Category: Luxury travel (page 1 of 2)

The sweet sounds and looks of luxury at Canaves Oia hotel on Santorini


This 2-minute film is the official 2018 promotional video for Canaves Oia on Santorini. The hotel looks amazing, and its outstanding scenic views show why Santorini is one of the world’s most famous islands.


Dreamy destination: Yesterday (February 23) was a terribly dreary day here in Toronto. The morning temperature was only 1 degree Celsius, a light drizzle was falling, and fog had enshrouded most of the downtown skyscrapers that usually crowd the skyline view from my windows. The dull light made me feel tired, and I kept wanting to crawl into bed. I desperately needed sunshine, but since there wasn’t any in the forecast, I started surfing the web to watch some videos of sunny places in Greece. That always perks me up on gloomy days.

I found the usual assortment of home-made travel clips and aerial videos shot by camera-mounted drones, all of which boosted my spirits a bit. However, the film that gave me the biggest lift was a marketing promo for one of the most exclusive — and expensive — luxury resorts on Santorini.

Entitled Luxury Never Sounded So Good, it’s the official 2018 video for Canaves Oia,  a stunning 5-star boutique hotel perched atop the caldera cliffs in Oia village. The resort is just as gorgeous as its incredible views and surrounding scenery, and it regularly wins awards and accolades from top travel magazines and websites, including TripAdvisor. It also has been profiled extensively on social media and in dozens of leading lifestyle, fashion, design and travel publications around the world.



With all that good press, Canaves Oia probably doesn’t need to advertise anymore. But I’m glad they do, since their videos are professionally produced, enticing to watch and — best of all — they make me feel, for a few minutes at least, that I’m back in Greece on vacation.

What I particularly like about this year’s promo film is that members of the Canaves staff and management team play starring roles, while the hotel and the exquisite Santorini scenery fill supporting background positions.

The video runs for just over two minutes, and is bound to put you into a luxuriously dreamy Santorini state of mind — especially if the weather sucks wherever you might be while you watch it. If you won’t be able to stay at the Canaves or visit Oia this year, watching the clip and daydreaming about being there is the next best thing. 

By the way, just in case you’re wondering: No, the hotel didn’t ask me to post the video on my blog. Nor did it offer to pay me or give me free accommodation if I did.  (I don’t have that kind of good luck, unfortunately).  I found the video while clicking around the web, and liked it so much I decided to feature it in a blog post. Santorini was one of the first Greek islands we got to visit, and it’s one of the reasons we fell in love with Greece and keep going back. I simply hope that sharing the film might inspire other dreamers and travel buffs to visit Greece some day, if they haven’t been there yet. 

And if you’re a fan of minimalist design and crisp white interior decor, click on the link below to see the sweet looks of luxury — a selection of tantalizing images I’ve collected from various galleries on the Canaves Oia website. There’s a few photos of the breathtaking views from the accommodations, restaurants, bars and swimming pools, too.


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New luxury hotels opening on Mykonos for summer 2017



Branco Mykonos Hotel

An artistic illustration of the luxurious loungers and sunbeds that the new 5-star Branco Mykonos Hotel will offer its guests on Platis Gialos beach


More luxury: Visitors will have more choices of upscale accommodations for their Mykonos holidays as several brand-new luxury properties prepare to open for the 2017 tourist season.

But the arrival of some of the high-end hotels means fewer options for budget travellers, since at least two of the properties previously were mid-range hotels that have been thoroughly renovated and converted into first-class accommodations.

Gone are the Golden Star Hotel in Mykonos Town, which has been replaced by Absolut Mykonos Suites & More, and the Hotel Lady Anna at Platis Gialos beach, which has been upgraded and  rebranded as the 5-star Branco Mykonos Hotel.



The Mykonos Bay Hotel at Megali Ammos beach also has rebranded and is now named Mykonos Bay Resort & Villas. Its social media pages recently referred to “art design” and “new premises,” and its online booking page mentions the hotel was renovated in December, but no further details of changes since last season are available yet.

Meanwhile, a noteworthy newcomer is Adel Private Suites, which will welcome guests to a quiet hilltop location with panoramic views of Mykonos Town, the New Port and beyond.


Absolut Mykonos Suites & More hotel

A promotional image showing the logo for Absolut Mykonos Suites & More


You can expect to see additional upscale hotels launching on Mykonos in the foreseeable future.

The Mitsis Hotels group, which operates the Sofitel Athens Airport Hotel, is planning a 100-bed complex of apartments and suites, for instance, while other premier chains like Four Seasons and W Hotels apparently have been eyeing and acquiring locations at some of the island’s major south coast beach resorts.


Adel Private Suites Mykonos

An Adel Private Suites promotional image showing the jacuzzi-equipped seaview terrace of one of its Cozy Suites


Please click on the link below to continue reading and see more of the new hotels making their debut this year.


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More high-end clubs, shops, hotels & restaurants planning to open on Mykonos


Bill & Coo Coast Suites image from the hotel's Facebook page

The owners of the award-winning Bill & Coo Suites & Lounge will be opening another 5-star hotel on Mykonos in May — the Bill & Coo Coast Suites, seen in this image from its Facebook page


Boom times: It looks like the great Mykonos gold rush is going to continue again this year, with numerous top-flight international  nightclubs, restaurants, shops and hotels hoping to gain a toehold in the island’s booming market for luxury travel services.

2015 was a banner year for Mykonos, which witnessed the arrival of more than 100 new businesses, many of which were aimed at affluent travellers with insatiable tastes for 5-star accommodations, fine dining, upscale bars and nightclubs, and exclusive retail boutiques.

Their success has attracted the attention of more international luxury brands, which have been scouring the island for available real estate or partnership opportunities with established local entrepreneurs and landowners.

According to a February 21 2016 article by the Greek news and media website Ethnos, the operators of such elite nightclubs and restaurants as Bagatelle, Hyde Beach, Maddox, Bagatelle, Novikov, Okku and Vip Room have been scoping out space for possible new summer locations in Mykonos Town. They undoubtedly have been encouraged by the huge popularity of some of last year’s high-profile newcomers, which included Ling Ling by Hakkasan, Inyama Surf and Turf, Buddha Bar Beach, Toy Room Club, and Bonbonniere Mykonos.


Vassili Tsili Christos Made in Mykonos event at Maddox Club London

A promotional image for DJ Vassili TsiliChristosMade in Mykonos party taking place March 6 at Maddox Club in London.  


Maddox is an exclusive nightclub that is “strictly members only. Membership is only accepted on a referral basis,” says the club’s website. There’s no word on when it might be opening a Mykonos location — nor have any announcements been made about launch dates for any of the other swish clubs that are reportedly vying for space on the island. Coincidentally, Maddox Club is hosting a Made in Mykonos party on March 5. It’s a popular event that Greek DJ, music producer and social event organizer Vassili TsiliChristos hosts at the upscale Nammos restaurant and beach bar on Mykonos every summer. (He’ll be taking his show to Washington D.C. and New York City in March, and will be headlining at Nammos again on July 23).


Kalo Livadi beach Mykonos photo by

The golden sand beach and turquoise waters at Kalo Livadi, seen in an image from Mykonos Guide.  The Four Seasons hotel and resort group reportedly plans to build a hotel in this area, while the W chain of hotels is looking to open a boutique property at nearby Agia Anna beach.


Meanwhile, the Four Seasons hotel group is reportedly seeking land for a large luxury resort at Kalo Livadi, and the W chain is exploring plans to build a 70-room specialty hotel at the Agia Anna beach near Kalafatis. 

Although those projects won’t be opening this season, a new 5-star luxury hotel at Agios Ioannis (the “Shirley Valentine beach”) will be launching this spring — a project by the owners of the 5-star Bill & Coo Suites & Lounge in Mykonos Town, which recently was fêted as Best Luxury Boutique Hotel at the World Tourism Awards 2016.

According to its website and Facebook page, the 15-room Bill & Coo Coast Suites will feature “barefoot luxury” design and ambience on a “10 acre oasis by the sea” at Agios Ioannis beach.

“The startling view to the sea and access to the beach ensure travellers a premium holiday experience beyond comparison in the alluring island of Mykonos,” says a February 23 2016 post on the Bill & Coo Coast Suites Facebook page

The hotel is scheduled to open in early May, but its online booking system shows that it’s already fully booked from May 9 to 15.  Rooms are available from May 16 onward, at nightly rates ranging from as low as €420 for a Sea View Coast Suite to  €1,390 for a Bill & Coo Coast Suite.


