Escape + Opulence at Greece’s Katikies Hotels

Laidback but luxe, these destinations add another layer of magic to an already otherworldly island

Around four thousand years old, the Greek language consists of five million words. Derived from the Turkish “merak,” the word “meraki” in Greek translates to the passion, devotion and soul that’s applied to a task. Through their five spectacular hotels on Santorini and two on Mykonos, Katikies embodies that concept when it comes to design, hospitality and creating an extraordinary sense of escape. From the otherworldly views of the sun-soaked desert islands to the expert and friendly service, guests feel simultaneously at home and light years away from real life.

Courtesy of Katikies

At the first glimpse of the white-walled properties (the stairs of which are repainted every single day), guests are transported inside a postcard—and the experience follows suit. Staff members quickly and deftly read guests, whether it’s through the detailed booking process (wherein visitors can specify their various needs and desires) or through a quick interaction (and a little intuition), making for a trip that feels wholly personal. It’s that dedication to guests that the hotel group strives to maintain at every one of its five-star properties. While each hotel has its own atmosphere and personality (something that’s more tangible from island to island), there’s a distinct consistency and harmony between them all.

Courtesy of Katikies

Built into Caldera on the rocky, red cliffs of Oia (at the northwestern tip of the island), Katikies Santorini is located at the beginning of the town’s car-free street.

Courtesy of Katikies / by Katie Olsen

While it’s a 10-minute drive from the closest beach, the hotel feature three infinity pools—and the Katikies Suites, Master Suites and Honeymoon Suite all have their own, whether a jacuzzi or a plunge pool. Every one of the minimal, sophisticated and airy rooms (and almost every corner of the entire hotel) has an enchanting view of the caldera, neighboring islands and the water; a striking contrast between the white paint of the town, brown and red volcanic rocks and deep blue of the Agean Sea. Nobody could feel ambivalent while watching the sun set behind the ancient islands of Therasia and Nea Kameni.

by Katie Olsen

The hotel’s off-site entity, Katikies Club, provides up-close experiences with neighboring islands too. With a fleet of super-posh motor yachts, the team offers intimate voyages—with perfectly timed pick-up and drop-off, drinks, meals, towels and snorkeling gear all provided. Ask the yacht crew about how Santorini’s massive 1646 BC volcanic eruption is believed to have created (or at least been the source story for) Atlantis if you want a magical tale to bring home. Other experiences outside the hotel include wine tastings, island tours and meals at other Katikies locations—and beyond. (We recommend asking about dinner at seaside Sunset in Ammoudi.) There are three restaurants at the hotel, too—each one with a different style, but all maintaining the same impeccable service and views.

Courtesy of Katikies

With seemingly countless treatments, the lush spa at Katikies Kirini (located three minutes away from Katikies Santorini) only adds to the already transportive experience. For an immersive and indulgent experience, try one of the Rituals, which include different skin treatments and massages—and last for 120 minutes.

Courtesy of Katikies

Of course all travel is about literally transporting, but these mystical islands, with their thousands of years of magic embedded in every volcanic rock, really make visitors feel like they’ve landed on another planet. The experience at Katikies, imbued with a laidback opulence, only elevates that overwhelming feeling.

Hero image courtesy of Katikies