Anemi – Folegandros, Greece
Hotel Type: A five star boutique retreat on an untouched Greek island.
Location: On the tiny Cylcadic island of Folegandros. Folegandros is a stunning untouched haven located at the centre of the Southwestern Cyclades next to Santorini. Folegandros is an hour’s ferry ride from Santorini, or you can catch a ferry from Athens which takes 6-8 hours depending on whether you are travelling by a normal or a high-speed ferry. The other option is to hop on a 40 minute helicopter from Athens.
Style: Traditional on the outside, contemporary on the inside
Rooms: 44 chic, cool and spacious rooms & suites
Favourite Room: Vicky’s favourite room is the The Mediterranean Sea View Suites with Private Pool, for its views, spaciousness and private pool!
Ideal For: Soaking up the relaxed Greek lifestyle and sun
Swimming: Two pools – one is a clifftop infinity pool and one is a child friendly salt-water pool
Dining: Head to their Sea Sense restaurant for locally sourced, fresh Mediterranean fine dining. Lounge by Anemi’s pool bar with one of its vast section of refreshments and cocktails. We highly recommend dining out as well and experiencing the local tavernas and restaurants.
Children: A perfect retreat for families
Activities: Play tennis or basketball, or head to the fitness centre at the hotel. Try yoga in the vineyard. Walk to beach (2 minutes away), walk around Karavostasis, browse the streets of Chora, head to Hochlidia beach, you can also visit the most isolated beaches of Folegandros by taking a small boat (non-accessible by road). The island is great for scuba diving and snorkeling as it boasts a rich seabed, untouched by touristic horde. Hiking lovers will also be thrilled here.
Spa: There is no spa here but there is a fitness centre and massages can be easily organised.
Accessibility: Unfortunately Anemi Hotel is not wheelchair accessible.
Low season Price From: €125 per night for a Deluxe Room and includes breakfast
High Season Price From: €172 per night for a Deluxe Room and includes breakfast
Open From: April – October
Off the beaten track luxury is an elusive thing. But we’ve definitely found it on the remote and untouched island of Folegandros, in the form of the Anemi Hotel – the only five star haven here looking out over the sparkling Aegean. Being so tiny, means you’re never far from the sea, so if you’re not spending the day by the saltwater pool, you’ll want to dip your toes in one of the hidden bays around the coast. With its white cubed, low slung architecture, matching that of the local villages, Anemi sits naturally in the landscape. Guests want for nothing as smiling and attentive staff provide seamless service to match. Whilst life on the island seems to take you back in time, the design, facilities and cuisine of Anemi are definitely 21st century, making it a getaway worth the travel. The minute you arrive, your day-to-day life slips away and all you can do is wind down.
Sprinkled amongst the grounds, surrounded by olives and bougainvillea, the rooms and suites sit beautifully with the local island architecture. Interiors are bright and fresh, reflecting the exteriors. The Deluxe Rooms are very spacious and feature a balcony or terrace, looking out over the gardens. For a truly beautiful vista of the Aegean, the similar sized Elegant Sea View Rooms are dreamy – we’d book one in a heartbeat. The Junior Suites, with their enormous beds can sleep up to four and feature a living area making them ideal for families. Looking out over the gardens, they have their own veranda and offer total privacy. The light and airy Prestige Sea View Suites can also accommodate up to four, and as the name says, the views are spectacular. One notch up, the Mediterranean Sea View Suite with Private Pool, stand alone in their own gardens with the pool looking out over the sea. There’s a shady deck and plenty of sunbathing space too. For larger families, or those with older children, the Grand Sea View Suites with Private Pool tick each and every box. These split-level villas are exceptionally spacious and promise total Greek luxury.
Enjoy the catch of the day, accompanied by ingredients fresh from gardens across the island. The menu at Sea Sense Restaurant includes dishes from all over Greece, with recipes used for generations and given an innovative stir. And its poolside position makes for a relaxing lunch or dinner. The breakfasts here are a feast fit for the gods.
This is quite a place for family relaxation. For families with younger children, there’s a kids pool, special menu and babysitting. There’s also a cinema for children with a DVD library and a playroom. Rooms can take an extra bed or a cot, and the exceptionally spacious Suites accommodate families.
Beach lovers will be very content on Folegandros. There is just one road across the island, which splinters off to a myriad of dirt tracks leading to little coves and stretches of sand, with most only reachable by foot or by boat. A week is not long enough to visit them all. This island is a far cry from its bigger sisters – Santorini and Mykonos – so if you like quiet and unspoilt, this is for you. Follow the aroma of oregano – a herb used very liberally on the island – to little tavernas with views over white domed villages and volcanic landscape, and watch traditional Greek life flow by. Rent a car for the day or for a week to explore the island and make sure you catch at least one sunset. The colours are glorious. Anemi can arrange excursions around the island; boat trips, as well as diving and snorkeling. The waters around the island are teaming with life, and there’s no better way to see them. Back at Anemi, there’s a tennis court and gym for the energetic… The saltwater pool with pool service will do us just fine!
Environmental sustainability is a keen focus at Anemi. An energy management system has been installed in all guest rooms to control lights, appliances, and air conditioning, aiming to minimise wastage. Renewable energy sources are also utilised by the hotel, like solar panels to heat the pools. All light bulbs are LEDs, low-energy equipment is used wherever possible, and areas of the hotel are restricted to emergency lighting. Energy consumption is also monitored on a monthly basis. Water is also saved when possible, and staff training is provided to improve this. Single-use plastics are being replaced in favour of reusable alternatives, and recycling practises are carried out across the hotel. Some excess wastage, whether it’s food or old furniture, is donated to other groups that can make use of it, whilst packages are also returned to suppliers allowing them to reuse it too. Staff are drawn from the local community, many of whom have worked for over a decade with the hotel!