Kivotos, Mykonos’ boutique hotel maintains personalized service, yet misses out on product

The family owned Kivotos hotel is one of the first hotels to introduce the boutique concept in Mykonos, building for a long time, a reputation for personalized service. This has not only earned its Leading Hotels of the World membership but has also attracted, a solid base of return celebrity guests from around the world.

Although owners are no longer interacting with directly, personally getting to meeting and know each and every guest,  Vassilis, the Guest Relations Manager, is the one who perfectly provides the ultimate personalization when it comes to service. His busy role includes also Front Office as well as Concierge and many duties usually performed by a GM.

The other ‘pillar’ of the team is the F&B Manager, who has gone out of his way to make sure the hotel provide the ultimate service and food quality. Like Vassilis, he seemed to be non stop at the hotel, with a most hands on approach, paying attention to the needs and requirements of every single guest. I did not try the main restaurant for dinner, but breafast was fantastic – the widest choice, including Greek speciality dishes as well as international, in a beautiful setting , with picture perfect views of Ornos Bay.

Unfortunately,  during my stay in late May, the hotel was already running a high occupancy, so I could not visit any other room or suite types. My room, a Junior Suite, looked dated both in design and quality of furnishings and technology. The mix & match ‘minimalistic’  interior design reminded me of a Phillip Starck 90s design, with an rather unconfortable bed, a bathroom with no shower, just a jacuzzi with small led lights that are probably supposed to create a special ambiance.

For a five star hotel, the hotel also missed out on technoogy – poor quality wi-fi, two small LED Tv which seemed to be more like computer monitors, which would feature a very limited selection of Greek Tv channels, no CNN or other English channels. Air-conditionig, is not centralized, so each room and suite has a split unit. I found it quite difficult to control, especially to set it and maintain a certain temperature.

The Bvlgari bathroom amenities came in sharp negative contrast with the dated bedding, pillows and carpets. Lighting was also a puzzle, so I ended up having some small led lights in the ceramic floor tiling always on, day and night (quite disturbing at night). For a hotel which aims for a luxury positioning, I also found in-room literature of poor quality, with some A4 regular printed papers put into a folder. While most hotel offer  complimentary transfer from the airport, which is less than 2 km away, Kivotos welcomed me with a Porsche Cayenne at a quirky price of 25 euros per transfer.

The swimming pool areas were well appointed, however, I learned from the staff, few guests would actually use them. The hotel has a very tiny beach portion, which is more used for the ultra romantic floating tent they provide as the ideal dinner venue for honeymooners and special occasions.

During my stay, I did not visit the Spa, which was a small space, on the lower groundfloor. I did not see any Spa menu in the room, so I cannot comment on the Spa offering. Again, I am not sure whether many guests would actually use the Spa facilities.

With so many luxury hotels having conducted extensive renovations this year, I would reckon the owners are already considering a similar strategic approach. Kivotos has an exceptional heritage and reputation, and I would see great opportunities for the future if the right strategic measure are taken.

Oliver Petcu in Mykonos