One of a new breed of boutique retreats on the Greek island of Kos, Lango Design & Spa Hotel is a mod-minimalist, adults-only stay decked out with ravishing marble and slate-grey interiors that lays down a challenge to contemporaries on Mykonos or Santorini. Lambi Beach is directly opposite, and beyond – across the Aegean – are the islands of Pserimos and Kalymnos, and Bodrum on the Turkish coast. Inside, the Turkish influence can be felt in the spa, the Koan restaurant tantalises, and the stylish poolside bar is a sun-soaked success.
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A bottle of local wine and some Greek treats; guests staying three nights or more will also get €50 to spend on food and drink
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in is 3pm.
Double rooms from £139.14 (€158), 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 breakfast.
One of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world, the Dodecanese are still producing some fine vintages today. Kos has a couple of excellent wineries, whose bottles you’ll find stored in Lango’s cellar, along with wines from other Greek isles and across the world. There’s even a cigar menu.
From 1 November to 20 April.
At the hotel
Gym, beauty salon, wine cellar. In rooms: TV, air-conditioning, minibar.
Our favourite rooms
We love looking out over the pool area from a Deluxe Double room or sunbathing by our own private pool in a Superior Suite. But for the panorama of neighbouring islands and Bodrum’s twinkling lights – from your terrace-sunk Jacuzzi, no less – it has to be the Master Suite Sea View with Outdoor Jacuzzi.
Take a dip in the L-shaped pool, surrounded by oversized day-beds and cream-hued loungers. Staff will bring you cocktails, beers or a selection of tasty snacks, or you can move to the stone-built bar and adjoining outdoor area. The restaurant’s veranda is raised slightly, overseeing the pool. It’s a sophisticated, child-free space in which to sun yourself by day and socialise by night.
Kos is one of the closest Greek islands to mainland Turkey, and its subtle influence can be felt inside Lango’s spa, with cobalt-blue Seljuk tiles and a marble hammam. Treatment rooms, a sauna, beauty corner and a fully equipped gym complete the wellness centre.
Leave room in your suitcase for jars of locally produced honey, olive oil and tomataki (a tomato-based jam) that you’ll inevitably want to smuggle home.
The pool area isn't accessible for wheelchair users.
Blissfully at odds with other beachside stays in Kos, this is an adults-only hotel.
The row of two-seaters overlooking the pool are set under hanging lanterns, creating a suitably romantic spot come evening. Or settle into a cosy banquette near the bar, sitting side by side to share your starters.
For ladies, a tie-front dress with some primary-colour punch (to offset the restaurant’s slate-grey hues); for gents, a loosely buttoned collarless shirt, shorts and sneakers.
Its name might suggest you’ll be devouring exclusively local dishes, but the hotel’s Koan Cuisine Restaurant, dashingly dressed in slate-grey and hung with atmospheric lanterns, specialises in pan-Mediterranean flavours. The lamb with potato croquet and black garlic sauce comes highly recommended. Still, it’s local flavours that make breakfast something of an event, too. Dotted amid the French toast, cold meats and full English options you’ll find bougatsa (a fluffy, custard-filled pastry), krasotyri (a very Koan cheese matured with wine) and jugs of the freshest orange juice.
The main bar is at the far end of the restaurant overlooking the sea. Make the most of the excellent wine cellar and the knowledge of the hotel’s friendly sommelier, or kick back with a cocktail, which also go down a treat at the stone-built outdoor pool bar.
The restaurant closes at 11pm while the bar stays open until midnight.
There’s a satisfyingly extensive room service menu, whose dishes can be enjoyed around your private pool, or on your balcony or terrace. Plenty of breakfast items are available and then salads, sandwiches, pizzas, desserts and more are yours until late.
Lango Design & Spa Hotel sits on the northern shore of Dodecanese island Kos, staring out across the Aegean to Pserimos, Kalymnos and Bodrum on the Turkish coast.
