MKV Design recently completed the interior design of Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa, a new 44-guestroom destination overlooking the Aegean Sea and the harbor of Hora, the island's buzzy capital town. Just as Hora tumbles down the centuries-old cliff face, so the white Cycladic buildings of Mykonos Riviera are also terraced down the rocky terrain. With a stepped pathway running through the resort like its spine, and many spaces opening directly onto the pathway, the development resembles a series of little village houses, albeit revealing contemporary pared-back design and many luxurious features when the doors are opened.
A sunken pathway is the start of the journey through the site, leading to the reception lobby which sits below the elevated infinity pool, only opening out at the far end with a seating area and windows looking over the sea. The genius of the design in this space is the deep, glazed "windows" punched through the ceiling under the pool which transform the lobby into an ethereal underwater experience. By day, the space is constantly alive, shimmering with reflections of water and sunlight and animated by swimmers above. In the evening, it is illuminated by fiber-optic lights embedded into the walls which shine upwards through the windows and pierce the water like hundreds of stars twinkling in the night sky. All this life is reflected and amplified by a fully mirrored reception desk, while a suspended sculpture plays with the notion of a diver plunging through the ceiling and recurring design features are established, such as polished concrete finishes and decorative marine rope.
The library is also directly off the sunken pathway. A fresh, calm room in which to relax or work, it is one of the very few spaces that look inwards rather than out to sea. Above, the Blu Room is a space for small private events and guest breakfasts with a stunning custom-designed buffet table above which a parade of lights like elegant sunhats forms an eye-catching display. The Blu Room's reversal of the island's usual color palette of white with blue highlights into a room of dense ultramarine blue emphasizes its unique role within the resort as a semi-private facility.
The rooftop Pool Club restaurant and bar is the hotel's all-day dining venue. Located opposite the pool and directly looking towards the sea, it offers a panoply of gently changing vistas, from the Mykonian sunset to the yachts and pleasure boats making their way in and out of the harbor. The range of seating options is varied to suit loungers and diners, secluded contemplation and lively socialising. Once again, the color palette is simple and belongs to Mykonos; the white ceiling of the pergola is crisscrossed with white rope and the bar is dressed in a rope that sways in the Mykonian breeze.
Lafs, the Greek specialty restaurant, only opens in the evenings and its simple interior is therefore designed to feel cozy and be seen by the light of its many glass pendants and loosely woven raffia shades which cast shadows across the room. From its outdoor terrace overlooking Hora, diners feel like they can touch the town. Lafs has the air of the best Greek in town - unpretentious, convivial and authentic.
The 500 sq meter spa includes six treatment rooms, a thalassotherapy pool with therapeutic showers, a hammam, sauna, relaxation room, and hairdressing salon. The interiors are pure and simple with polished concrete finishes predominating embellished by pebble channels in the floor and a sculptural wall to one side of the pool; although the spa is sunken, natural light penetrates the space via a small outdoor courtyard.
Most of the guestrooms and suites overlook the Aegean Sea. Their interiors are bright, spacious and designed with a sleek nautical touch. A rope motif strung across the ceiling suggests rigging on a boat and splashes of Mykonian blue enliven the otherwise all-white palette; all the rooms enjoy an outdoor terrace. The bathroom area is finished in the iconic white marble of Naxos together with weathered timber, and the free-standing vanities are within the bedroom area, together with, in some rooms, a bathtub.
Among the many room types, there are a number of suites raising the luxury experience to a further level, including suites with a heated jacuzzi on their terrace, duplex spa suites in which the lower floor is dedicated to pampering and fitness and the 70 sq meter Pool Suites, each with a private pool. A three-bedroom maisonette crowns the guest offering with its own infinity pool and a huge, fully furnished terrace.
"This has been a very special project for us, given our role over the years as interior designer at the Riviera's sister resort, The Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort," commented Maria Vafiadis, Founder of MKV Design. "In this new project, we have created a retreat just a stroll away from the main town in which guests can feel completely connected with the most beautiful and transformative aspects of Mykonos - its natural landscapes, centuries old architectural character and its sense of simple luxury".
Photography: Niall Clutton