Posts Tagged ‘boutique’

Exploring Greece: A Stay at The Kenshō Boutique Hotel on Mykonos

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The glam/rustic Lobby of the Kenshō

If you’re planning a trip to Mykonos and looking for someplace chic and interesting to stay, be sure to check out the Kensho Boutique Hotel in Ornos Beach. It’s just a short walk to the upscale beach clubs on Ornos Beach, and has a more laid-back vibe than touristy Mykonos Town.

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Exterior of the Kenshō Boutique Hotel & Suites

Mykonos Town is only a short cab ride away. After dark, the Kensho is ideally situated halfway between Mykonos town and the after dark hot spot of Psarou Beach. My visit was during shoulder season, and the beach clubs were being boarded up for the season.

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Whitewashed exterior of the Kensho

The concierge staff at the Kensho was top notch and made sure we had plenty of things to see and do and gave great restaurant, activity and recommendations.img_8471

View of Ornos from the Kensho

The property has 35 rooms, suites and a villa and the top rated spa in the area. There is an award winning on-site restaurant which serves Mediterranean specialties and excellent cocktails which can be enjoyed in the glamorous dining space, by the pool, or on the rooftop deck space.

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Live edge table in the restaurant

The modern bohemian vibe of the Kensho makes it a great choice for design lovers. While the decor is mostly warm whites and wood, the layers of texture make the property very special and welcoming. The Kensho opened in 2016 and still feels new yet it has hit a stride with it’s well polished service.

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Left: Lounge chairs Right: Pool vibes at the Kensho

The Kensho boasts a hot tub on the roof and several rooms with private plunge pools. There are swings in the lounge area and cozy throw blankets for guests to use if the famous Mykonos winds kick up. My room was a VIP Junior Suite with a swing on the deck and a plunge pool, which was not surprisingly brisk during the October weather. The room was cozy despite it’s large size. The setup would be ideal during peak summer heat.

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Poolside lounging at the Kensho

With only 35 rooms, the Kensho is intimate. The prime pool side lounge chairs and sundeck can get packed during sundown. The vibe is buzzy but not over the top.

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The rooftop lounge is a popular spot for cocktails

Get a spot early!

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Roof top hot tub at the Kensho

The hotel car is a gleaming Range Rover  that offers complimentary transfers to and from Mykonos Town and other nearby locations.

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Left: Sunset in Ornos Right: Bougainvillea 

Wifi was strong and free throughout the property. The gym was small but had all the essential equipment.

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Cool lighting fixtures at the Kensho

While large, my Junior Suite was cool and cave like and had a comfortable work area. The shower was a bit dark, but there was ample closet space and a well stocked mini-bar.

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Outdoor yoga space at the Kensho

If you’re a first time visitor to Mykonos and aren’t sure where to stay, consider dividing your time and spending a few days in Ornos. It’s happening but less chaotic than other parts of the the island including Mykonos town.

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Basket swings in the lounge area

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Cozy lounging area at the Kensho

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Left: wood, stone and warm shades of white Right: cool planter 

The breakfast spread at the Kensho was impressive with a variety of cold dishes as well as eggs made to order. Don’t miss the strapastranda (Greek style scrambled eggs) and the tasty bougatsa (filled phyllo pastries).

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Enjoying the swing at the Kensho

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Lobby of the Kensho Spa

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Left: slightly steam punk details in the spa bathroom Right: groovy details in the Kensho spa

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Thoughtful furnishing choices in the dining area of the Kensho

One of my favorite things about the Kensho is how thoughtful the design of the property is. Not only does the furniture in the Kensho look stylish but it is all comfortable and works well for guests.

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Left: Tasty gyro from room service Right: Aperol Spritz by the Kensho’s fire pit

The hotel is happening but quiet by Mykonos standards. It’s a perfect choice for sophisticated guests who are foodies and appreciate design. The crowd was cool — and like the property itself- good looking.

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Mediterranean tapas at the Kensho

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Details are everything at the Kensho

The spa has a boutique for products and there is a well curated gift cabinet.

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Left: Cappuccino froth Right: Egg menu at the Kensho breakfast

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Salmon, cheese and meats at breakfast

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Left: Bread selection Right: Choice of cheese

My suite had a coffee maker in case I needed a caffeine boost before breakfast service began. The minibar had a nice edit of treats.

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Fruit featured on the breakfast spread

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Impressive selection of  bite-sized desserts on the breakfast buffett

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Rainbow at the Kensho reception

I booked my stay at the Kensho through JMAK Hospitality, which has a small but on point edit of properties in Greece.

KENSHŌ Boutique Hotel & Suites
Ornos Beach, 84600
Mykonos, Greece
T. +30 22890 29001 / +30 22890 78788
F. +30 22890 27010
Athens offices: +30 210 7209911-4
E. info@kenshomykonos.com

Rates start at $355 USD

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Luxury and Whimsy Meet at the Saint James Paris

The Saint James is the only hotel in Paris with official Chateau status

What could make a trip to Paris more magical? Staying at the Saint James, the only hotel in Paris that has official “chateau” status. Located in the upscale 16th arrondissement, the Saint James is unlike any place else I’ve stayed in Paris… and I really, really liked it.

