Elivi Skiathos

Koukounaries Bay, Skiathos, Greece Book from Book from £165 per night

Seriously stylish new resort in south Skiathos with 4 stunning beaches on your doorstep and luxe rooms with 5-star views
You can tick off half your Skiathos bucket-list without leaving the grounds of this brand-new hotel. Its location, on a pine-covered headland in the southwest of the island, is utterly spectacular, with wraparound sea views and 4 of the island’s most beautiful beaches right on the doorstep.

Built on the abandoned site of the historic Xenia hotel, the resort (which includes a 32-room hotel, 12 'Grace' beachside suites and a further 'Nest' of villas and suites) is the island’s most anticipated opening in years. It doesn’t disappoint. The low-rise lines of the original building have been sensitively retained, complete with sweeping terraces and a huge, light-filled lobby. But this is no museum piece. Interiors throughout are hip, understated and comfortably contemporary, there are private pools galore and the hotel’s fabulous restaurants (including fine-dining Leda & the Swan, Greek fish restaurant Nest, Asian-inspired Hagoromo and Mediterranean lunch spot Grace) are fast becoming destinations in their own right. For Elivi’s youthful, style-conscious clientele, it ticks all the boxes - and delivers envy-inducing Instagram views at every turn.

Highs

  • Four of the island’s most beautiful beaches right on the doorstep, including Banana Beach
  • Rooms and suites boast blissful beds and outdoor spaces; many have hot tubs or plunge pools, too
  • A full Elemis spa, tennis courts, yoga lessons - you won't get bored
  • We enjoyed golf cart rides to the beach – lazy but fun – and sunset dips in the pine-shaded pool
  • To preserve discrete areas within the resort for couples and families, those travelling with children are welcomed in the both Grace and Nest accommodations, the Xenia hotel rooms are reserved for couples

Lows

  • Pricey, and a 4-night minimum stay
  • Larger than most hotels on i-escape (but we couldn't resist!) and a bewildering array of room types (see Rooms for guidance)
  • The breakfast buffet gets very busy, and we were bothered by wasps on the dining terrace
  • Service can be inconsistent but it's early days and we're confident it will quickly improve

Best time to go

The season runs from May to early October, with the busiest period in early August. May and June are ideal time to enjoy the hiking trails around the island and find empty beaches; the sea is gorgeously warm in September. But if you’re looking to experience Skiathos in full holiday swing, nothing beats the high-energy buzz of late-July and August.

Our top tips

  • Beach taverna of the moment Diamandi (on the Kalamaki peninsula) is a total must-visit. Best reached by boat: if you don’t want to rent one there’s a shuttle boat from nearby Vromolimnos beach.
  • A decade may have passed but Skiathos is in no rush to relegate its Mamma Mia moment to the history books. Check out one of the sing-a-long shows (cheesy but brilliant fun) at the open-air cinema in Skiathos Town. Booking essential.
  • Great for...

    Beach
    Family
    Honeymoon
    Spa
    • Boutique Hotel
    • 104
    • Restaurants & bar (open daily)
    • All ages welcome
    • Closed: Mid October-late April
    • Pools
    • Spa
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Tennis Court
    Room: Double Deluxe Room

    Rooms

    Stylish without being showy, rooms are an exercise in liveable luxe. Colour palettes are muted and beds are made with crisp, white, super-high-thread-count linens. The details are spot on, too, from the cut-above spirits and snacks in the minibar to space-age panels that open curtains and dim lights at the touch of a button. And all that’s before you step onto your terrace or balcony to check out the sparkly sea views.

    The only tricky thing is the bewildering array of room types. Opt for one of the hotel's Double Superior Rooms and you can roll out of bed straight into your plunge pool; a private slice of a long thin pool cleverly spread along the row of room terraces. The dappled morning sun costs no extra and all rooms get plenty of it. We loved rising early to wander down the steps to Koukounaries Beach before the summer-season crowds arrived. Double Deluxes are essentially the same but on the first floor so no direct pool access.

    Bathrooms are, of course, gorgeous: showers big enough for 2 plus tubs in the larger rooms, and Elemis products for all.

    Up a notch are the Grace Suites on white-sand Ambelakia beach, which all have small private pools. Choose from a Junior Suite, Suite or the vast Double Grace Suite for up to 6, with a large pool.

