The experts at Mr & Mrs Smith call it a ‘sparkling boho hangout’, and who am I to disagree? Mykonos’ San Giorgio Hotel is a luxurious Design Hotel tucked between two beaches, one of which is called Paradise… say no more. Only there’s so much more to rave about at this property! I’ll be finding out what there is to love about it, narrowing down why you should visit.
The amenities to write home about include a chauffeur service to take you to island hotspots, a beachside viewing platform and a pool surrounded by hammocks – perfect for lazing under the sun. Beyond the hotel itself, you’ll get the chance to discover the island’s history through its famous sights, such as its windmills and Venetian waterfront. Ready to really relax and release your inner bohemian? Let’s go…
Why the boho mood works at the San Giorgio
This is not Sienna-Miller-in-a-floaty-skirt kind of boho; think genuine bohemian spirit and and laid-back atmosphere. Stick on Fleet Foxes’ aptly-named track Mykonos and drink in the beautiful views, imagining you’re back in the 1960s enjoying the island with the first wave of hippy visitors, searching for paradise (or at least Paradise Beach). Whilst today you won’t find many original hippies, you’ll still find people in search of all-important time to unwind and reconnect with their surroundings.
Yet if you’re looking to combine relaxation with a great night out to let your hair down, there’s no need to look elsewhere. The San Giorgio Hotel also has a unique partnership with the Paradise Club, meaning you get the chance to visit the club as a VIP and feel like one of the Kardashian clan on their Mykonian holiday (only without the bit where Kendall gets annoyed at being left out…). To warm up for the evening ahead, pop into the hotel bar and enjoy guest DJ sets as you sip a cocktail and forget all your worries.
After your big night out, retreat to the hotel and make the most of its facilities (including room service!). If you’re in the Grande or Famosa suites, that means you should park yourself in your hammock to watch the sun rise. Once you’re ready to enjoy the day ahead, take to the pool for a refreshing swim before heading off to explore the island’s beautiful churches, the folk museum and, of course, the beaches.
The lure of a design hotel
Raw wood pieces and traditionally woven Greek stools are just some of the design elements used at the hotel. Swinging chairs are suspended from the ceiling in the reception area and have been filled with plump cushions, just waiting for you to sit down and take the weight off your feet.
The hotel’s concept is a result of a partnership between Design Hotels and the two music lovers who’ve spent ten years running the Paradise Club, Thomas Heyne and Mario Hertel. As you can see, the finished result blends local craft and culture with minimalism, giving guests something that’s part creative showcase and part blank canvas. Whereas so many hoteliers cram their properties with dark wood, heavy furnishings and bizarre paintings, the San Giorgio is refreshingly clean, light and spacious.
The eco credentials of the hotel also blend aesthetics with ethics, showing that great design doesn’t have to compromise on principles. Eco-friendly toiletries line your bathroom, whilst the food offered in the restaurant has a heavy emphasis on locally sourced produce, organic ingredients and seasonal flavours. In one area of the complex, you can see the chapel, with original murals kept intact, preserving the heritage of the area.
And if you’re debating what to wear for visiting the hotel, take inspiration from hot designer-of-the-moment Mary Katrantzou, the best-known Greek fashion talent right now. Her photographic prints, featuring everything from postcard-worthy landscapes to stamps and travel ephemera, perfectly channel the global traveller look that works so well in Mykonos and will look fantastic at the bar or wandering the streets in the choura (the town centre proper). I would definitely invest in some photo-heavy prints in bright turquoise and team them with simple leather sandals. Check out Mary Katrantzou’s interview with Matchesfashion.com to find out more about her work; you’ll soon see why I love it.
Digging into island history
Mykonos itself is packed with sights – not just the famous windmills – and is known as ‘the Capri of Greece’; it also reflects other tourist hotspots, with the town’s westerly waterside area referred to as ‘Little Venice’. This isn’t just a case of Venetian style subtly influencing things over here; the Venetians used to rule all of the Cyclades, and Turkish rulers later took control as well.
One fascinating aspect about the Greek struggle for independence against the Turks is that the most high-profile Mykonian figure involved in the conflict was actually a woman, Manto Mavrogenous. She financed the fighting and organised the armed response, being massively helpful in achieving Greek independence in 1822 and giving all her money to the revolution. I would definitely make a pilgrimage to see Mavrogenous’ statue in the town and pay my respects.
If you want to roam further afield during your visit, there are regular ferries during the high season (April-October) taking you to neighbouring islands such as Naxos and Santorini, so you can really get a feel for island living. Another ferry trip to take is the short journey to Delos Island, where the Greek God Apollo was said to have been born.
Whatever you decide to do on your Mykonian adventure, I can say with confidence that the San Giorgio Hotel is the ideal base for your holiday and will really set the tone for your laid-back break. After all, you deserve to enjoy your downtime in style!
Disclaimer: This is my entry to the San Giorgio Hotel Mykonos Bloggers’ Week competition.