Exclusive cliffside retreatWild and stylish beauty in south Mykonos
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Destination: Mykonos, Greece
Vacation: Luxurious beach living
Seeking: Design-led decor and chilled vibes
Highlight: Private secluded beach (and infinity pool)
The Wild Hotel was our final stop on our honeymoon trip to the Cyclades, and we saved the best for last. The location is breathtaking – set within a natural ampitheatre on a cliffside. As we stepped out of the lobby and peered over the tumbling cliffs at Kalafatis Beach below, it was a real pinch-me moment.
Known as one of the best private beaches in Mykonos (according to Travel + Leisure), this is perhaps the hotel’s biggest draw. But, there are plenty of other elements that make it oh-so-special. Created by two brothers, Philip and Alex Varveris, The Wild Hotel is a product of their true love of Mykonos island – wild, and unspoilt, and also filled with culture and cosmopolitan style.
Wellness is at the heart of everything, with both restaurants serving a rainbow of raw dishes, a Hydro pool carved into the rocks and a personal trainer or yoga teacher just a phone call away. The stunning infinity pool spans the length of the collection of suites, all of which are perfectly arranged for uninterrupted sea views.
The hotel’s colour palette is soothing from the moment you arrive, with earthy tones and natural stone. From above – if you’re lucky enough to travel in by helicopter – you’d see that the pool divides the beautiful tumbling rooms on one side and the idyllic beach on the other. There are two open-air restaurants to choose from, serving exquisite local seafood and Greek classics, and its own boutique spa, offering amazing massages and a series of ‘Wild Rituals’.
It’s also the only hotel where I’ve actually wanted to spend an extended amount of time in the gym. This open-air beauty is decked out with stylish, wooden equipment – from the free weights to the hydro rower – and you can work out while watching the Aegean waves roll in. We arrived feeling excited and content, and left feeling completely refreshed.
Scroll down to find out more about our stay at The Wild Hotel. For more Greece luxury travel inspiration read our feature on why Kamari, Santorini should be on your luxury travel list. And if you’re planning your honeymoon view our guide to the most beautifully laid-back honeymoon spots in Mykonos and Paros.
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“Situated on a cliffside, the hotel overlooks the deep blue of the Aegean and a small cove once home to ‘the Wild Ones’, the most fearless fishermen of Mykonos. Now, a tranquil, picturesque port that brings to light the true Mykonos. Simple, raw, beautiful and wild.”
Best food & drink
1. The Taverna
The Taverana is The Wild Hotel’s main restaurant where a delicious breakfast of fluffy omlettes, cold-pressed juices and acai smoothie bowls is also served. But, I’d recommend paying a visit for a laidback, post-sunbathe dinner – not least because it’s so easy to wander here from the poolside, but because the menu is thoughtfully created and the ingredients all come from local surrounding farms.
Embracing the slow food philosophy, there are so many Greek classics to choose from, with highlights including the baked feta dripping with local honey and the perfectly-golden zucchini fritters. The phyllo pistachio parfait is handmade and comes dotted with caramelised peanuts and sea salt. Some of the dishes change daily, and we stare enviously at the huge plates of fresh fish and octopus carried high as we sip on our rosé by the pool.
Always wanted to eat stunningly fresh sushi perched atop a dramatic cliffside? The hotel’s second and newest dining option is all about the drama. This restaurant curves around the rocks, with tables that cascade down through the pine trees, overlooking the sea.
We arrived to low-lit lanterns and a romantic atmosphere. The menu is Japanese-Mediterranean fusion – led by Japanese-Greek chef Kazuaki Shitamori – and the plates are full of flavour, colour and texture. As the name suggests, most ingredients are served raw and I loved the tangy seaweed salads with kimchi and the tender seabass ceviche served with plenty of fresh coriander, lime and watermelon. You’ll find all the sushi classics too, like Cali rolls and spicy tuna, and the summer mochi are a must-try – go for creamy coconut, salted caramely and yuzu lemon.
3. Hippie Fish
This stylish spot is over on the west side of the island (around a 20-minute drive away from The Wild Hotel). It was a must-visit for me, as it’s one of the key locations where iconic 90s romcom Shirley Valentine was filmed.
The restaurant now known as Hippie Fish has had a huge update since then and is a cool, laidback spot, right on the beach. The menu is vibrant with a heavy focus on fresh seafood from ceviche to sashimi. We also had their incredible burrata salad and the homemade kefetedes (mouthwatering Greek meatballs with local cheese). We booked a sunbed on the beach after our meal, complete with a couple of glasses of chilled Assrytiko wine.
The Wild has 40 rooms to choose from – all with sea views and each decorated in soothing sand and terracotta, with plenty of natural textures. From deluxe doubles to suites with plunge pools, there’s also a unique two-bedroom suite with its own outdoor stone bath.
We stayed in a junior suite with a separate lounge, beautiful beamed ceilings and a sweeping terrace, helping us feel instantly relaxed as we stepped over the threshold. The bathroom was smart and simple with Malin+Goetz products and The Wild Hotel vanity kits. A Nespresso machine and branded robes and slippers brought the finishing touches. Out on the terrace, my husband could barely pull me away from the views of the Aegean, the cove below just waiting for us to explore.
The Wild is a great base from which to explore Mykonos’ most exclusive beach clubs. We had to visit the much-hyped Scorpios (around a 20-minute drive away) and it didn’t disappoint. We booked one of the cabanas on the beach and the restaurant for a late lunch. Bohemian design, a stunning secluded cove and perfectly curated chilled music (with a live DJ set around sunset) made for a very dreamy day. Definitely check out their events calendar for experiential music events and cultural rituals.
Alemagou is also one of Mykonos’ more soulful beach clubs with woven parasols, natural rattan lanterns and billowy safari tents hiding an exclusive spa and boutique. Just a 10-minute drive from The Wild Hotel, the sun beds are generous and the drinks menu is amazing with everything from zesty Mezcal cocktails to the finest Champagne.
If you’re seeking a faster pace, rent a car for the day and take a road trip around the island to explore the hidden sights and beaches. We chose a convertible Jeep Wrangler, of course, and were able to tackle some of the island’s more rustic roads. Highlights included the wild and beautiful Psarou Beach, the charming village of Ano Mera, Armenistis Lighthouse (not far from Mykonos town) and then finally, Vioma Organic Winery for lunch.
The stand-out feature is the perfectly formed private beach. Having sampled a few other beaches on the island – all of them quite crowded with so many boats and yachts coming and going – this was a peaceful haven. There was nothing but us, a few thatched parasols and the crystal-clear waters – on our last day, we pitched up and ordered Margaritas and poke bowls to our loungers.
The little spa is also heavenly. There’s a small hydro pool carved out of the cliff and two treatment rooms. I treated myself to a Hydra Ritual, which included time in the pool, an aromatherapy full-body massage, a gentle facial and a moisturising body mask. I left floating out of the spa and… back to my spot by the pool.
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