Here’s a place to take your con-feta-rates.
Milos, the chic and pricey Greek seafood restaurant known for billionaires and celeb guests, has opened its first-ever hotel.
Chef Costas Spiliadis — the man who founded Estiatorio Milos in Montreal in 1979 and grew it to seven locations worldwide (several more are in the works) — quietly opened Xenodocheio Milos (from $420; XenodocheioMilos.com) in January.
But now as summer approaches, the luxury boutique property in the heart of Athens, is finally ready to shine.
The debut marks the first hotel venture for Spiliadis and a return to his Greek roots. It’s a partnership with the Intra Athinaiki company, and Dimos Stasinopoulos, the CEO of Epoque Collection, a luxury boutique hotel management company.
“I can’t say enough how it’s such a special experience to have my first hotel in the country where I’m from,” said Spiliadis. “I know the Greek way of hospitality and have been showing that to people for decades in my restaurants. This is an opportunity to carry my philosophy over to a hotel.”
Xenodocheio Milos isn’t his first-ever project in Greece, however. Spiliadis opened a restaurant in Athens in 2004, which closed four years ago.
Located in the center of the city near the Old Parliament House and Syntagma (Constitution) Square, the 43-room Xenodocheio Milos is in a prime and historical part of town situated in two heritage-listed neoclassical buildings.
It’s also near high-end boutiques from both international and homegrown brands (Louis Vuitton, for example) and surrounded by buzzy restaurants and cafes.
Syntagma Square, where locals staged an uprising in 1843 against King Otto to demand a constitution, is a five-minute walk away, while the Parthenon and Acropolis are 20 minutes away.
Spiliadis says that walking into Xenodocheio Milos is like entering the home of your favorite family member.
“You’re instantly enveloped with hospitality and warmth,” he said. “Your every need is catered to with service that’s very personalized.”
If you want a certain kind of tea for breakfast in the morning, for example, the staff will make sure you have it even if it means buying it from a store.
And if you love history, don’t be surprised to find books on Greek history waiting for you in your room at the end of the day.
It’s touches like these that make the hotel stand out. Spiliadis describes it as an “authentic Greek experience.”
Xenodocheio Milos has a design that’s inspired by the Aegean Sea and Cycladic art and architecture. Features include interiors with high ceilings, muted colors throughout and locally sourced materials such as white Dionysos marble and oak timber panels. Natural light is in no short supply.
The rooms are meant to feel like bedrooms in a home. They’re airy and have Greek furniture, pendant lighting, Dionysos marble bathrooms and wooden floors.
In a nod to Greek nautical culture, the headboards and bathroom counters are curved and meant to evoke wind moving through sails.
With their 215 square feet, entry-level rooms are small, but the suites span up 915 square feet; a few have large terraces that face the Old Parliament House.
Not surprisingly, the cuisine is a highlight of any stay. Guests can enjoy the same Milos food that they’re familiar with through room service or in the namesake restaurant.
Think parfaits for breakfast with the legendary yogurt, in-season fruit and Greek honey, traditional Greek salads bursting with the ripest tomatoes and the world-famous Milos Special — thinly sliced eggplant and zucchini, fried like chips and served with saganaki cheese and tzatziki.
Seafood is a star, of course, with choices such as just-caught fish grilled whole and deboned, charcoal-broiled octopus and assorted Greek ceviche.
The restaurant itself has large white columns, a sculptural staircase and sculptures from Greek artist Dimitris Fortsas.
Off property, the staff prides itself on creating culinary tours of Spiliadis’s favorite markets and restaurants and arranging yacht excursions along the Athenian Riviera.
“We’re not a big hotel,” says Spiliadis. “But, we are one with a heart and a roadway to the real Greece.”
The author was a guest of the hotel.