Kivotos Hotels & Villas

Kivotos Hotels & Villas | Lesoleilfoundation

Kivotos Hotels & Villas

Mykonos • Santorini

It is in this hotel that George Michael fell in love and Donatella Versace found a source of inspiration for her Greek collection, whereas, from time to time famous designers, like JPG, as well as great stars, like Shakira and her partner Gerard Piqué, have also stayed there.

Interview with the owner Philip Michopoulos

Philip Michopoulos is the person who remains in charge of the business for the ambitious project laid by his inventive father, Spyros Michopoulos, owner of the famous multi-awarded Kivotos Hotel & Villas in Mykonos.

The well-known businessman Spyros Michopoulos together with his two sons travelled all around the world, collecting the antiques that established the unique personality of his hotel, thus providing an unforgettable accommodation experience thanks to the detail-oriented and discrete attitude of the entire team.

How did it all begin for the legendary Kivotos Hotel in Mykonos?

P.M.:The concept of Kivotos -which is the equivalent of ‘Ark’ in English- came to the owner, Spyros Michopoulos, in a moment of epiphany back in the early 1990s, when a French antique mirror was placed in such a way that it seemed to him it radiatedthe full majesty and ineffable ambience of the Greek island experience; an image so mesmerizing that it left an indelible mark on him. Ever since then, his two sons, Philip and Jason, have continued to cherish and enhance that very first vision, running a luxury 5-star boutique hotel with world-class sheen while creating a second, brand new 5-star property on Santoriniisland, with a feather touch of refinement, dedicated to the needs and desires of a sophisticated traveler.

Your family was already famous due to the exquisite antiques your father collected. Tell us a little bit about its most distinctive pieces.

P.M.: Kivotos Mykonos features a large collection of unique antique pieces, from different parts of the world, most of them coming from the marchés aux puces, the flea markets of Paris. Some of the most prominent ones are a 19th century Ludwig Victorian piano, found in the hotel lobby, or two large Louis XV armchairs, sitting in the restaurant.

From time to time, several famous guests have stayed at the hotel. Could you share a few names and perhaps a few stories?

P.M.: Shakira, George Michael, Calvin Klein, Jean Paul Gaultier, Darren Star and many other world class celebrities from the fashion, music and film industry have chosen Kivotos for their holidays in Mykonos. Something that truly surprises us every single time is that most celebrities are very low-key in their behavior towards the “normal” crowd, whether it is the hotelstaff or other people, which is unlike what everybody says about stars being very demanding and spoiled individuals. 

Is there something truly worth doing this year at the hotel or perhaps something launched this year for the first time ever? 

P.M.: The main advantage of Kivotos over other 5-star properties in Mykonos is that it features its own private beach, just a few steps below the hotel suites and villas. Secluded, away from the overcrowded shores and bustling tourist traps, it offers the guests a unique feeling of sheltering and relaxation.

Kivotos Mykonos

Recently, you established a similar property in Santorini. Tell us a little bit about it. What were the reasons that led you to such decision?

P.M.: Kivotos Santorini marks a comp letely new approach to 5-star stylish living in Santorini. First of all, the property is painted in a dark grey hue, instead of white, like all other hotels on the island; more over, inside the suites and villas, one may find a minimalistic, yet warm design, ingeniously combined with many high tech amenities, such as the different lighting options controlled via your iPhone/iPad or the SONOS wireless sound system that allows you to listen to your favorite music in all interior spaces, even in the shower! We always wanted to extend the legacy to yet another destination and Santorini was the most evident option given that most foreign travelers, who visit Mykonos, right away also visit Santorini. Therefore, we created a second gem there in order to be able to offer the same level of first class service to our guests. 

What is the secret of a truly good host in islands like Mykonos and Santorini, which attract high-level tourism?

P.M.: As a general rule, hospitality must run in your DNA. It does not have to do with how well you can run the hotel. It has to do with how hospitable you are, even when inviting friends at home for example. If it is already in your blood, then you can build up on how good of a hotel manager you can become.

How easy or how difficult is it for you to be the person who awakens a dream into people’s hearts? Did you ever imagine that at some point you would be the one that makes people’s dreams come true? 

P.M.: To be honest I have never thought of it that way, but you are absolutely right! Our real job as hoteliers is to deliver upon a dream. Our main aim has always been to find a way to surpass other people’s expectations. If you succeed on doing that, then you have earned your guests’ heart forever. 

Why do you think the hotel keeps being awarded again and again? 

P.M.: I believe it is mainly because we simply love what we do!

What are your favorite places in those two islands? 

P.M.: My favorite spot in Mykonos is the Aghios Sostis beach, given that it remains unspoiled, without any beach bars or umbrellas. In Santorini, I love Imerovigli -where our property is located as well as it offers the best sunset and volcano views on the entire island!

Is there a “memory for a lifetime” from the first years of the hotel?

P.M.: Sure! When I was about 5 or 6 years old, Kivotos was still under construction. I used to throw stones inside the pool and the workers used to chase me around to make me stop!

In the end, who is it that establishes a hotel’s personality? Is it the one who loves it and works for it or the ones that dream of staying there and they finally make it? 

P.M.: I believe it is a mix of both. The one who created it has put in ithis charm, and then the character and warmth of the property builds up each time a person stays in it. 

Is there something that you learned from your involvement in the hotel that changed you forever? Would you share a proverb that tells everything about you? 

P.M.: You have two options in life. You either go along with others or you have personality.


Philip Michopoulos 

Born: 7/8/1982


- 2001-2004 Bachelor in Communication from the American College of Greece

- 2005-2007 MBA from ESSEC Business School of Paris


- 2001-2004 Seasonal placements in various departments in Kivotos 5* Boutique Hotel, Mykonos, Greece.

- 2006 Sales & Marketing Assistant for Karma Resorts, Bali, Indonesia

- 2007-2014 Director of Sales & Marketing in Kivotos 5* Boutique Hotel, Mykonos, Greece.

- 2008- Present Owner of M/Y Prince de Neufchatel

- 2014- Present President & CEO of Kivotos Hotels & Villas, Mykonos and Santorini.

- 2019- Present Creator of Kivotos, Santorini, Greece

Interests & Hobbies: 

- Enduro, Downhill, Snowboard, Books.