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Mykonos Hotel - The Rochari or The Semeli?

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Hi. I've found a wealth of great information on the boards...much thanks to all you contributors out there! I've searched for Mykonos hotels on the boards and read through a lot of the hotel suggestions. By reading through all the archives, I think I'd prefer to stay in town. I've narrowed it down to the Semeli and the Rochari. Any advice between the two? I saw that Bill posted that the two are near each other and the Rochari is above the Semeli. He noted that I'd have to request a waterfront 3rd floor sea-view because most rooms don't come with a view. This is for my honeymoon, so I was deciding between a suite at the Rochari or a Superior room spa at the Semeli. Which one do you think would be best?

I also looked into some other places like Mykonos Blu and Leto Mykonos, but they were booked. Belvedere looks really nice but it's a lot more than what I would get with the Semeli or Rochari. I saw that Bill suggested both the Kouros Hotel and K Hotel, which looked decent. The Kourus is a short walk, so I figured it was better to stay in the actual town and the K Hotel looked really cool...but the Semeli and Rochari seem a bit nicer for a honeymoon. I'm not too familiar with these hotels though, all my opinions above just came from reading a bunch of old posts. Are these fair assessments or should I rethink any of these hotels? I'm still waiting to hear back from both the Semeli and Rochari, so I've got time to consider. What do you guys recommend?

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    I have no experience with the Semeli but I stayed at the Hotel Rochari on my one and only visit to Mykonos and absolutely loved it.

    It's a 3* so not what I would call luxury, but it was an amazing value. The staff is great, and the pool and breakfast room are lovely. Our twin room was quite small and basic but I'm sure a suite would be much bigger and nicer. The key is getting a terrace with a sea view. We congratulated ourselves on getting the same fabulous view that the folks at the Belvedere get (which is just a couple of doors down) but paid a fraction of the price for it. :)

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    hello pocketfullofdreams

    In Bill's absence I will try and help. I should say that his knowledge of the island is amazing and I stand in his shadow but will give you as much information as possible.

    His recommendation of both the Kouros and the K hotels would no doubt be for budget alone. The latter is a good 15 minutes walk from the town. The Kouros is in the Tagoo district but I dislike the road you have to walk along from the hotel. It can be busy and noisy.

    The Semeli is indeed a little lower down the small hill and as far as I am aware it has only a few bedrooms with a sea view. Certainly the hotel's public areas do have them though. From the hotel it is a short walk along Rochari lane to the restaurants, bars and shops although the hotel itself is in a quiet part of town. From the Semeli to the harbour front is only about 6 minutes. One thing you might need to be aware of is that the Semeli’s public areas, e.g. the pool, overlook Lakka and a kid’s playground. You might get a little bit of noise.

    The Rochari Hotel is owned and run by the Kussathanas family. Its bedrooms from level one, two and three offer great views over the town, the rooms on level three have a terrace, on level two, balconies and on level one, terraces.

    The suite at the Rochari is huge and is in what was originally 'the old house', slightly to the right of the modern part of the hotel. This is a traditional but beautiful old building and the views from each balcony are good but not as good as the rooms mentioned above simply due to the angle of the building. The house itself has quite a history too.

    Bill is correct in recommending level three rooms as they have it all to be honest. But, read on as I guess he hasn’t visited in the past 2 years as he’d have already mentioned this for other enquirers. Last year the hotel opened two new rooms which they advertise as 'Superior'. They sit alone at the highest level and have much larger terraces. I had a look in one of them last year and it was terrific.

    Without doubt I would recommend reserving a superior double over the suite if you want a gob-smacking view and an enormous terrace to sit out on.

    The hotel services and staff are great and it has a huge number of return guests. The walk-time to the harbour front is about 7 minutes and you are as close to the bars and restaurants as the Semeli.

    I was on the island in mid-May last year and it was terrific. Great weather and the town looked fresh and clean. It had a buzz about it too but not the madness of July and August. All the bars, restaurants, clubs were open.

    The Semeli and Rochari are only a 5 minute walk to the small bus station where you get the services to many of the beaches.

    If you need any more info just let me know!

    Jon

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    Thanks a ton Jon! Your writeup has an incredible amount of information! I would have never known the difference between the superior room view and the suite view! Thanks for giving me such good insight and addressing all the hotels I mentioned. Incredibly helpful my friend! I'm still waiting to hear back from the Rochari to find out about May availability, hopefully one of the superior rooms will be open during my time of stay.

    While I was waiting for the Rochari to get back to me, I did a little digging around on tripadvisor. The Rochari received good reviews there. I did find another favored & talked about hotel, that interested me: The Apanema Resort. The hotel facilities look nice and the rooms with waterfront sea-view balconies were pretty reasonably priced. However, I did read mention that in early 2010 there was construction going on in the marina in front of the hotel which blocked some of the view. I'm not sure where the hotel is located, but one traveler complained about the narrow walk into town with cars buzzing by them...this sounds like it might be situated in the Tagoo district? What are your thoughts about this hotel?

