Having just read the reviews of the Smaragdi Hotel on this site, I thought I’d add my own thoughts. I’ve been coming here; often twice a year, since 1999 and I’ve never had any problems. There are many other people who also come back to the Smaragdi year after year so they must be doing something right.
Although listed in the Kosmar brochure as being in Perissa, the hotel itself is more towards the Perivolos end of the resort which is much quieter and set back from the beach road by about 200 yards. The walk into Perissa itself will take about 10 to 15 minutes although there are plenty of bars, coffee shops and restaurants in either direction along the beach road to help you on your way.
The hotel is totally family owned and run by Dimitris, Smaragda (a queen amongst women), Maria and Stamos and they really do make you feel at home. Smaragda speaks very good English as do Maria and Stamos who look after the pool and bar areas. If you do have a problem, they will do everything they can to sort it out for you.
A word of warning - if you’re coming with Kosmar, please note that the views of the hotel in the brochure are NOT representative of the rooms that they use - the Kosmar rooms are set at the back and the sides of the main complex. Some people have complained about the size and location of the rooms but in my opinion these complaints are unwarranted. The rooms are allocated by the Kosmar reps, not the hotel. If you are not happy with the room that’s been allocated to you, it may be possible to take another room if there are any available but be aware that you might have to pay extra – speak to Smaragda about this. In my opinion, if you’re on holiday you’re not likely to spend a great deal of time in your room other than sleeping and getting dressed. The rooms are clean and comfortable with constant hot water (a bonus), TV (BBC World, BBC Prime and Greek channels), direct dial telephone and ceiling fans with air conditioning available for a small daily cost. They are also serviced every other day when the towels and bedding are changed. Quite frankly, what more do you need!
The pool area is where most of the action happens. There is a very well stocked bar, open every day from about 11am with draught Greek beer and bottled English beers together with all of the usual stuff you’d expect. There is an extensive menu of snacks and main meals, all excellent quality and well worth the money. They will often have daily specials available too. If you’ve had a busy day and can’t raise the energy to walk to one of the many local restaurants, the food here is just as good and a lot cheaper.
Perissa itself (the main resort) is about 10 to 15 minutes walk away and whilst the main street can get busy at night, it’s hardly the ‘mini San Antonio’ another reviewer mentioned. If it ever gets to that stage, I’ll stop going back! There are plenty of bars and restaurants and you’ll soon get to know which ones are better than others – ask the people at the hotel about the places they recommend. Restaurants that I would personally recommend are God’s Garden (near the Water Park in Perissa), Odyssey (Tito, the chef, serves some of the best food on the island, a little more expensive, but well worth it for a special treat) and the Lava restaurant on the beach road, which serves the most authentic Greek food you’re likely to get in Perissa. For before or after dinner drinks, go to Dorians Bar on the main street where you’ll get delicious cocktails in a lovely setting. This is one of the longest established bars in Perissa, having been around for over 20 years.
To see the volcano and caldera, you’ll need to go the west coast of the island and the main towns, Thira (Fira) or Ia (Oia). The first view of the volcano from the cliffs in Thira is just amazing but be wary of nipping into one of the many cafes looking directly over to it – they are very expensive and you will pay through the nose for drinks and food. If there are American cruise ships in, it will be very busy and quite possibly even a little more expensive.
Ia is famous for the sunset but to be honest, you can see it just as well in Thira or on the road to Akrotiri where the volcanic excavations are taking place.
In my opinion, Santorini is not particularly child friendly so if you must take them, be prepared to spend a lot of time trying to keep them amused. There are no kids clubs or anything like that and in Perissa the only real kid’s facility other than the beach or hotel pool is the Water Park.
All in all, the Smaragdi is an ideal place for a quiet, relaxing holiday. If it’s all night bars and clubs you’re after, please go somewhere else.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Smaragdi Hotel lies at one of the most famous beaches of Santorini, Perivolos. It is an A class Hotel, which follows the traditional Cycladic architecture at its exterior and interior decoration. The hotel offers all modern comforts to its guests such as a large swimming pool, pool bar, breakfast room, playground, currency exchange, Jacuzzi, Free WIFI high speed Internet etc.The hotel rooms are spacious, sunlit and well taken care to the last detail. They are all fully equipped in order to make your stay here more pleasant. The hospitable atmosphere, in combination to the trained and pleasant personnel, which is always at your disposal, will make you feel at home. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Smaragdi Hotel Perissa
- Smaragdi Hotel Santorini/Perissa