09 Sep REVIEW: MYSTIQUE HOTEL SANTORINI
The sun-kissed island of Santorini, the southernmost island of the Cyclades, needs very little introduction. Almost every photo you see of Greece includes Santorini and in most cases there is one village that receives most of the attention: Oia (pronounced Ee-ah). It is in this picture-perfect part of the island, perched upon the rugged cliffs of the caldera that you will find Mystique, A Luxury Collection Hotel, one of the best luxury hotels in Santorini and most iconic SPG/Marriott properties in the world. We spent a few days there this summer and could not wait to bring you the review!
Summary: Mystique is undeniably one of the most magical, “bucket-list” hotels in the world! If you are looking for the quintessential Santorini experience, with breathtaking views of the caldera, wonderful food, exquisite service and privacy then Mystique should be at the top of your list. It is the epitome of understated luxury and trust me, you will not want to leave the hotel…ever!
Booking: Mystique is a category 7 Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) property. It has a total of 36 suites and 3 villas (28 of the rooms come with a private jacuzzi). During high season, rooms start from around €800 per night or 70.000 SPG points. If you decide to redeem, remember that daily breakfast will not be included and will cost €55 per person, although SPG Platinum members get free breakfast for two. Although 70.000 points is a lot, remember that as with any SPG redemption, if you redeem for 4 nights then you get the 5th one for free (upon availability)! Being in Santorini and in such an amazing location, Mystique is obviously a hotel in very high demand so you need to make a reservation early, particularly if you are planning to use points!
Getting there: The easiest way to get to Santorini is by plane from Athens airport. Multiple airlines operate daily flights, especially during the summer, with your best options being Aegean airlines, Ellinair, Sky Express as well as Ryanair and Volotea. There are also many flights from major European hubs such as Lufthansa from Munich, British airways from London Heathrow/London City, Swiss from Zurich and many more. Once you get to the airport, the hotel’s transport will be waiting to whisk you away after they first offer you a cold towel and some water. The ride to Mystique takes roughly 30-40’ and offers some spectacular vistas. Once in Oia, you will need to walk down a series of steps to get to the hotel as it is on the side of the cliff. So yes, there is a bit of steep walking involved, especially when you are going up, but on the flipside Mystique offers great privacy, as it is far away from the main road in Oia. Once you are there, you will not want to leave anyway!
The room: We were privileged enough to experience the Secrecy villa, one of the three villas in the hotel. Just like the other rooms, Secrecy is built into the rock which is an engineering feat just in itself! The villa comes with an outdoor private pool and jacuzzi and is also equipped with a treadmill and exercise bike. It’s hard not to be impressed with the understated luxury of the villa: simple, “clean” lines yet every piece, from the door handle to the bed, is modern and high-end. The villa comes with a very large bathroom (with walk-in shower and bathtub) which is bigger than most caldera rooms on the island! From the bedroom (and the main entrance) you can access the terrace which has two very comfortable loungers and offers unobstructed, breathtaking views of the caldera. All rooms come with free wifi, bottled water (you can’t drink tap water on the island) and amazing views! You can use the free wifi across the hotel but just bear in mind that internet on the island can be temperamental and that’s unfortunately a widespread issue in Santorini. Overall, it’s hard to fully put into words how gorgeous the villa is so we’ll let the pictures below speak for themselves!
Hotel grounds: The hotel has a gym, a spa, two pools, three restaurants (a Japanese, a modern Greek and a casual all-day dining one) and a small bar. It’s worth mentioning that the restaurants and the pools are built on different levels so depending on where your room is located you can head to either of them to have breakfast or to take a swim. There is also a beautiful dining room/wine cellar, built right into the cave which you can book for private occasions or for wine tasting. The pools, especially the one main one, have stunning views of the caldera and will inevitably become your main hang-out spot. Given how small the hotel is, the fact that children under the age of 14 or outside visitors are not allowed, the pool area never felt crowded. The gym has all the essentials for a good workout during your stay and you just can’t beat a run of the treadmill overlooking the Aegean blue of the caldera.
Food/Service: The a la carte breakfast (included for most rates and SPG Platinum members) was probably one of the best we’ve ever seen at a hotel. You have countless options to choose from and we were particularly impressed with the extensive Greek menu which offers some “must-try” classics such as ‘strapatsada’ (scrambled eggs with tomato) and ‘tiganites’ (Greek pancakes with cinnamon and honey). The lunch menu focuses on elevating simple, Greek flavors and executing them perfectly. Service throughout the hotel is truly impeccable without ever feeling “stuffy”. You can tell the staff has been trained to interact with and cater to the discerning traveler that the hotel receives. Every interaction we had, from the ones with the staff serving the pool area to the ones at the restaurant, we were impressed with the attention to detail and eagerness to please the guest.