The design at ParīlioHotel Paros may be streamlined and meticulously thought-out, but your days here should be exactly the opposite. Because meandering in a timeless haze of sun, sea and swim is exactly what the Athens-based design team had in mind when they conceived this Parian paragon – relaxation par excellence. To help you further adjust to the island’s slow-as-molasses metronome, there’s the soul-soothing Asian spa, a light-filled restaurant called Mr E (get it?) and that enormous cross-shaped swimming pool, perfect for worshipping Helios, the Greek god of sunshine.
Get this when you book through us:
A cocktail and canapés for two on an evening of your choice; GoldSmiths get a bottle of champagne instead
Double rooms from £686.72 (€800), 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.
Rates include the healthy and home-made daily breakfast spread in Mr E restaurant.
The gym is equipped with elliptical machines, stationary bikes, treadmills and rowing machines. You can book pilates, yoga and other group fitness classes at the front desk.
The hotel is open for the summer season, from early May to mid-October (the exact dates vary annually).
At the hotel
Free on-site parking, free WiFi. In rooms: free bottled water, tea and coffee.
Our favourite rooms
All suites are spacious, light-filled and supremely soothing (thanks to outdoor living areas and enormous beds), but if pressed, we’d hop to a Halo Suite: each has an outdoor dining area and two white sunloungers overlooking the gorgeous native gardens.
The hotel’s name is a hybrid between ‘Paros’ and ‘Helios’, the Greek sun god – so we think it’s only proper to pay your respects to the deity by lying supplicant in a sleek sunlounger beside the enormous, cross-shaped swimming pool. The turquoise temptation is enhanced by the two rock formations built into the sides – throw yourself across them to pretend you’re a ship-wrecked Odysseus at sea (if the ‘sea’ had nary a wave and someone occasionally offering to refresh your cocktail).
The boutique Asian spa has two treatment rooms and one cabin for beautifying: manicures, pedicures and waxing. Choose from tension-banishing massages, body scrubs or facials – all the treatments use potions by all-natural and organic brand Ila. Don’t fear, honeymooners: every treatment is offered à deux, so you needn’t spend even an hour apart.
Tote Teva sandals for clambering over the rocks at Kolymbithres and a Polaroid camera for printing those instantly nostalgic, sepia-toned snaps.
The hotel's significant number of steps means it's not ideal for anyone with restricted mobility.
There’s a decidedly grown-up and glamorous air about the whole getup, but all ages are very welcome and babysitting is available with advance notice for €8 an hour (a minimum of four hours a booking).
Weather permitting, take a table outside in a quiet corner of the terrace.
Take your cues from the staff – they’re all sporting freshly pressed linens in hues of white and blue.
At Mr E, chef Alexandros Tsiotinis serves seasonal Greek and Mediterranean fare in a light-filled space with huge arched windows, chic greenery and an outdoor terrace. Start with the goats cheese and grilled peach salad, then the lamb ragu orzo and finish with the local honey ice cream – you’ll still be buzzing about it come home time.
Running alongside the pool, this sleek spot, with a Café del Mar soundtrack to match, is perfect for seeking shade from the midday sun or a post-dinner digestif. Try not to make suggestive eye contact when you order the Kiss Me cocktail, made with Mastiha liqueur, vodka, fresh strawberry puree, basil leaves and lime juice. Or, ask the sommelier for recommendations about the lesser known Greek vintages on the wine list. The bar also serves snacks to your sunlounger – choose from superfood or kale salad with marinated salmon, or beef burgers with caramelised onions and spicy mayonnaise.
Breakfast is 8 – 11am; lunch is noon – 3:30pm and dinner is 7:30 – midnight. The pool bar is open from 11am to midnight.
Room service is available around the clock – or you could rummage through your minibar for a midnight snack. They’re stocked with goodies like local wine, beer, truffle crisps and Oreos.
Parīlio is perched on the northeastern coast of Paros in the central Cyclades, just a 20-minute walk from the island’s most popular beach, Kolympithres, and a 10-minute drive from the twinkling town of Naoussa.
