Working the Greek word for ‘where man meets his gods’ into your hotel’s name may seem a little grandiose, but it’s entirely warranted at Panoptis Escape, a set of sea-edge villas on the southern shores of Mykonos that will please Olympians and mortals alike. On a (literal) high point of the island, this celestial stay has heavenly houses with concrete, rattan and wood – along with some just-slightly-sinister ram’s-head motifs and sandy terraces by the private pools (AKA: sandpits for grown-ups). Butlers prefer to go by ‘Artisans’ for reasons that will soon become clear; task them with vacationing-oligarch essentials, from helicopter hire to yacht charters, or marginally less extravagant banana boats out on Elia Beach.
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of Greek dessert wine and some fruits, round-trip transfers from the airport or port, plus a room upgrade, early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £588.27 (€688), including tax at 13 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional government tax of €10.00 per room per night on check-out.
Rates usually include breakfast.
If you’re not one to let a holiday stand in the way of your workout, you can pump and press your way through every gym at all of Myconian Collection’s many other Mykonos hotels (for those on the other end of the spectrum, this applies to the group’s assorted restaurants, too).
The hotel opens annually between early May and mid-October.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout, free transfers, private patch of Elia Beach, gym, yoga. In rooms: free WiFi, air-conditioning, satellite TVs, iPod docks and minibars.
Our favourite rooms
Each villa goes big on bohemian style and is created as a sea-edge sanctuary with rattan ceilings, stone floors, African artefacts and a mostly earthy palette bar the odd splash of electric blue. For the biggest bash this party island can offer, book all 21 villas and gather your 69 favourite (and fortunate) humans.
There’s a lagoon-style saltwater pool, ringed with cabanas and open for swims from sunrise to sunset. Refreshments being handed out include iced tea, sorbet sticks and cooling face towels.
The spa takes Greece’s deity-heavy history seriously and aims to treat every visitor like a god or goddess. Along with Ligne St Barth and Elemis rituals, treatments that use the land’s olive oil, sea salt and volcanic mud are also possible.
The biggest sunglasses and widest-brimmed hats you can get your hands on.
The cliff-edge estate is not easily navigable for wheelchair users.
Children over eight years old are welcome. Many of the villas have sofa-beds, and there are multi-room villa options for families. Babysitting can be arranged and extra beds for kids aged 8-12 costs €65 per night.
The hotel recycles, conserves water and uses seawater where possible. Reclaimed woods and local stone were used in the construction, and the team regularly joins forces with island conservation initiatives. The chef is a fan of farm-to-table dining, using local fishermen and suppliers to source much of his produce.
As close to the floor-to-ceiling windows as you can get for a prime position watching the peachy or purple sunsets over the Aegean.
Bohemian billionaire (we like to imagine the Man from Del Monte).
Unsurprisingly for a restaurant this close to the shore, seafood is the star of the hotel’s restaurant – along with those Aegean views. There’s a pizza oven for variety, regular barbecues and staff can also arrange private dining at special places throughout the property. Panoptis guests will be able to book in for meals at any of the Myconian Collection’s 10 hotels on the island (transfers are free). And great news for gourmands heading to Mykonos in 2022: the new fine-dining restaurant will be open by then.
More sunset magic is delivered to the open-air lounge by the pool, which you can enjoy from a rattan pod with a cooling cocktail.
Breakfast is served from 7.30am to 10.30am, lunch is available from 11am, and dinner between 8pm and 11.30pm. The bar serves drinks between 11am and midnight (1am if it has thirsty patrons who don't want to go to bed).
The full restaurant menu can be delivered to your villa, and private chefs to do the cooking in your kitchen can also be booked.
Panoptis Escape is on the southern shores of butterfly-shaped Mykonos, the Cyclades’ most jet-set-frequented island.
The island’s airport is a 25-minute drive from the hotel. Seasonal flights operate throughout the spring and summer, and it’s also an option to connect to a domestic service in Athens. A free shuttle bus ships guests back and forth (from the port, too), or guests can pay for a private transfer.
The hotel has free valet parking and a car will come in handy for touring the island – but so will a quad bike or scooter for added Greek-island authenticity.
The port is a 25-minute drive north-west – ferries call in here from all over Greece’s scattered lands, including Paros, Milos and Santorini. And, unsurprisingly for an oligarchs’ playground, helicopter landings are of course possible.
Worth getting out of bed for
Lounging around your villa is actively encouraged, but if you do emerge, the staff (known around here as ‘Artisans’) can arrange watersports including scuba-diving, jet-skiing, surfing and banana-boat rides, pottery classes, days out sailing and fishing (where you’ll cook your catch on the beach afterwards), guided tours over to the archaeological site on Delos island and trips back in time at the Rizes farmstead, which mimics traditional agricultural life (cheese-making, grape-pressing) on the island. Mykonos’s longest sandy shore (Elia Beach) is below the hotel and lined with tavernas and bars.
Sit out beneath the fairy lights on the sea-facing deck at Apaggio, which celebrates its motherland in edible form: produce from Crete, Naxos, Evia and, of course, Mykonos with super-fresh seafood and assorted ouzos to wash it down with. For a traditional taverna in Mykonos Town, try Kounelas (+30 2289 028220) or To Maereio (+30 2289 028825), which is run by twin brothers cooking secret family recipes. At Roca near the old port, vast seafood platters are served with a view across to other islands Delos and Tinos.
A good-time-bringing Mykonos institution since 1980, Caprice is, we’d wager, the only place on the island where the waves lap the cobblestones beneath your feet and the cocktails are graced with basically entire fruit bowls.
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 collection of villas in Greece and unpacked their bikinis and boat shoes, a full account of their island break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Panoptis Escape in Mykonos…
Mortals may have no place on Mount Olympus, but at least they can go to Panoptis Escape, Mykonos’s idea of where man meets his gods. Everyone gets the A-list treatment at this series of high-spec holiday-ready houses on the southern coastline of Mykonos, above Elia Beach, the island’s longest stretch of sand. It’s also one of the more secluded, since it’s the final stop of the caique (traditional fishing vessel turned taxi boat). Staff are ready to source the ultimate private-dining spot, charter yachts and choppers, or arrange morning meditations on the sand. It’s the most unashamedly extravagant of all the family-run Myconian Collection’s 10 hotels, and the most private (especially if you hire all 21 villas as a whole). Whether you worship Dionysus or the more wholesome Hestia, goddess of the family hearth, few versions of domestic bliss can look quite as good as this.