The Rooster has its priorities straight by looking after the chics with a firm focus on wellness – all within the rugged natural beauty of Cycladic isle Antiparos. Owner Athanasia urges guests to slow way down and take stock of the simple pleasures, be it a view of the Aegean from your bedroom, a Greek salad straight from the hotel’s organic farm or lingering over late-night drinks with a loved one. But, we enjoy the hotel’s less simple pleasures too, say the pool and alfresco shower that comes standard with each suite or dishes such as saffron-gilded king-crab risotto or rich lavender mousse – and the spa’s Grecian fire ceremony is a true one-off. When it comes to island pampering, the Rooster ranks high in the pecking order.
17 residences, including 11 suites and a standalone farmhouse.
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £429.60 (€501), 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 usually include a delicious and healthful à la carte breakfast (with some items at an extra charge).
Maximise your beach time by asking the hotel to make you a picnic. On request the kitchen will pack up a spread of sandwiches, salads, fruit and desserts in a wicker basket and provide you with a blanket too. You can choose from the menu or let the chefs surprise you – we’d happily trust them with our tastebuds.
Due to Covid-19 precautions, the gym will be limited to no more than three guests. In the spa, facials will only be offered on request and guests will be required to use shower before their treatment. Only one couple can use the pool or sauna at a time in 30-minute slots. Sanitising stations will be added throughout.
The hotel closes annually for the winter season from 16 October to 30 April.
At the hotel
Spa and sauna, gym, concierge, laundry service, beach bags to borrow, free WiFi. In rooms: private pool (or a Jacuzzi if you’re staying in the Farmhouse), TV (Smart TV on request), iPod dock, a stocked wine cooler, minibar, Nespresso machine, tea-making kit, free bottled water, pillow menu and air-conditioning. The Farmhouse has a full kitchen too.
Our favourite rooms
Space and privacy – and chance to ogle the picturesque landscape – take precedence here. Suites and villas feel more like a seductive second home with a large leafy terrace, charming personal touches (locally woven cushions, coffee table books, folk crafts) and a private pool – and further opportunities to go au naturel under a large alfresco shower. You can’t go too far wrong, but the Sea View Suites offer perhaps a smidge more romance with their Aegean panoramas. If travelling with the family, book into the Farmhouse, which sits away from the main house amid the hotel’s groves and kitchen gardens.
The only communal pool is in the spa, but instead you can practice your widest butterfly stroke without fear of whacking a fellow swimmer in the private pool that comes with each residence, while the Farmhouse has a Jacuzzi you can bubble the night away in.
At the House of Healing spa, alleviation comes in the form of custom-made treatments scented with the perfumes of Antiparos in two placidly minimalist treatment rooms. There’s a small pool lined in sage tiles, sauna and shaded relaxation area. The hotel has a gym too, and personal trainers and yoga and Pilates classes can be arranged on request.
It’s entirely up to you if you bring swimwear for your private pool – after all, who’s looking? But you may feel more comfortable wearing some in the spa pool.
If you’d like to secure the services of a private chef, personalise your breakfast or take on some wellness-coaching, just let the team know and they’ll make it happen.
The entertainment is more DIY, but little ones are very welcome. Babysitting is available for €50 an hour with two days’ notice and the restaurant has a dedicated menu for kids.
Juniors and tweens will be best suited.
The Farmhouse has plenty of room for families and its setting, 1,500 metres from the main house, gives you added privacy. Transport is provided and you can hire a private chef here to help feed your brood.
The hotel doesn’t have any dedicated activities for kids, but they can arrange trips to the beach and sheltered coves for swimming, trips down into the caves and into Chora too for some shopping. You can rent bikes there if they want to explore the countryside in more active fashion.
Kids will love having their own private pool or Jacuzzi and there are loungers by the side so parents can relax and keep an eye. However, there are no pool guards to borrow, so these residences may be less suitable for mobile tots.
In keeping with the wonderful simplicity of Greek dining, kids have a small edit of favourite dishes: buttered pasta, chicken skewers, mini burgers and baby sweetcorn. There are highchairs on request and staff are happy to heat up baby food. For dining out, try Yam in Chora, which has a small playground, relaxed dining terrace and an inventive kids menu with dishes such as teriyaki chicken and seabass fillet alongside simpler choices – plus a selection of fruity mocktails.
Babysitting is available for €50 an hour with two days’ notice.
Bring a few distractions for days spent onsite – perhaps a fully-loaded iPad, some favourite board games and books, or craft materials.
The hotel duly recycles, uses eco-friendly products and composts; it's also built out of local stone and natural materials. The kitchen uses produce gleaned from the garden or the hotel’s own organic farm. And the Rooster has strong ties to the local community, espousing a slow living philosophy and respectful tourism.
You’ll need to book 48 hours ahead, but the private cook-out in the farm feels authentically at one with nature.
Summer breezy, with flat shoes to cope with cobbled lanes.
Hey, part of self care is filling your face with delicious things, so it’s unsurprising that the hotel restaurant is yet another strut to their uplifting philosophy. For those whose body is a temple there are superfoods aplenty and salads and veggie bowls straight from the hotel’s farm: a beetroot bowl with sour yoghurt, marjoram and pistachio, Greek salad with samphire or cauliflower steak with tahini cream. Otherwise, the imaginative likes of sweet mizithra cheese with blood orange and lavender oil or octopus with split peas, crispy capers and a slug of Chios Mastiha liqueur can’t fail to lift your mood. The hotel’s largely self-sufficient when it comes to ingredients, but they have links with local fishermen and artisans. And the generous breakfast offering shows off the fabulous produce while powering you up for the day with dishes such as raspberry-ripple chia pudding with coconut milk; omelette with goat’s cheese, mint and cherry tomatoes; or a dairy jar with tahini, lavender and granola.
