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A Mykonian Oasis Awaits At Kenshō Ornos, The Hotel Redefining Island Life

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By The Sybarite Team on 19th October 2023

The Cyclades are known for their healthy dose of party life and relaxation, but rather than choose between them, Kenshō Ornos in Mykonos combines both.

With around 220 islands in the Cyclades, choosing where to stay can prove a difficult decision. Each one comes with its own unique selling point, whether it be breathtaking views or an amazing food scene with the chance to chase the night. Mykonos, lauded as one of the most Instagram-worthy of all the islands, has continually delighted travellers with its offering of beach clubs, atmospheric bars and stunning hotels - including the esteemed Kenshō Ornos. 

The Lowdown

Taking its name from the Japanese word for enlightenment, this boutique accommodation is a tranquil oasis for anyone looking to experience the calmer side of Mykonos, while still being relatively close to the main town, or Chora. The five-star hotel — which opened in 2016 — is perched on the south side of the island atop the bay of Ornos. Offering easy access to cult-status beaches including Psarou and Super Paradise, there’s always the option to partake in the action or admire from a distance.

Designed by Greek architect Alexandros Kolovos, the interior aesthetic is highly luxurious without being pretentious, offering the best of classic Mykonian architecture. Think: earthy tones, white-washed walls, arched entryways and exposed brick.

With an intimate 35 room offering, your time at Kenshō Ornos has the full attention of the hotel’s dedicated staff, providing a particularly personal touch larger hotels struggle to emulate. What's more, given that most rooms come with a private plunge pool or jacuzzi, the journey to your morning dip couldn't be easier.

The Dining

At any point throughout the day, you can refuel at the hotel’s namesake restaurant, Kenshō Ornos. Helmed by award-winning Executive Chef Ippokratis Anagnostelis, his expert palate has drawn inspiration from multiple corners of the world, culminating in an eleven-course, mezze-style tasting menu.

Described by Anagnostelis himself as, a menu that “combines classical cooking techniques from the robust flavours of Asian gastronomy and the Greek family dishes I cook for my own family at home,” it’s the perfect fusion of high-end meets homestyle cooking. 

With dishes spanning classic Grecian fare — such as shrimp saganaki and calamari jus pasta — each one has been curated to compliment its former, while perfectly priming your tastebuds for what’s to come. You’d be forgiven for not appreciating the sheer variety of Cycladic cuisine, but the searingly fresh flavours of white grouper and ripened tomatoes offer a new flavour exploration that’ll redefine any previous assumptions. 

The Mykonian onion pie, which Anagnostelis hails the most "innovative" dish on the menu, is a must-try.

"It's a traditional dish from the island, prepared using local ingredients, with influences from both Asian and French cuisines, combined with contemporary cooking techniques," he explains. "This dish successfully marries the flavours of the past with a modern twist, exemplifying my vision of culinary innovation as a bridge between tradition and the present."

As for what he hopes people learn about Greek food from the experience, chef Anagnostelis is all about hailing diversity and seasonality.

"Cycladic cuisine revolves around locally sourced ingredients and cost-effective produce," he said. "It is remarkably diverse and extends far beyond the stereotypical Greek salad and souvlaki. Emphasising seasonality, local cheeses, summer vegetables, herbs, olive oil, bread, and salt, the Aegean cuisine palate is created. This is the palate I grew up with and crave every day."

For an unforgettable dinner inclusion, the matching wine pairing offers an unrivalled glimpse into the grapes of Greece, with drops from regions including Crete and Santorini thoughtfully poured alongside each course. 

The Amenities

Though a delectable meal and hours spent in the sun evokes an undeniable sense of serenity, it’s never a bad idea to seek out a little more. Of course, as its name implies, the hotel has an offering designed specifically to meet that need, too. 

As you descend into Kenshō Ornos' in-house spa, playfully located within a replica of a cave, an otherworldly wellness experience awaits. This grotto-like retreat boasts a plunge pool, hammam and tropical rain bed, with an array of pampering packages available to tend to your every desire.

This bespoke experience can be specifically tailored to any need, whether it be a rejuvenating facial or intensely relaxing full-body massage. It’s the type of indulgent, therapeutic ritual reserved exclusively for a luxury holiday: in other words, an absolute must.

While it’s easy to wax lyrical about the seemingly endless array of on-hand amenities, it’s worth mentioning the most important part of all. Because even with its world class views and unforgettable dining and spa experiences, it’s the people at the heart of Kenshō Ornos. Despite the luxurious look and feel, you can expect to feel at home here, with a smiling face never too far away. 

For a short-haul break soaked in sun, Kenshō Ornos is truly deserving of a booking, which you can do here. Rooms start from £203.99 (including breakfast), during off-peak.

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