As the season drew to a close it was the charming and idyllic Greek Island of Mykonos that grabbed our attention.
We set off for Gatwick via National Express from Digbeth. The coach was clean and on time and the best part about it was that it takes you direct to the North terminal, so no changing train stations or connecting shuttle buses.
After a night in Premier Inn which was also centrally located at Gatwick North we checked in with Easyjet for the early morning flight.
Flying over the Ionian Islands it was great to see the bursting warmth of the October sunshine still in full effect. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky by the time we landed in Mykonos.
The driver from the hotel was there to greet us at the airport. A fountain of knowledge he was only too happy to give us the lowdown on everything we needed to know from the best beaches to the best places to eat, there was nothing he didn’t know.
On arrival at the hotel there was a buzz of excitement in the air. The Myconian Ambassador Hotel & Thalasso Spa Center is perfectly located between 4 sandy beaches and it is only 2 minutes walk from the famous beach of Platis Yialos.
The concierge was immediately on hand to take the bags to the room while I was presented with refreshing hand towels and a crystal glass of ice tea chilled to perfection. This is the sort of welcome which distinguishes a 4* from a 5* hotel and I am immediately impressed.
The Front Office Manager welcomed me to the Ambassador and confirmed what the itinerary would be during my stay. I was then given my room keys and a complimentary bottle of wine and some Myconian delicacies before being shown to my room.
I’m taken past the staircase which leads down to the Spa and up towards the lift lobby. We go to the connecting floor which joins to the two halves of the hotel together before meandering up to the 2nd level to the expansive white washed walled hallway. Once at the room it’s clear to see how the hotel received accreditation as a Conde Nast Gold Class and it also forms a core part of the Relais Chateux’s Mediterranean fleet of 5* hotels.
The chamber maids have a huge technical operation underway with what seems like dozens of room attendants going in and out of rooms with fresh white linen, towels and bath wear. As the concierge opens the door to my room he allows me to go in and explore for a moment before walking across the French doors and opening them out onto the expansive balcony before leaving.
The room is nothing short of stunning. With its homely and well presented décor the room is spacious with an enormous bed, flat screen TV, mini bar, safety deposit box, wardrobe, dressing table, sofa topped off by the most magnificent view out across the sea. The hundreds of tiny white washed cubed Mykonian houses sprawl out down the hill side, the sun beaming down on the glistening sea. It’s a truly spectacular view. I go into the bathroom and moving my bags to the wardrobe and am stunned to see that it’s like a Olympian villa. Tiled in pale terracotta and cream stone tiles etched in Greek patterns and carvings. The bath is pretty and an array of bath products are available from olive oil shower gel and soap, to exclusive one-off brands of shampoo and body cream – a vast selection all adds to that extra pampered feeling.
There are about 6 towels of various shapes and sizes including a free beach towel, replaced daily.
I go out on to the balcony and reflect about this magical peaceful island. I say peaceful, although during the season Mykonos is the party capital of Greece but it is mid October and the season is over now, just the last few remaining visitors arriving before the island closes for the winter. Surprisingly it’s still a welcome 26 degrees Celsius so perfect for swimming in the sea.
One of the most magical of all the Greek islands Mykonos has a charm and beauty that has firmly cemented its reputation as being the jewel of the Aegean sea for decades now. Many devoted regulars to the island say it surpasses the delights of Capri, and that it is widely preferred to Ibiza by the world’s elite party goers. Over the past half a century, the low-lying, sun-drenched island has welcomed the jet set, and anyone who likes to party past sunrise will adore Mykonos Town. The local town is the meeting place for all tourists and locals. With its white washed cubed houses built as a maze to confuse pirates centuries ago, even today the town’s narrow streets are a magical labyrinth of alleyways and buildings with heavily white washed stairwells and walls finished with the most brilliant blue window shutters.
The Ambassador is a perfect getaway retreat for anyone who loves the peace and serenity of a relaxing 5* hotel in glorious weather, food fit for a king, and being close enough to the beach or the bus stop to take you to the main Mykonos town.
