“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.
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
For some inexplicable reason, each time the sun dips into the sea, you can just about make out the sound of fire on water, in its final moments before once again being consumed by the watery depths.
Leaning into the wind on the deck of a ferry boat bound for Mykonos, I closed my eyes and savored the light mist of salty sea air spraying my face each time a swell broke against the side of the boat. This was the first tangible indication that summer was upon us, laid out in front of me in all its dazzling splendor. My “winter” body however, was also here. I had mercilessly been abusing it for months, through endless hours hunched over a computer screen, squirming in the driver’s seat in countless traffic jams, bent over the stove cooking the meal of the day… It was time for my yearly Mykonos Spa visit.
…“I belong to a small country. A rocky promontory in the Mediterranean, it has nothing to distinguish it but the efforts of its people, the sea, and the light of the sun. It is a small country, but its tradition is immense and has been handed down through the centuries without interruption”. Excerpt from the speech given by Nobel Prize in Literature winner Giorgos Seferis at the City Hall in Stockholm, Sweden, December 10, 1963.
There are some flavors that trigger memories as they melt in your mouth. Freshly-baked bread drenched in olive oil and with a sprinkling of sugar, a heaping spoonful of traditional Greek vanilla preserves dipped in a tall glass of ice-cold water, raw cake batter before it’s poured into the pan. However, flavors are not universal. Every nation has its own unique cuisine that has been molded and shaped over time by the environment and traditions of its people.
There is a well-kept secret hiding within a new and intriguing capsule at the Mykonos Grand’s Althea Spa Center. Open it up, recline in its sleek, ultramodern embrace and take pleasure in the curative powers of hydrotherapy in the most innovative of what the spa world has to offer today. The new Dermalife Spa-Jet system is designed to stimulate the body, invigorate the senses and tend to the skin’s needs through a sublime fusion of ancient knowledge and modern technology.