It’s easy to see why travelers love the Greek isles, with their whitewashed villas, enticing beaches, and cerulean waters. That’s some serious scenery for the region’s hotels to live up to — but they do.
In fact, though mainland Greece might have the Acropolis, the islands of the Mediterranean take the laurels for hospitality. The best hotels on these islands deliver privacy, great design, a sense of place, and views that can't be beat.
Every year for the World’s Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe—to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise lines, spas, airlines, and more. In the hotels category, readers rated properties on their rooms/facilities, location, service, food and drink, and overall value. Properties were categorized as city or resort based on their locations.
Romantic Santorini—frequently voted a World’s Best Island — has three of the top five properties, all of which were in Oia, on Santorini’s northern tip. The hotels here sit mere steps from the action but still manage to feel private and secluded. "Breakfast on the terrace overlooking the sea couldn't have been more spectacular," wrote one respondent about Oia's Katikies Hotel, which topped the list.
Crete, Greece’s largest island, is also represented on the list. The fishing town of Elounda, next to Mirabello Bay on the northeastern coast, has grown into a magnet for celebrities — no doubt thanks to its roster of memorable hotels. Among them are World's Best winners Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, and Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas.
"Blue Palace may be a fairly large resort, but it feels more like an exclusive village," a reader wrote. Maybe it's time to plan your own island getaway.