When vacationing in the Greek islands you will find an array of hotel or apartment style choices. Accommodation that stands out and makes you feel like you are in something closer to the all-inclusive resort is a little harder to come across. Should you find yourself in Ios, however, and want to feel a little more pampered, look no further than Dionysos Seaside Resort.
I came upon Dionysos Seaside Resort on TripAdvisor. I thought the pictures looked very nice and the price was right when compared to the other options on the same beautiful strip of beach. So, we reached out to Dionysos for accommodation and were fortunate enough that they had space on such short notice. I thought nothing more after the booking and simply looked forward to enjoying the island.
Arriving on Ios, we had arranged to be picked up at the port through the hotel. We later found out he has great ties with Dionysos and had been working on the island for many, many years after falling in love with the island after visiting in his youth. He was eager to tell us the yummiest places to eat, where to go for sunset, and how best to get from a certain location to another. He was such a delight as our first contact on the island and even helped bring our bags to reception without the typical “suggestion” for a tip.
Dionysos immediately felt like more than a hotel on the beach. The pool area, noticed immediately as you pull in, has a large pool of eye-catching glamor and a smaller pool adjacent. Encircling the pool area are beach chairs, a lounging zone with more comfortable couches and a fully equipped bar. The manager, Maria, was an absolute doll and bundle of energy who made us feel right at home. The rooms are very clean and just what you want: large with an extremely comfortable bed; a deck for outdoor relaxing; a refrigerator to keep drinks (or pastries!) cold and fresh; and air-conditioning, allowing you to sleep comfortably in the hot Greek environment. All the basics are there with flair.
Making our way down to the beach we became even more enthused. Dionysos has another fully equipped bar closer to the beach from which you can order food or drink at extremely reasonable prices, even for a backpacker! Neither quality nor service is compromised in the reasonable price as Dionysos staffs their own waiter on the beach who will bring your food or drink straight to your beach umbrella. Speaking of your beach umbrella, don’t bother to bring one to Dionysos. They provide all their guests with complementary beach seating and they don’t go cheap here either. The beach chairs are all padded in thick cushioned mattresses. I have never been a huge fan of laying by the beach all day doing nothing, mostly because I never found it extremely comfortable, but Dionysos changed my opinion on beach bumming forever. I melted into the beach bed, enjoying my book under the hot sun. The beach in front of Dionysos -Mylopotas – was one of my favorite beaches in the Cyclades. The water was a refreshing temperature considering the sweltering heat of the island. It was so clean and clear that even at shoulder deep I could still look down and see my toes. I really felt like I was relaxing at a proper resort while at Dionysos.
The island of Ios is a fantastic one outside of the beach area too. The Old Town is worth a stroll and tour for several hours. I suggest heading to the Old Town for sunset; it is only ten minutes by bus from Dionysos. The panoramic view of the entire valley and bay in the distance is spectacular. The sun will set almost perfectly down the center of the bay and you will have one the best spots if you climb to Panagia Gremiotissa.
Be sure not to sleep too late or leave Ios too early so that you always have breakfast at Dionysos. The spread is one of the best we have encountered on our travels. Croissants, bread, jams, honey, bacon, scrambled eggs, sausages, cereal, little pastries, fresh fruits, Greek yogurt, and an assortment of drinks amongst other things I am surely forgetting. Important to know is that they also vary some of the breakfast items from day to day to make sure that you do not get sick of the same things – much appreciated!
The island of Ios is amazing and remains one of my favorites. If staying in Ios you really should look no further than Dionysos Seaside Resort. It is worth noting that the island is known as a party center during peak tourist season, July and August, but when we were there in early September it was peacefully quiet. While we were there we only came across the rowdy young crowd when we wandered some distance down the beach. During our stay and hours of relaxation on the beach we were unaware of any of the festivities further down the beach because Dionysos was in a location which removed us from the noise. My only regret is not lounging at the comfort of Dionysos for longer and exploring every square inch of this picture-perfect Greek Island.
**Special thanks to Dionysos Seaside Resort for kindly offering me a complimentary stay. As always, all opinions are my own.