You’ll see why the island was named ‘Lango’ by the Knights Hospitaller in the Byzantine era as you fly into Kos Island International Airport: it’s quite long. Thanks to that notable length, the hotel’s a 30-minute drive from the airport (and transfers can be arranged, for a fee).
You can pick up a hire car at the airport fairly cheaply. It’ll be useful to have one – or a moped to get to other parts of the island – particularly some of the more secluded beaches. You’ll find free parking at the hotel.
Island hopping is one of our favourite ways to see the Greek isles, and Kos is a well situated hub for exploring the Dodecanese. There are up to 38 ferry crossings a day to Kos, heading out to its island brethren Rhodes and Kalymnos, as well as mainland Turkey, Piraeus in Athens, and the Cyclades.
Worth getting out of bed for
Directly opposite the hotel, Lambi Beach is an adults-only strip of golden sand. You’ll see plenty of holidaymakers here on two wheels, thanks to 25 kilometres of cycle routes criss-crossing the island. Rich in archeological sites, Kos is essentially an open-air museum of ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine history. We wouldn’t usually prescribe a trip to the hospital, but the Asklepion was the world’s first, established here by the father of medicine, Hippocrates, who supposedly taught his students under a plane tree that still stands in Lotzia Square. The Roman Odeon, too, is a surprisingly intact amphitheatre complete with a backstage space that must be one of the world’s earliest green rooms.
Head inland to the hilltop village of Zia for one of the finest sunsets in the Aegean, or south to harbour town Kardamena for typically Greek shops and tavernas. You can ride horses in the sea along the coast at Marmari, or head west for the most secluded beaches, such as Agios Theologos, Agios Stefanos or the sublimely untouched Cavo Paradiso. Kos is a hub for those wishing to visit the lesser-known islands in the Dodecanese such as Kalymnos, Pserimos and the volcanic crater island of Nisyros. Rhodes is two and a half hours away by ferry, and the Turkish city of Bodrum, with its extraordinary castle, is just 45 minutes away.
The culinary scene in nearby Kos town mostly caters to tourist traffic, with a few notable exceptions. Hidden by hanging ferns and creepers, the gloriously old-school Petrino Restaurant is a low-lit affair in a quiet corner of town serving magnificent pork tenderloin, seafood souvlaki and lobster. Up on the hillside of Zia village is bougainvillea-topped taverna Oromedon, specialising in delicacies such as fried feta and tomato, moussaka and citrusy lamb stew.
Parts of Kos town become a tourist trap by night, especially around the harbour, but head east along the coast and you’ll find Ammos beach and cocktail bar, a trendsetting spot serving fresh seafood, salad and cocktails by day and, thanks to an international line-up of DJs, a stylish soundtrack (and more cocktails, of course) by night.
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 Aegean-facing hotel in Greece and unpacked their jars of tomataki and thyme honey, a full account of their adults-only island break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Lango Design & Spa Hotel in Kos…
Towering pillars of weathered marble offset against minimalist white blocks, slate-grey interiors, wood and polished marble stairs: so far, so very Wallpaper*. And yet this is Kos, a Greek island more often associated with cheap airlines and package holidays. Lango Design & Spa Hotel happily eschews such labels.
This is an adults-only idyll, y’see, with a beach mere metres away, a world-beating pool area and bar, top-notch dining, a wine cellar (the local drop is a revelation), suites with private pools, and views across the Aegean to mirage-like Turkey. It’s perfectly located: from your base at Lango, you can take boat trips over to see the impregnable Bodrum Castle, or hop to nearby crater-shaped islands fringed with deserted beaches. But Kos itself has unexpected cultural charms: the world’s first hospital, the Asklepion, sprang up here, thanks to the revolutionary genius of Greek physician Hippocrates (he of ‘oath’ fame), and there’s plenty more to explore from the Roman and Mediaeval eras, too. With high temperatures well into October and competitive prices compared to nearby Crete or Mykonos, long-overlooked Kos deserves a second glance from discerning islands hoppers.