In Greek, the word kalesma means invitation and the just-opened resort of the same name in Mykonos is indeed an invitation to find rejuvenation amid a setting that blends contemporary design with island tradition.
Comprised of 25 suites and two villas—all with private terrace pools and views of the sea—Kalesma was designed as a “village” of whitewashed volumes inspired by the local vernacular so that guests could fully immerse themselves in the Cycladic lifestyle. “A necessity arose to create an elemental dialogue between the exceptional surroundings and the interiors,” says designer Vangelis Bonios of Athens-based Studio Bonarchi, who collaborated with Athens architecture firm K-Studio on the project.
Among Kalesma’s highlights is the plateia, a communal space strewn with a series of pools and terrace dining. From the central Aloni lounge, named for the traditional Greek circular stone areas where wheat is threshed, guests can take in beautiful sunsets.
In contrast to the buildings’ bright white walls, there are plenty of brass details, dark wooden ceilings with chestnut beams, and bamboo reeds. Sandblasted stone floors in a variety of earthy hues also provide “an ideal natural canvas for the interiors that allows the blue color of the Aegean Sea to stand out,” adds Bonios.
Handmade furniture, much of it custom, also showcases Studio Bonarchi’s predilection for texture. There are oak armchairs with rattan detailing and black lava stone coffee tables made by local craftspeople as well as ceramics from Aleksandar Vac and antique elm consoles, which all mingle with contemporary sconces and pendants and, in the lounge and reception, sculptural pieces by fashion and furniture designer Rick Owens. Together they conjure, Bonios says, “an artistic value magically connected to the serenity and pureness of the project’s authentic Greek style.”