    The rest of the accommodation is in the 'Nest', a cluster of rooms, suites and villas in amongst olive trees and pine groves, with a second main pool. They range from Double Supreme Deluxe Rooms through Junior Premium Suites up to Premium Suites, and the more you pay, the more space you get. Some Supreme Deluxes have private plunge pools and loungers in the garden. Junior and Premium Suites on the upper floor have hot tubs; those on the ground floor have private plunge pools. Finally, the Interconnected Suites are great for groups, as is the Seafront Swan Villa, which sleeps 6 and has its own swimming pool.

    Features include:

    • Air conditioning
    • Bathrobes
    • Central heating
    • Coffee / tea making
    • Coffee maker
    • Hairdryer
    • Ipod dock
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Phone
    • Radio
    • Safe box
    • Terrace
    • Toiletries
    • WiFi

    Eating

    Breakfast is an extravagant affair – eggs to order and a buffet of pancakes, waffles, fruits galore, bowls of sesame-topped greens, anything you can think of, really. You can eat indoors or out on the spacious terrace. An American breakfast buffet can be snapped up at Xenia Restaurant or Nest Breakfast Restaurant.

    The on-site bars are some of the best spots on the island for sunset cocktails. They're also ideal for drinks pre- or post-dinner at the hotel’s cut-above (and accordingly expensive) Leda & the Swan restaurant. The wines might be predominately Greek (a touch we loved) but the menu is international in feel, serving ambitious meat and fish dishes (pan-fried scallops, beef carpaccio, perfectly cooked salmon) with formal flair.

    More laid-back are the Nest, Xenia, Grace, Black Bird and Elevate pool and beach bars, which also dish up low-key snacks during the day (salads, sandwiches and - most importantly - cocktails) as well as drinks into the evening. If you fancy a Mediterranean lunch of salads, pizzas and pasta under the pine trees overlooking the beach then head to Grace Restaurant; order Asian-inspired dishes and sushi for dinner at Hagoromo; or make the most of fresh Greek seafood at the appropriately named Nest Greek Fish Restaurant (there are views over the beach, and it's a cosy spot for pairing meze with an ouzo). There are also lots of local eateries, for a change of scene.

    Features include:

    • Bar
    • Coffee / tea making
    • Coffee maker
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Restaurant
    • Restaurants nearby
    • Room service
    Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • With 4 stunning beaches on its doorstep (one of which, Ambelakia, is rarely visited by anyone other than hotel guests), the Elivi is all about shoreside relaxation. The supersize loungers and umbrellas are free for hotel guests. Note, Little Banana is a nudist beach
    • Use of the spa’s sauna, hammam and refresher pool is also free for guests. Additional Elemis spa therapies (massage, facials, beauty treatments) are available in relaxing treatment rooms
    • Those with energy to burn will love the beach watersports (wakeboarding, water skiing, SUP, jet skiing, parasailing), as well as the outdoor yoga studio and well-equipped gym
    • There are some beautiful hikes (the concierge can help with routes) around the surrounding nature reserve
    • Explore the island. Take a trip to the wilder north side to discover ancient towns, hilltop churches and secluded beaches; hire a boat to explore the uninhabited islands of Tsougria and Arkos; head into town (it’s a 20-minute taxi ride) to shop, eat, drink or party on Skiathos’s small-but-chic club strip

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Basketball
    • Boat trips
    • Cycling
    • Fishing
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Horse riding
    • Jet skiing
    • Kayaking
    • Museums / galleries
    • Nightlife
    • Parasailing
    • Sailing
    • Scuba diving courses
    • Shopping / markets
    • Stand Up Paddleboarding
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Waterskiing
    • Well being
    • Wine tasting
    • Yoga

    Kids

    Families are welcome here and will love the beaches. Sporty kids will enjoy the watersports, tennis and basketball courts; older teens the low-key nightlife of Skiathos Town, a 20-minute taxi ride away. There is a kids club and children’s menus (or adapted dishes) and high chairs are available, swimming pools have life guards and babysitting can be arranged.

