You probably know this hotel from Instagram: A dreamy design, breathtaking views, a big number of pools in each suite, hanging beds and lots of swings! The Calilo Ios is one of the most surprising hotels we ever stayed at and in this hotel review I’ll tell you what the overall experience during our stay was!
Calilo Resort, Ios Review
Located on the island Ios, not far from the famous Santorini, you have to take a ferry to reach the resort. Ios doesn’t have its own airport, but Santorini has one and the ferry ride just takes 45 – 1,25 hrs (depending on your choice of either the express ferry or the cheaper but slower one). This means that a visit at the Calilo Ios can easily be combined with some days on Santorini – but of course you can also choose another island as your starting point. The ferry connections in Greece are really great!
After we got off the ferry, we got picked up by a private driver of the Calilo who escorted us to the mini bus. From the harbor in the main town Chora it is a 30-40 mins car ride to the resort which leads up the mountains to the complete other side of the island.
This secluded location makes Calilo perfect to a quiet and relaxing vacation, away from the beach clubs and bars which you can mostly find close to Chora. But no worries – if you decide to explore a bit more of the island during your stay, Calilo offers shuttle services around the island. But read more about this below!
With a total of 32 suites (more are currently getting built) the Calilo offers a big selection of different suite sizes, views and features. You have to know that EACH of them is unique and offers different features like pools, caves, swings, … The Calilo Suites reminded me of a playground for adults out of a “Alice in Wonderland” world!
We stayed in the Beachfront Suite Number 18 with one bedroom. It is one of the rather smaller suites but still super spacious and the plus point: Your sleeping right at the beach with an uninterrupted view over the sea and the hotel beach.
The bed and bathrooms are very similar for every suite category: Lots of marble and a big open bathroom with an even bigger bathtub in the center of it. It gives the suite a truly royal vibe!
The highlight of our room, as in any of the suites, is the private outdoor area where we spent most of our time! Our terrace consisted of a big swimming pool, two additional plunge pools and a waterfall. I also loved the staircase which lead up to the roofed sun bed which invited us for midday naps after our sunrise photo shoots. 😉
“Ray of Light” 3-Bedroom Suite
As I told you already, each of the 32 suites at the Calilo is different from the other that’s why it’s hard to tell which one is the best. But from the six suites we visited, the 3-Bedroom Suite No. 23 has been my favorite! It offers a big number of smaller plunge pools which are all connected with each other, a big swimming pool with a swing beside it, a sun lounging bed in one of the pools and a hidden cave which leads to an additional pool with the most epic view over the bay. This is guaranteed the perfect suite for friends or families traveling together. There is no way to get bored at this place!
“Passage to Love” Couple Suite
Are you traveling with your better half to Calilo to celebrate a special occasion like your honeymoon? Then you will LOVE the “Passage to Love” Suite. It has one bedroom with a panoramic sea view and a private infinity pool. But the centerpiece of this romantic suite is the indoor overwater jetty leading to a hidden hanging bed and cave pool which is framing the unique view over the bay! Definitely one of the most romantic hotel suites we’ve ever seen! 🙂
The Concept of the Calilo Resort Ios
Calilo stands for “Create a LIfe you can fall In LOve with” so the wellbeing of all guests is the main goal of the resort.
The architecture is surely like nothing you’ve seen before: Think of handmade mosaics from millions of marble pieces, extravagant art pieces which will remind you of Gaudi and lots of natural stones. The family owned Calilo Resort combines luxury with connection to the nature of Ios. In combination with the blue Aegan Sea and the Greek sunshine, this is a true hidden gem which invites its guests to fully immerse in the Calilo world.
Beach & Pools
Beside the fact that almost every suite is having at least one private pool, you’ll find an additional big pool in the main area of the resort. It begins at the main building with the restaurant and lobby in it and stretches until the beach where you have a zero degrees entrance into the pool – similar to the sea itself. Just like all places in the resort the pool combines art pieces and a unique architecture. You will feel like Alice in Wonderland, walking over the jetty which leads over the water.
The beach of the Calilo is one of the best ones on the whole island. Located in a bay, with mountains on both sides, this beach is a safe haven from the rough winds and sea of the Cycladic islands. Nevertheless Ios is still one of the most windy places we’ve ever been to – just like Santorini and the other Cycladic islands – but the pebbled beach of Calilo is protected from most heavy winds.
You will find no typical rows with sun beds at the beach but instead beautiful and huge “hanging bed” cabanas. There are more than enough of them so you don’t need a special reservation or need to pay an extra fee to use them! Especially during the morning and midday, this is the best place to relax.
One place we unfortunately haven’t been able to see and experience are the unique “rock pools” which are currently under construction!
During our stay in summer 2022 the main spa building of the Calilo hasn’t been finished yet so unfortunately we couldn’t check it out. But this will most likely be different duirng your stay, since the construction was almost finished. Located at one of the highest points of the resort, the spa area will have an amazing view and we heard that it will be another breathtaking hotspot of the resort! So stay tuned!
Nevertheless the Calilo provided an obligatory gym and mini spa during the time of the construction of the spa building.
Specials – Spend an evening outside of the resort at the Pathos sunset lounge & restaurant
Since the Calilo is located on the East side of the island, it doesn’t have a direct sunset view. So if you want to experience a magical Greek sunset in a special atmosphere I can definitely recommend you to spend an evening at the day club & sunset lounge Pathos. It belongs to the same owners as the Calilo Resort and is designed in the same style. At Pathos you will find the BEST infinity pool with sunset view in Ios, enjoy cool drinks, dance to Live DJs and enjoy amazing Sushi in their restaurant.
From the Calilo resort you can take a free shuttle which drives around 30 mins. Simply tell the reception which day you’re planning to go so they can make reservation for you 🙂
Breakfast & Restaurants
The food at Calilo has been amazing! Currently they only have one main restaurant where they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. But a new fine dining restaurant will be added very soon. Plus you can also enjoy your lunch straight at the beach in your private cabana!
Breakfast is a mix of a small cold buffet and a great à la carte menu! You can choose from international classics, Greek specialities and completely new creations – or simply create your own personalized breakfast dish. The staff was always helpful and special requests have never been a problem. That’s a true five star service!
The dinner menu is a modern interpretation of Greek dishes with mostly local products – often even from the island Ios itself. Additionally to the menu they have some daily changing special dishes.
Greek summer at it’s best and a truly unique architecture – that’s what sums up the Calilo Resort on Ios! The creativity and love for details of this resort is one of a kind and we truly enjoyed every minute of our stay. This was also thanks to the amazing team at Calilo – the whole team was always friendly, happy to help and had a smile on the face. It is true, when they tell you during the check in process, that you leave all negative feelings behind as soon as you step in the Calilo Resort to clear your head and fully immerse in relaxation mode!
We had a sponsored stay at the Calilo Resort in Ios, which does not influence my opinion and review about the resort.