You’ll need to connect in Athens before flying on to Paros airport. The hotel is a 30-minute drive away airport is the closest and the hotel can organise transfers for €60 each way.
Don’t expect lots of car-hire options at the lilliputian airport on Paros. You’re better off without wheels, anyway – parking is scant in mid-summer and the fines are steep if you’re not where you're meant to be. If you’re intent on revving an engine, rent a moped instead – you can find reputable outfits on the waterfront in Parikia.
If you’re island hopping, you can reach Paros by ferry, too – it takes about an hour from Mykonos and just under four from Athens.
Worth getting out of bed for
Start with what’s here: breeze through the bountiful breakfast spread, banish any remaining tension at the Asian spa before dropping into a sunlounger to while away the afternoon with a good book, aided by a refreshing cocktail or two from the poolside bar.
When you’re ready to head out, Parikia is Paros’ largest town and where you’ll find the awe-inspiring (and admittedly hard to pronounce) Panagia Ekatondapyliani, a Byzantine monastery complex that dates from AD 326. Did you know that the Venus de Milo and Napoleon's tomb were both made from Parian marble? Unfortunately the artefacts at the tiny Archeological Museum (also in Parikia) are rather less racy, but the museum is a fascinating walk through the island’s ancient history nonetheless. Next, get lost wandering the labyrinthine lanes of jewel town Naoussa – you’ll be rewarded with fashion boutiques, artisanal shops and trad tavernas on the waterfront.
Adrenaline seekers should gallop to Golden Beach, famous for windsurfing (every August they hold the windsurfing world cup at this very spot). For more secretive swimming, visit Laggeri Beach near Naoussa but leave little Smiths at home for this outing – some of your fellow sunbathers will be au naturel, if you catch our drift.
If nudey beaches are not your bag, take the seven-minute water ferry to Antiparos (they run regularly from Parikia) to visit the awe-inspiring Cave of Antiparos – take sturdy shoes for the steps, all 411 of them.
At Kolymbithres beach, head to Taverna Anemos or Taverna Kolibithres, both white-washed tavernas with rustic tables where home-cooked dishes and fresh grilled fish are the order of the day. Family-run Barbarossa is nearby Naoussa is a perennial favourite – it’s named after the red-bearded Ottoman pirate who brutally conquered the Cyclades in mediaeval times, but all seems to be forgiven now judging from the joyous nightly feasts of mezze, tuna tataki and shrimp carpacci (if you’re tiring of taverna fare, there’s a sushi bar too).
Revellers, rejoice – the Golden Garden bar is the best place on the island for exotic cocktails and dancing ‘til the early hours on the candle-lit patio.
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 design-forward damsel in the Cyclades and unpacked their well-thumbed novels and Ila products from the Asian spa, a full account of their Greek island getaway will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Parilio on Paros…
Picturesque Paros operates on a decidedly lower octave than its more crowded Cycladic cousins – it’s not fast-paced and fashionable like Mykonos or quite as spectacular as ‘gram that sunset’ Santorini – but once you get on her lulling level, the island will unveil her unadorned charms; we’ve yet to meet someone who isn’t doe-eyed about the traditional tavernas, rolling hills and bounty of beaches to bask on. And now those delights include Parilio Hotel Paros, a whitewashed retreat on the northeast of the island, where each of the 33 suites is angled towards the Aegean. The clean-lined design is intended to de-stress: thick stone arches echo the traditional architecture of the archipelago and the calming white and marble palette draws the eye to the sparkling sea. Personality points come in the form of riotous bougainvillea, tonal terracotta and tempting textiles by cult Moroccan brand LRNCE. Here, you’re in nodding distance of Naoussa’s fishing port and a twenty-minute stroll from spectacular Kolymbithres beach, where the elements have whipped the sandstone into Dali-esque shapes and the landscape looks almost lunar. But you’d be forgiven for forgetting all that and staying exactly where you are, perfecting your Paros pace by breezing from bedroom to spa to sunlounger.