, the chicest
on Greece's Mykonos island, has become a lot more posh after a renovation by New York's Rockwell Group.
Mykonos has recently upgraded its image, adding upscale retailers and restaurants. The Belvedere's makeover follows the introduction of high-end lodgings Cavo Tagoo and the Mykonos Grace Hotel.
The Belvedere's poolside bar and lounge.
During the summer, guests will find a spirited party island of beach clubs and nightlife that stays awake past 4 a.m. Beaches like Elia and Super Paradise feature waterfront bars and casual cafes designed to feed nearby sun worshippers.
Concealed by a white wall and motorized gate, the newly refurbished Belvedere radiates luxury from the edge of the island's main town. Ivory stucco walls, tile floors and a thatch-roof ceiling let you know you're on the Aegean.
The expanded lobby opens to the newly renovated Belvedere Bar, which is adorned with playful, ball-shaped chandeliers and leather-upholstered banquettes. Guests splash in the hotel's massive pool while chefs prepare dinner at the nearby Matsuhisa Mykonos. A DJ spins classic Shaggy remixes, providing a soundtrack to the fun.
Finding your room:
Rockwell took the Belvedere's clinical-looking rooms and added platform beds, marble floors, chunky wood nightstands and comfy club chairs. While some rooms' windows face the wall of the building next door, others overlook the village.
Pricier suites offer furnished balconies with views of the pool and lounge area or the ocean.
A few years ago, rooms featured bulky televisions that sat on wheezy mini-refrigerators. Rockwell went to great lengths to add modern touches, such as sleek LCD TVs and wireless Internet access.
The hotel will unpack and pack the bags of suite guests, freeing them to enjoy that miniature bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne or high-end vodka. Don't want to drink alone? A new lounge off the main lobby offers a self-serve bar and espresso café.
Bathroom and details:
The all-white theme extends to the bathroom. Even entry-level rooms have bathtubs with Kiehl's toiletries.
Vanities are large enough for designer Dopp kits, but the single-bowl sink and toilet are close enough to brush and flush at the same time.
Suites offer sublime bathrooms with freestanding tubs and opulent showers with sitting areas and full-size bottles of bath products. Still, the towels could have been a bit softer.
Pool and food:
The Belvedere's pool always takes center stage. In the morning, it's the perfect backdrop for guests taking their complimentary breakfast along the terrace or interior dining room. By 10 a.m., guests are marking their loungers with towels and unread books. At night, the pool reflects the colored lights of the two neighboring eateries and evening sky of Mykonos.
The hotel is home to the sole Greece location of Nobu Matsuhisa's world-famous Japanese restaurant chain. Inside the sexy outdoor dining room of Matsuhisa Mykonos, a chef trained by owner Nobuyuki Matsuhisa creates artistic sashimi and sushi dishes. Die-hard fanatics and nose-pinching novices sit on banquets and snug tables.
The recently added Belvedere Club specializes in Greek meat and seafood dishes by Greek-Australian chef George Calombaris.
The Belvedere is one of the more affordable European luxury hotels you'll find during summer, especially on a resort island as popular as Mykonos. There are still guest rooms available for as low as 108 euros a night during the week and 222 euros on weekends. Suites start at 550 euros on weekdays and climb to 800 to 1,300 euros on weekends.
Michael Martin is the managing editor of JetSetReport.com -- a luxury travel and lifestyle guide based in Los Angeles and London. His work has appeared in In Style, Blackbook, Elle, U.K.'s Red magazine, ITV and BBC.