For unapologetic luxury. Santa Marina personifies Mykonos’s swishy mythology: fine dining, spa pampering, an onsite boutique, a private beach and the promise of the seasonal parade of Hollywood glitterati.
A safe distance away from the more frenetic Mykonos Town, this is where couples can cocoon themselves, in the spirit of off-duty celebrities, and unfurl on the island’s only private beach. Santa Marina combines the fun, glamorous face of Mykonos with its lesser known, go-slow character amid the sumptuously simple backdrop of sun-and-sea.
Set The Scene
A spectacular 5-star beachfront hotel, Santa Marina sits on a rocky promontory, curving along a secluded peninsula and peering over the Aegean sea.
The striking property has firmly staked its claim as one of Mykonos’s finest hotels – a self contained haven with 101 guest rooms and suites and 13 villas that dot a steep slope along the scenic coastline. It feels at once private and intimate yet part of its own little microcosmic, and exceedingly glamorous world. The layout is such that a warm breeze seems to caress every guest from all angles, and sea views are democratically divvied up to various levels of rooms, poolsides and restaurants.
The hotel embodies the notion of laid back luxury, even upon arrival with its airy, light-filled lobby, casual and exceedingly comfortable sofas and go-slow tempo. It lowers shoulders before honeymooners have had time to check in. Minimalism, neutral palettes and a chic elegance underpin the aesthetic with a its boho-chic design brief.
As the only resort with a sandy private beach in Mykonos, the hotel is naturally a hit with honeymooners, who can spend languid afternoons on the jetty, surveying the horizon, or simply lounging on cosy daybeds with fresh, herb-garnished cocktails and fruit platters delivered to them by spruce waiters and waitresses. Two outdoor pools compete with the sea’s crystalline waters, the more impressive being the scene-stealing Oasis infinity pool, with its swim-up bar and surrounding pergola-covered day beds, squishy sun loungers and cocooning egg chairs.
The rooms at Santa Marina are as resplendent and thoughtfully curated as the communal spaces. A step into the spacious suites brings you into an elegantly pared down realm dominated by cream coloured walls, wood and natural shades. An impressive four poster bed and vintage chests, which double up as bedside tables cement the luxe factor.
A stunning palette of woods, glass and river rock anchors the plush bathrooms to their island setting, which feature spacious walk-in showers and separate hot tub or bath. Mattresses are plump, bathrobes, thick and comfortingly heavy, and the complimentary snacks, abundant.
The luxury sea view suite is pure delight, with its heart-thumping Aegean vista and three-line whip to catch those hypnotic, horizon-splitting sunsets. It’s worth plumping for a larger honeymoon suite to get your own private pool and terrace, as if upgrading to a larger, wider, more comfortable theatre seat for views over the bay.
Food and Drink
Santa Marina is home to Michelin-starred Jason Atherton’s first Mediterranean outpost, Mykonos Social. With a sea view terrace that inhales the salty breeze, it is the perfect romantic spot for honeymooners. Exquisitely curated breakfasts of cooked-to-order eggs and a buffet of exotic fruits, cured meats, local cheeses, greek yoghurt and scrumptious pastries will lure couples out of bed each morning. The breakfast area then transforms into a bar for couples to sidle up to for pre-dinner cocktails.
The achingly chic Buddha Bar Beach is where Asian influence weaves its way into local seafood. The tacos with salmon and avocado here are simply divine and freshly baked pitta with an assortment of traditional dips typically precede the extensive sushi and sashimi selection. It’s at night that the Buddha Bar truly comes into its own as a cocktail lounge and restaurant, where glamorous guests trickle in and transform the whole bar into a dance floor around 11 pm. A DJ lifts the night from lively to full-blown soiree, with drinks flowing until 2am.
Santa Marina was one of the first to the Mykonos five-star hotel game, setting the standard back in the 70’s and dining off its legendary status ever since. With its stunning rooftop bars, top-notch restaurants, pretty jetty, and coveted private (sandy) beach, the hotel has firmly established itself as the go-to Mykonos spot for unfettered luxury, with all the Mediterranean beach resort trimmings,
Few know that Santa Marina has its own non-denominational on-site chapel. Taking centre stage atop the highest point of the resort, surrounded by manicured lawns and with panoramic views of the bay, it’s a deeply romantic spot for a Mykonos wedding.
Honeymooners will love the show-stopping Gingko Spa. Impressive water curtains set the mood in this light-filled haven, where couples can lean into an extensive menu of massages and facial treatments. Talented therapists work their magic with 111Skin products on signature treatments such as the 111Skin Rose Gold Radiance Facial – a blissful hour of wrinkle-minimising and glow-setting with a restorative facial massage. For the ultimate honeymoon indulgence and post-wedding-stress tonic, follow this up with 111Skin’s deliciously nourishing Celestial Black Diamond Sculpting Body Treatment that will truly ease you into your holiday.
A mere 2.5 miles away from the resort, Mykonos town is a must for shopping, exploring and sipping cocktails as couples meander narrow cobblestone lanes that are home to classic tavernas and smart boutiques. After exploring the maze of tiny streets head to Infinity Bar and catch a breathtaking Mykonos sunset.
For a quieter excursion, across the water, on the opposite side of Mykonos Town is Delos island, a UNESCO World Heritage site, accessible via a 10-minute RIB boat. Delos island is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece.
Related article: Honeymoon Review, Monte Carlo Beach Hotel