It was in 1961 that Jackie Kennedy-Onassis sailed to Mykonos, oversized sunglasses and designer wardrobe in tow. An influencer before the phrase existed, her sun-soaked trip to the Cyclades put Mykonos on the map. Drawing Hollywood legends Grace Kelly, Richard Burton and Marlon Brando to its cerulean shores, the Island of The Winds has become – and remains – a playground for the super-rich and famous.
In June this year, George Clooney was spotted at the Mykonos Blu Hotel along Psarou beach for Omega Seamaster's 75th anniversary event, and in August, Demi Moore was pictured partying along the Myconian coast with friends. Even Matt Damon, Chris Hemsworth and Liam Hemsworth joined the club this year with a summer getaway at the edge of the Aegean.
So, what is it about Mykonos that keeps A-listers coming back? With the cosmopolitan island attracting the world's biggest and brightest stars, I journeyed to Casa Cook Hotel in Mykonos to explore the celebrity hotspot – and here's what I thought.
Introducing Casa Cook Mykonos...
Overlooking the island of Delos – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the mythological birthplace of Apollo and Artemis – Casa Cook is a boutique adults only retreat that places emphasis on laidback island living.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by the aroma of black orchid and lily – the hotel's signature scent – not to mention an earthy yet contemporary aesthetic worthy of a Pinterest board.
The reception alone made me want to overhaul my own decor at home – think raw wooden furnishings, eclectic ceramics, neutral tones and rattan interiors. Directly inspired by the island's rustic past, it's the same minimalist and organic style that filters into each of the hotel rooms.
The rooms at Casa Cook Mykonos
Casa Cook Mykonos has an intimate feel, a word that I wouldn't typically associate with most hotels. Accommodating guests with just 26 rooms and suites, inspiration is drawn directly from the traditional Myconian cuboid houses that populate the island.
A thoughtful nod to the architecture of Mykonos, Casa Cook's decision to mimic the traditional villages makes you feel at home straight away. The moment I stepped into my room, listed as a 'Living Suite', I felt as though I'd entered a private oasis, rather than a clinical and characterless space to sleep.
The interiors are also said to reflect the "island's free spirit" with breezy and light linens, as well as hand-woven fabrics, dressing the bed. Of course, my favourite part is the panoramic views of the Aegean and Delos from my balcony, especially at sunset, when the island is bathed in a tangerine glow.
Whenever I'm abroad I make it a habit to stay off my phone. There's no better way to be present than by taking a break from emails and social media, but I'll admit, I had my phone out a lot during my stay, and purely for photos! Mykonos is a beauty, and I couldn't resist taking endless snaps from my balcony.
The spa at Casa Cook Mykonos
Weeks before I'd even travelled to Mykonos, I came across Lily James' recent Instagram post about her trip to SHA Wellness Clinic in Alicante, Spain, and it got me thinking about the importance of self-care.
I'll admit, wellness isn't always at the top of my priority list. I'm sure many people can relate when I say that some weeks are just so busy that it seems impossible to find the time for a little R&R. But, when I arrived at Casa Cook, with nothing but time on my hands, I made sure to visit the hotel's holistic wellness center – and to say it was needed would be an understatement.
Casa Cook is billed as a place of healing. Reflected in the earthy decor, the hotel looks to nature as the ultimate source of rejuvenation, and among the luxurious list of treatments, you'll find massages and facials that incorporate some of the world's most ancient techniques in body healing.
It took a while for me to decide what treatment to try – it was a tough choice – but eventually, I opted for the one-hour Relaxing Oriental Massage, which was sheer bliss. My therapist talked me through each of the products as she used them, including the dreamiest warm Argan oil that left my skin and hair feeling nourished beyond belief. She was also extremely generous with her time, and I'm pretty sure exceeded the hour.
The holistic wellness center is a must, and I'd highly recommend putting it at the top of your bucket list for a stay at Casa Cook Mykonos. The Tonifying Indian Ayurvedic Massage and the Cleansing Facial with black Lava from Santorini are next on mine.
The food at Casa Cook
The ever-attentive chefs at Ble restaurant have curated a thoughtful and mouth-watering menu with Meze plates from Greece and its neighbours. I was also introduced to various Greek pastries and delicacies that I’d never heard of before, with the chef completely surprising me on a number of occasions, by bringing out dishes he knew I’d adore.
Casa Cook Mykonos abides by the philosophy of paréa, the Greek tradition of enjoying meals together as one big family. There’s no doubt about it, the chefs are extremely proud of the island, and they radiate endless passion while introducing guests to the fresh, seasonal ingredients that dress their plates.
Exploring Mykonos town centre
While I could have stayed at Casa Cook forever, Mykonos town centre was worth a visit. It's worth noting that taxis in the area are famously expensive, whether you use a local company or an Uber – a fact that I can now attest to with a 15 minute journey costing me €30. But, I'm still glad to have travelled there.
When it comes to Mykonos, you'll probably have seen trending Insta snaps of the iconic white windmills and chapels that sit upon the hills, and there's also Little Venice, an idyllic neighbourhood bordering the Aegean, which is absolutely stunning.
After navigating a maze of charming alleyways, and passing bright sugar-cube houses with blue shutters, plus eclectic boutiques and souvenir shops, I found myself at the waterfront, which is lined with traditional Greek Tavernas. A picturesque setting for some al-fresco dining, my top pick is Kavos Taverna, which offers fresh seafood, salads and pizzas, and at a relatively affordable price.
Is Mykonos worth the hype?
It may have been a whirlwind four days, but it didn’t take long for me to recognize the magic of Mykonos, and Casa Cook was largely responsible. Unlike anywhere I’d ever visited before, I truly felt at home in this tranquil retreat, and the staff were nothing but accommodating. The island, which is infinitely beautiful, comes alive at sunset, making it one of the more romantic destinations I've travelled to.
With a feel of quiet luxury at Casa Cook, I could easily have imagined my favourite A-listers lounging about by the pool, before sauntering down to the wellness centre for some R&R. Wheeling my suitcase back out and through the doors of Casa Cook may have been bittersweet, but it's only goodbye for now, I'll definitely be back.