Dillon Bhatt's Guide to Mykonos, Presented by Watchonista

Dillon Bhatt's Guide to Mykonos, Presented by Watchonista

Before summer regretfully ends, we take our city guide to Greece and the “Island of Winds.” Welcome to Mykonos!

By Dillon Bhatt
Contributor

As the small island in the Cyclades with an “anything goes” mentality, I like to think of Mykonos as Greece’s answer to freedom.

The island has been attracting Europe’s elite for numerous years. And yet it’s only been in the last few years that the island has become incredibly international, with individuals flying in on private jets and anchoring their super yachts.

The island has also attracted major players in the worlds of hospitality and fine-dining, including Zuma, Nusr-Et, COYA, and more. However, unbeknownst to many, some of the biggest hospitality brands can traces their roots to this influential island; these names include NAMMOS and Scorpios.

All the above brands are familiar names you’ll see and hear when visiting Mykonos. However, several gems await visitors, ready to be discovered just off the beaten path.

Health & Home

When staying in Mykonos, you’ll want to check out Charisma Hotel and Wellness Suites because, as its name suggests, this beautiful new boutique hotel focuses on health and wellness.

Charisma Hotel and Wellness Suites takes pride in its treatments, such as morning yoga classes on the beach, and the hotel’s healthy culinary offerings, like its superfoods brunch menu. You’ll be in awe of the luxury suites, each with its own private swimming pool.
 

Additionally, the hotel’s sister company – Mykonos Performance – is the leading gym in Mykonos, welcoming the world’s most elite athletes. In fact, you may find yourself burning off some calories alongside the German national football team or Liverpool and Real Madrid players while overlooking the stunning blue Aegean Sea.

Shop & Nosh

During the day, check out the Cartier pop-up store in Nammos Village, which recently opened this past July. Not your typical brand boutique, this pop-up store brought a different concept to the Mediterranean than previous Cartier boutiques: Walls lined with artwork from the renowned Greek Konstantin Kakanias.
 

With the work displayed at the pop-up boutique, Kakanias has tried to encapsulate the Mykonian essence. “I imagined fun summer days and nights, with a totally free spirit where we indulge in nature, light, water, love, and beautiful things,” he said about his work for the Cartier pop-up.

As a result, Kakanias has kept the boutique light and airy by incorporating the island’s famous whitewashed walls and simple rattan furniture.
 

After checking out the boutiques in Nammos Village, have a low-key lunch at Nikos Gallop Taverna in Ornos. Nikos Gallop specializes in local Mykonian and Greek cuisine, where they source all ingredients locally from selected producers. And after opening for its 38th season, the place is considered an institution on the island. I recommend trying the arugula and eggplant salad, grilled octopus with fava beans, and the with seafood.
 

Horology & Hedonism

If, after lunch, you’re looking to do some more watch shopping, pay a visit to Rousounelos in Chora. One of Greece’s most distinguished jewelers, Rousounelos’ stunning boutique is stunning boutique is an official home to Rolex, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Parmigiani Fleurier, Montblanc, Tudor, and more.

Moreover, I know from first-hand experience that their customer service is second to none, providing you with a dedicated professional and personal service. Family-owned, Rousounelos’ team goes out of its way to help customers purchase their timepieces and provide extraordinary aftersales care.
 

Next, spend the rest of your afternoon relaxing at the Soho Roc House. A private, members-only club that falls under the Soho House umbrella, the Soho Roc House at Paraga Beach has beautiful rooms, a stunning members area, a restaurant, pool, outdoor gym, and access to the sea.

If you’re feeling a bit peckish, the Soho Roc House has one of my all-time favorite watermelon salads and saffron spaghettini, which I always pair with their classic Picante while I stare into the blue abyss of the Aegean.
 

In short, any time you spend there will be filled with fun, include fabulous food, and feature some of the most stunning views on Mykonos (which are also excellent for taking perfect wrist shots).
 

Dinner & Dancing

Located in the heart of Chora, a real crowd pleaser for dinner has always been Interni. Enter through an unassuming door and find yourself in one of the most energetic and lively courtyards. You’ll have a great evening with DJs playing crowd favorites, waitstaff passing out sparklers, and performers displaying fire shows.
 

Alternatively, if you want something a little more vibrant, head to Agia Anna for one of the best beach experiences in Mykonos. Agia Anna is set in a bay and has incredibly golden sand. And located on Agia Anna is the Spilia Restaurant & Cocktail Bar. It is, in fact, one of Mykonos’ hots spots; however only accessible by a few.

Set in a cave – literally – the restaurant, known for its incredibly fresh seafood, can only be accessed by boat or scaling the side of the cliff face. Their octopus is hung and dried for all to see, you can request sea urchins that are literally hand-picked from the sea next to your table, and they have arguably the best taramasalata and lobster pasta on the island.
 

Additionally, Spilia is quickly getting known for extravagant day parties, which brings book your table as far in advance as you can, as a wonderfully international crowd that enjoys letting loose. However, book your table as far in advance as you can, as reservations fill up months in advance by the rich and famous. Fun Fact: Elon Musk was recently spotted entering the restaurant.
 

Nōema is a new restaurant and bar concept “celebrating the free spirit of the Cyclades.” The culinary director comes with a long pedigree from being the executive chef at Scorpios, Branco, and the Bill & Coo Hotel.

Nōema has embraced its surrounding land and seas and incorporated the freshest ingredient into its dishes. The restaurant also has a phenomenal cocktail menu, plus sets by world-renowned DJs. Nōema is a must-try!
 

Last but not least: The Mykonos Social by Jason Atherton is a new addition to an old Mykonos institution, the Santa Marina luxury resort. A namesake hotel in Mykonos, the Santa Marina is one of the most opulent hotels on the island (and anywhere else in the world), with stunning grounds and breathtaking views of the Aegean. How could the luxury resort possibly get any more enticing?

Well, the recent opening of Mykonos Social under the helm of the Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton is an exquisite addition, providing a different perspective to his skill, especially when compared with his other eateries in London, St. Mortiz, and even Shangai.

Mykonos Social is highly recommended for lunch; that way, you can fully appreciate their use of the freshest ingredients, the superbly made cocktails, and the views of the super yachts parked in the bay of Ornos.
 

Dillon’s Wild Card

For me, an event hosted by Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting is a must-try for anyone looking for a uniquely Greek yet alternative gastronomic experience.
 

The workshops - which, among other topics, teach attendees how to pair various award-winning Mykonian and Greek extra-virgin olive oils with certain foods - can be held in private or group settings. And, for some lucky individuals, it can be arranged on your private yachts. Typically, the sessions are hosted by industry expert Anita Zachou, who has a deep knowledge of olive oil and its holistic and gastronomic benefits.

For more information, email info@mykonosoliveoiltasting.com

(Photography by Dillon Bhatt)

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