“A gorgeous 4-suite hideaway set above the pretty fishing harbour of Kini on western Syros, with access to stunning beaches”
The 4 suites occupy a pair of low bungalows one level up from the pool, with dazzling white walls, dove-grey shutters and plenty of patio space out front. Each has a pair of rooms inside: a sitting room (whose sofa converts to a comfy small double bed) with attached kitchenette, and a semi-separate double bedroom behind a folding screen. There's a (smallish) bathroom with shower, and A/C to keep it all cool (or warm in shoulder season).
Mary has kept the interiors pleasingly simple: lime-washed walls, polished cement floors and a mix of Ikea-style furniture and antiques from their family home, which is next door, under the shade of the homonymous pine. The bed - all are queensize - might be a wrought-iron four poster draped with decorative nets, or a wicker beach-house affair. There's a bit of art on the walls (simple watercolours, sepia photos of Kini), a hatstand, a couple of mirrors in salvaged frames, maybe a driftwood monolith or a smooth white beach stone to prop open the French doors. You also get Korres toiletries, free bottled water, stacks of towels, a good bottle of wine and some Turkish Delight.
Overall it feels comfy and unpretentious, not trying too hard to be boutique, which makes a nice change. If you're being picky, you might find the bathroom tight, or the sitting room sparse; and don't expect to whip up 4-course meals in the kitchenette (see Eating). But we liked it.
All 4 suites are very similar. If anything, number 4 has the edge for its corner location with marginally better sea views.
Served around the pool, breakfast is a classy spread of freshly baked bread and pastries (including mini cheese pies), local cheeses (try the flavour-packed San Michali, from the island) and Bonne Maman jams and Cretan honey. Drinks-wise you get just-squeezed orange juice and beautifully presented teas (which included a blossomy loose-leaf green tea when we visited). It's all very flexible: you can ask for muesli with yoghurt, or toast and ham if that's your thing.
For dinner, stroll down to Kini (5-10 mins) and you've a choice of 2 fantastic seafront tavernas, plus a couple of simpler eateries a block or two back. On Terezdina's recommendation, we chose Dyo Tzitzikia st'Armirikia (usually shortened to a more manageable Armirikia) on the first evening - and never looked back! Refreshingly different salads (minted tabouleh with cucumber and tomato, or lentils with grated carrot and orange) are followed by fresh fish (we had the most delicious sargos whose flesh is so soft and white it was like melted snow), or home-cooked dishes like courgette fritters with cheese and herbs. It's all washed down with an extremely palatable draft white wine which costs less than a soft drink - though beware, the fresh fish is not cheap.
In your suite, you'll find a small kitchenette - a functional all-white affair with fridge, 2-ring hob, sink, basic pans and crockery - where you can prepare a light lunch or snacks: maybe a Greek salad or pasta dish. During the day, fresh salads and club sandwiches are on offer from the bar. There's a mini-supermarket in the village, a fantastic deli in Ermoupolis (Prekas), and you can dine outside on canvas chairs overlooking the pool and valley (or perch on stools inside).