Mykonos, part of the Cyclades island group in the Aegean Sea, is one of the most popular and glamorous Greek isles, known for its nonstop party atmosphere. Beaches such as Paradise and Super Paradise welcome a diverse crowd, with sandside bars that blare thumping music. Massive dance clubs attract world-renowned DJs and typically stay open well past dawn during the summer season.
When a lot of people think of Mykonos normally a few things come to mind; Party island, Shirley Valentine and for Aussie’s The King of Mykonos movie. There is a whole lot more to this fantastic island and I am lucky that this year will be the 3rd year in a row to visit one of the friendliest destinations in the world: The island of Mykonos.
While Mykonos has never been a secret island it is well placed for all types of budgets, from exclusive private villas, relaxing resort type hotels and very cheap hostel type accommodation. It is an ideal island to visit for all types of travellers, and with Greece still being reasonably cheap for attractions, accommodation and food, it is highly preferred for many over the very over-priced Santorini (only 2 1/2 hours by fast ferry). It may not have a caldera views of Santorini, but the views, shopping and waterside restaurants (as well as the various beaches and activities) well surpass it.
I stumbled upon Lithos by Spyros and Flora three years ago purely by chance. I was searching online for something of a high standard in Mykonos but none of the resorts or reviews appealed to me. With only 6 reviews at the time (which was because the property was brand new) and a fairly basic website, I took a chance on booking Lithos which to me seemed far too cheap for what it was offering. (From memory rates were around $150 per night then and after paying $500 a night in Santorini this was an absolute steal!)
As I’ve now stayed at this property twice (with this year’s stay coming up soon) I’ll just make some general comments on the hotel and let you know why this should be the place you pick to stay when you’re visiting Mykonos.
The hotel is situated in Agios Ioannis considered one of the most beautiful beaches of the island’s south-west coast, From there, one can enjoy an amazing view over the island of Delos. A good place to get away from it all. Not too close to the town to be packed (there is a bus stop right out the front which takes around 7 mins into Mykonos town and cost 2 Euro).
Lithos was built by owners Marios and Marina, a dynamic husband and wife team who had a dream to build and run their own hotel. After years of careful planning, Lithos was quietly opened 3 years ago and the dream that Marios envisaged has now become a reality. And if you’re wondering who Spyros & Flora are, it was named after his parents.
Almost perfect ratings on Booking.com as well as being the No.1 Hotel on Trip Advisor are a testimony to their hard work. I think it’s interesting that after maintaining such high ratings for quite some time they don’t seem to be featured by any articles or in Mykonos guides on the best properties to stay in town. Not sure why, but better for those repeat customers who are finding it necessary to book a year in advance to secure their stay!
Mykonos airport is a short 10 mins away by car in the hotel. Even though small scooters are used by some on the island, there are more cars (probably due to the high winds the islands has). The first year was quite comical with a mis-communication between Marios and myself that he forgot to pick us up from the airport. (The hotel will pick up and drop off from the airport or port by request in advance). To my knowledge he has never done that with another guest since!! (and in fact last year I was picked up in a luxury 20 seater bus, which was quite funny!)
There are 5 different room types at the hotel: Budget, Standard, Superior Studio, Junior Suite and Junior Suite with sea view. No matter what type you choose, you will spend all your time by the pool and pool bar chatting away, enjoying the sunshine and relaxing. I’ve stayed in the Superior Sea View and the Junior Suite Sea view and both rooms were huge! Lots of room, spotlessly clean, a small kitchenette where you could cook if you wish, as well as a couch, lovely bathroom and balcony. The decor is minimalistic, all soothing tones of colour with plenty of natural light via the windows and balcony. A lot of the rooms will comfortably fit 3 or 4 with the use of the couch as the extra sofa bed.
My only gripe the first stay was the lack of conditioner in the amenities, however last year that was fully rectified with the hotel using a terrific local brand of Olive oil based products (Olive oil products are very popular in Greece) which included Shampoo, Soap, Moisturiser, Body Wash and the ever important Conditioner!!
Check in is done either by the pool or in the small reception area which is quick, friendly and personal.
If the room isn’t ready upon arrival (check out is at 12pm) you are free to hang around the pool area or order from the bar. Marios and Marina can organise anything and everything at your disposal, including rental cars, scooters…even pool side massages. All with special rates attached to the hotel. It is so easy to do that we pre-arrange a car with them so it’s ready when we arrive. Parking is also no issue with free parking for hotel guests at the back of the property.
The hotel has free Wifi which had greatly improved our 2nd visit due to a new tower on the island. I had no drop out’s and Facetime/Skype was clear.
Lithos is a small boutique hotel. I am not exactly sure how many rooms they have (couldn’t be more than 15?) but it’s always relaxing. It’s a great destinations for singles, couples and families as you will always have something to chat with if you wish, or even relax in peace if you don’t want to be disturbed. I’ve met people from various countries with all different family configurations staying there, many of them repeat customers.
The pool area is definitely the hub area of the hotel with Marios spending the day chatting to guests, making special cocktails or coffees as well as snacks. Breakfast is available by the pool every day (which is optional) which includes fresh local produce (Yoghurt, Eggs, Antipasto, Toast, freshly baked pastries etc). It is more than sufficient to kick start your day.
I love seeing the pool change colours during the night!
What makes this hotel a cut above the rest is the service. Marios and Marina are the PERFECT hosts (and I don’t use that word very often when talking about hotel stays). You truly do go there as strangers and leave as family.
Want a pizza delivered instead of dining out? Done. Want the best recommendations on where to eat? Done. Need a doctor? Done. I’ve even heard of stories from other guests of Marios collecting them from various clubs in the middle of the night when they couldn’t find a taxi (Taxi’s are few and far between in Mykonos, so for this hotel I would recommend either hiring a car or using the bus).
The hotel is in a quiet part of town, however easily accessible to the entire island. A small convenience store is only a short step away and there are two restaurants overlooking the sea directly across from the hotel. Hippy Fish a well known restaurant which was filmed in the 80’s movie class “Shirley Valentine” is just across the road.
Mykonos is accessible by a couple of the major ferry companies as well as Aegean Airlines, Easyjet and Olympic Airways among others. There are also quite a few seasonal routes to other parts of Europe which you can read about here The airport itself is so easy to fly in/out of. No having to arrive 2 ours early (45 mins is more than enough) and flights are frequent (Only a 25 minute flight especially to Athens if you are looking for connections to other parts of the world)
This is the only hotel I will recommend to people to stay in Mykonos. Service is over and beyond some of the finest hotels in the world, owners that take pride in ensuring that their guests have the best time possible, spotlessly clean and well thought out accommodation; all in the one of the most beautiful parts of the world.
What more could you possibly ask for?
To book your stay and get the best possible rates book here