I make my way down to the pool area and visit the terrace lounge. The barman makes me a Nescafe frappe, Mykonos style. This is a fantastic drink which you can only really enjoy in really hot Mediterranean weather. They grind up a small amount of sugar and coffee with water into a foam and add lots of ice and half and half milk and ice water. Even if you’ve tried one and didn’t like it at Costa, I seriously recommend you try one in Greece.
The pool is lavishly decorated with stone castings, willow umbrellas and sun loungers, there are plenty of spaces available, although it is quieter at this time of the year but I take an hour or so to soak up some sun and enjoy my frappe.
The gym is equipped with everything you need, from air conditioning and flat screen TV to towels and mineral water. There is a good selection of machines and free weights and the best part is being able to dive in the pool upstairs once you’ve worked up a sweat.
Relais and Chateaux is one of the foremost families of hoteliers and Grand Chefs from all over the world who share a passion for a personal commitment to ensure their guests are privy to moments of exceptional harmony. To choose Relais & Chateaux is to experience an unforgettable celebration of the senses and the Myconian Ambassador is no exception. The hotel Spa is a place of luxury and sophistication. The ambience is calm and soothing from the moment you walk down into its inner chamber. The Spa takes inspiration from one of the foremost Caribbean Island retreats at St Barths.
It isn’t hard not to find yourself combating the stress of modern city living with an escape to the hotel Spa. Luxuriously tranquil surroundings, a cocoon of wellness, a mystical place of recreation, where you can nurse your mind, body and soul all at once. From urban chic to resort escape, the thalassotherapy pools are a seductive escape promising healing effects of mineral enriched seawater. No matter if it is to relieve your joints or back problems or for sheer indulgence and relaxation, the Myconian Ambassador Hotel & Thalasso Spa will offer you unimaginable moments of pleasure.
The first pool is darker than you might expect but that’s because it’s an exotic blend of over 20 essential oils and minerals. You soak in this for 15 minutes or so before moving to the salt water pool which has muscle soothing qualities and simply soaks away all the aches and pains of the day. Last but not least is the thalasso jet streams which blow streams of water out at different heights, massaging your body. This starts from the lower legs and works its way up your calves, thighs, lower back, middle back and finally shoulders. If that’s not enough, simply relax in the steam room and sauna with your own bucket of coals to splash water at.
There are lots of other treatments, creams and facilities you can enjoy, including the option of private treatments in your own suite allowing for complete privacy. The Spa was busy even for this time of the year which is simply a testament to the fantastic quality of the staff working there and the beauty of the facilities.
While Mykonos is a destination of choice for foodies and culinary critics the world over, with dozens of top quality fish and meat restaurants dotted across the island, it was incredibly difficult to venture out of the hotel when their chefs were some of the finest on the island.
The menu changed every day which was a good sign with a complete Relais Chateux experience rolled in for good measure. There was either a 5 course option or a 7 course which we will discuss a little later on. The wine menu features some of the finest wines on the planet, not to mention enough Greek wines to silence those who haven’t done their research and don’t speak highly of Greek tastes.
Each morning breakfast was a rare treat. Everything from a wide selection of breads, rolls, cakes, preserves, freshly prepared salads, grilled meats, eggs, omelettes, sausages, yoghurts and the waiters and waitresses were so attentive that you never had a half empty cup of coffee or glass of fresh orange juice on the table. To be honest, considering it was the end of the season there were still what seems liked hundreds of staff at the hotel to help with everything you need, from a refill of coffee at breakfast to a new towel for the beach, or the wonderful reception staff pointing out the best route on the map to get some fresh flowers.
The restaurant at night was always a delight. A modern approach to classic Mediterranean treats the restaurant chef created sophisticated dishes that emphasized the very best of simplicity, and seasonal flavours.
The excellence of the food is harmonized with the aristocratic, Cycladic ambiance of the Apollo deck a la carte Mykonos restaurant, a small exclusive Mykonos restaurant serving Greek modern cuisine with a tailor-made menu.
All in all the Myconian Ambassador is one of the finest hotels you could find anywhere in Greece and has a quality and warmth of service hard to find these days. To avoid disappointment, book now for when the season gets going in May / June for one of the most fantastic holidays ever.
For more information or to book visit http://www.myconianambassador.gr