"Well played karma, well played."
A mantra and tattoo that owner and visionary Nir lives by.
Like all of us, Nir set out on his quest with one plan in mind and like always, the universe, gods or whatever you subscribe to had something very different in mind.
Nir’s idea was to build a sanctuary for himself and his family in a quiet spot on the island to contemplate the days and find inner peace. Plans, however took a pivot when Nir found an incredible location perched on the edge of Agios Fokas, a location that was begging for much more than a humble habitat for Nir alone, a location calling for something special to be shared with those who equally feel the call for Greek island peace.
With that, Royal-Ma was born.
When driving through the gates of Royal Ma you are met with an expansive view of the bay of Agios Fokas and across to neighbouring island Mykonos. Just below the property sits a small private beach, sheltered by the bay.
The first thing I heard when I switched off the car after driving down the rocky, unsealed road and through the private gates of Royal Ma, was nothing.
Silence so loud that it took a minute for my traffic laden, siren heavy Athenian brain to register that it was in fact a good thing.
I took a minute to adjust and relaxed into the sound of the sea, gentle waves lapping up against the rocky shore line of Agios Fokas pushed by the wind.
The winds are strong. Whatever you are holding on to, physically or emotionally will be taken by the Meltemi. Tie your hair up and let it flow through you- I guarantee it will be for the better.
The property itself is breathtaking and Nir has made it his mission to add tiny little details to each space to show his personality but also add a unique touch to each of the rooms. A huge old door repurposed to the breakfast buffet table, vintage bottles as decor and little signs with quirky sayings. When I asked Nir about his vision for the property this is what he said.
“I wanted to have a space that felt like home, somewhere I can find my peace and where others can feel the same.”
Nir goes on to tell me that he has a special spot on the property, an old bench tucked in a corner near the kitchen that looks out over the bay to Mykonos.
“This is my spot, I sit here, I think, I relax. It’s the reason I wanted to build something here in the first place”.
If I had a spot like that in my house you could guarantee I’d be perched there daily too.
There are 10 rooms to choose from, depending on your budget and number of guests. Each room is beautifully decorated in a minimalist-island style, speaking to the traditional architecture of both Tinos and the Cyclades. Everything you need is there- Nespresso coffee machine, fridge, smart TV, wardrobe, super comfy sofa and one of those showers that has the rain shower head from the ceiling and also the hand-held shower rose.
As for the beds, there are two key things I look forward to when staying at a hotel. The first, an incredible bed that feels like a heavenly cloud I can fall into (with equally plush pillows and linens of course) and the second, a delicious breakfast. Royal-Ma delivers on both.
The breakfast spread is perfect! Eggs, pastries, fruit, cheese, yoghurt- go nuts, BUT if you enjoy one thing it has to be Nir’s cake! We had chocolate and banana cake and I tell you what, if I wasn’t trying to be, you know, ‘on my professional behaviour’ I would have cut a slab of that cake, stuffed it in my pocket and devoured it with a cup of coffee. Trust me when I say- CAKE!
There are so many spots to relax on the property. You can lounge by the pool in one of the very comfortable sun lounges, you can tan up on the rooftop, you can relax undercover in the dining area or you can schimmy down to the beach to swim in the sea.
When you’ve had your fix of relaxing in nature and feel the urge to venture out then Nir’s wonderful son, Roy at the concierge can help you find your way around the island or to his favourite Italian restaurant ‘Dough and Shaker’.
This was my first time in Tinos and my first time travelling with my 7 month old daughter. If anyone reading this has children then you will understand me when I say, travelling with a child is overwhelming and there is simply not enough space in the car or luggage to take everything you need! Thankfully the Royal-Ma is bebe and kid friendly- not to the point of there are kids everywhere screaming and your adult serenity is ruined, no no, more, ‘kid supportive’.
Our room was set up with a cot when we arrived and there was a baby bath tub. They also have a highchair for breakfast and a very cute poncho towel for the pool.
The Royal-Ma is luxe without being pretentious. If you want to sip champers in the pool you can, if you want to fly into the Mykonos airport and get a private speedboat over to Tinos, you can and if you want to sit down and hear incredible stories from a man who’s lived 10 lives before this one, while snacking on a cake he made earlier in the day- you can.
Find your path, settle in and enjoy this incredible property- just be sure to secure your hat and anything else you don’t want to lose in the Meltemi.
You’ve got my heart Royal-Ma.
To book visit the website.