Visually stunning staircase at the Saint James Paris

With bold yet whimsical interiors by Bambi Sloan, the Saint James is a stunner, but not at all stuffy. There is a hot air balloon motif through the property that pays homage to days when the grounds were used as an air field.

Left: Hot air Balloon Lamps Right: Zebra taxidermy is so Paris

The rooms and suites are very large by Parisian (or any major European city standards) which more than makes up for the property’s location in the upscale residential 16th  (it’s a 10 minute taxi ride to L’Arc de Triomphe and right near the the Porte Dauphine metro stop).

The timeless dining room at the Saint James

The location wasn’t an issue for me, because my stay was over a bank holiday in January and the property was so fabulous, my husband and I did not want to leave. With a restaurant and bar on the property, there wasn’t a need to when the weather got nasty.

Classically elegant details at the Saint James: a chandelier and an antique clock

The Saint James is part private club, part hotel, which gives the place a nice, understated buzz in the communal areas like the dining room and the bar.

The bedroom of suite 311 at the Saint James was carpeted with a hardwood design

The Saint James is a great choice for a sophisticated romantic getaway, or for those who love luxury and value for money (the basic rooms here are half the price as some of Paris’ most famous hotels).

Left: Nespresso Still Life Right: Fabulous bathroom with great tile & tub

While the Saint James is visually stunning, it’s also functional and comfortable and has a great staff. They are helpful and not overly formal. The concierge helped with dinner reservations and arranging transportation. Wifi is free and works throughout the property.

I loved this particularly bold room inspired by the Last King of Scotland

With only 48 rooms (20 of them suites), the Saint James makes you want to return to have a different experience in another room. So it’s not much of a shocker that the fashion crowd loves this boutique hotel property.

Some flamboyant touches at the Saint James

The bathrooms are definite stand outs both for design and practicality. Suite 311 had a claw foot tub that filled quickly and a separate shower with excellent water pressure that didn’t soak the entire bathroom. The amenities were Lanvin (so not mad at that)!

crazy good bathtub

Room rates include an impressive breakfast spread complete with Mariage Freres tea (my personal favorite).

The beds are comfortable at the Saint James

There is an outdoor garden with a terrace bar shaped like a hot air balloon that I’d like to visit again when the weather is pleasant.

A comfortable seating area in a suite at the Saint James

My stay at the Saint James Paris was a top notch boutique hotel experience.

Left: Hot air balloon wallpaper Right: a lighting fixture shaped like a hot air balloon

There is a fitness room and spa on the property, as well as loaner bikes if you’d like to explore Paris on two wheels.

The Spa Pavilion

The Saint James is a member of Relais & Chateaux.

Left: Love these striped pillows

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Leopard carpet makes the classic dining room feel modern

The breakfast bread basket at the Saint James

The impressive breakfast spread

The Library Bar had a Hogwarts like charm

Room rates at the Saint James start at about $400 USD.

Saint James Paris

Address: 43 Avenue Bugeaud, 75116 Paris, France
Phone:+33 1 44 05 81 81
Email: contact@saint-james-paris.com

Much thanks to Jon Makmaltchi of  JMak Hospitality, Nicolas Egloff and the staff at the Saint James for arranging my stay and hosting me at the Saint James. Without them this post would not be possible.

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Talking SLH Hotels with Melissa Vinelli in the Library J.K. Place Capri

The Library at JK Place Capri is filled with a dream edit of coffee table art books

The last morning I spent in Capri was rainy. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I got to explore the fantastic art-filled library of JK Place Capri, which is pretty much my dream library filled with coffee table books galore about art, cinema and photography– in English, Italian and French.

Helmut Newton’s Limited Edition Sumo is the most expensive book produced in the 20th Century.

They even had the limited edition Helmut Newton Sumo Taschen book the one that comes with it’s own stand is known for being the most expensive book  of the 2oth century. But you can read it for free as a guest of the JK Place Capri.

Lust worthy books in the JK Capri Library

While I was flipping through books,  a glamorous 30-something Brit walked in and we were chatting and I discovered her name was Melissa Vinelli and she, too, writes about her travels for SLH Hotels.

Melissa was incredibly funny and well versed about the Amalfi Coast and we got to chatting. It turns out we both were fans of the Grand Hotel Parker’s in Naples. I had cocktails there before heading over to Capri and regretted not staying there myself.

The Library at JK Place Capri comes with wifi

Melissa has traveled much more extensively in Italy than I have. I told her how much I was enjoying Capri and that I was thinking of returning in July, but I wasn’t sure if my husband would want to go at the peak of the season. She suggested checking out the nearby and slightly less known Island of Ischia, where she recommended staying at the San Montano Resort & Spa, which has a fantastic spa.

My visit to JK Place’s cozy & chic library on that rainy morning turned out to be a great thing– it allowed me to enjoy the amazing edit of books (without being magnetically drawn to the stunning view on the terrace), and I made  a new friend in Melissa. You can read her blog here:  Melissa Vinelli‘s Travels.

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