On the luxury retail shopping front, this year’s big news is that mining magnate Nikos Lascaris and his wife, Georgia, are investing millions of Euros to open a posh “super boutique” Tserkov store that will feature creations by many of the world’s top fashion designers.

According to a January 19 2016 article on the Cyclades24 news website, the boutique is being referred to as “paradise couture” because it will spotlight so many leading designers, and even couture lines.  According to the Facebook page for the first Tserkov store, which opened December 18 2015 in Zurich, the shop “is a destination for individualists looking for something rare and incomparable.”

Tserkov Store Mykonos

Tserkov, the fashion boutique for “individualists,” will open this spring on Mykonos. This image is from Tserkov website.

Champagne season gets back into full swing on Mykonos


Champagne photo from the Rock N Roll Mykonos nightclub Facebook page

Rock N Roll Mykonos nightclub shared this image, by @michalisleventogiannis, on its Facebook page


Corks keep popping: Much like the bunny in the television commercials for the Energizer® brand of batteries, the Mykonos party scene just keeps going and going, fuelled in large part by a seemingly unquenchable thirst for champagne by travellers who have money to burn. 

Last summer, I published a post describing how champagne was the summer’s top drink on Mykonos. Fast forward to this month, and Mykonos visitors still have an insatiable demand for the fine bubbly beverage — and that has been making headlines in international media.

This week, newspapers and websites around the world reported on a June 23 Bloomberg Business article entitled: As Athens boils and banks teeter, the party goes on in Mykonos.


 This video, “Mykonos: The ‘Crisis-Free Island,” was posted online this week by Bloomberg Business. It explains why the champagne keeps flowing in Mykonos while the rest of Greece reels from its ongoing economic woes.



“Mykonos is not about austerity”

The Bloomberg piece was written by Tom Mackenzie, who travelled to Mykonos earlier this month after spending six days in Athens. Noting that the island’s bars, clubs and restaurants were busy, Mackenzie said Mykonos “could be another country, divorced from the nation’s economic woes. Mykonos is not about austerity. The hotels are among the most expensive in Europe, and a good night is measured in empty champagne bottles, stacked in piles. One three-liter bottle of Armand De Brignac champagne can set you back 12,000 euros (U.S. $13,500).”

Some of those bottles are practically flying off the shelves at Nammos, the premier beach bar and restaurant on Mykonos. Mackenzie interviewed the Nammos manager, who said “he sells 300 to 400 bottles of champagne” on an average night, “much of it shipped out to the yachts that line the harbor.”


champagne at Nammos

Just some of the hundreds of bottles of champagne that Nammos restaurant and beach bar sells on an average night. Nammos shared this picture on its Facebook page with the caption: “Any time is the right time for champagne!”


Armand de Brignac champagne photo 02 from the Pinky Beach Mykonos Facebook page

Two golden bottles of Armand de Brignac champagne chill in a bucket of ice in this photo posted on Facebook by the Pinky Beach Mykonos restaurant and club at Super Paradise beach


Pinky Beach Mykonos champagne special offers

Pinky Beach posted this image on Facebook on August 7 to promote two of its champagne and sunbeds special offers



 Dozens of new businesses in 2015

Although the Bloomberg article got wide attention when it was picked up and shared by news services around the globe, it was basically paraphrasing an observation that I made at the beginning of May  when I reported on dozens of new businesses that have opened on Mykonos this year. Mackenzie’s comment that “Mykonos “could be another country, divorced from the nation’s economic woes,” seems to be simply an abbreviated version of my statement that “While Greece shudders through its sixth straight year of devastating economic turbulence,  Mykonos appears to be in a different world altogether, virtually unscathed from the recession that has ravaged the rest of the country.”  Indeed, as I pointed out in my what’s new on Mykonos post, many regular visitors to the island will probably be asking themselves “Crisis? What Crisis?” when they arrive this summer to see all the new and freshly-renovated bars, clubs, hotels, restaurants and shops.


