This beachfront hotel on the island of Hydra has no connection whatsoever with the Four Seasons hotel chain. This Four Seasons has only a few suites, and there are no uniformed staff, expensive spa centres or business facilities. Here you will get to know the young staff on a first name terms; the sea will be your spa (no charge), and as far as business facilities go, once there you will forget you needed them in the first place. The hotel is in a fantastic spot, right by a small beach, and it’s ever so quiet. The building is a 150-year-old mansion, once a sponge trader’s summerhouse. After a full renovation it no longer looks like an old family home, but the suites have plenty of charm. I particularly liked the fresh and elegant feeling of “Spring” and “Summer” (these two suites have painted wood floors and ceilings, handmade furniture, pastel colour schemes and great sea views) and the elegance of “Autumn” (where I stayed), with hardwood floors and antique furniture and also a wonderful view of the sea. But the other three suites, “Winter” (with a sea view), “Sun” and “Moon” (in small buildings behind the mansion, with private terraces) are also very tastefully done. Life in the Four Seasons is blissfully simple. You could spend days here moving between your suite, the beach and the hotel’s seaside taverna. If you want more entertainment, the town of Hydra isn’t too far either (but far enough to keep the crowds away); if you don’t feel like walking the 3 km footpath that takes you there, you can take a boat; it goes every hour.
I love the old building and the suites, so full of charm, but it’s the location that really does it to me. It is such a beautiful and quiet spot. Apart from the waves washing up on the shore, all you’ll hear is the occasional dog barking, donkey braying and rooster crowing, and of course in the summer, the never tiring concerts of the cicadas.
Don’t expect a glorious sandy beach. It’s just a small beach with little stones and pebbles (flip flops or sea shoes come in handy), but for lazy days there are plenty of sun beds right by the sea. Sun beds and umbrellas are reserved for hotel guests, but during the high season it can get crowded with other people who come for a swim and/or a meal.
En-suite bathroom (shower)
Facilities to make coffee and tea
Seafront sun beds and umbrellas
Breakfast is served between 9h00 and 11h00, and you can ask to have it in your suite, or come down and pick a table by the sea. You have a choice of three set menus: Greek breakfast (the healthiest), English breakfast (the heaviest) or continental breakfast (the most basic). I am not an easy customer and I asked for a Greek/English combi. It was not a problem at all.
The hotel has its own beachfront taverna, serving traditional Greek food. I had the best dolmadakia (filled vine leaves) ever, and a particularly tasty dish of fasolakia (green beans cooked in tomato sauce). You can order food any time of the day, and if you wish it can be brought to your suite.
Of course you can also take the boat (or walk) to the main port, where you have a good choice of (Greek) restaurants. You should definitely try the Sunset Restaurant (same owner as Four Seasons) famed for its romantic setting on the rocks above the sea.
Children are welcome at the Four Seasons Hydra, and four of the suites can accommodate families with two children. Keep in mind that if you travel with a baby, your only access to the hotel is by boat really – the path between the town and the hotel is not easy to negotiate with a pushchair/stroller. For toddlers it might be a little disappointing that the beach is stony (no sandcastle building), but for older kids and teenagers this is a great holiday spot. The island offers a safe, car-free environment for kids to go around by themselves. Children (and grown-ups) can take donkey/mule/horseback rides from town and there are some really nice walking routes. There are possibilities for scuba diving (also for beginners) and boat trips.
The Four Seasons is in a very tranquil spot on the island of Hydra, almost three kilometers from the port. With the sea and a small beach (Plakes) just a few steps away, wild mountains rising behind it, gorgeous views, amazing sunsets, and utter peace and quiet, it’s a setting from heaven. If the reason you go to Hydra is to enjoy the nightlife, this is not the best location for you, as at night you can’t just scroll back to your hotel. If you want to return late at night, you have to be ready to either walk for 40 minutes in the dark, or to take a water taxi. But if you come to Hydra to rest and relax, there is no better location than this one.
The hydrofoils for Hydra leave from Piraeus and take less than 1,5 hours to get to the island. You can also go by car via the Peloponnese (about 2,5 hours from Athens) and cross at Ermioni or Porto Heli via Spetses, but keep in mind that cars are not allowed on Hydra so you’d have to leave it behind on the mainland. After you arrive in the port of Hydra, you can take the private boat of the Four Seasons to the hotel.
We recently stayed at The Hydra Hotel you recommended. My husband and I stayed in Autumn. Wow! What a paradise! Thank you so much for this recommendation. The views, the swimming, the food, the service, the bed! And we so enjoyed the walk into the village. Hydra is charming, but it was hard to leave the hotel and it’s beautiful private beach.