Travel Spotlight

Summer in the Mediterranean: Hotel News & More

From the sparkling shores of the Cyclades to the flower-covered fields of the Balearic Islands, the Mediterranean’s most beautiful destinations are preparing to welcome another sun-filled season. Whatever your vision of summer may be—a rambling hike to a perfectly secluded spot, breezing down ancient streets or sipping ice-cold wine and eating fish straight from the sea—here’s what to know and where to go to find your golden hour.


Greece and its lesser-known islands are returning to the spotlight, and central to that siren call of stone, sea and sky is a striking new resort called Gundari, opening mid-May on 80 untouched acres among the cliffs of Folegandros, an island wedged between Santorini and Mílos. Each of the suites and multi-bedroom villas will have a private pool with spectacular views over the Aegean. The dining program has been crafted by Lefteris Lazarou, the first chef ever to earn a Michelin star in Greece. Off-property diversions include scuba diving, hiking, touring by EV Mini Moke or vintage electric bikes and exploring picturesque villages.

Also opening in May is a new resort from One&Only on Kéa Island in the Cyclades, not far from Athens. On a 160-acre stretch of beachfront near the old town of Ioulida, it will contain 63 one- and two-bedroom seaview villas—each with its own infinity pool, terrace and courtyard—and multiple restaurants, like the Èpicora wine bar, which will host pop-ups with chefs, and the Bond Beach Club, where DJs will bring the party from day into night. There will also be an expansive indoor-outdoor spa and fitness center, with padel and tennis courts and access to nature trails.

The little-known island of Tínos—a pilgrimage site just a 20-minute boat ride from Mykonos—gets its first luxury hotel in May in the form of the boutique property Odera, with 77 limewashed accommodations (some with private pools), a small spa, four dining outlets by chef Dimitris Skarmoutsos and access to a private beach. The true highlight will be the opportunity to explore Tínos’s off-the-beaten path charms and artistic heritage; the island is particularly celebrated for its white marble.


Spas by the Sea

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Mykonos’s soulful and stylish Kalesma has added a holistic spa, featuring a sauna, hammam and cold plunge; a fitness studio with personal trainers; two treatment rooms; and an exclusive Dr. Barbara Sturm skincare menu. Like the rest of the property, the space is sleek and serene, with Japanese burned wood walls and lighting by the New York-based studio Apparatus.

For an immersive wellness getaway just an hour’s drive from the coast in the southeast Peloponnese, the ancient-meets-contemporary Euphoria Retreat sits at the edge of a pine forest once inhabited by female priestesses (according to legend). Reset with a series of hot- and cold-water circuits; Reiki, acupuncture and meditation therapies; assessments by medical doctors; and custom diet programs—but for a truly transformative experience, join one of the retreats led by founder Marina Efraimoglou.


On the Italian island of Sardinia, new development will transform the historically glamorous Costa Smeralda this spring, starting with the reopening of the historic Romazzino hotel (founded by the Aga Khan IV in 1964) after a renovation by Belmond. On the opposite side of the island, Le Dune Piscinas will welcome guests to the Costa Verde after a three-year renovation, for those who want an unadulterated taste of Sardinia. In contrast to the jet-set vibe of Smeralda, the terrain here is more wild, with ancient groves of strawberry and juniper trees giving way to sand dunes and rocky coastlines—and the surfing is particularly good—but a dining experience by chef Fabio Ciervo, who earned a Michelin star during his tenure at the Hotel Eden in Rome, promises a taste of indulgence.

In 2025, Rocco Forte will open a Patricia Urquiola-designed resort on the bay of Liscia di Vacca in Porto Cervo, amid a lush setting of palm trees, white sand and flower gardens. Mandarin Oriental will also establish a resort nearby, hidden within a forested hillside ​​overlooking the Gulf of Pevero, with a trail providing access down to a private beach. In 2026, the Hotel Pitrizza will be unveiled as a Cheval Blanc property, the portfolio’s first in Italy.


