Offering travelers history, gastronomy and a world-famous sunset, the Greek
island of Santorini is an Aegean hotspot. Hotels dot across the island, from the five-star all-suite cliffside boutiques, to smaller, local guesthouses tucked into the ancient towns. Whatever your style – or budget – we’ve picked the top 10 places to stay on Santorini.
Situated in the town of Fira, Villa Renos boasts amazing views over the caldera and the sea. Rooms are comfortable and clean, individually decorated in a contemporary Greek style. Many have balconies or terraces overlooking that amazing view and the hotel has a pretty terrace for sunset drinks. When you finally manage to tear yourself away from the panorama, Renos is also conveniently close to the bars and restaurants of Fira, as well as Plateia Theotokopoulou the Museum of Prehistoric Thira, and the Archeological Museum.
Boutique Hotel, Hotel
Formerly a winemaker’s house, Ikies boutique hotel is full of character. The white-washed, cave-like rooms have been individually and artfully renovated and designed to reflect traditional Santorini aesthetics. They are situated in tiers descending the cliffs, each with sweeping views over the volcano. Rooms range from suites to studios, with plenty of private space and small self-catering facilities. There’s no restaurant (although breakfast and pool snacks are available), but staff are always on hand to recommend the best places to eat in nearby Oia.
Located in a former winery owned by the Markezinis family, Canava Santino
is thought to date back to the early 19th century. The hotel is made up of four independent houses and apartments, each with full self-catering facilities and access to a communal yard and BBQ area. Although situated in the centre of the island, the town of Messaria is just five minutes from the airport, and another five from Fira, putting guests in easy access of all the attractions of the island – including those amazing clifftop sunsets.
Hotel Katerina's Castle
As the first hotel in Imerovigli, Katerina’s Castle combines a traditional cave architecture with contemporary Greek interiors. Think: white-washed walls, seascapes, bold, bright patterned furnishings and all the mod cons. There are just nine rooms, not that large, but there are terraces, verandahs and a pretty terrace café/bar when you want to stretch out and admire the sea views. Staff are super helpful and the in-house travel desk can organise a host of excursions, including car, moped and yacht rental from Katerina itself.
Located a short walk from Oia village, Heliophos Hotel is in the historical neighborhood of Finikia, an old-medieval village. The atmosphere is local and involved with its surroundings, giving guests an insight into everyday Santorini life. The hotel is made up of eight traditionally built cave houses, climbing up the hill and with great sea views. The interiors are decorated in a contemporary island style with Moroccan and french accents and plenty of modern amenities. Sizes range from studios to family houses. There’s no restaurant, but Sofia provides a delicious, freshly prepared breakfast every morning and there are facilities fro self-catering in the apartments. However, staff will happily recommend restaurants in nearby Oia and there’s a great spot just next-door.
Anatoli Hotel is perfect for those who want to stay at the very heart of Santorini. It is situated only 500 metres from the centre of the island, in a building dating back to the 19th century. Rooms in the new (2015) wing are the best, built in the old wine cellars and featuring original features such as stone vaulted ceilings and white washed wood. There’s a restaurant and pool bar, but for guests looking for a little more privacy, there are also self-catering apartments available. When you finally manage to drag yourself away from lounging by the huge pool, Fira is steps from the hotel with all the attractions the town has to offer.
Petit Palace Suites
One of the top 25 small luxury hotels in Greece, Petit Palace Suites embodies the luxury that Santorini is famous for. The 23 suites are carved intuit he rock and beautifully designer furnished in a contemporary Cycladic style with pale stone and woods, neutral linens and carefully integrated modern amenities. There are stunning views over the caldera – especially from the pool and pool bar, the perfect place for a sundowner as the sun goes down before a Mediterranean dinner at Elia Restaurant. The hotel is just over 1.5 km from Fira, placing it at the heart of the island and within easy proximity of all the main attractions.
Located between Fira and Oia, Anastasis Apartments consists of ten luxury apartments, all overlooking the caldera. It is a hotel made for privacy and relaxation, with several spacious sundecks, a terrace, spa facilities, and a huge infinity pool sweeping out over the cliff edge. Awarded the Travellers Choice Award 2015, it’s a favourite spot for those looking for a way to experience and also escape Santorini. Close enough to see the sights, there is also enough on-site to keep you occupied.
The Sea Captain’s House
This two-storey mansion is filled with character. 1864 The Sea Captain’s House is carved partly into the cliff, with just four suites all decorated beautifully with hand-picked antiques in an island-style setting. Owner Tony Moziman is on hand to recommend how to make the most of your time on the island, but on the agenda has to be hanging out at the hotel, enjoying the afternoon cocktails and appetizers, the in-house spa or simply lounging on the terrace admiring the view.
Santorini has a reputation for luxury, but if you know where to look, you can find some budget-friendly options that also offer island charm. Afrodete Hotel is known for its wonderful service and nicely-decorated, affordable rooms. And while the price is low, the experience is high with just 10 rooms, sun terraces, an outdoor jacuzzi and a great location. Only a short walk from Fira’s town centre it’s the perfect choice for visitors who want to experience the buzz of Greek life whilst also experiencing the serenity of Santorini. Staff are extremely helpful and strive to make guests feel at home while offering recommendations of excursions, restaurants and bars. And while it might be at the budget-end of the price spectrum, Afrodete has one spectacular feature in common with it’s pricier compatriots – that amazing caldera view.