If you feel like some indulgence, check out the Elies Resort (www.eliesresorts.com; tel. 22840/34-000), which opened in 2005 on a hillside stretching down to the beach in Vathi. Elies immediately won a regular place in Odyssey magazine's annual feature on the 50 best hotels in Greece. The glistening white (inside and out) resort, shaded by olive trees (elies is Greek for olive trees), is designed to look like a traditional Cycladic village -- albeit a village with tennis courts, villas with private pools, and a spa. Doubles begin at 340€, suites at 550€, and villas at 950€. You may also want to check out the Verina Complex (www.verina.gr), whose holdings, in addition to the Hotel Petali , include the Verina Suites, at Plati Yialos; the Verina Astra Suites, in the village of Poulati; and a villa at Vathy. Many Sifnian hotels insist on a stay of more than 1 night in high season.
Apollonia is the most central place to use as a base on Sifnos. Buses depart from the central square to most island towns, and stone-paved paths lead to neighboring villages. Keep in mind that many Athenians vacation on Sifnos, particularly on summer weekends, when it can be virtually impossible to find a room, car, or, unless you start early, even a meal. If you plan to be here during the high season, be sure to make reservations by May. If you're here during off season, many hotels are closed, although some do remain open.
With advance notice, Aegean Thesaurus Travel can usually place you in a rented room with your own bathroom, in a studio with a kitchenette, or in other, more stylish accommodations. A simple double in a place with no view can cost 100€ in high season.
There are several small hotels and rooms to rent in Artemona. Although the 25-room Hotel Artemon (www.hotel-artemon.com; tel. 22840/31-303) is just outside the village on the main road from Apollonia to Artemona, the road is usually not horribly noisy at night. The rooms (simple, but fine) at the back overlook a garden, all rooms have balconies, there's a very good restaurant, and the owners get high praise from the many guests who come back year after year; the Artemon is open year-round, which many island hotels are not. Doubles run from 80€ and fixed-price dinner 17€.
The port of Kamares has the greatest concentration of hotels and pensions on the island, but has little of the beauty of Sifnos's traditional villages. Two moderately priced hotels are the 14-unit harborside Hotel Stavros (doubles from 80€) and the 18-unit Hotel Kamari (doubles from 60€), a 10-minute walk from the beach and harbor. Information is available on both, from Stavros and Sarah Kalogirou (www.sifnostravel.com; tel. 22840/33-383). This helpful couple (Sarah is English) also has a car-rental agency and the Elonas apartments to rent in Apollonia (units sleeping up to five, from 125€). They also run the YaMas Internet Cafe Bar in Kamares.
A busy beach resort on the island's south coast, Plati Yialos serves as a convenient base, especially if you are traveling with children. (I speak from happy experience at the Hotel Plati Yialos.) The town exists for tourism during high season. If Hotel Akti Platis Yialos is full, there are lots of other choices, including the attractive beachside 20 room Hotel Efrosini (www.hotel-efrosini.gr; tel. 22840/71-353), popular with Greek families, or the stylish Verina (www.verina.gr; tel. 22840/71-525), across from the beach, but with a lovely garden and big pool.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.