May 20 , 2021
Greece and Turkey are two of the countries currently open to travelers from the US (with proof of a Covid-19 vaccine or a time-sensitive negative PCR test result). You’ll be able to visit important archaeological sites, taste the local cuisine, and lounge on the beaches. Ahhh, those deliciously cool Aegean waters.
Realistically, you can expect basic social distancing precautions, and some of the local hotspots may be a bit more subdued than usual, or have limited hours. In our opinion, that’s all the more reason to make this year’s vacation the kind of trip where you really focus on finding an awesome hotel stay that is a retreat and destination in and of itself.
We’ve got you covered with a list of deluxe properties – many of them brand new or updated – that excel in design, gastronomy, location, views, comfort and luxury amenities. Reserve as soon as you can!
Contemporary accommodations where local creativity shines
As the name would suggest, this minimalist design hotel that opened in September 2020 is all things cool, sleek and modern. Set in the trendy Kolonaki neighborhood in Athens, you can easily explore Mount Lycabettus, high-end shopping and a variety of restaurants, then recharge back at your comfortable, contemporary retreat.
Photo courtesy of @themodernist_hotels
Playful, futuristic design with luxury perks
This summer, Brown Hotels (a brand with one of our favorite hotels in Croatia) is opening its first resort in Greece. Set on the Saronic Gulf in Corinth, a historic region of great natural beauty, the Brown Beach Corinth will be its own destination for modern luxury and unconventional design, just an hour’s drive from Athens.
Photo courtesy of @brownbeachcorinthia
Family-friendly resort in Santorini’s sunset village
The newest member of the Andronis hotel collection on Santorini Island, the Arcadia promises a private plunge pool with each suite and uninterrupted sunset views in Oia (the island’s top spot for sunset seekers). The resort is strategically positioned so you can get those stellar vistas from your own private terrace, in a somewhat less crowded area away from the caldera side of the island. The youngest travelers are welcome, with special child-oriented amenities and programs like kids’ yoga, kids’ spa treatments, and family cooking lessons.
Photo courtesy of @andronis_arcadia
Discriminating privacy and sky-high scenery
Santorini Sky is up in the stratosphere, perched at the highest point on the island, 2,000 feet above sea level. These exciting private villas were designed with an eye to comfort, luxury, environmental impact, and maximizing those incredible 360-degree island views. The best part is the privacy you get in this exclusive setting, with an impressive service team on hand to lay out the island at your fingertips.
Photo by @georgefakaros courtesy of @santoriniskygreece
Enchanting sea views, exquisite service and cuisine
For a refined, luxury Greek islands experience, you can’t go wrong with a stay at Bill & Coo Suites and Lounge, a member of ‘The Leading Hotels of the World’. Now, for direct beach access just 2 miles away from the original property at Mykonos Town, you can stay at Bill & Coo Coast Suites on Agios Ioannis beach.
Pristine Mykonian style with a side of rejuvenation
Kalesma is a newcomer on the island’s luxury accommodation scene, which promises to offer an authentic Mykonos experience among its tranquil, whitewashed Cycladic design. Lush landscaping, private terraces with panoramic views over Ornos Bay, and custom furnishings by Rick Owens all contribute to this little haven tucked away from the island’s summer bustle.
Photo courtesy of @kalesma.mykonos
Paradise for nature lovers and their families
Unplug and experience a Greek paradise at the MarBella Elix, set to open this summer. This stylish contemporary address features a sea view in every room and suite, all with the breathtaking backdrop of lush pine forest and olive groves with cycling and hiking trails, and set just above the beautiful stretch of Karavostasi Beach with views over to Corfu, Paxos and Antipaxos. The resort boasts a long list of entertaining amenities and extra outdoor activities for kids and adults.
Photo by Heinz Troll courtesy of @marbellacollectiongreece
Impeccable design for a timeless, time-stopping escape
A sanctuary of arched doorways, sturdy columns and subdued concrete in neutral tones, the 33-suite Parilio is a member of Design Hotels. Opened in 2019, the owners describe their vision as a ‘celebration of Cycladic simplicity’. The property is set between the pretty harbor town of Naoussa and the popular Kolympethres Beach, but you can find everything you need right on site, from a breezy restaurant to a boutique Asian spa, and a sun-soaked deck with tempting swimming pool.