Hewn out of local stone, with a wooden roof and chunky whittled stools to pull up, the bar faces the sea and is the ideal perch for sunset. Or ramp up the romance with a visit to the Secret Garden: a fairy-lit pebble-strewn courtyard similar to those found in traditional Cycladian dwellings, where tables are placed beside trees and flowering plants.
Dinner runs from 7pm to 10.30pm.
Delicious Grecian dishes can be brought to your door round the clock. From 11pm to 7am a limited menu is served.
The hotel sits close to wild Livadia Beach amid bijou Cycladic isle Antiparos’ green-flocked hills.
There’s no airport on this pocket-sized paradise, but you can fly to neighbouring Paros; most flights will stopover in Athens. From there the Pounta port is a 10-minute drive away where you can hop on the ferry for a small fee. Once you reach Antiparos port, the hotel is around a 15-minute drive away. The hotel can arrange transfers on request for €100 each way.
If your plan is to assume the lotus position and let the peace and beauty of the island infuse through your psyche, then you can probably rely on local taxis for the odd trip to Antiparos town or on hotel staff to drive you to excursions. If you want a little more independence, you can hire a car at Paros Airport or Pounta port and drive it onto the ferry. There’s free valet parking onsite.
The ferry runs a frequent schedule between Paros and Antiparos from around 7.15am to 8.15pm (later on weekends).
Worth getting out of bed for
Antiparos has minded its business in the Aegean for centuries, letting neighbouring Paros take its place in the spotlight. As such, it has maintained a delightfully undiscovered feel, aside from the canny A-listers who’ve moved into its wilder parts and its glossy capital Chora. There’s not much dancing till the wee hours or many party-hard beach clubs, but there are mystical stalagmite and stalactite bedazzled caves which are rumoured to have graffiti left by Lord Byron, crowd-free beaches with saffron-hued sands (the closest is Livadia, but Psaraliki, Soros, Kampos and Glyfa are notable too), and sheltered coves where you can frolic in turquoise waters. Ancient-history buffs can check out the centuries-old Venetian fortress in Chora or hop over to uninhabited islet Despotikó to see the ruins of a temple to Apollo discovered there. It’s easy to pop over to Paros for the day on the ferry too. And for sundowners, settle on the sand at Sifneiko Beach, where the sky puts on quite the light show.
Back at the hotel, you’ll pass the time in peaceful bliss, being looked after at the spa, soaking in your private pool or taking a tour of the organic farm, followed by a private open-air cook out (must be booked 48 hours in advance) – ask nicely and the chef will show you how to make a few Grecian dishes too.
You’ll want to give the hotel’s menu a thorough going over, but the east coast of the island has some top beachside lunching spots and Chora is best for assessing the local food scene. Take a day trip to Paralia Apantima beach to swing by Beach House for tarama, seafood pastas or fine cuts of meat. Close by on Soros Beach is the Peramataka taverna, where stuffed tomatoes, fresh flavourful salads or tender roasted lamb make for a hearty Grecian feast. Further south, unpretentious eatery Captain Pipinos wears its passion for seafood on its sleeve – and on the walls… Fishy decor aside, the food is top-notch, with fresh-from-the-barbecue lobster and octopus, and a pleasing range of mezzedakia to share. When in Chora head to Sapou for Greek fusion fare in homey surrounds (think smoked-aubergine mousse with naan bread, grilled chicken with pear-miso barbecue sauce or blackened carrots with harissa and caramelised pistachios). Or have a date night at Kalokeri where the artfully presented dishes include halloumi with watermelon salsa, courgette-flower risotto, fried okra and other island flavours.
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 holistic haven on the lushly landscaped islet of Antiparos, unpacked and spread the gospel of ‘slow living’, a full account of their easy, breezy break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Rooster in the Cyclades…
The Rooster – a cosseting nest on Antiparos island in the Cyclades – is a rare bird. Set amid verdurous swathes of cedar trees, close to golden Livadia Beach, it’s the kind of place you come to when you need to do some deep thinking while gazing at a glittering sea. And the hotel is happy to help you appraise your quality of life and improve upon it however they can. Owner Athanasia grew familiar with the island on family holidays and – after a eureka moment about her own personal growth – she decided to build a sustainable and stylish hotel where she could share the island’s innate sense of wellbeing. She worked with Athens-based VOIS architects to create dwellings with an organic minimal look and outfitted them with covetable wabi-sabi objets (artfully turned wooden bowls, woven hangings, carved four-poster beds), a private pool or Jacuzzi and refreshing alfresco showers to up that immersed-in-nature feel. The healing process varies – perhaps sun salutations, a gong bath, and superfood-heavy bowl for dinner; or a custom massage, prone spell on the beach and a black Angus burger with cocktails – but the hotel facilitates all with a serene spa and menu of traditional rituals, organic farm to supply the restaurant with wholly local produce and fairy-lit secret-garden courtyard by the bar. Do we think we’re ready for some soul searching in glorious meditative seclusion? Why yes, we cock-a-doodle-do.