Inspired by the Greek parea – a gathering of friends – OKU Kos is an adult-only, beach hideaway and summer escape for like-minded people to come together. The ” barefoot luxury” hotel has been designed to resemble a traditional Greek village, with its medley of one- and two-storey villas grouped around gardens and patios and built in the classic cubist style distinctive to the Aegean islands. Interiors are cool and sparsely furnished, with polished, pale grey concrete surfaces offset by warm woods, feature wickerwork and rattan. This design gives each villa the look of an exceptionally stylish Greek fisherman’s hut. OKU Kos is located directly on the beach on the north coast of this Dodecanese island, made famous by Hippocrates, father of Western medicine.
The spacious rooms and suites are distributed between groups of minimalist, one- and two-storey small houses. Large terraces extendi into private outdoor space or courtyards with shared pools. For the full this-is-my-life-now experience, choose one of OKU’s three villas. They have the same stylish look as all the rooms, but come with a private pool, a terrace a group can spread out on, and a separate lounge. There are two bedrooms, but a solitude-seeking couple would be equally comfy. All accommodations come with a flatscreen TV, wireless Marshall speakers, a minibar, coffee- and tea-making kit, free bottled water, bathrobes and slippers.
The hotel’s indoor-outdoor dining hub by the pool with a bar and lounging areas serves nourishing farm-to-fork meals (including vegan and gluten-free options). Chef Michalis Chondrobilas is passionately involved with local farms, whose produce he turns into delightful dishes in his open kitchen. There are Grecian classics while Asian flavours are infused through the menu too (noddig to oku, a Japanese concept meaning “inner space”). The wooden veranda oversees the sand dunes and the beach, providing an abundant shelter during warm days.
The open-air, unheated freshwater pool has beckoning turquoise waters, pillowy day-beds lining the deck and frilly thatch parasols and a pavilion to provide shade. At the beach more sun loungers are available. There is a small spa with indoor, heated pool. Treatments use all-natural treatments, including those grown onsite and approved by the resident herbalist.
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 100 rooms, suites & villas (32-100m2) (344-1,076 sq ft) • hotel opened: 2017 (originally Casa Cook) • architecture Mastrominas ARChitecture (Athens, Kos) • interior design: Annabell Kutucu, Michael Schickinger (Berlin) • bathroom amenities: Meraki ✅ free on-site parking • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk • adult-only: 16 year and older • seasonal hotel: open April to November
When Casa Cook Kos opened in 2017 it caused quite a stir with its highly instagrammable interiors and the abolishment of the stereotype hotel with the creation of an alternative hospitality space where guests feel relaxed like living in a friend’s house. The Thomas Cook group went bankrupt two years later, and although not legally part of it, its group of hotels found new owners. One, OKU Hotels, continues the legacy in Kos and Ibiza creating a laidback, child-free environment for guests to unwind, meet likeminded people or enjoy their own private sanctuary in stylish spaces that blend modernist design with bohemian flair. Local vineyards, farms, and fishermen supply to the farm-to-fork dining experience while bar staff are trained by the best mixologists in the industry and work with top international spirits – as well as some local tipples we think you’ll enjoy. Core to the OKU concept are daily yoga and pilates classes, complemented by internationally trained spa therapists, using local ingredients and time-honoured techniques. Ensuring workouts are as attractive as the are exhilarating, gyms are equipped with mid-century-esque NOHrD.