Part of the Cyclades Islands, Folegandros in Greece is a postcard island that boasts the true spirit of the Aegean. Still untouched by the finger of tourism, this Greek island is perfect for those of us that can do without the summer crowds seeking to recharge. The island itself is a rare gem that you almost do not want to say too much fearing it will become exposed. In the same breath however you cannot hold back celebrating what it has to offer. Put simply – Folegandros ignites and reenergizes you. Leading architect Alexandros Samaras clearly must have felt the same when designing Anemi Hotel giving the island its first designer five star resort. Nestled perfectly amongst the wild barren mountains, this luxury boutique beauty in Folegandros offers views overlooking Karavostasis and the crisp Aegean Sea.
We settled comfortably into our 4 night stay in one of the generously spacious Premier Rooms opening up to a veranda of landscaped European garden blossoms, roaming bumble bees and a grand vista of the Aegean Sea. Some of Anemi’s larger suites also boast private swimming pools luring you in for your first morning swim. In true Grecian style, the simplistic rooms are whitewashed with a vibrant splash of color coming from photographer Margarita Nikitaki’s work cleverly used on the bed heads taking centre stage. Designer accents of Flos lighting and Ray & Charles Eames finishes are used throughout, giving each room the perfect underlying seaside mood with a modern touch.
Awaking early we were led by our rumbling stomachs to an exceptional à la carte outdoor breakfast, hosted poolside at Anemi’s hotel restaurant. The lovely Anemi staff with welcoming smiles and an overall knowingness of guest satisfaction greeted us. With a big emphasis on freshness and the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, only local ingredient are sourced fueling you with the creamiest Greek yogurt topped with the islands signature thyme honey and walnuts. From start to finish the restaurant staff have you covered with top tier cuisine by chef Vangelis Driskas. The staff also float about in their blue draping jersey dresses resembled Grecian goddesses going about their daily tasks leaving guests to take in the unspoilt beach views with every head turn.
The luxurious & ultra-stylish Anemi Hotel in Folegandros makes it hard to leave them for the day with their outdoor salt water infinity pool that kisses the ocean. It lures you to linger longer with such a stellar view. They also offer yoga to help restore the mind, body and soul along with tennis courts and a fitness center for those that may feel the need to fit in a guilty workout.
With the knowingness that there is much to explore of Folegandros we tear ourselves away each day from our Anemi Hotel comforts to discover island secrets. We commence our day with an icy frappe in hand heading to Karavostasis port, eager to explore one of many islands crystal beach coves. Setting off by boat we spend the day diving deep into the clear blue waters and return with sun kissed skins. Our evenings are spent strolling through the picturesque town of Chora – only 3km away -, sipping local raki and capturing the sunset.
This breathtaking Greek-island getaway can be reached by Sea-Jet from Athens stopping at a few other Cycladic Islands on route. Helicopter and charter boats are also an option if you are inclined to travel with your own party. Either way Anemi staff are always on hand, with complimentary transfer whether it be by air or sea – at any hour! With all that said and done if Anemi Hotel could make one request to their guest it would be the classic rule, pack light. A swimsuit plus camera to capture this Grecian paradise is all you need. Trust us, they have you covered right down to the lush Thierry Mugler toiletries!
Contributed by our Australian friends Aphrodite Saxionis & Luke Vasiljevic