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Written by Graeme Winchester

Once considered the poor relation to the ancient nearby site of Delos, Mykonos has gradually evolved into the exceptionally beautiful, effortlessly cool and welcoming island it is today. Pearl-white sand, turquoise waters and the iconic white-washed cube-shaped architecture draw international jetsetters from far and wide.

One of our favourite boutique haunts is Bill & Coo Suites and Lounge, located a short stroll from Mykonos Town, overlooking Megali Ammos beach and the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. The 24-suite boutique hotel is a sanctuary of tranquility and beauty – think fresh, white-washed walls, private infinity pools, an award-winning restaurant from head chef Athinagoras Kostakos with a brand new fine dining concept, and the extraordinary lounge terrace with sleek, low day beds which transform into plush evening seating and expansive infinity pool. Suited to couples, rather than groups or families, the consistency of service here is second to none. Stroll down to the newly opened Bill & Coo Coast Suites for the same ultra-luxe experience right by the cool waters of the Aegean Sea. Just fifteen elegantly appointed suites offer uninterupted views to dreamy Delos and some of the best sunsets in the world. 

Also located within easy reach of the island’s world-class nightlife and the iconic Myconian Windmills are boutique hotels, Cavo Tagoo and Boheme, both of which offer architecturally creative suites and bedrooms with minimal, chic interiors, large sun decks and infinity pools. Here, modern Mediterranean cuisine can be enjoyed with signature cocktails by the main pool or in the restaurant whilst soaking up the chilled Cycladic ambiance.

For the ultimate in rest and recouperation, head a little further into the country – to Elia Beach – and the sophisticated Myconian Utopia Resort. Guest bedrooms, suites and villas (the largest one has 5 bedrooms) are ideal for small groups of friends and families seeking the luxuries of a private villa coupled with the facilities of a boutique hotel. Traditional thalassotherapy spa treatments, gourmet dining and strong eco-credentials ensure guests are pampered in a reassuringly ethical manner.

Located on an enviable clifftop overlooking Psarou Beach and a constantly changing landscape of pristine white yachts in the glorious bay, Mykonos Blu is the grande-dame of luxury hotels and provides bungalows, suites and villas to suit every guest’s requirement. The hotel has a dedicated yacht service team to assist with those arriving by water. Services include onboard dining and floristry requirements, and beauty treatments. We dined in the magical fine dining restaurant ‘Aegean Poets’. A competent, highly creative menu has been curated to capture the essence of Greece – with a distinctive nod to Italy and France. Opt for the Aegean Island tuna sashimi served with mouthwateringly crisp salads and cucumber, flavoured with truffles, herbs and black sesame seeds. The baked octopus was firm, succulent and tasty – only on the Turkish Riviera have we tasted better. Accompanied by a welcome fresh avocado mousse and sweet chili, green apple tartare. The grilled sea bass, a popular fish in the Aegean waters, was among the best on the island. Creamy and firm with the lime providing a welcome sweet tang. My companion’s black Angus fillet steak was as expected: tender, succulent and lean. Accompanied by an intense mushroom ragout, creamy potato puree, crunchy asparagus and grape sauce with Limnos Muscat wine.

For a captivating dining experience in town, visit established Interni, with its spacious, lush internal courtyard garden designed by Paola Navone. The menu is a fusion of traditional Greek cuisine injected with flavours of the Mediterranean. Local, seasonal produce are brought together by the talented and creative team producing a concise, unfussy menu. The black tagliatelle with langostines and yellowfin tuna with wasabi mayo get our vote. Expect a glamorous international crowd of all ages.

Also in town near to Interni is the new second outpost of hugely popular Athens restaurant, Balthazar, which was founded in 1973. Located in the beautifully tranquil Agia Kyriaki Square, a creative menu of Mediterranean cuisine focuses on the development and evolution of local products from the Cyclades.

Housed in the serenely beautiful internal gardens beside the pool at centrally located Belvedere Hotel is Matsuhisa, the Myconian outpost of the hugely popular Japanese Nobu chain. Expect world-class dining in magical surroundings. An international wine and inventive cocktail list is available in the recently revamped external terrace bar to non-residents. 

Hot London outpost Hakkasan launched Ling Ling last summer to much acclaim. The pop-up in the Old Town on the chic island features the popular restaurant’s Cantonese-style dishes, offered as small plates to share whilst indulging in one or two of their world-class cocktails – all set to a backdrop of high-energy beats from the brand’s resident DJ, Pathaan. The pop-up features an open-air restaurant, bar, lounge and private dining room for larger parties. If you're a fan, a visit to the incredible new Mandarin Oriental Marrakech is in order - Ling Ling will also take up a residency here next month.

New this summer is Kensho Boutique Hotel & Suites, which is located in favourable Ornos Bay, very close to town. Thirty-five spacious bedrooms and suites have been thoughtfully furnished by designers Kenneth Cobonpue and Patricia Urquiola and the island's laid back, Cycladic culture is evident in the restaurant and pool area. An in-house spa, fitness centre and hammam completes the line up. 

For a spa experience unlike any other, head over to the recently revamped Aqua Marine Spa at Platis Gialos. Superior service and a carefully curated list of thalassotherapy treatments and beauty routines coupled with spacious, calming interiors will leave you refreshed and revitalised. The traditional muscle relief massage is best administered by Louiza. She will transport you into another world.

A vast peninsula located on the southern part of the island overlooking Paraga and Kavos lagoons, last summer welcomed the launch of Scorpios and a refreshingly different ethos from the usual boho beach club.  Its holistic, philosophical approach ensures each guest is looked after and nourished whilst relaxing on a sleek sun lounger on one of the numerous terraces, the beach or in the restaurant, which serves a healthy menu of Greek, Oriental and Mediterranean delights. Expect an uber-cool, eclectic crowd of international jetsetters and well-heeled Greeks. For an altogether more refined beach club experience, a short drive to Panormos beach is a must. Principaute, set in the extraordinarily stunning bay of Panormos, launched this season and is a master class in high-design and attentive service. Oversized daybeds and creamy-white lounge seating entice the island's luxury seekers with a refreshing, zen-like experience. 

For those looking for a pared-back island experience, charter a helicopter to blustery Tinos (10 minutes). This extraordinarily beautiful island offers visitors azure waters, untouched beaches, traditional Greek tavernas, and ancient history in Pyrgos, which provides alarmingly stunning far-reaching panoramas over the bays and mountains of Tinos, and nearby islands Mykonos, Delos and Andros. Newly opened Amberi, just off the main street in sleepy Pyrgos, is a family-run gem, serving reinterepted Greek meze. Herb-seasoned chicken in crispy wraps, fresh homemade tzatziki and hummus can be enjoyed in the internal courtyard, shaded from the intense sun by age-old olive trees. 

Charter a traditional fishing boat or yacht and visit the family-run restaurant of Thalassaki on the coast at Isternia for some of the freshest and simplist octopus, sea bass and salt cod, washed down with plenty of chilled local Mavrose wine.

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