30 August 2017
Update 2019: due to the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook Casa Cook got new owners and the hotel is now OKU Kos.
Last year the first Casa Cook Hotel opened in Rhodes and it was a true gem. In July they opened the Casa Cook Kos and I went there to check it out for you.
When I spoke to Remo Masala, chief marketing officer of Thomas Cook and the man behind the idea of Casa Cook, last year, he emphasized the importance of rest in the lives of modern travellers. You can make a citytrip for a long weekend and return home inspired yet tired because you wanted to see it all. Or you can escape to a modern island retreat in a super inspiring environment and return home while your batteries are recharged and you have lots of new ideas. It’s just like Albert Einstein said: ‘I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence and the truth comes to me’.
Style is an important factor at the Casa Cook Hotels. Just like modern city hotels have that little extra, island escapes also need to have tiny little wonders you don’t have at home (yet). Like that soft red kaftan as a bathrobe in the room. Or a hammock in front of the room. Or a private pool. Or a Marshall radio for your music. Or a rattan bag you can use as a beach bag throughout your stay.
Annabell Kutucu and Michael Schickinger are behind the design concept of the hotel and we already know them from San Giorgio in Mykonos, Casa Cook in Rhodes, Papaya Playa Project in Tulum and Nomads Apt. in Berlin among others. Inspiration comes from the island of Kos and that’s why they’ve created what seemed to be small villages made of cubist houses. During the day the light changes the shadows in a stunning way. There are five different kind of rooms. The first two categories don’t have a pool, the Junior Suite (where I stayed in, so the pictures represent that room, number 207 to be exact) shares the pool with only two other houses and the villas have even more privacy as they have a private pool.
So what’s more to discover at Casa Cook Kos. There’s a beautiful shop selling local products among Kinfolk magazine, American Vintage clothes and Marshall radio’s. They also have a juice bar and a terrace in front of it overlooking the hotel. There’s a spa with swimming pool, hammam, treatment rooms and a gym. They do yoga in the morning and afternoon. I’ve tried their Relax Massage and it was good – the design of the spa is just as bohemian as the rest of the hotel. With grey-washed walls, plants and lots of wood.
If you walk more towards the beach you will find a swimming pool on the left side and the restaurant on your right. We had Halfpension so breakfast and dinner was included. Breakfast is buffet-style including Greek yogurt, fruit, lots of pastries, eggs and sweet cakes etc. The restaurant goes all the way to the dunes where you can sit outside as well. Think a mix of Jose Ignacio, Puerto Escondido and Formentera. The Greek salad is delicious and really refreshing and at night I’ve tried their fresh fish, chicken, tzatziki, and of course a daily chocolate fondant. Everything is served on Surface by Serax x Sergio Herman, table wear inspired by Zeeland on a Greek island. Nice!
And then there’s the beach. A small white strip of sand where the water temperature is perfect. They have super relaxing lounge beds on the beach and in cabanas for the guests and it’s truly the perfect setting for a day on the beach. Don’t forget to check out the sunset every night because it will amaze you too. So beautiful! If you find it hard to lay on a beach bed all day reading magazines or books, you can also book other activities like paddle boarding or ride a horse.
‘Are there are more things to discover on the island?’ Of course you can rent an electric bike or a car and explore more of the island or book a boat trip, but since I’m always running from one address to another I wanted to slow down this time and enjoy the hotel to its fullest. Another question: ‘is the hotel child-friendly?’ Yes. Or a super tricky question: ‘is Casa Cook Kos better than Rhodes?’ I have a personal preference for Kos because it looks like they turned it up a notch design wise and they have a private beach.
My overall conclusion is measurable due to my emotional state when we left. I didn’t want to and I was a bit sad. Could easily stay for more days. And I wanted to book for next year already. For me, as head of the design traveller gang here on Petite Passport, it’s hard to go somewhere twice as there are so many new places I need to discover for you, but this one is a true favorite. Go!
Check out: www.okuhotels.com
OKU Kos, Sikamini, Marmari, Kos, 85, Dikeo 853 00, Greece