Ciao Capri

Bianca's Rooftop

Southern Italy’s most tantalizing island is home to some iconic places to eat. L’Olivo, Da Paolino, Le Grottelle and Lo Scoglio da Tommaso remain favorites, while Il Riccio, Lido del Faro and La Fontelina are still the beach clubs to be seen at. But the long-awaited reopening last June of Hotel La Palma, the island’s first and oldest hotel, has already made its mark on the scene. Led by chef Gennaro Esposito, with spaces by Francis Sultana, the culinary program includes a flagship restaurant inspired by 1950s Capri, a breezy terrace for all-day outdoor dining and the Da Gioia beach club, in an enviable spot on Marina Piccola—but the true highlight is Bianca, the new rooftop restaurant and bar. With breathtaking views over town to the sea and a lively atmosphere fueled by an open kitchen, saxophonists and aperitivo trolleys, it’s now one of Capri’s most coveted reservations (next door to Taverna Anema e Core, an institution nightclub beloved by celebrities and locals alike). Explore the Indagare guide to Capri dining here.

Portugal & Spain

There’s a dazzle of new boutique hotels for the sophisticated Portugal traveler to choose from—and The Largo is the next exclusive, design-forward property to know. Situated in Porto, this 18-suite hotel is hyper-customized and über-private, with a focus on local immersion and under-the-radar elegance. The unmarked entrance is easy to miss, on purpose, and the hotel keeps its online presence to a minimum. The guests-only rooftop restaurant and open kitchen led by chef Nuno Mendes are the heart of the property, and visitors are encouraged to socialize here before heading out for tailored experiences that show off the “real” Porto. Says Trip Designer Grace Park: “The Largo feels a bit like an urban Aman meets La Réserve (in Paris). Don’t miss a day out on the hotel’s Riva yacht, sailing along the Douro.” Plus: later in the fall, the Viceroy at Ombria Algarve will provide a fresh perspective on Portugal’s southernmost region, in a peaceful hillside location set back from the coast, with 76 accommodations and 65 residences, and an 18-hole golf course by Jorge Santana da Silva.

If your sights are set on a holiday in Spain, venture north to the Basque Country for modern and contemporary art and design, a surplus of Michelin stars and atmospheric old towns rich in pintxo bars, boutiques and good times. An itinerary that includes day trips to less crowded towns, like Getaria or Bermeo, will offset the popularity of Bilbao and San Sebastián. And in San Sebastián, travelers can now find serenity—and privacy—at the new Nobu hotel, just west of the heart of the city. Within a restored 1912 mansion, the property is a 17-room haven that blends Belle Époque Basque heritage and Japanese aesthetics. Each of the rooms and suites is slightly different, but all are airy and light-filled. The terrace rooms take full advantage of views over Playa de la Concha—inviting guests to lounge for an hour or several—while the specialty suites welcome families. The signature Nobu restaurant provides a worth-it moment of variety to an itinerary heavy in Basque cuisine.

On the tiny island of Formentera, a sister property to Mallorca stunner Cap Rocat will arrive in May: a 45-room boutique hotel on the white-sand beach of Migjorn named Dunas de Formentera. (The portfolio also includes Gecko, one of the island’s top beach clubs.) Antonio Obrador, who designed Cap Rocat, has created a boho-chic refuge swathed in local textures and natural light. There will also be a seaside restaurant serving open-fire Mediterranean cooking, with a pool lounge.

Plus: In Mallorca, Indagare founder Melissa Biggs Bradley recently checked out Finca Serena, a historic farm and vineyard with stylish guest cottages and modern amenities; Valldemossa, a romantic retreat with a fabulous on-site restaurant; and boutique Hotel Cappuccino, from celebrated French designer Jacques Grange. Last summer’s headline openings—Son Bunyola, Richard Branson’s 1,300-acre mountain estate, and Grand Hotel Son Net, with its museum-worthy art collection—remain Mallorca’s most buzzed-about properties, while La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel, and the aforementioned Cap Rocat are long-standing favorites.

We’ve seen so many requests for trips to Portugal, which presents a nice alternative to the typical Spain, Italy or France itineraries. Portugal is also a little easier to get to from the U.S., and you still have robust culture offerings and beautiful beaches, as well as top wineries.

Jenny Schroder, Indagare Trip Designer

Contact your Indagare Trip Designer or Indagare, if you are not yet a member, to start planning a trip to the Mediterranean. Our team can provide expert travel advice and assist with custom itinerary planning, hotel, restaurant and guide recommendations and more.

Published onMay 2, 2024

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