If you ever find yourself on the Greek island of Mykonos for a vacation ― it’s one of the most famous party islands in the world, why else would you be there? ― and you’re looking for really nice, four-star accommodation that will relax you, it really is worth checking out the Hotel Semeli. The hotel will also refresh you and its bar bext to the lobby will prepare you nicely for the all-night Mykonos club scene , if you’re determined to take part.
Situated conveniently on the hill near the four famous and photogenic windmills just above Chora, the main port and town of Mykonos, the Hotel Semeli has bags of charm, friendly and good service, a lovely swimming pool and a terrific breakfast buffet. The hotel ― which boasts 42 guest rooms and three suites ― is an old house that was converted and enlarged, and the owners have tried successfully to retain much of the ambience of the original house.
The hotel’s restaurant has a good reputation for à la carte dining too, though we can’t truthfully recommend it personally because we didn’t actually eat our main meals there ― preferring instead to try a few of Mykonos’ wonderful beach tavernas for lunch and, for dinner, seafront restaurants in Chora or restaurants inland at the sprawling village of Ano Mera right in the heart of the island.
Our room, number 721, was at the front of the hotel almost above the main entrance (if a regular door can be called that). The room was directly up a short flight of stairs from the attractive little lobby area and nowhere near the swimming pool area at the back of the hotel, which is busy during the day with lots of beautiful people bronzing themselves. The Hotel Semeli has some family guest rooms, so there were also a few families with children to be found at the pool. Most of the hotel’s rooms are situated on two floors adjacent to and facing the pool and, together with the restaurant area, form three sides of a quadrangle around it, with the fourth side at the back of the pool left open.
The view from our room was spectacular, looking out over Chora to the sea, the island of Tinos ― nearby Delos, a small island that is a world-famous archaeological site, was just hidden round a Mykonos headland ― and the sunset. (See the picture above: It was taken from the room.) The room was lovely too, with a small balcony and a little table with two seats, two comfortable single beds and a beautiful bathroom, which though a little snug was large anough for a tub-sized shower and bath.
The Hotel Semeli is popular ― it was nearly full when we there there in late May, a traditional vacation time for Greek students just before their exams ― and so the rates aren’t exactly cheap. Online booking rates in the shoulder season appear to start at 220 euros a night for a standard room for one person, 250 euros for two people sharing the room, and go up to 320 euros a night for a ‘superior’ room for one, 350 euros for two. If you’re flush, as few are in 2009, you can book a suite at 600 euros. There is even an executive suite at 800 euros a night. The executive suite comes with its own mini-pool, as do some 400-euros-a-night bedrooms.
But while the Hotel Semeli can’t be called a major bargain, it is genuinely a lovely hotel that begins relaxing you the moment you walk through the front door, brushing aside a stray branch of vivid bougainvillea as you pass through the portal.
By Chris Kjelgaard
This is one of four feature articles on Mykonos published by www.AirlinesAndDestinations.com in July 2009.
- A Nice Way to Get to Mykonos
- More Words on Mykonos
- Skinos Mastiha Spirit ― a Drink to Remember, and to Savor