Xenenos Filotera was recommended to us by a friend, and when we read the reviews here on TripAdvisor they were mostly very good, so we booked a 3 night stay in Santorini. I will preface this review by saying that we had just stayed at an amazing hotel in Naxos, so our expectations were pretty high. That being said, I just don't understand all of these great reviews, as Xenenos Filotera did not live up to them.
We arrived and were greeted kindly by the reception staff and given a welcome drink (a very sweet Santorini wine) and a tour of the property. There is no question that the views from the pool deck are outstanding, however, as we later discovered, any hotel that faces the caldera (and there are MANY) has the same fantastic views.
The room (#115, below the pool deck) although decent in size, was not at all what we anticipated based on the photos online. The furniture and decor were incredibly dated and did not give us any sort of "Greek island" vibe. The room was supposedly "volcano view", but there was no view from either the room or the small front patio, it was entirely blocked by shrubbery and a low cement wall. The bathroom was dingy, and the shower almost unusable. The curtain was way too short and made entirely of cheap cloth, so the water from the shower went both through and below the curtain, soaking the floor every time. The curtain also only went about halfway around, so you had the option of getting water all over the toilet area, or the sink. It seems like some of this was anticipated, as there was a drain in the floor, but I don't understand why they just would not get a better fitting shower curtain. Showering was a frustrating task.
Breakfast was included with our room, and at first glance it seemed like a good selection of food. You're given a sheet of paper the day before with all of the options and told to select what you want, what time you want to eat (30 min blocks), and where (on your patio, at the pool, etc). It's a little bit annoying to have to decide when you want to eat ahead of time (since if you want to sleep in and eat whenever you get up, that isn't an option), but that was the least of the issues with breakfast. The food was either ready too early (meaning someone came to our room to find out where we were before we were ready to eat and the food was all cold) or too late, when it arrived at the very end of our selected time block. Additionally, we were told to put down the number of people eating each item. For the first day, only one of us wanted toast, so we put 1, and then got just 1 slice of cold, hard bread. The server/bar attendant told us that we actually needed to write how many of the item we wanted (not the number of people eating it), so the next day one of us asked for 2 poached eggs. Instead we got 2 PLATES of poached eggs, with 2 on each plate. We were confused (obviously) and were told that no, some things come with more than one item, but how could we know that?! They would be much better off cooking to order. I think the hotel was totally full, but it never seemed that way (during meals or at any other time), so I don't know why cooking breakfast to order would be an issue.
We did, reluctantly, eat dinner there one night. (There is not much in the area, and contrary to what they will tell you at the hotel, Fira is at least a 45 minute walk away, Oia much farther by foot.) The dinner (one of us had chicken souvlaki, one had pasta) was serviceable and not badly priced, but nothing special. And the hotel was a ghost town with almost no one else eating there while we were, sort of depressing.
Due to the distance from any of the towns, you're probably better off staying in the heart of Imerovigli, in Fira or in Oia. We took the bus to all those places and it was fine, but if you want to hang at the pool and then walk somewhere close for dinner or drinks, that's really not an option. We had thought it would be relaxing to stay out of the town center, but the hotel didn't have a good enough atmosphere for that to be a wise choice.
FYI, we are a gay (female) couple and that was not an issue here (or at any other hotel we used on this trip).
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.