On a tiny island in the Cyclades, Éros Kéros offers guests an enchanting stay at four stylish homes overlooking the Aegean Sea
Whether it is the perfect sandy beaches, bright-starred sky or fresh Greek cooking, visitors to Éros Kéros on the island of Pano Koufonisi inevitably return home with body refreshed and mind inspired by the beauty of this tiny paradise. Open since 2018, Éros Kéros is a complex of four discreet, stylish houses, each furnished with authentic handmade furniture. The houses’ terraces overlook verdant gardens, the sapphire-blue Aegean Sea and the uninhabited island of Kéros – believed to be one of the most important archaeological sites in all of the Greek archipelago.
Éros Kéros owner Anita Papantoniou and her husband fell in love with Pano Koufonisi 30 years ago, deciding it was the most magical of all the Greek islands. Thanks to the islanders’ strict regulations, it remains relatively unspolit. “There are no rental cars or scooters, no jet skis,” says Anita. “All you hear is birdsong, the wind in the trees and the waves on the beach. We fell in love with the golden beaches and the most transparent emerald water you have ever seen. We have been to many islands, but there are none to compare.”
This is a place for relaxation – absorbing nature, walking, swimming in the ocean at the two nearby beaches, or enjoying beautiful Greek food at home or at the nearby tavernas. “We cook on demand, delivering homemade fresh Greek food to the terrace every day, including breakfast, light lunch and dinner. The menu depends on what we have fresh, but we always have a couple of choices and there are always some basics. Our guests tell us what they want and what time they wish to eat.”
European visitors reach the island by ferry from Mykonos or Santorini, while those from further afield can fly to Naxos from Athens, then take a private transfer or catch the ferry. Once there, guests can travel around the island by bicycle or sea taxi, or charter a boat to take them around Kéros, a protected architectural site that was once the centre of the Cycladic civilisation. “You can rent a fishing boat to visit neighbouring islands,” says Anita. “We take people into town or help organise excursions. People usually just want to relax. They love to come here because nobody bothers them. We offer luxury, but in a very simple, elegant way.”
Éros Kéros has a particularly prized spot on the island, just 130 metres from the nearest beach, which Anita describes as completely protected, and so calm it could be a giant swimming pool. The houses overlook the island of Kéros, a site of extraordinary architectural treasures, including striking flat-faced marble busts that inspired 20th-century artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore. Archaeologists are still studying the island, trying to untangle its important role in Greek civilisation.
“We chose this incredible plot because it has an unobstructed view of Kéros,” says Anita. “You feel as if you can touch it and absorb the vibes of the very special place, which was once the epicentre of the Cycladic culture and civilisation.” The couple have since acquired the neighbouring plot and plan to build a few more houses – but not many, as they want to maintain their standards and the privacy they offer guests. “We can give our guests this unobstructed view, so from your terrace you see nothing but the plants, the beach and the island,” says Anita. “Our concept has always been to capture the warmth and beauty of Greek hospitality.”