You will probably arrive at Ios after a pleasant journey by ferry from Santorini. There’s no denying the joy of hopping between the Greek islands, but after the crowded tourist trap of modern Santorini, the real joy is arriving at the small port of Ios. The island is actually larger than Santorini, but it doesn’t feel it: there’s just one town (Chora), and the whole place feels rather more unspoilt and relaxed than Santorini.
As such it is a perfect setting for Agalia Luxury Suites, the premier destination on Ios. The architecture is undeniably cool. Much of the decoration cleverly echoes the artistic style of the ancient civilizations that once inhabited the Cyclades. The colour palette is consistently soothing and the materials are exquisite, with bathrooms adorned in immaculate marble. The bright suites are large and well appointed, with thoughtful touches like beach bags and beach towels, as well as tasty treats provided as part of the turndown service.
In the bathroom you also have your choice of a range of toiletries, a luxury offered by few hotels. Around the crystal-clear pool are sun loungers for the sun seekers, but you can also take a rest in spacious cabanas. The breakfast buffet offers numerous carefully-chosen delights (even the bread rolls are something special), but it’s worth taking a look at the à la carte menu for treats like pancakes with a local twist and healthy smoothies. When evening comes, you’ll probably want to dive into the extensive cocktail menu. Whatever you choose, the service will undoubtedly be friendly, prompt and thoughtful. Our wine-tasting really showed the depth of the knowledge possessed by the staff.
Make use of their local expertise: ask the delightful manager, Nikos, for suggestions about everything from the best beaches on the island to the best restaurant in the town. Agalia is Greek for ‘hug’: when the time comes for you to leave, you won’t want to let go.