I don't think I will ever forget the serene beauty experienced on our visit to Santorini, exemplified by our stay at Afroessa, a gem of a hotel in the small town of Imerovigli.
The first secret tip I would offer is location - stay in Imerovigli. It is located at the center of the island and hence affords perhaps the best views of the whole caldera, with sunsets comparable to that from anywhere on the island (even Oia, which is famous for them). Plus it is much quieter, more affordable, and close to Fira (without being stuck in the tourist-mire of that busy town).
Afroessa is run by Joanna along with the hospitality of Aliki and Eddie - who all made our stay pleasant with their personal service, from carrying our bags from the shuttle (which they offered to arrange - definitely recommended if you arrive by ferry - as taxis are impossible to find!), to offering advice on the island, arranging a taxi to the airport, etc.
What is greatest about this hotel, cut-into the side of the caldera like few other hotels, is of course the view - from your balcony, from the reception area - but most of all, from the pool / patio area - where you can lounge, get some sun, and experience the lovely weather and memorable sunsets.
It is also located right on the hiking trail (we could actually see hikers walking by our room window) that goes all the way from Fira to Oia. Advice: consider hiking to Fira (a busy section) or the much longer 2+ hour journey to Oia (more scenic, quiet, and hilly) - but go early in the morning before it gets hot, take water, and be prepared to bus it back (from Oia).
The rooms at Afroessa are nice if not luxurious. The shower echoes the cave-like environment with a wall studded with stones. There is a safe, a little kitchen area (which was nice for storing wine to drink while watching the sun set, or breakfast supplies) - while breakfast was not included for us, we did order from their very reasonable breakfast menu (a la carte) on one morning - and they deliver right to your balcony!
In keeping with the superior service - Joanna even let us stay a little late (for check-out), as our flight was later in the day. These little bits of hospitality and attentiveness just add to what on its own is one of the most beautiful locations in the world. I would return in a heart-beat and have already recommended Imerovigli and Afroessa to all my friends!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hotel "Afroessa." Afroessa hotel praises romance. Our guests experience the exceptional view from our "old canavas" rooms, set atop Santorini's hillside. The original site of a winery built in 1700, it was renovated in 1998 on its existing foundation. Our ten studios, each with its own unique archway are built on five levels, with their own magical view of the Caldera. Each studio is individually decorated giving each its own distinct character, yet maintaining the traditional style. The beds are built into the foundations and the furnishings and decorations chosen so as to enhance the warm and romantic feelings created by the surroundings. The priceless moments which you will experience during the enchanting sunsets from your balconies and the relaxing pool bar, with chill-out music will forever remain in your memories, reminding you of the serene calm and magic of Afroessa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Afroessa Hotel Imerovigli
- Afroessa Hotel Santorini/Imerovigli, Greece