Mykonos is one of the Med’s most desirable beach destinations. Located at the centre of the scattered Greek Cyclades islands, its architecture, stellar nightlife and drifts of golden sand make it the envy of the archipelago. Days here are spent checking out different beach scenes, from family-friendly or water sports, to ultra-luxe beach clubs. At sunset, the focus falls firmly on Chora (Mykonos Town): a one-of-a-kind jumble of white, cube-shaped buildings connected by painted stone pathways. Follow them to find waterfront clubs, bars and restaurants, plus wonderful places to stay.
Here is a selection of the best.
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Best for poolside posing: The Belvedere Hotel
Neighbourhood: Mykonos Town
Set partly within a mansion dating from the 1850s, The Belvedere is one of the island’s most sought-after hotels. Guests (including familiar faces from entertainment and fashion) come here for its mix of tranquillity, style and see-and-be-seen pizazz. The swimming pool plays host equally well to daytime lounging and upbeat nightlife thanks to its bars and restaurants that include Sunken Watermelon (for cocktails), Thea Estiatorio (Greek cuisine) and Matsuhisa Mykonos (an outpost of Nobu).
Doubles from €320 (£290) per night, including breakfast
Best for old-school glamour: The Mykonos Theoxenia
Neighbourhood: Mykonos Town
Located just behind Kato Mili (the Old Town’s iconic five windmills), the Mykonos Theoxenia is a boutique hotel that’s just as vibrant as it was in its 1960s heyday, when Jackie O was a favoured and regular guest. Set right on the waterfront, the property combines Cycladic design with innovative style and subtle retro references. With excellent dining at The Plate and quality cocktails at the bar, staying here is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Doubles from €233 (£212) per night, including breakfast
Best for style on a budget: Ostraco Hotel & Suites
Location: Mykonos Town
Hotel rates decline the further you get from the centre of Mykonos Town. Ostraco is an ideal example: located on a hillside within a short walk of the action, this funky retreat is considerably cheaper than similar-calibre hotels further down. Spend days indulgently lounging on daybeds or taking dips in the pool, then sip a few cocktails as the place livens up before heading to Chora for a night on the tiles.
Doubles from €135 (£123) per night, including breakfast
Best for design: Myconian Avaton Resort
Neighbourhood: Elia Beach
Rising above a private stretch of one of the isle’s longest beaches, this stylish hotel offers timeless design in a glorious seafront setting. Here, typical Cycladic architecture meets infinity pools and fine sea views with a mix of modern and vintage furniture, making this a holiday hideaway that feels both authentic and chic. Rooms have walk-in rain showers and private outdoor spaces that, combined with an excellent spa and restaurant, offer decidedly classy beach breaks.
Doubles from €255 (£232) per night, including breakfast
Best for bohemian beach breaks: The Wild Hotel
Neighbourhood: near Kalafati
New for 2019, The Wild Hotel offers a laid-back alternative to the glitz found elsewhere on the island. Set in a natural amphitheatre above the quieter south east shore, this design-led retreat combines traditional architecture with a private stretch of beach, a taverna serving island cuisine and an infinity pool with endless Aegean views. All 37 suites and villas are individually styled and come with chic interiors, linen sheets and contemporary furniture.
Suites from €360 (£327) per night, including breakfast
Best for laid-back luxury: Katikies Mykonos
Neighbourhood: Agios Ioannis
Emulating the success of its sister property in Santorini is Katikies Mykonos, a stylish boutique hotel in Agios Ioannis to the south of Mykonos Town. Its white, cuboid forms cascade down a hillside and contain 35 all-sea-view rooms, two restaurants and a spa. The peninsula on which the hotel is located is less developed than elsewhere on the island, and the pretty bay below it is pleasantly sheltered from strong summer winds.
Doubles from €345 (£313) per night, including breakfast
Best for plot-to-plate dining: Myconian Kyma Hotel
Neighbourhood: Mykonos Town
Gastronomic greatness is guaranteed at Myconian Kyma, whose NOA Restaurant (new for 2019) goes large on Mediterranean flavours. Ingredients that have been grown, reared or fished right here in Mykonos are transformed into tasty sharing plates and served with sea or sunset views. The hotel itself is a gorgeous blend of Cycladic cubes, smooth cobblestones and contemporary style that strikes a finely-tuned balance between traditional and trendy.
Doubles from €220 (£200) per night, including breakfast
Best for budget beach breaks: Terra Maltese Natural Retreat
Neighbourhood: Ftelia Beach
For more of an away-from-it-all feel, try Terra Maltese Natural Retreat. Surrounded by open countryside and within walking distance of Ftelia Beach (and a 10-minute drive from Mykonos Town), this laid-back resort calls to mind a traditional village of whitewashed cube homes. Its elevation and aspect ensure gorgeous sea views from all rooms and the restaurant terrace. The peaceful location is countered by convenient access by bus to Mykonos Town and elsewhere.
Doubles from €60 (£55) per night, including breakfast
Best for beachfront blowouts: Kenshō Psarou
Neighbourhood: Psarou Beach
Party people descending on Psarou for its cosmopolitan beach scene now have somewhere suitably chic to stay in Kenshō Psarou. Accommodation comes in the shape of 30 luxurious suites that blend Aegean architecture with local stone and aged wood. For those not kicking up their heels next door at Nammos (one of the island’s best beach clubs), there’s a spa on the beach, a poolside lounge and a seafood restaurant at the water’s edge.
Suites from €765 (£695) per night, including breakfast
Best for romantic escapes: Myconian Naia
Neighbourhood: near Mykonos Town
For a combination of space, peace and proximity to Mykonos Town, hilltop Myconian Naia is hard to beat. This adults-only boutique hotel is inspired by ancient architecture and embodies the vernacular island style with its minimalist interiors. The 18 palatial suites (some with private pools) are dressed with design classics and original art and come attached to an excellent restaurant, outstanding pool and west-facing views for enjoying epic sunsets over the sea.
Doubles from €450 (£409) per night, including breakfast
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