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This summer all the party gods and goddesses will be in one place: Greece.
On May 14, the Greek government is officially reopening its borders to tourism, just in time for the warm weather. The rest of Europe will likely follow suit, with the European Commission looking to allow in fully vaccinated foreign citizens by summer.
But better still, 2021 is 1976 for the Greeks — the 200th anniversary of the country’s independence.
And the Greeks know how to party.
“In Greece, we have a saying ‘The sun, the sea and my boy’ — that’s what summer is all about,” said travel influencer Katerina Katopis. “Romance, anything goes, being chilled, relaxed and happy.”
The glam factor’s ratcheted up even higher by a raft of Hollywood productions lensing there, too: Daniel Craig and co. will be filming the sequel to “Knives Out” there, while Tom Hanks (a newly minted Greek citizen) and Rita Wilson will oversee another installment in the “Big Fat Greek Wedding” series. And the Disney+ movie “Greek Freak” about two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is scheduled to shoot, too.
For New Yorkers, there’s an added incentive: convenience. As of June 1, Emirates will resume its daily direct flight between Athens and Newark.
That just leaves one question: Where the party at? One place you can’t miss is the creatively spelled Forgtmenot (from $120 per day), a brand-new restaurant-bar-and-hotel complex that’s a sister spot to the namesake restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown, owned by Greek-American Paul Sierros. It will have the same shabby-chic vibe as the original, set in the Peloponnese peninsula near Athens — a beachy weekend spot that’s emerging as a spiritual sister to Montauk.
“We’re even building a very small skateboard halfpipe in the restaurant,” he tells The Post.
But in Greece it’s all about the islands, In particular, the Cyclades, which boasts sugar-cube like white buildings and perfect blue water.
Obviously when it comes to partying, Mykonos is your Meatpacking District, and a slew of new hotels have come online since the pandemic ruined the fun.
The primo perch is undeniably Kalesma, suites from $1,400).
The new, 25-suite, ultra-luxury hotel has a dedicated beach concierge will be on hand to advise guests on the best spot for the day, depending on wind conditions.
Then there’s Aegon Mykonos, from $834 per night) is set on two sites: the hillside Retreat, for guests looking to decompress, and the Revive, right on Kalo Livadi beach so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
Ibizan nightlife legend Pacha will open its first hotel outside Spain here, Destino Pacha Mykonos this summer (from $305): expect its signature buzzy pool scene plus the immersive restaurant Lio, with performers prowling among the tables.
And the former mayor’s office, on Manto Square right next to Little Venice in the heart of the old town, has just been rebooted as the 19-room Townhouse, an affordable, funky alternative (from $310)
And of course, there’s Santorini. It’s overrun in summer — days there can be ruined when a half-dozen cruise ships disgorge thousands of people to tramp through its tiny backstreets. But with so much cruising in drydock still, this summer will be a rare chance to avoid the masses. Hands-down the most glamorous perch will be the new, six-villa Santorini Sky (from $350).
Owner Daniel Kerzner took a 12-acre plot of agricultural land at the highest point of the island and built this resort from scratch, focusing entirely on privacy — rooms are huge, at 1,500 square feet — and views.
“You can lie in bed, and push a button, and the world opens up in front of you,” he said, of the floor to ceiling windows.
The new Radisson Blu Zaffron Resort resort is larger, at 102 rooms, and located in the seaside village of Kamari — handy for the beach, and the historic ruins at Thera (rates TBA).
Then again, you could just book out a private compound Eros Antorini on the edge of the caldera with room for 10 adults and four kids in total seclusion; it’s offering full buyouts, or for the first time ever, selling rooms piecemeal (buyout from $11,000 per night, rooms from $1,060).
If you don’t come with a crew to take over that place, though, don’t worry — at least according to Katerina Katopis. The biggest lure of Greece, she said, isn’t the glamour or the good-living. It’s the locals.
“Everyone is one big group of friends here,” she laughed, “That’s what Greek summer is all about.”
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