Price per night from£312.30
If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60days.
Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR351.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
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The all-a-glitter Aegean
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Three distinct shades of blue are all you’ll see from your private pool at Ios Grand Pool Suites, a discreet retreat high above buzzing Mylopotas Beach on the Cycladic island of Ios. Life is lived outside in the trade winds and the sunshine, with lazily long lunches and calming cocktails served right to your terrace, and little more to do than doze off into a novel or watch the superyachts come and go in the bay below. And when the noon sun shines, your pool is just a few steps away for a splash about.
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A bottle of wine and a basket of seasonal fruit
Need to know
An all-suite property; each of the 12 has a private terrace, pool and ocean views.
Check-in is from 3pm, and check-out is at 11am. Late check-out until 6pm is available for an extra charge of 50 per cent of the room rate.
Double rooms from £312.30 (€351), including tax at 13.5 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional government tax of €3.00 per room per night on check-out.
Room rates include an à la carte breakfast served to your private terrace each morning.
Fancy tying the knot on the golden sands of Mylopotas beach? The hotel has expertise in organising VIP events, private dinner parties, and weddings of all sizes.
The hotel is typically closed from October to May each winter
At the hotel
Gym, spa with couples treatment room, hammam, Jacuzzi, freshwater indoor pool, sauna, free WiFi. In rooms: private terrace and swimming pool, outdoor shower, sunloungers, outdoor dining area, outdoor fridge and minibar, desk, Mini L’Or coffee machine, kitchenette, Molton Brown bath products.
Our favourite rooms
The end-facing Grand Three Bedroom Suite has 180-degree views that take in the rocky hillscape beyond Mylopotas Beach.
The clue is in the name, so finding a little acqua in which to immerse yourself is never a concern. Each suite has its own private plunge pool with sunloungers, and guests have access to a larger pool at sister stay Ios Palace Hotel & Spa nearby, where there are cabanas and a bar serving cocktails in front of equally waterlogged panoramic views. Those searching for a soothing saltwater swim are spoilt for choice – the kilometre-long Mylopotas Beach is a short amble away and caters for all. The smooth, sandy beach fringes a calm bay which is not only great for swimming, but shelves quickly into deep water, making it ideal for watersports. The beach is organised with shaded cabanas and drink service near the bars and clubs, but morphs into empty open sands, so it’s always possible to find some space. Nevertheless, early risers will enjoy a tranquillity missed by the revellers still sleeping off the previous night’s indulgences.
There’s little more you need to work off the tension of city life than an outdoor treatment table and a view across the Aegean, but Ios Grand takes no chances, and the spa here is among the best on the island. Facilities include a couples treatment room, a hammam, and an indoor freshwater pool with a Jacuzzi. The treatment menu is inspired not only by island life and Greek traditions but hard-fought experience, and uses local Cycladic products. A day-one essential is the 45-minute Golden Hour ‘bronzing experience’, which flushes your dry pores with Cretan olive oil, herbs and aloe vera in preparation for the long days of sun-tanning to come.
Bring a captain’s hat – many of the island’s 32 beaches are accessible only by water, and would-be captains can rent a small motorboat from nearby Chora and set sail for the day. You don’t need a boat licence.
The facilities at the sister property, Ios Palace Hotel, are available to all Ios Grand Pool Suites guests.
Children are welcome, and those over the age of 12 are priced as adults. Babysitting can be arranged with 48 hours’ notice and costs €30-50 per hour, depending on time of booking.
The hotel’s restaurant sources at least 80 per cent of its produce from within the island, and all tours and activities are provided by local guides and businesses.
Food and Drink
On the edge as the sun sets.
Largely you'll be on your private terrace or submerged in a pool, so swimwear is acceptable. Dress up for date nights at Ios Palace Hotel next door.
The hotel’s own Tomatini Restaurant is located next door in the sister property, the Ios Palace Hotel, and whips up favourite Greek and Mediterranean contemporary dishes. There’s a special nod to local recipes as well as old favourites (in such heat Mr Smith can never ignore a club sandwich served with a cold Coke), and an impressive 80 per cent of all ingredients are sourced from within the island. Dining is exclusively outside and poolside, with that epic vista across Mylopotas Beach and the barren hills beyond an omnipresent milieu.
The Edge Bar is a special project of multi-award-winning mixologist Constantinos Athanasiou and sits sandwiched between pool and clifftop at the sister Ios Palace Hotel. There’s an impressive list of Greek wines and alcohol-free spirits, but the fortifying Homer’s Rhapsody cocktail (Skinos Mastiha, Metaxa 7 Stars, thyme liqueur, lemon juice, cucumber syrup, truffle oil) not only pays deference to the poet but is just the reviver you need after a hot day in the sun. Any of the libations can be delivered to your suite.
When the final tsipouro has been poured.
When your poolside terrace is your private dining room, you’ll feel like eating every meal in your suite. Breakfast is served privately every morning, and the entire menu of the Tomatini Restaurant can be served à la carte to your terrace until 11pm.
Ios Grand Pool Suites
The eminently ‘grammable Ios Grand Pool Suites sits in the rocky hills above the northernmost apex of the ebullient Mylopotas Beach, overlooking the Aegean on its southwestern side.
