Mykonos + Santorini hotels
The majority of boutique-style hotels in the Cyclades are on Mykonos and, above all, Santorini. In the past few years, however, boutique hotels have begun to appear on the other islands too. Most approach the quality found on Mykonos and Santorini, although some have yet to realize that minimalist decor, bellhops with attitude, and techno music piped so loudly into the restaurant that conversation becomes impossible are not necessarily the marks of desirably hip destinations. Santorini has a collection (mostly in Oia) of beautiful small hotels. A few caveats, though: Most of this island's best hotels are built on the face of the caldera, or cliff wall, that rises high above the Aegean. This situation creates the hotel views the island is famous for, but also means that every venture might require guests to negotiate dozens of steps, or more. Swimming pools (if you're lucky enough to have one) at these places tend to be small, and the rooms often represent cave living—cave living at its best, to be sure, but still cave living. The rooms, originally carved out of the cliff to provide storage and shelter for people of a somewhat more humble station than those who can afford the tariff now, have been fashioned into luxury digs, but some retain a claustrophobic feel.