As pandemic restrictions ease and the travel-starved masses clamber to book holidays this summer, the luxury travel experts at Condé Nast Traveller are at hand with a helpful list of their favorite hotels on Santorini.
Famous for its iconic, white-washed Cycladic architecture and breathtaking views over the volcanic caldera, Santorini is, as the publication points out, quite literally “the Greece of dreams.”
It’s no surprise that the island is a popular choice for holidaymakers looking to soak up some much needed sun, sea, and fine dining, and enjoy a slice of inimitable Greek culture. Choosing the right accommodation on such a popular island can be tricky. Here’s a breakdown of CN Traveller’s “Best of” list that we’ve divided into categories, but are not mutually exclusive:
Of the 21 hotels and villas on the list, the Vasilicos is touted as a family-friendly hotel with stunning caldera views. The boutique hotel, located just outside the west coast village of Imerovigli, is the childhood summer home of owner Daphne Valambous, and is, according to the magazine, a “masterclass in Cycladic simplicity.” It’s perfect for families with older kids.
Likewise, Erosantorini, a stunning luxury villa in the central village of Messaria, is open to children.
Calm and relaxing
For those wanting to escape the mayhem and overcrowding of Oia, the Perivolas hotel is the ideal hideaway. Described as a “honeycomb of cliff-side houses,” the hotel boasts a superb guests-only restaurant and a brand new gym.
Similarly, Vedema – a Luxury Collection Resort, in Megalochori, built around a 400-year-old winery – is another good option for those seeking a calm and relaxing break. Friendly and laid back, CN Traveller notes the fantastic breakfast buffet, served at the poolside restaurant, is one of the best on the island.
Beachside Incognito Villa, near Monolithos, famous for its fine black sand and crystal clear waters, is the perfect place to escape the crowds. With its own private garden and pool, and a selection of tavernas within walking distance, the “astonishingly quiet” Incognito Villa apparently does exactly what it says on the tin.
The only way to reach Perivolas Hideaway on the sister island of Thirassia – separated from Thera following the cataclysmic volcanic eruption of 1600 BC – is by speedboat or helicopter! The ultimate escape, the article notes that “very few visitors bother to visit this breakaway island.”
Just below Oia lies the all-suite hotel Santo Maris. One of the major draws here is the “cavernous spa,” offering all kinds of treatments for visitors to pamper themselves.
Carved out of the destruction of the 1956 earthquake, the Grace Santorini in Imerovigli village is perched on the edge of a cliff. With breathtaking views of the famous caldera, the article mentions the hotel may not be suitable for the elderly or infirm due to the sheer number of stairs (149!), and children under 14 and not allowed. Perfect for honeymooners and those looking for a quiet, romantic getaway.
Astarte Suites, located in the village of Akrotiri – famous for the Cycladic Bronze Age settlement, buried in volcanic ash following the Theran eruption – is another great option for honeymooners and couples.
Carved into the rugged caldera cliffs of Oia, Mystique, a Luxury Collection Hotel, a sister property of the Vedema Resort (above), offers a contemporary twist on traditional design. Intimate and discreet, the hotel is another great option for couples looking for that dreamy, romantic getaway.
Romance-award winner On the Rocks in Imerovigli offers a range of rooms and suites with spectacular views, a luxury pool bar, and spa facilities.
Katikies hotel, located on the cliff edge in Oia, has 25 rooms and suites on offer, all boasting spectacular views. A rooftop restaurant serving fresh seafood, an infinity pool, and easy access to the nearby beach make this hotel a top choice.
Also in Oia, rugged Andronis Arcadia offers “ludicrously brilliant sundowner views from the restaurant, the infinity-swimming-pool-meets-beach-club and the pretty bedrooms.” Perfect for party-loving jetsetters.
Glamorous Chromata hotel in Imerovigli oozes elegance and style. With sweeping views and breathtaking sunsets, the luxury suites and villas cascade down the side of the cliff.
Homeric Poems in Firostefani, inspired by the owner’s home in Ithaca – the home island of legendary Homeric hero Odysseus – boasts fine dining and awe-inspiring views of the caldera.
The exclusive five-suite, one-villa Tsitsouras Collection is a luxury art hotel in Firostefani that is a favorite haunt of European royalty, business tycoons, and members of the international jet set, including a host of Hollywood stars.
For those looking for a hotel that blends luxury with tradition and an unforgettable gastronomic experience, Zannos Melathron in Pyrgos is the pick of the bunch. The 19th century mansion and attached 18th century villa is renowned for its fine dining and one of the best wine cellars on the island.
A bit out of the ordinary
In the heart of Oia, and with only three suites on offer, the historic 1864 The Sea Captain’s House is a listed building, ideal for visitors looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary. While there is no pool, there is a mega-shower to cool off after sunbathing, and the small, intimate hotel has its own Jeep and “access to a private yacht.”
Voreina Gallery Suites, located in the village of Pyros, Santorini’s largest and best-preserved medieval settlement, is a must for art lovers and history buffs. The suites are filled with contemporary art, and the village is home to a Venetian castle. From the terraces, the sunset views of the caldera are as good as those from Oia.
Located in the island’s bustling capital, Fira, Cosmopolitan Suites is perfect base for exploring the local bars and nightclubs. Likewise Hotel Atlantis, a stone’s throw from the center, is surrounded by the island’s finest restaurants and night venues. It is also one of the more affordable choices, even in high season.