As someone who’s long past the stage of wanting a holiday to be filled with clubbing, late nights and thumping music at the best of times—let alone during a pandemic—Mykonos wasn’t initially top of my list when it came to visiting one of the many Greek islands on offer. But after doing a little research and hearing rave reviews from friends about beautiful secluded beaches, clear blue water, and delicious local tavernas, I started to investigate further. That’s when images of Kenshō Ornos popped up on my feed, showing the most beautiful hotel sitting just above one of the island’s best beaches, far enough away from the partygoers to make you forget they’re watching the same sunset.
Kenshō Ornos opened its doors in June 2016. Its 35 rooms have been designed in a way that makes the hotel feel boutique, cosy and welcoming: luxury but in a relaxed and understated way. The friendly staff add to the atmosphere and so do the traditional Cycladic exteriors: the hotel is white with wooden furnishings throughout adding to its chic and modern feel. The cave spa is well worth a visit, even just for the ‘gram, and despite the small size of the hotel, the gym facilities have everything you need.
Kenshō Ornos’ 10 suites are clean, comfortable, and well-thought-out with each coming with either a hot tub or private plunge pool. The beds were a standout. Keeping to the boutique and laidback feel, other guests were friendly and conversations by the pool quickly turned into swapping numbers to continue the bellinis at home, albeit without the beautiful view.
The hotel’s restaurant is well worth a try with an area sitting above the pool offering a rooftop sunset dinner. The fresh fish and lobster pasta were standout dishes, so too was the tomato salad and prawn bao we devoured at lunch in between dips. The chefs make sure to incorporate a lot of local dishes, putting a new twist on Greek classics. Breakfast is equally as delicious and runs to the leisurely time of 11:30 am for those who want to make the most of their ultra-comfortable lie-ins.
Ornos is the sister hotel to Kenshō Psarou—an equally stunning hotel sitting on the most exclusive beach of Mykonos (and near a club for those who want to be a bit closer to the action). Psarou has private beach access, too, and the two sites share chefs so both locations outdo themselves when it comes to food.
As for Mykonos itself, it’s an expensive place, so it’s worth getting an ATV or a car to get around and visit a few of the local tavernas. It’s worth a lunch trip to Kiki’s Taverna—a famous restaurant on one of the island’s best (and least touristy) beaches, even just for the free glasses of rosè they provide while you wait—for quite some time in peak season—for a table. We’d planned far more trips to other spots, but after sampling the food on offer at Kenshō Ornos, we decided that holidays are for relaxing by the pool, making friends, drinking bellinis and eating far too much. And when you have a view like this, Paradise Beach can wait: