Review: Calilo Resort, Ios Island (Greece)

Wednesday newsletters at all times function a resort or flight overview.

Final July, I loved a terrific vacation on the Greek islands of Santorini, Mykonos, and Ios (Cyclades). You may learn my journey reviews right here:

As we speak: Overview of Calilo, Island of Ios (Greece)

Rising out of, and carved from, the native rock, Calilo is cradled by 1,000 acres of protected land and fringed by a stupendous golden sand seaside, lapped by a cerulean sea. In a distant nook of unspoilt Ios, within the coronary heart of the Cyclades, and only a pebble’s throw from social gathering islands Mykonos and Santorini, this 30-suite sanctuary presents an escape from the crowds. Suppose sun-drenched seclusion surrounded by an historic olive-pricked panorama – nature and artwork at its coronary heart. From its structure and inside design to the hanging artworks and installations, Calilo – an acronym for “create a life you’ll be able to fall in love with” – is the creation the Michalopoulos household whose intention is to protect, defend and nurture this tantalizing land and to share the island’s mesmerizing magic.

Calilo options in my high 10 lists of one of the best seaside resorts in Europe and probably the most gorgeous resort suites I’ve ever stayed in.

Have you ever ever stayed at Calilo? In that case, what was your expertise? Depart a remark.

On this overview (extra information and pictures under my YouTube video):

  • Within the coronary heart of the Cyclades, between Santorini and Mykonos, lies Ios, the gorgeous island that Calilo calls its house. Boasting an impressive panorama, Ios is thought for its whitewashed clifftop villages and 32 lovely seashores. In the course of the day, Ios is absolutely the Cycladic paradise. When the solar goes down, the bars and eating places of Ios’ essential city Chora come alive. The truth that there isn’t a airport on Ios explains why the island has prevented mass tourism and maintained its pure magnificence. Visitors can attain Ios by high-speed ferry from Santorini (45 minutes), Mykonos (2 hours), Crete (2.5 hours) and Athens (3.5 hours). Non-public boat switch from Santorini or direct flights by helicopter to the resort’s personal helipad may be organized.
  • Ios has a status as a celebration island well-liked with younger folks, however the breathtakingly lovely space through which Calilo is situated is totally untouched, distant and a world other than the full of life island scene. A scenic 30-minute drive via a desolate, mountainous panorama takes friends from the ferry port close to the primary village Chora to the island’s little found southeast facet. Right here, Calilo enjoys a shocking location in magnificent personal bay, the place the calm turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea and a yellow crescent of personal seaside are surrounded by a pure amphitheater of spectacular rocky slopes. Your entire website is a part of a lot bigger area of protected land (1,000 acres), which is fringed by 10 km (6 mi) of shoreline. 
  • A resort like no different, Calilo is created by the Michalopoulous household whose is led by former Wall Avenue dealer Angelos Michalopoulos. The Michalopoulos household doesn’t simply personal Calilo, they personal about 30% of Ios. In an effort to protect the island’s pure magnificence and to guard it from the environmental degradation that normally follows mass tourism, the Michalopoulous household made a aware choice to construct on only one% of the land they personal on Ios, leaving 99% to stay as a part of nature to assist be certain that future generations can even be capable of benefit from the wild fantastic thing about Ios and it seashores. Apart from Calilo, the household’s firm referred to as Luxurios owns a second resort, the Agalia Luxurious Suites, and a number of other bars, eating places and seaside golf equipment on the island.
  • Each design component at Calilo is created by its proprietor Angelos Michalopoulos and geared toward stirring feelings amongst its friends. The result’s an aesthetically distinctive and fairy tale-esque decor that represents a contemporary, colourful tackle conventional Cycladic structure and the hippy tradition that after dominated Ios. The decor is at its most surreal within the foyer, which it accessed by way of a curving walkway lined by artwork works and waterfalls. Skylight beaming via pebble holes within the ceiling above disperses as dozens of hearts on a water pond beneath. Adorned with hand-painted military boots, inspirational aphorisms, and picket swings wearing flowers, the foyer feels extra like an artwork gallery in London or New York than a resort within the Greek islands.
  • Calilo options 32 uniquely designed suites, all that includes hand-crafted mosaics, scalloped tiles, driftwood-inspired chairs and waves of marble (most suites even have personal swimming pools). Throughout my vacation, I used to be upgraded to the “Sea of Smiles Suite.” Positioned on the hill facet of Calilo with panoramic views of the resort and seaside, this unimaginable suite was named by Michalopoulos for its give attention to water. The signature suite provided three bedrooms, every with palatial en-suite marble loos with deep soaking bathtubs. The suite’s beneficiant outside area included a devoted sitting space, waterfall, pure rock bathe, water pond and two swinging beds. To high all of it, there was a personal swimming pool constructed from 65,000 items of marble.
  • Though most friends favor to chill out by their personal pool or on the seaside in the course of the day, Calilo additionally boasts an huge lagoon-shaped swimming pool for these in want of some extra water enjoyable. Surrounded by loungers and a shaded veranda, the 50 m (164 ft) pool is situated between Calilo’s essential pavilion and the resort’s pristine personal beachfront. In step with the resort’s surreal and Gaudi-alike design theme, the pool options a number of ornamental components, corresponding to colourful swings hanging over the water, sunken eating areas inside the pool, and exuberant modernist sculptures of our bodies being flung via the air.
  • Calilo sits by itself personal seaside, referred to as Papas Seashore. Most likely the most lovely seaside in Ios, if not Greece, Papas is an idyllic cove, composed of yellow coarse-sand and crystal clear waters, and surrounded by dramatic sandstone cliffs. A number of thatched cabanas with thick mattresses and wind-screens are situated on the seaside and can be utilized freed from cost by friends of the resort. The seaside cove can also be house to a jetty, the place the resort’s personal pace boats dock. Visitors wishing to discover the majestic, pure magnificence and seashores of Ios can hire certainly one of these personal boats and embark on thrilling excursions to hidden coves and secluded seashores reachable solely by boat, in addition to day journeys to any of the close by Cycladic islands.
  • Positioned in a secluded space overlooking the ocean are three separate venues – referred to as rock swimming pools – constructed into the pure stone panorama providing another seaside expertise. Two of the venues, referred to as the Dreamers Coronary heart Rock Swimming pools, take the form of their namesake with distinct heart-shaped swimming swimming pools, whereas the third is a spherical form. Full with personal loos and kitchen, every rock pool incorporates a sitting space with eating desk, devoted butler for catering and bottle service, entry to therapeutic massage therapies, and numerous lounge choices from swinging double beds to Calilo’s signature swings. Very best for particular occasions, the rock swimming pools may be booked for marriage proposals, bachelor/ette events and different milestone moments.
  • At the moment, Calilo has one restaurant, the place serves scrumptious meals all day (though friends may also have their meals on the rock pool, on the seaside or of their room). Positioned between the foyer and the pool space, the open-sided restaurant is styled within the resort’s signature Gaudi-esque decor and options a number of hidden nooks & corners (e.g. sunken eating areas inside the pool). Within the morning, the venue presents a breakfast buffet whereas throughout lunchtime and within the night (till midnight), a la carte eating is obtainable with all kinds of Western and Greek dishes. Calilo’s meals philosophy is rooted within the Historical Greeks’ perception {that a} wholesome physique helps a wholesome thoughts and the resort’s kitchen strongly advocates the advantages of a Mediterranean food regimen.
  • The Michalopoulous household and their Calilo challenge have sustainability of their DNA. Following the rules of environmentally-friendly design, the resort is being in-built shut collaboration with the local people, thus offering direct financial advantages via accountable tourism growth. All of the supplies used throughout Calilo’s development – apart from wooden, iron, glass and cement – are extracted from the bottom of the particular constructing website (e.g. marble, stone, granite). They’re then minimize and carved by native craftsmen who lay by hand and assemble every one of many resort’s venues (a few of them requiring tens of millions of the crafted stones), using painstaking however genuine and conventional constructing strategies.
  • One of many resort’s conservation challenge is the plantation of greater than 70,000 bushes and bushes round Ios island to revive the habitat that had beforehand been burned repeatedly by wild fires and land deforestation. As well as, some 550 historic olive bushes (most of them greater than 300-years-old) which have been about to be minimize and offered for firewood in Athens, have been transported from the mainland, by boat, to Calilo and different websites in Ios. They have been destined to change into firewood and as an alternative have been given a second life on the resort. Right here, with the assistance of specialists, 97% of them have survived and at the moment are thriving of their new areas.


Calilo is likely one of the most unusual and spectacular resorts I’ve ever stayed at. The resort and the resort idea remains to be a piece in progress although, with room for enchancment. It has the potential to change into one of the best seaside resort in Europe, one that might even be on the identical stage as a Soneva, however it’s not there but. Right here’s what that you must know:

  • Meals on the resort is superb, however there’s just one restaurant. Though the menu is intensive, one may get a bit bit bored food-wise after just a few days. Additionally, the meals is scrumptious however it’s not positive eating because it lacks some sophistication, each in style and presentation. From what I heard, the house owners will launch some new eating ideas for the subsequent season, so that may be a welcome addition to the resort. I like to recommend additionally they think about hiring a high chef to rework Calilo right into a foodie paradise (as a result of that’s what most of their potential clientele is used to and can count on).
  • Breakfast at Calilo is a bit disappointing for a resort of this caliber. Though the buffet is properly introduced, it presents a quite small number of gadgets which pales compared to the lavish buffets usually seen at different 5-star lodges in Greece and past. As well as, service at breakfast is gradual: attributable to COVID, one employees member is current on the buffet to serve all friends (as friends can’t contact something themselves), usually leading to some ready time. Lastly, moreover the buffet, one may order just one egg dish and one sort of espresso throughout breakfast; different egg dishes or coffees have been charged for. I counsel the house owners to improve the breakfast expertise to a luxurious buffet displayed in a chilly room (with an extra a la carte menu for warm dishes).
  • Calilo is increasing its room stock upon the hills across the resort. In the event you’re booked into one of many newer, extravagant suites up the hill, count on to do plenty of strolling up and down the hill. Alternatively, one can at all times contact the foyer after which a automobile is ship to select you up or drop you off. Maybe it could be a pleasant concept to offer friends of those suites with a golf buggy throughout their keep, so that they have extra flexibility getting across the resort.
  • Calilo is a deeply private challenge of proprietor Angelos Michalopoulost, who has designed each a part of the resort himself. The result’s a singular and visually overwhelming decor that’s all about love and creativeness. Whereas some friends will love the quircky design (depend me in!), it won’t match the style of others, though one factor is for certain: it should go away an impression that you’ll not simply overlook.
  • In the mean time, wellness amenities on the resort are restricted as there’s simply one spa room. Nonetheless, the resort is presently constructing an in depth spa facility which can open subsequent yr.
  • The resort is tucked away in what looks like the center of nowhere, however that’s what makes it so distinctive – secluded, personal, quiet and serene with its personal superb seaside and unique amenities. Though the remoted location is a part of the enchantment for many friends, it’s necessary to emphasise that the resort is faraway from nearly all the pieces, so that you gained’t discover any eating places, outlets or nightlife inside a half hour drive of the resort.

  • Location: 10/10
  • Design: 10/10
  • Pool: 9/10
  • Rooms: 10/10
  • Meals: 8/10
  • Breakfast: 8/10
  • Spa: not accessible
  • Service: 8/10
  • Worth for cash: 9/10
  • Total expertise: distinctive 9/10

  • Get monetary savings: learn right here my ideas for getting one of the best deal at a luxurious resort like Calilo (and/or obtain complimentary perks).
  • Learn my ideas for getting ready your journey in time.


One of the best time to go to Ios are the autumn months of September and October: the climate remains to be nice, the vacationer crowds have left, the ocean temperature is at its warmest, and the resort charges are inside cheap vary. The spring months of April and Might, earlier than the summer time rush comes, are additionally a good time to go to, though the ocean is chilly and you might encounter some cloudy days. Summer time can also be a good time to go to the resort however it will probably get windy within the Calilo’s personal bay, with the Meltemi blowing for lengthy intervals, particularly within the afternoons (typically gale pressure like winds).


Visitors can attain Ios by high-speed ferry from Santorini (45 minutes), Mykonos (2 hours), Crete (2.5 hours) and Athens (3.5 hours). From the ferry port, it’s one other half-hour by resort automobile to the resort. Non-public boat switch from Santorini or direct flights by helicopter to the resort’s personal helipad may be organized as properly.


Under is a number of my pictures of Calilo. To view extra pictures of Calilo (together with meals), click on right here.


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