The suite life | The Aegean Suites hotel, Periferiakos Skiathou, Skiathos 370 02, Greece
The Greek island of Skiathos is known as the ‘fly and flop island’ and that’s exactly what we did when we stayed at the beautiful and extremely chilled Aegean Suites. We’d just spent four wonderful nights at the Skiathos Princess (the Aegean Suites’ big sister, also part of the Santikos Collection) and didn’t want to leave. Saff bid a sad (and lengthy) farewell to the kittens and we jumped in the shuttle bus for the next stage of our Skiathos experience.
The suites couldn’t be more different from the Princess – so intimate and quiet. We were greeted by the huge smile of the hotel manageress and at once we were at ease with a sense of feeling at home. Once checked in, we sat on the terrace and took in the view over the swimming pool to the sea beyond. The Aegean Suites’ twenty rooms were full, not that you would know it, even at 100% occupancy the place had a real feeling of calm and peacefulness. These are adult only rooms, they say it is so guests can relax but we think that all the steps would be impossible to scale with a toddler and/or buggy, it’s hard enough as a fairly fit pair of adults.
The suites don’t have a huge amount of facilities, however there is a small gym down by the pool, not that you need it! Walking up all the steps to our luxury suite was a workout in its self, but boy was it worth it. The views from our room were even more beautiful than that from the terrace. To our left was Skiathos old town and, to the right, panoramic views of the island’s coastline as far as the eye could see. We cracked open our chilled and fruity Skiathos Collection white wine and settled back on the oversized chairs on our balcony.
The decor of our suite, as with the rest of the hotel, was modern with little traditional touches and finished to an extremely high standard. The walls were whitewashed, the floors tiled and simple white furnishings and neutral accessories kept the decor stylish, yet homely. Aegean Suites is into all things nautical, but with its stunning views over the sea who can blame it. The room boasts Apivita Natural toiletries, a ridiculously comfortable Hypnos king-size bed with pillows as soft as marshmallows and of course the all-important air-conditioning. We loved how the bedroom was separated from the living area, giving a real impression of space. But if you need more square footage there are two-bedroomed suites available and the Charming Suites come with little open-air hot tubs.
Next to reception there’s the pool with a bar serving freshly squeezed juices, cocktails and snacks. You must try the club sandwich served with decent thick cut chips. Inside the little lobby and reception area is the teeniest champagne bar ever, so cute but possibly for display purposes only as we actually never saw anyone order from it. There’s just one restaurant – Pelagos, with its billowing turquoise voiles and exposed stonework walls, offering a small but high-end menu. The meal we had there on the first night was fantastic, I dug into a succulent Chicken breast stuffed with halloumi cheese and sun-dried tomato €16 followed by Baked cheesecake with wild cherry sauce €5. Saff had a fish feast with perfectly cooked Grilled salmon with prawns and langoustines in lemon oil sauce served with steamed vegetables €19 and a giant slab of creamy Cinnamon panacotta with hazelnut cream and honey kantaifi €5. Between 8 and 10.30am this bright airy space doubles up as the setting for the a la carte breakfast.
As mentioned before the Aegean Suites are nestled just off the main road five minutes from the town, yet it’s so discreet and peaceful. No gleaming signs or flashy frontage, in fact I tried to spot the hotel on our numerous bus journeys in and out-of-town and missed it every time. There’s nothing to do at this hotel apart from relax, this is a hideaway ideal for couples looking to chill. Busy life simply stops here, everything is slow and laid back and there’s no option but to just go with it.
Hotel staff are on hand to book restaurants, advise on trips or even sort you out with a private jet or helicopter (we wish). As there’s no kids here so you can lie poolside without the fear of a screaming child waking you from your mid-afternoon Ouzo-induced snooze. There’s a small gym and even smaller treatment room where massages and facials are available but if you’re looking for more, head to the Skiathos Princess for a full spa experience. The Princess is a only a few bus stops away or take the free shuttle bus between the two sites.
You can jump in a taxi and be in town within five minutes, or wander in by foot in about fifteen. Start at the infamous Slip Inn at the Old Port with its array of colourful cushions, you can get a surprisingly good Amaretto Sour here for just €5. A real don’t miss is Maria’s Pizza, an eccentric pizzeria decorated with a mish-mash of random items, the pizza’s good, deep and generously topped. Careful though as they have moved from their old site and the new occupiers have named their place a similar name. On the south-west edge of town, opposite the public clinic is the lovely Amfiliki – a restaurant perched on a cliff specialising in fish with warm and friendly staff who really know their food.
Alexandros, near the Tris Ierárhes church ticks the authentic and romantic restaurant box, as long as you don’t mind being surrounded by cats, we counted seven hungry felines under our table whilst we dug in to great lamb chops and beef stifado. Also worth noting is Ergon – a deli and restaurant, possibly the most modern on the island, they’ve actually recently launched in London, don’t miss the love it or hate it black tzatziki and lemon glazed pork chops. Cafe Bourtzi on the little peninsula by the old port is a good spot for a Greek frappe and a spot of plane watching – the jets land pretty low as the runway on the island is tiny. The Windmill restaurant behind the new port is the place to go with views to die for. At the end of the night there’s nothing better than a nightcap amongst the lanterns back at the Aegean Suites.
Beach wise, we recommend that you hop on one of the local buses and head further afield. There is only one route that crosses the island from east to west so you can’t go wrong, fares are a maximum of €2 for a single journey. Koukounaries was our favourite beach, just a short bus ride away towards the south-west of the island, it’s the last stop so you can’t miss it. It’s so great there, like a Thailand/Ibiza mash-up, super chilled and cool. We had the best gyros at the Thalassa Beach Bar and sipped a Negroni at the Kahlua beach bar as the sun went down.
We returned home from our seven wonderful days on Skiathos the most relaxed that we’ve felt in years. We visited late September and the island was slowly winding down so maybe that’s why it was all so tranquil. Whatever it was, it will be a holiday that we will never forget for many different reasons.
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Nearest airport: Skiathos (7 mins drive)
We stayed as guests of the Aegean Suites hotel, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty.