunset, make your way onto the Aloni sunset lounge, a former threshing floor with a fire pit and sofas facing west, where the sun sets behind the island of Delos.
Breakfast is available from 7.30am to 12 noon; lunch from noon to 6pm; dinner from 6pm to 11.30pm. Snacks are available at Aloni Sunset Lounge until midnight.
A reduced menu is available as room service. The hotel also offers private dining in your suite or villa.
Kalesma Mykonos is in Aleomandra, a peninsula at the far southwest of the island. The hotel overlooks Ornos Bay, which has a beach that's a 3-minutes drive away.
Touch down at Mykonos Airport, a 15-minute drive from the hotel. During the summer season, it can be reached directly from London Heathrow, London Gatwick and Manchester airports, along with continental hubs like Paris Charles de Gaulle, Amsterdam and Frankfurt. The hotel can organise transfers for €60 each way if you’re staying in a suite and €90 each way if you’re in one of the villas.
Having your own car isn’t essential, but it might make sense if you plan on doing a lot of exploring and don’t want to rely on taxis. If you do choose to hire, there’s free parking at the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
If the lie-in had a spiritual home, this could well be it. Kalesma’s meditative curves and sea vistas make you feel like you’ve got all the time in the world. Just as well, then, that there’s plenty to entice you away from your room each morning. First and foremost is the sunrise, which can be seen in all its golden glory from your private terrace. Then there’s breakfast, where you'll catch wafts of the deliciously rustic bread that’s baked in the restaurant’s brick oven. Some guests post up by the pool all day; others hit Ornos Beach (a hotel car will take you for free) before returning for sundowners around the fire pit at Aloni Sunset Lounge, built on a circular platform that was once used to grind wheat into flour.
When it comes to straying further afield, the concierge should be your first port of call. Drawing on a wealth of local knowledge, they can secure tables at under-the-radar restaurants, book loungers at beach clubs and direct you to the island’s best trails and beaches. They can also arrange excursions like a yacht cruise to Rhenia Island and Delos, night walks, food tours or a sunset trek to the Old Lighthouse of Armenistis.
If you’re looking to have lunch nearby, beachfront restaurant Pasajiis a sought-after spot on Ornos Beach. The menu is influenced by Greek, Italian and Asian cuisine, ensuring a wealth of seafood options. Kuzina, also on the beachfront, is another worthy contender, serving delicate sushi and Mediterranean classics. On the edge of Little Venice in Mykonos Old Town, Koursaros is known as one of the best seafood restaurants on the island. The white-on-white dining room spills onto a large terrace with a retractable roof, meaning you can stargaze from your table. Occupying a tree-studded plot in Matogianni, Interni is a classic spot for dinner; the place for octopus carpaccio, crab salads and cuttlefish ink tagliatelle. Coya brings a Peruvian lean to proceedings, serving citrus-spiked ceviche, moreish fish tacos and steaks with chimichurri. Request a table in the courtyard, which is crossed by hanging plants.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this all-suite hotel in Mykonos and unpacked their jewelry from Little Venice, a full account of their Greek island break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Kalesma Mykonos…
Aleomandra, the region of the island on which Kalesma Mykonos rests its head, is named after a sacred stable said to have sheltered horses belonging to Apollo. No doubt Mykonos has changed a lot since antiquity, but we can’t help wonder if this long history is partly responsible for the hotel’s peculiarly pacifying power. There’s something about its smooth cornered white walls, stone terraces and dark-wood pergolas that makes you feel distinctly unhurried. Then again, it’s easy to let your mind go blank when you’ve got unbroken views of the Aegean and sunshine from first to last light (thanks to the hotel’s east-west orientation).
Inside, things are equally meditative. The suites are 153 square metres when you include the private terrace with its plunge pool, dining area and outdoor shower. The rooms are a medley of earthy materials – chestnut, bamboo, lava rock, ceramic and stonewashed linen among them. If you’re going to immerse yourself in the island’s more hedonistic side, you couldn’t ask for a better place to recharge. Oh, and on that note, breakfast is available until midday.
Speaking of food, Pere Ubu Restaurant is the feather in the hotel’s cap (quite literally, considering it stands at the top of the hill). Mykonos has a thriving restaurant scene but many of the ritzier places have opted for fusion food in recent years. Not so here – chef Kostas Tsingas has stayed faithful to Cycladic cuisine, working classic ingredients and time-honoured dishes into his menus. As with everything else at Kalesma, this food has a real sense of place – and it’s good enough to be served to Apollo himself…