champagne at Project Mykonos nightclub seen in a Facebook photo by

Project Mykonos is one of the newest nightclubs on Mykonos this year — a sister to the Project Club in London. This bottle of Moet & Chandon at Project Mykonos was photographed by


champagne bottles at Toy Room Club Mykonos in a Facebook photo 2 by

Sparklers herald the delivery of champagne at Toy Room Club Mykonos, another nightclub new to Mykonos this year (an island version of the Toy Room Club in London). This photo was shared on Facebook by



Top international brands flocking to Mykonos

Internationally-renowned retail chains, restaurants and nightclubs — most of which cater to an affluent clientele — have been scooping up all available rental space on the island in a bid to cash in on the big-spending jet-set travellers who have been vacationing on Mykonos during the last several years. The top-flight brands opening on Mykonos this season include Victoria’s Secret, Lapin House, Le Concept Avant-Garde, Six Senses Spa, Buddha-Bar, Hakkasan, and the chic London nightspots Bonbonniere, Project and Toy Room. They have been joined by four new hotels, two new upscale beach clubs, plus at least a dozen new restaurants and wine bars, with more reportedly on the way.

And it isn’t even high season for tourism yet — the peak months for travel to Mykonos are July and August, when the island will be awash with champagne. With so much bubbly flowing already, the heaps of empty bottles collecting behind some of the Mykonos beach clubs could be enormous by summer’s end.

Click on the link below to continue reading page 2 of this post.


champagne photo from Toy Room Club Mykonos

A bevy of beauties with bubbly at Toy Room Club


champagne bottles on the bar at Monarch restaurant & beach club Mykonos

Champagne on the bar at Monarch Restaurant & Beach Club, a new dining and party venue at Kalo Livadi beach



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Private seaside cinema: the new Greek island luxury villa perk


Private beach cinema at Casa del Mar Mykonos photo 01 from SLH Facebook page

This summer, guests at Casa del Mar Mykonos Seaside Resort can go to the movies at a private seaside “cinema” on the beach below their villas


Coming soon to a beach near your Greek Island luxury villa — a private seaside cinema?

That’s actually what guests at the Casa del Mar Mykonos Seaside Resort will get to enjoy after dark this summer should they prefer to stay “home” one night rather than travel two miles (4 km) into Mykonos Town to shop, dine, party or people-watch. Merely by walking down a few steps to the resort’s private beach, they’ll be able to curl up on a comfy lounge chair with a glass of wine or bowl of popcorn and watch a film displayed on a wide-screen high-definition panel positioned right on the water’s edge.

A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group of independent hotels, Casa del Mar is an exclusive villa and spa resort at Glyfadi beach, a quiet off-the-beaten-path cove in the Aleomandra area at the southwest tip of Mykonos. The resort website describes Casa del Mar as “an eclectic collection” of nine “luxury sea view suites … grandly appointed with deluxe amenities, quality furnishings and modern conveniences.” 

The newest of those “conveniences” was unveiled this week when the Small Luxury Hotels Facebook page posted the two photographs that I have republished in this article. A photo caption read: “There’s nothing wrong with a night in! We think the brand new private beach cinema at SLH’s Casa Del Mar Mykonos might be just the ticket!”

If you’re not able to stay at Casa del Mar while visiting Mykonos this summer, don’t dismay — you can watch a movie outdoors at Cine Manto in Mykonos Town instead (starting May 22). It won’t be the same as watching a film from the comfort of a luxurious sunbed on a sandy beach, of course, but at least it’s in the fresh, open air in a lovely garden setting.

And if you’re travelling somewhere in Greece other than Mykonos, you might be able to attend an outdoor cinema near your destination, too, since there are more than 100 outdoor movie theatres in the country.

I couldn’t find an online directory listing all outdoor cinemas in Greece, but the Athens Info Guide website has a directory of summer cinemas in the city, which you can view by clicking here.

You can read more about the Athens outdoor cinemas on the blog, and on the Visit Greece tourism website.

And for an interesting read about how digital technology is impacting on Greece’s outdoor cinemas, see this August 2014 article from The Guardian newspaper in the U.K.


Private beach cinema at Casa del Mar Mykonos photo 02 from SLH Facebook page

Another view of the private beach cinema at Casa del Mar Mykonos


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