A small but perfectly-formed Greek island with over 50 beaches and lush, clear seas that border on Caribbean blue, Skiathos is a great choice for those seeking a peaceful Greek retreat. Itís especially popular with honeymooners who want to take life easy after the thrills and spills of planning a wedding and older couples who just want to enjoy a laid-back break in the sun. You wonít be overwhelmed with an array of late-night parties and boozy holidaymakers in Skiathos, but you will find a tranquility that not many other Greek islands share. But where to stay? Here are five boutique hotels thatíll ensure your holidays gets off to a great start.
A luxury hotel offering excellent beach accommodation, especially with families with children, Mandraki Village Boutique is a secluded, spacious hotel which prides itself on how it treats its guests. No request is too much for the staff here, who receive rave reviews for their willingness to go the extra mile. Your room will always be spotless when you return at the end of the day, and the breakfast buffet offers everything youíd want to kick-start your day.
Even though itís just a few steps from the lush Koukounaries beach, Mandraki Village provides excellent family-friendly activities, including Eliaís Restaurant, a pool bar, a swimming pool and a kids pool. The gardens that the hotel is set in are extraordinarily beautiful – itís a great location if youíre planning a wedding abroad.
This charmingly pint-sized hotel may be small, but itís big on making a fuss of its guests. Guests can enjoy free WiFi, air conditioning and have free bottled water while theyíre relaxing by the pool, and the owners and staff canít do enough for you.
The newly-renovated rooms are well furnished, and the breakfast includes English, continental and European choices. The lovely thing about this hotel is the owners want you to explore the island and see as much as possible; just ask for help, and youíll be supplied with maps and given lots of advice regarding beaches and places to eat.
A 15 minute drive from the airport, this family-friendly hotel is set in the hills overlooking the sea. Prepare yourself for a warm welcome – the staff will do everything they can to make you feel at home, and youíll be given fruit juice (or a glass of fizz!) after you arrive.
If youíd like to explore the local town, there is a mini van that takes you there and back at regular intervals – perfect if you want to find a local bar and enjoy a tipple.
Most guests canít get enough of the breakfasts – prepare yourself for oven-fresh bread and omelettes, bacon and eggs cooked to order. The Greek cuisine on offer is equally as exciting; the pasta dishes, cheese assortments and salads on offer will ensure youíre full until dinner.
With four travel awards under its belt (three for excellence, and one for being named the best hotel in Skiathos), this is the place for you if youíd like to splash out. This stylish boutique hotel is just a five-minute walk to the harbour nearby, but youíll want to try the food on offer here – the Crazy Cow restaurant has a dubious name but comes highly recommended, and the hotelís cocktail bar is a great place to spend an evening working your way through the menu. Can’t find a drink you’d like? The bar staff are happy to help and will whip up something bespoke if you can’t make up your mind.
The hotelís rooms have all been updated recently and guests have been known to leave five star TripAdvisor reviews about the beds alone – honeymooners beware. You wonít see much of the island if you stay here.
A great hotel for families and couples seeking a bit of peace and quiet, this is a calm idyll thatís only a ten minute walk from bars and restaurants in case youíre after a bit of nightlife.
Friendly staff, delicious food, a stunning pool and a lovely modern take on old Greek standards combine to ensure you enjoy your stay – and, of course, Atrium wouldnít make our list unless the breakfast buffet was something to write home about (it certainly is; the selection on offer is incredible). The views from this hotel are wonderful, and worth booking for alone – donít forget to ask for a room on the fifth floor or above to see what all the fuss is about.
Vicky Anscombe is Editor-in-Chief at†Columbus Direct.