Now, more so than ever, people are looking to recharge and refuel from the stresses caused by the pandemic. Finding somewhere to go to meet those needs and allow you to take time out for yourself is the first step in creating your perfect getaway. I talk to Philip S. Michopoulos, the Owner of Kivotos Hotels & Villas Group, about how the hotel’s unique experience providing tranquility for guests helps to refresh the body, mind and soul.
As an introduction, can you tell us a bit about the background of Kivotos Mykonos?
Kivotos Mykonos is the embodiment of our father’s dream to build the first boutique hotel in Greece, at a time when this was, politely, considered absurd, given how far from being regarded as a cosmopolitan tourist destination Mykonos was. Always not afraid to take chances, our father owned 50% of the land that now hosts Kivotos Mykonos. So, he bought the other 50% from our godfather and turned this from a summer house-building project (that was the original idea of how to use the land) into Noah’s Ark, which is how Kivotos translates into English, one of the most pristine and luxury hotels in the Mediterranean – a welcoming retreat for those that wish to live authentic Mykonos experiences and please their body, mind, and soul.
For whom do you recommend a wellness or uplifting getaway to Kivotos Mykonos?
Well, there are actually no limitations as to who can enjoy a relaxing and soul-pampering escape at Kivotos Mykonos. I guess, whoever feels like treating themselves with a unique and rejuvenating spa-like experience. Our guests can choose to have a massage session or steam bath (hammam) or even combine them both and have an all-around, body- and mind-pleasing and calming endeavour! So, whether you are looking for a tension-releasing or invigorating getaway, the broad array of Kivotos Mykonos treatments will serve you just fine.
What differentiates your hotel from others on Mykonos?
Besides our obvious dedication to serving our guests’ needs and special requirements to the fullest, Kivotos Mykonos carries the vision of my father, who envisioned Kivotos being a place where travellers could have some peace of mind and enjoy luxury and tranquil escapades from the vibrant Mykonos nightlife. This includes everything from providing them with well-appointed and elegant suites to rest and savour themselves with pristine views of the Aegean Sea to unique amenities like private pools, a private beach, fine gastronomy, and even a private yacht that can accommodate and gratify their desire for private dining. At the end of the day, our guests can live exactly the kind of Mykonos experience they wished for. Most of the time, though, they leave with their expectations far surpassed.
Do you recommend people to go to Mykonos to refresh your body and mind?
Absolutely. Can you imagine anything better after a long and tedious winter than sunbathing on golden sand beaches, diving into crystalline waters, enjoying heart-stopping views of the Aegean Sea, being showered by the warm Mediterranean sun, being surrounded by raw natural beauty, and feeling the fulfilling energy deriving from ancient sights like Delos? Add to all these the elegance of Cycladic architecture, the friendliness and hospitality of the Greeks, the vivid Mykonos party scene, and the unbeatable luxury accommodation and dining options, and you are just beginning to see the tip of a huge iceberg!
What makes your suites unique?
We didn’t want to be just another copycat offering upscale accommodation in Mykonos. We wanted Kivotos Mykonos to be a holiday retreat that combined personalised hospitality, world-class luxury amenities, original fine art, and individually decorated suites that exude elegance, opulence, and chicness while providing a wide range of amenities, like private pools and incredible sea views. Just walking into each suite immediately puts you at the forefront of a VIP experience, with features like soothing lighting, high-tech appliances and Mykonian architectural elements.
Can you share about the hotel architecture and design?
Obviously, we fully embrace and follow the lines of traditional Cycladic architecture, which is depicted in the interior and exterior spaces, including the villas and suites. However, Kivotos Mykonos has also been specifically designed to provide unobstructed views of the Aegean from almost any area to maximise the overwhelming sensation of composure and glam that characterises Kivotos Hotels.
