Way back in January, when Porter and I started making plans to leave home and travel indefinitely, we would spend nights researching eco hotels, digging up emails and saying prayers that the ones we really wanted to work with would choose to hire us. Those nights were so full of anticipation and excitement and coffee and the occasional french fry run, and inevitably, a lot of the time our conversations would circle back to one hotel in particular: Anemi.
It wasn’t just the all-white interiors, and the light blue accent chairs, the infinity pool, or their desire to integrate as many local foods and outings and accents as possible that made us visually fall in love with this place long before we set foot on the property, it was everything combined. Our photography style favors lights and brights, muted tones and soft palettes. More than once, we’d pull up the Anemi hotel website and say, “this hotel is going to shoot itself.” We were right. Aesthetically, it’s a place that is our dream setting to photograph, but the “meat” of this place, the atmosphere and culture and people add a beauty to that aesthetic we never could’ve grasped from pictures alone.
Here are 4 reasons why we’ve loved our time here, why we feel it’s an ideal spot to island hop on day trips from, and why we feel grateful to, once again, have visited a Greek island that’s off the beaten path, but all the more beautiful for it.
1. The Design – I just touched on this, but the all-white aesthetic is honestly awesome, and I think what most people really want when they’re visiting the Cyclades for the first time. The light blue accents, and the cushiness of the big bean bag seats in the bedrooms just added to our love for it. The bedrooms also have really high ceilings so the rooms feel even bigger, and family suites come with a private pool. There are lots of stripe accents in the lobby that just work, too, and it feels so design-oriented that you kind of just want to hang out in different sections of the hotel and notice all the little details of each space.
2. The Location – Folegandros is a tiny island in terms of how big some of the Cyclades are. Walk up most of the hills here, and you have a 360 view of the whole place. Town is about a four minute drive up the road from Anemi, and the miniature-ness of this place just feels like a breathe of fresh air. Compared to islands that are super close, like Santorini and Ios, this place is a haven. No hustle, no bustle, just a small run-of-the-mill Cycladic town with those quintessential blue and white streets and six or seven restaurants and gelaterias to choose from. I really think it’s the perfect spot to do day-trips from, and when we got back from a day in Santorini (more on that on the blog later this week) I just about kissed the ground with gratitude that we were in a place with room to breathe again.
3. The Flower Vines – One of my favorite buildings when I lived back in Dublin was the Boston College office on Merrion Square because it has an espaliered maple tree winding all the way up it, and in the fall it would turn orange and red and it was that kind of Autumn pretty that’s hard not to stare at. All around Anemi, each white Cycladic building has different flower vines in all different colors, elegantly and minimalistically (new word, I know) wrapped up one side. I think you can tell from the photos just how beautiful the effect is.
4. The Breakfast – the staff here are so incredibly warm and attentive, and when I would tip-toe out of our hotel room to go have a cup of tea and hopefully let Porter sleep a little longer than I do (I’m usually up around 6), they would bring over French-pressed breakfast tea, which seems like such a small thing, but was actually so aromatic and comforting and just the perfect way to start each morning. There isn’t a buffet, but a menu instead, which, to be honest, is kind of refreshing after hotel-hopping for a bit. Buffets are awesome, but I realized you usually end up mixing a lot of foods just because they’re in front of you, and breakfast can kind of end up unbalanced (yogurt with granola and a side of nutella toast and another side of smoked salmon and another side of citrus fruits…you get the picture). I also loved the serving style at Anemi – they use these ceramic plates and bowls with bevelled edges, kind of like disposable pie pans if they were molds instead. I loved them.
We’ve just reached Mykonos – an island we love and one that’s especially special because we came here the day after we got engaged in May . We’re going to be sharing photos on the blog this week from Santorini and Mykonos, and then we’re onto Crete…
Hope you enjoy the pics!
Anna Lisa & Porter
*Thank you to Anemi for sponsoring this post, as always, all thoughts and opinions remain our own