The tiny island of Delos opposite of Mykonos Island, a center of culture from as early as 2500 BC, well before the Golden Age of Pericles and the Parthenon, is one of Greece’s most important archaeological sites, one that no visitor to the country should miss.
“My inspiration was the inimitable island of Delos… there, opposite the hotel. When you’re dining or coming down the grand staircase by the pool you feel that if you just reached out your hand you would touch it”. Constantinos Charbilas, the tableware designer, sits next to me, on a summer-like day in mid-May, backs to the pool, gazing out at the crystal-clear sea spread before us. He squints in the blinding light enveloping the island and goes on. “And of course the structures on Delos. The famous home which probably belonged to a Phoenician merchant at the beginning of the 1st century, with its dolphins and ancient Greek meanders gracing the gorgeous mosaic floors in the ground-floor courtyard”. In my hands, I hold a large cup of hot coffee. Custom made tableware, the perimeter of which is decorated with the mosaic dolphins and meander, just as the original, with four small cupids, each riding a pair of dolphins. One of the resort’s 2 restaurants is named “Dolphins of Delos”, after the mosaic that graces its entrance, the spectacular view of the island of Delos opposite and the custom made tableware created to enhance the guests’ Mykonos dining experience.
My suitcase stands ready, packed from the previous evening. Swimsuit, light clothing, hats, two or three evening ensembles and my sport shoes. Trainers, shorts, leggings. They’re never far from hand. Fitness is a way of life for me, and even on vacation, I never interrupt my favorite daily routine. This summer at Mykonos Grand luxury hotel I’ll swim my heart out, play tennis till the sun goes down or before it even rises high into the bright blue sky, test my limits jogging through the winding paths of Mykonos island, with the encouragement of none other than the experienced Mykonos Grand coaching team. And…we’re off!
As I walked down the stairs, the first thing I noticed was a warm smile lighting up a clear face. Anastasia, the Spa manageress, was pretty: flawless skin, bright eyes and a wide, genuine smile that revealed her inner beauty. I had arrived just two hours earlier. I had enjoyed a refreshing virgin mojito poolside, while getting lost in the infinite shades of blue dancing before my eyes under the sparkling sun. My better half dove into the water contentedly while I lay out under the warm sun trying to awaken my senses after the long, tiring winter that had passed.
We were having a “lively” discussion about Greece, about this incredibly blessed country of ours, and its ability to turn tourism into a serious industry. At points we agreed, at others butted heads. We spoke in our mother tongue, on high volume as Greeks tend to do, with solid arguments based in cold, hard fact and other, more shaky ones based in wishful thinking. But when the subject of Mykonos came up, spirits calmed. Tones softened. The discussion became a flurry of positive examples. Shining case studies of a different Greece within Greece. One of the first mentioned was Mykonos Grand Luxury Hotel, crowning jewel of the legendary island, one of the world’s top 10 beach hotels according to the CNT 2014 Gold List, renowned for its facilities, services and hospitality, a role model for aesthetics and tourism infrastructure. And from there began a long conversation about the island and its tourism dynamics…
“Delightful and marvelous”
Steady rain has been falling since this morning. The sun has decided not to make an appearance once again today. On afternoons like these, you get the gloomy feeling that day has all but forgotten to break. Darkness and bone-chilling dampness. Yet in the corner of my mind there is something that keeps me bright and cheery. That gives me a familiar, cozy feeling. A vivid recollection I am eager to experience again and again. I curl up under the warm blankets, close my eyes and am transported to the “delightful and marvelous”, where the sun always shines bright, shedding its golden spotlight on the beauty spread out below it, on the Cycladic island of Mykonos, on Ayios Yiannis Beach, at Mykonos Grand, the only Mykonos hotel featured on the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List 2014.
The door opened and I just stood there, stunned. The open windows let the curtains softly billow in the playful Aegean breeze wafting in to meet the freshness of this newly-introduced room’s interior.
My gaze took it all in. Design highlighted by the stylish appeal of uncluttered lines, elegance emerging from simple sophistication, as if passed over by the brushstroke of a gifted artist. Greek-inspired aesthetic that diffuses light through the use of natural materials has found, here in these newly-introduced rooms at Mykonos Grand Luxury Hotel, the perfect environment to express itself, in the sunniest corner of the planet, on Mykonos.
2,800 to 2,300 BC, in the Cyclades art approached the divine with the simple, linear, restless soul of the seafarer etched on the island marble. It reflected the light that had been its inspiration and depicted the land that had created it. The anthropocentric character of an art form, whose unique beauty inspired great sculptors such as Brancusi and Modigliani, sprung forth from the Cycladic islands with their distinctive architecture.
The invitation read:
We only live once.
And since I’ve reached the ripe old age of 40,
I’m celebrating and inviting you to the birthday party of my dreams.
On the island of my childhood,
of my rebellious teenage years,
the place where I found my other half,
the place I return to again and again to find myself,
On my beloved Mykonos
The Althea Spa Center is a unique Mykonos Spa located opposite the sacred island of Delos, birthplace of the mythological god of light Apollo, and coincidentally one the sunniest areas in the world. This increased sunshine blesses the area with a high concentration of cosmic energy, something that will undoubtedly heighten your Mykonos Grand spa experience.