My wife and I stayed at the Canaves Suites in the village of Oia, which is located on the northern end of Santorini island, facing into the caldera. We stayed here for four days in July of this year, and we found this hotel to be of decent quality, but undeserving of its five-star ranking, as well as poor value for the price paid.
On one hand, we liked the following aspects of the Canaves Suites : (a) after touring the island, we feel that Oia is the best place to stay in Santorini, as it has a great vista of the caldera, which was the case from this hotel, and as there are many charming shops and eateries, with many of the latter having great views as well; and (b) the room was spacious, comfortable, and clean.
However, note that the location and design of the room is critical. As we were exploring this hotel, we encountered a couple who were shouting at their staff, complaining that their room was a hole in the wall without any windows, which was true; that it was located right beside a public walkway, with some strangers accidentally wandering into their patio, which was true, as I myself had done the same; and that it only had a partial view of the caldera, which was true. They argued that if they were going to be given such sub-standard room, that there should be a warning when they made their booking, and that such rooms should be priced at a substantial discount to the steep pricing for this hotel. I felt sorry for them, sympathized with their point about advance warning and discounted pricing, and was thankful that my room was of a good location and design.
On the other hand, we disliked the following aspects of the Canaves Suites : (a) The air-conditioner in our room broke down once every day, twice in the middle of the night, spewing out hot air, which woke us up. Note that the rooms in this hotel are built into the side of a mountain slope, and so there is no natural air flowing through even if you leave the windows open, and in the sizzling hot summer, the air-conditioner is indispensable. Also, our request for a fan on the second day in case the air-conditioner broke down again in the middle of the night, was only met on the third day. If the staff of this hotel read this review, I recommend that you place a fan in all rooms as a standard feature; (b) The concierge service was appalling. Firstly, they could only cope with handling one enquiry at a time. Secondly, on the early afternoon of our first day there, we discussed with them the booking of a tour to see the main attraction around the island, and of a cruise to snorkel, have a BBQ dinner, and enjoy the sunset. For the cruise, they informed us that the boat was fully booked. When I asked them if they could recommend another cruise operator, they recommended a booking a super yatch, which costs EUR2,000! Note that when I walked out to the village later, I able to easily book a cruise from the many independent tour agents located there. Secondly, they promised to revert to me later in the day about the itinerary for the tour, and whether they could find another cruise operator. However, around five hours later in the early evening, I still had not heard back from them, was getting nervous because the tour was the next day, and went to see them. There was a new shift of staff manning the concierge, and they had no record of my booking and request! Fortunately, Ms Karakitsou Nasia, who had taken over the concierge, was extremely apologetic, and immediately sorted everything out, though I told her that I no longer needed their recommendation for an alternative cruise operator. Note that she also recommended that having lunch in Katina in Ammoudi, which turned out to be a fantastic meal!; and (c) Last but not least, there were other niggling shortfalls. For example, sometimes the housekeeping staff forgot to give us face towels or hand towels. Another example, the coffee served during breakfast was from a pot and very stale. When we asked for a freshly brewed cup of caffe latte, we were told that it would cost extra. Come on, for the price we paid to stay here, can't you either serve good coffee, or not penny-pinch us when we order a fresh cup?
All in all, it would have been a bad experience if not for our encounter with Ms Nasia, as well as for our encounter with the driver from this hotel who took us on a tour of the island, who was from Chile, but whose name we could not quite catch, as his English was poor, but which he more than made up for with his amazing ability to read our preferences, especially bringing us to good spot to take photos, as he could see from the camera equipment I was carrying that I was a photography buff.
Meanwhile, along with staying at Oia (but not Canaves Suites), we would recommend having lunch, especially the lobsters, at Katina in Ammoudi, and taking the mid afternoon to early evening cruise of the caldera.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Dramatically clinging to the cliff face, perched high over Santorini’s caldera, Canaves Oia Hotel has been transformed from 17th century cave houses. Consisting of two sections, Canaves Oia and Canaves Oia Suites are 100 metres apart and divided by the pretty cathedral of Oia. Each section has its own pool, pool bar, sun deck and reception and of course the same impeccable service.Enjoy breakfast on your balcony as you soak up the amazing vista. Afterwards, go into Oia and visit the Venetian castle and wander through the steep, narrow streets packed with small boutiques. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Canaves Oia Resort
- Canaves Hotel Oia
- Canaves Oia Hotel Santorini, Greece