    Best for:

    All ages

    Family friendly accommodation:

    All families are welcome in the Grace Rooms & Suites and the Nest Rooms, Villas & Suites only

    Babysitting:

    On request

    Baby equipment:

    Cots and high chairs

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Creche/Kid's Club:

    The kids club (open 0900-1830) offers an activity-based programme including zumba, yoga, aqua aerobics, dance and Pilates as well as crafts, games and sports, and is aimed at 4-16 year olds

    Kids Activities on site:

    Swimming pools, tennis, basketball

    Kids Activities nearby:

    Beaches

    Families Should Know:

    The hotel hasn’t been specifically designed to cater for young children so parents with toddlers in tow will need to be vigilant of unprotected drops and unfenced pools

    Distances:

    • Airport: 15km (Skiathos)
    • Shops: 0.4km
    • Medical facility: 12km
    Kid Friendly: Nest pool

    Location

    Elivi is in Koukounaries Bay in the southwest of Skiathos, which is one of the Sporades islands. It's 12km from Skiathos Town and port, and 15km from the airport.

    By Air
    Skiathos Airport (15km away) has year-round flights from Athens, and direct flights from the UK and elsewhere in high season. You can book an airport transfer but most guests hire a car from the airport. Alternatively you can fly into Volos or Athens on the mainland (see below).

    By Sea:
    Ferries and hydrofoils arrive daily from Volos (1 hour - 2.5 hours' crossing) and from Agios Konstantinos (1.5 - 3 hours' crossing), which is 2 hours' easy drive from Athens airport.

    Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

    Airports:

    • Skiathos Airport 15.0 km JSI

    Other:

    • Beach 0.1 km
    • Shops 0.4 km
    • Restaurant 0.4 km

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

    9/10
    Room
    8/10
    Food
    9/10
    Service
    9/10
    Value
    9/10
    Overall

    Lovely hotel, in a gorgeous location - surrounded by four beaches and the forest. There are several restaurants within walking distance (they tended to be quite similar, not bad but not amazing). We hired a car and went a bit further afield to explore and find other places to eat. The breakfasts are amazing, although we had a meal at one of the hotel restaurants one night and it was extremely disappointing and very expensive for what it was. The other hotel restaurants may have been much better. The service was exceptional and overall, it was a very relaxing holiday. The scenery in Skiathos is incredible - well worth exploring.

    8/10,

    This is a tricky one, it's great….BUT….. from our room in the Nest we had an ugly view of the back of someone's apartment. Yes, you could see a glimpse the sea, from one corner of the balcony… which was disappointing. It is VERY expensive. The hot and cold indicators on the bath tap were the wrong way round and on arrival there was no bath plug, plus there is also no where to hang the bathrobes once they've been used.
    We also felt there was also a bit of a problem with sound proofing between apartments with next door's jacuzzi sounded like a jet taking off. However, the beaches are glorious and incredibly clean, the pool down by banana beach was gloriously deserted most of the time, in fact I kept wondering where everyone else was, as large areas of the htel and grounds were virtually empty, which was nice for us. A great deal of the service is on the whole is brilliant and the golf buggy transport is wonderful. Their biggest problem is food, the hotel is busy at breakfast, quiet at lunchtime and deserted at night. The potential is so brilliant, but the layout and whats on offer is not well explained and the evening restaurant situation, particularly for those who are hotel bound is really odd. Apart from that, the location is wonderful.
    Skiathos is still one of Greeces most beautiful island and we had a really nice holiday. There is a glorious fast ferry from Koukanaris beach to Skiathos old town which runs from the jetty several times a day and at 5 euros each way is a great deal more fun and cheaper than a cab. The first restaurant out of the Elivi grounds, The AlaMara (?) is modern, attractive, clean as a whistle and offers plenty of choice - once we found it, we went back three times

    8/10,

    We spent an amazing 2 weeks at Elivi. The level of service and attention to detail really impressed us. Every staff member we encountered was friendly and quick to help. The setting is beautiful and quiet, with access to 3 gorgeous beaches - all with really comfortable sun-loungers, beach bars and super helpful staff. We stayed in a junior suite with hot-tub and stunning sea-view, which was perfect in the evenings for relaxing and listening to the waves. Our room was very comfortable and cleaned regularly with a fresh bottle of water provided every day. The breakfast buffet was great - fresh omlettes or pancakes, coffees made to order and a wide selection of food. We really had such a womderful time and would highly recommend it to anyone!

    10/10,

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