At the same time, Kivotos Mykonos matches the allure of Old-World charm with contemporary design, which is why guests are welcomed to spaces that combine vintage chicness with modern art and quirky touches in a compelling and sense-caressing way. For that reason, you will see whitewashed walls, local wood craftsmanship, and shades of blue and green playing with fine Pentelic marble, replicas of Delian sculptures and artefacts, modern art, rare pieces of the 17th and 18th century and a collection of Louis Vuitton trunks – all of which epitomise what a Mykonos 5-star luxury hotel should also be about.
What services are offered in the hotel?
Besides deluxe living and everything that comes with a VIP lifestyle, guests at Kivotos Mykonos can choose to live an exclusive, absolutely versatile, and inclusive experience that includes from exquisite dining and drinking in any of our on-premises restaurants and bars to private endeavours. The company-owned yacht, anchored in pristine Ornos bay, also provides opportunities for unique dining experiences.
Other than that, Kivotos Mykonos pampers guests with 24/7 concierge and room services, a freshwater and saltwater pool, a state-of-the-art fitness and spa center, yoga classes and a private beach. And, if your dreamy wedding had a flair of the Mediterranean, Kivotos Mykonos enchants with a picturesque chapel, which is also perfect for christenings.
However, since our guests’ utmost gratification is at the heart of everything we do at Kivotos Mykonos, services like private plane and helicopter reservations are also not uncommon.
You are offering yoga classes, do you think yoga is important for mental health and wellbeing as part of the holiday experience?
The whole point in holiday-making is to indulge the senses, rejuvenate, have fun, and recharge our batteries in any possible way. For most of us, a visit to a holiday getaway destination is a much-wanted respite from the challenges we all face in our daily lives as we juggle with so many things and try to wear numerous hats to carry out our responsibilities. As humans, we are much more than just a physical body. We also need to nurture our soul and please our mind to achieve ultimate pampering and gratification. This is why Kivotos Mykonos enables guests to combine treatments addressing the body with satisfying experiences and spiritual practices for supreme composure and wellbeing that will accompany them long after their holidays end.
What does the perfect day for Kivotos Mykonos’ guests look like?
This really has no definite answer. How do you dream of your ideal Mykonos holidays? That’s precisely what you will experience at Kivotos Mykonos, if not way above just that. So, it depends on what each guest is after, from their visit to our beautiful Cycladic island. If waking up to captivating sea views and enjoying your morning cup of coffee at your veranda overlooking the Aegean Sea feels like a slice of heaven for you, then this is what you can expect. Others appreciate subtle luxury and the wealth of amenities on offer, including the many chances for private escapades. The truth is that Kivotos Mykonos provides an incredible blend of VIP experiences that address however a guest defines a “perfect day”!
For those who visit Mykonos for the first time, what local dishes do you recommend to try at your restaurant?
I certainly recommend the traditional Mykonos cheese products, including kopanisti, that delights with its spicy flavour and mouth-watering texture. Also, delicious louza (spiced and cooked pork filet), sweet almond cake called kalathaki, crunchy onion pie made with local tirovolia cheese, and, of course, fresh seafood. To close a perfect culinary experience including traditional Mykonos dishes, I suggest a glass of locally produced wine or ouzo! However, the sky is, indeed, the limit here, as authentic Greek cuisine is an incredibly large chapter in gastronomy.
Considering the current pandemic and quarantine measures, are you currently open for visitors? What measures do you consider in the hotel for the safety of your guests?
Yes, we are planning to open in May 2021, always paying extreme attention to hygiene and sanitation while implementing new protocols and practices. All rooms and exterior spaces are meticulously cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis from ceiling to floor with special heavy-duty disinfectants that allow us to achieve the highest standard of cleanliness and sanitization. In addition, the entire staff takes all necessary precaution and protection measures to ensure both their own good health and the health of our guests, from the people working in food preparation to the cleaning team and the receptionists. So, expect friendly people serving you wearing masks that are not able to hide their smiles and heartfelt intentions to cater to your needs and requirements.
How can our readers contact you and follow on social media?
We will be delighted to have you in our Facebook and/or Instagram family, as well as the Kivotos Mykonos YouTube channel, and share news, fun stuff, and updates with you! But, do feel free to email us if you have any questions or queries!