The fastest connection from mainland Greece to the hotel is via the nearby island of Santorini, from where ferries to Ios are plentiful and take under an hour. Long-haul travellers can land at Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos and transfer to ferry number one at Piraeus Port, a 45-minute journey by car.
There is a certain joie de vivre to a buzzy little rental car on a Greek island, especially if the top goes down – those yearning to explore can park at the hotel for free. But Ios is so small that you’ll rarely need your own wheels otherwise. Have that extra Mythos beer and call a taxi instead.
Dodge the bureaucratic adventure of the ferry network with a helicopter transfer; the 15-minute flight from Santorini costs about €1,700 and can accommodate four passengers.
Worth getting out of bed for
Ios Grand sits three kilometres around the coast from Chora (‘Hora’ in the local dialect), the focal point of the island. It’s a photogenic place – if you’ve ever seen one of those faded Greek island posters behind a kebab shop counter in a city like London or Melbourne, there’s a good chance that the photo is of Chora. Miniscule alleyways trace this way and that through ramshackle whitewashed homes reflecting the noon sun, draped elegantly in dazzling geranium and bougainvillea growing from every conceivable nook. Brave the heat to hike up past the four chapels to the Odysseas Elytis open-air theatre, designed in 1997 by Peter Haupt, Professor of Architecture at the University of Berlin. Even if you don’t catch one of the famous sunset performances, the views across the blue-domed chapels of Chora and to Mylopotas beach justify the sweat. It's an uphill grind to Chora from Ios Grand but it’s all downhill on the way back – a shuttle bus runs every 20 minutes in peak season and costs €2. Logophiles will want to visit to the Tomb of Homer in the northernmost part of the island, but owing to the plentiful bars, beach clubs and watersports at Mylopotas Beach, Mrs Smith understands why you’d never want to leave at all. Nonetheless, it’s worth making the short walk to the Museum of Modern Art to see the collection of painting, photography and sculpture by French philhellene Jean Marie Drot and his favourite contemporaries, housed in the former mansion of the artist.
At the tiny harbour on the far end of Mylopotas Beach sits Drakos Taverna, a favourite local haunt that’s been serving fresh seafood and Greek staples since 1963. Drakos plucks octopus right out of the bay and sun-dries them on ropes out front before sending to the grill, which makes for an exotic sunset photo. Salt Restaurant Bar is the kind of place where you could easily while away an entire afternoon and most of the evening, too. The aesthetic so laid-back it’s near horizontal and you’d come here just to sip cocktails on the sunloungers, but the contemporary Greek kitchen is arguably the best on the beach. Mr Smith is still dreaming of the Gemista Risotto, with fresh oregano, pine nuts and local Ios cheese. Cantina Del Mar is a proper beach bar with an all-day bistro – there is scarcely a more enjoyable meal than a burger and a cold beer while sat in still-wet swimmers.
Rollin’ Nomad may be a food truck, but its usual parking spot at the midpoint of Mylopotas Beach during the summer is better than most restaurants could wangle. Snacks focus on healthy burgers and eggs, with the best coffee beachside. For true speciality coffee, make the trip to Chora’s hip Art Café-Bar Foiniki.
Mylopotas Beach is a rare chameleon in the Greek Islands. The southernmost half is all about the revelry, with a lively atmosphere all summer long and the wildest beach parties from clubs like Far Out Beach Club. But if ‘eat, sleep, rave, repeat’ isn’t your modus operandi, the mood calms down the further up the beach you go. The Dali-esque motifs and pastels at Free Beach Bar make for a nicely chilled vibe, and Bamboo is typically filled with a cultured crowd.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this dreamscape hotel in Ios and unpacked their beach towels and after-sun balm, a full account of their Cycladic break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Ios Grand Pool Suites…
It wasn’t my first time on Ios, my husband and I have been coming here for years. We loved the party scene when we were a little younger, but now we appreciate the island for everything else it offers. There’s just enough to keep us active, but it’s not so busy that we don’t get a proper break.
We’ve never stayed at Mylopotas Beach before but the opening of Ios Grand Pool Suites was enough to lure us here. It’s the sister hotel of the Ios Palace Hotel and Spa, 12 suites built a little way around the coast in total privacy. Once you’ve checked in you never need to see another guest if you don’t want to, but we always enjoy those unexpected conversations in the hotel bar. Thankfully we have both options.
The suites are far enough above Mylopotas Beach that the noise from the sand-set clubs doesn’t quite reach, but they are only a short walk away and we usually make a point of going out at least once. But there’s a great atmosphere here, even if you want to take things a little slower at the more chilled bars up the other end; you could even bring kids here. It’s rare to find a beach town in the Greek Islands that does it all, but sparsely populated Mylopotas has enough room for it all to happily coexist, even at the busiest times. Getting up for an early morning run as the revellers are drearily heading home sets you in a great mood for the day.
Well, I ran once. Otherwise, we barely left our suite at all in the daytime. Breakfast was served to our private terrace each morning, then we’d laze about on the sunloungers and by our pool, our most challenging task being attempting to guess where the superyachts were sailing next. We’d order lunch from the Tomatini Restaurant served to our door, take an afternoon nap, then a round of cocktails in the late afternoon. Eventually we’d head into town for dinner, and that was our day. Repeat for a week.
Ios Grand Pool Suites are a great addition to the island for those wanting to slow down… but not entirely stop.
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Price per night from£312.30
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