    All in all, I do go a bit back and forth. Cheryllj thanks for chiming in. Your point that it's not luxury, has been something I've been thinking about before you posted that. I do have a bit of an inclination to splurge a bit cause it's a honeymoon and book the Belvedere. Like you mentioned it's a similar view, but from the looks of the photos, the Belvedere room is much nicer! A Belvedere New Standard Room with Sea view is about 60 euros more. I'm sure it's relative to everyone whether or not that 60 is worth it. The prices I'm seeing right now begin at:

    180 Euros - Apanema Superior Room with Seaview & dinner
    190 Euros - Rochari Superior Double room
    210 Euros - Semeli Hotel Superior room
    215 Euros - Belvedere Classic Standard with Sea View
    250 Euros - Belvedere New Standard with Sea View

    When I see it laid out like that...it seems to make sense to go with the Belvedere Classic Standard or to find someway to lay out the extra cash for the New Standard. Hmm, maybe if the hotel is open because it's early May...maybe they'll even upgrade me for free. You two seem quite knowledgeable. Any thoughts about the views from the Belvedere rooms? Thanks so much!

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    I'm afraid I really can't help you with your choice, pocketfullofdreams.

    Those prices are way over what we paid for our basic room at the Rochari a couple of years ago. We paid something like 70-80 euros a night for our room, and at that price the Rochari felt like a great value. The Belvedere at the time was around 200 so they were at totally different price points.

    If it were me, I'd be inclined to go all out for a honeymoon, too. But I'd compare the room sizes and amenities carefully. Are there photos of the bathroom at the Belvedere? If I had a complaint about the Rochari it would be the tiny bathroom that didn't offer room to turn around, but again that was in the basic room and the "superior" or suite might be nicer.

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    Thanks Jon. So I just received emails back from The Rochari, Apanema and Belvedere. I'm still waiting to hear back from the Semeli. They detailed me what's available:

    180 Euros - Apanema Superior Room with Seaview balcony
    90 Euros - Rochari Standard Double room (3rd floor)
    140 Euros - Rochari Suite with two terraces (I believe the one you described)
    172 Euros - Belvedere Classic Standard with Sea View
    240 Euros - Belvedere Superior Room (not sure if there is a view?)

    I think I'm leaning towards the Belvedere Classic which is within the budget. I'd prefer their remodeled rooms since it's a honeymoon, but unfortunately it's not available and the next jump up might not have as good of a view. I think the Belvedere would be good, given that it's a honeymoon. Let me know if you'd advise otherwise given the rooms. Thanks!

    Harrison

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    Hi Harrison

    Before I reply, just a quick note to say I've sent you a private message on Trip Advisor. Check it out.

    The views from the 3rd floor rooms at Rochari are terrific but as cheryllj has pointed out they are small compared to the Superior rooms or Suite. The latter is enormous and very beautiful. Don't forget though what I said about views from the suite. They are good but not as dramatic as those from the rooms in the main part of the hotel.

    The Apanema is indeed located at Tagoo although slightly closer to town. Yes that's the same road I mentioned earlier and when I was on the island last September the construction work at the new marina, which the hotel overlooks, was ongoing. It could now be finished though. It's a personal thing but for me I'd ignore the bait of the 'dinner included' option. Absolutely one of the best things about Mykonos is eating out in the evening.

    The Belvedere is just a few metres lowers than the Rochari therefore the views will be great. The hotel is now enclosed and secure as they built a large wall road-side. It has a superb pool which, in mid-summer is very much the meeting place in the evenings for the rich and famous. The room you have been offered overlooks the pool and out to sea therefore in mid-summer I'd definitely recommend you didn't book as noise could be a problem. That will not happen in May. I've just checked out the rooms on their website and they look to be an OK size. The larger Superior rooms offer views over the pool OR the sea.

    Only a few words of caution about the Belvedere. It is an expensive 5 star hotel therefore its food, alcohol etc etc are equally expensive. Eat and drink elsewhere and buy water in town NOT at the hotel. The restaurant attached (Matsuhisa) averages about 120e per person for a two course dinner plus wine. Despite that, it is THE place to be seen and folks each pay more than twice that amount in high summer. When you arrive and depart arrange a taxi yourself and do use the Belvedere’s own transfer service. The cost of a taxi from the airport is only 10e. Unless the hotel has changed its rates multiply that by three for the same service!

    All in all, the Belvedere is a special hotel and much sought after. I feel the rate you have been quoted for a classic room is very good. Don’t forget though that all hotels have pictures of their very best rooms at each grade. However, I’d go for it but stick with my suggestions and you’ll leave the island with money in your pocket!

    Jon

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    Hi Harrison,

    Now that you have decided on Mykonos, you can see a little bit of the island on the live streaming camera at http://www.mykon.net/mtest/index.php. If you look in this evening (Greek time) you may be able to see some of the Easter celebrations, e.g. the candle procession after the midnight service. :-)

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    Thanks Jon! Great information and really helpful towards me making a well-rounded and informed decision. I've taken your suggestions into account and I think we're going to have a blast in Mykonos. I've booked the Belvedere, so it should be a great highlight to the trip! Can't wait! Sounds like the islands have captured all your hearts, can't wait to see what it has in store for us.

    Thanks Cheryll and Heim as well. The live link is great and Cheryll your posts have been awesome. Happy travels to everyone.

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