When Mykonos comes to mind, beach parties and a flashy crowd often come to mind, but this beautiful Greek Island has a lot more to offer, especially if you step just a tiny bit off the beaten path. Sitting above the relaxed Agios Stefanos Beach, a mere four kilometers from the hustle and bustle of Mykonos Town, is the Baba Houlakia, a magical boutique hotel and café that perfectly encompass the natural beauty and true spirit of the island. Step through the gate of this enchanting little world with me, but shhhhh! help us keep it a secret for those who will appreciate it!
A Story of Love Formed at Home and Abroad
The story behind the hotel seems to be one of beaches. The hotel is run by a special couple, a friendly local Myconian Stefanos and his Goddess-like Swiss partner Banu, who met many years ago on a beach in Thailand and then we met last year on another beach, this time in Goa, while enjoying a crisp Kingfisher beer gazing out at the sunset descending over the Indian Ocean. Our friendship grew over many more of those cool beers paired with a lot of laughter, so much so, that when they told me they had just opened a small boutique hotel in Mykonos, that I knew I had to come by to visit them and see their lovely beachside venue.
A Hidden Gem in Mykonos
You’d never guess that the hotel is only a 7-10 minute drive from the Mykonos Town, so as long as you have a car, it provides for the perfect quiet and romantic base for relaxing and exploring the island. It faces lovely Houlakia Bay which has colourful pebbles that are commonly found on the beaches in the northwest of the island. You can savor the sunset and the views of Syros and Tinos islands from the beach or from a sun chair on the hotel’s terrace. Nearby you’ll also find a family friendly sandy beach, a mini-market and some great off the radar tavernas or if you want a night in town, you can always get back by taxi. Lastly, the hotel is only a few minute’s drive from the Mykonos Lighthouse from where you can take in the best panorama over the island and out towards the other Cycladic islands, an ideal spot to watch the sunset!
Myconian Charm and Laid Back Vibe
Banu and Stefanos’ love of India found its way into the hotel’s name, “Baba”, but also here and there through its chill ambiance, hammocks, yoga terrace and hints of colorful artwork. That said, this is equally balanced with the “Houlakia”, the bay the hotel is situated on, local culture which is evoked through the traditional whitewashed Mykonian buildings, the typical stone floor work and the gorgeous local flowers and vegetation. The property also has its own family chapel, the “Agios Stefanos”… just in case you’re looking for a place for a mini Greek wedding!
Stylish Rooms with Contemporary Comforts
In 2016 Stefanos embarked on the arduous task of converting a series of run down apartments his family owned into this refined boutique hotel. The hotel only has eight rooms, made up of five spacious suites, two double rooms and one duplex room, another factor which creates a cozy feeling of staying with Greek friends (aided by Stefanos and Banu whom you’re likely to encounter during your stay!). The airy rooms are decorated in natural hues of creams and beiges with light woods and some have beautiful vibrant paintings or artsy cushions on the larger rooms sitting areas. They are all equipped with showers and modern bathrooms, air-conditioning (the duplex with ventilator), flat screen TVs and WIFI.
A Cool Café for a Quiet Drink or Bite
Their love of the authentic side of Mykonos is contagious. It was caught by Stefanos’ friend, Marios, who moved to the island to run their café and, be careful, you might also catch it by stopping by the laid back café. It’s the perfect place to flee the crowds of Mykonos Town and simply enjoy the fresh sea air and some excellent, reasonably priced coffee. In addition to beverages, they also serve some delicious light fare. It’s from 8:00 to 2:00pm and then again from 6:00 to 9:00pm, so if you’re not staying at the hotel, why not stop by for sunset or on your way to or from the lighthouse?
The Baba Houlakia offers a wonderful alternative for those seeking a relaxed chic base or coffee break on this beautiful island. More info on their website at this link.