x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Hotel Insider: Grace Mykonos is an Aegean fashion statement

Elegant rooms and views of the sea make this Greek property a calm, romantic spot to stay.

No two bedrooms are the same at this boutique hotel. Courtesy of Grace Hotels
No two bedrooms are the same at this boutique hotel. Courtesy of Grace Hotels

The welcome

A woman dressed in white appears as I arrive and suggests that I make myself comfortable on the large sofa (also white) that takes up most of the reception area. She brings me a refreshing juice and leaves me alone to look around. Everything here is white: the building, the walls, the double-size sun loungers, the bar, the chairs and the flowing staff uniforms. The staff member returns to take me to my room, pointing out the public areas as we go, including the study with internet access, a gym, a library and the rooftop pool terrace at the heart of the hotel, which is much smaller than the photographs on the hotel's website suggest.

The neighbourhood

Mykonos may be tiny but it has a global reputation as the coolest island in Greece. Huge cruise ships arrive daily, disgorging their passengers to wander around the tiny cobbled streets. Whatever else is going on with the Greek economy, expensive jewellery boutiques are as plentiful here as the touristy souvenir stalls. There are several good, five-star hotels and lots of private, millionaire villas. The Grace is about a 10- to 15-minute, downhill walk to the town centre, and sits above the sandy beach of Agios Stefanos. It's a 10-minute taxi ride to the airport.

The room

The Grace is a true boutique hotel, the size of a large private house with no one bedroom the same as another. We stayed for four nights, the first two in a stylish but tiny room with an en suite bathroom and balcony in which there was just about room to walk round the double bed. We then moved into a slightly bigger room with a long balcony with its own splash pool and sun loungers. The outside space meant we were happy to spend most of the day there reading books and enjoying the sea view.

The service

Staff are uniformly lovely, offering advice about what to do and where to eatbut with enough formality to make you feel you are in a high-end hotel.

The scene

Mykonos is a romantic island and the Grace something of a fashion statement. Guests are mostly European, in their 30s or 40s and, one assumes, successful executives who have come here to wind down and enjoy the company of their partners. Surprisingly, BlackBerrys and iPhones rarely make appearances, although nearly everyone has a Kindle on show.

The food

The dining room, which is used for breakfast, lunch and dinner, is behind the pool with most of the tables spilling out onto the roof terrace. Breakfast is superb with a buffet of fruit, cereal, breads, traditional Greek yogurt and fresh juices as well as an egg menu. The Greek salad for lunch at €9 (Dh41) is fresh, crisp and light, and the seafood platter with anchovies, octopus and crab is good value at €14 (Dh63). At dinner, the mood changes as white linen and candles make it feel more formal.

Loved

The views of the Aegean, the complete calm of the hotel and the romance of the island.

Hated

The hotels and shops may be faring better on Mykonos than in the rest of the country but the government's lack of funds is evident in the uncollected rubbish overspilling by the roadside.

The verdict

Perfect for relaxing in stylish surroundings.

The bottom line

A double room costs from €310 (Dh1,412) per night, including taxes and breakfast. Grace Mykonos, Agios Stefanos, Mykonos, Greece (www.mykonosgrace.com; 00 30 22890 20000)