Photo courtesy of @pariliohotel
Sustainability, well-being and harmonious design
Another member of the Design Hotels universe, this luxury Cretan resort focuses on wellbeing with a modern bohemian design accentuated by earthy tones and hand-picked traditional materials. Cretan Malia Park is conveniently positioned midway between Heraklion and Elounda for easy day trips. The resort itself provides loads of special experiences whether at the spa, in the garden, at the beach and in the sea, at the table, on the yoga mat, or at its kids’ clubs.
Eco-friendly design in gorgeous Elounda Bay
The Cayo is a modern architectural stunner with an eco-conscious bent. Drawing inspiration from its privileged natural surroundings, the hotel uses floor-to-ceiling windows and a man-made ground slope to optimize sunlight exposure and air flow. Situated above Elounda Bay, the property overlooks Spinalonga Island and is just a few minutes from the pebbly beach of Plaka, as well as the town center. Cayo offers a host of typical resort spa services, along with six excellent restaurants and bars to choose from.
Photo courtesy of @cayoresort
Cutting-edge design suspended over millennia-old history
Astonishing archaeological discoveries changed the fate of this hotel-turned-museum/hotel project set in Antakya (ancient Antioch) in southeastern Turkey. Thanks to the strategic design of award-winning architect Emre Arolat, visitors can get ‘Night at the Museum’-close to treasures and mosaics dating back to the 3rd century BC. It all started with the surprise unearthing of a perfect marble statue of the Greek god Eros, then came other finds like the stunning Pegasus mosaic, 5th century Roman baths, the world’s largest single-floor mosaic, and thousands upon thousands of artifacts. The prefabricated modular rooms float above the public museum and provide a minimalist luxury haven, looking inward to museum views or outward to the surrounding mountains and cave church of Saint Peter.
Buzzy, sophisticated scene with a dreamy beach club
From Marriott’s high-end collection of Edition hotels, this breathtaking beachfront locale is contemporary and understated with a youthful, trendy vibe. Elegant furnishings and oversized windows characterize the airy guest rooms, while the beachfront views, infinity pool and exclusive beach club offer all you’d expect from a lively summer resort. The cuisine is phenomenal, with two signature restaurants headed by trailblazing Peruvian chef Diego Muñoz. The location is also well-placed at a 5-minute drive from Yalıkavak marina (for luxury shopping and dining), so you can easily explore some of the wider Bodrum area.
Photo courtesy of @thebodrumedition
Sensible pricing and sea views for all
Spektr Boutique Hotel & Spa offers a modern, peaceful stay with clean-lined appeal for a comparatively cost-conscious getaway. With an eye to sustainable tourism, the property features locally-sourced materials and is run on 80% solar energy. The hotel has a convenient location with spectacular views over the Aegean and the twinkling lights of Yalıkavak center, where you can find the state-of-the-art Palmarina harbor, a superb spot that caters to both the yacht crowd and visitors by land, with luxury shopping, dining, and several beach clubs along the shore. Spektr’s complimentary shuttle service makes it a breeze to get out and explore the beaches and nearby town!
Photo courtesy of @spektrboutiquehotelspa
At the intersection of sun-soaked paradise and 18-hole heaven
This all-inclusive resort from the chic hoteliers at Kempinski comes with all the trimmings for an alluring Mediterranean respite. The hotel’s design is infused with the ornate aesthetic of the Seljuk Empire, seen in the rich fabrics and artwork, Islamic-style domes and arches, and patterned marble floors. Set in Belek, 30 minutes away from Antalya, the property is in an ideal location to explore the area, including Antalya’s historic center, ancient Perge, Aspendos and Side, and the superb, rugged beauty nestled between the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The real star for many guests will be the two 18-hole Championship golf courses.
Photo courtesy of @kempinskibelek
Luxury relaxation and play in a gorgeous, secluded bay
Most travelers think of Bodrum or Antalya when looking for an escape on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, but one of the finest resorts in the country is tucked away inside an enchanting bay on the unspoiled Datça Peninsula. Just a 40-minute drive from the resort town of Marmaris, and 2 hours from Dalaman Airport, this modern retreat is framed by lush woodland and the bluest sea. It boasts no less than five white-sand beaches and five open-air restaurants. Service is excellent, and there is no end of things to do, with amenities ranging from designer boutiques to a running track to yachts for hire.