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“Not quite what we were expecting”
Review of Heliophos

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Heliophos
Ranked #19 of 34 Oia B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 13, 2012

Well we did pay the cheapest price so I suppose we got the cheapest room. I think all the other happy reviews are from the lucky ones that did get the rooms as advertised and the unhappy customers got the same small dated room. It is in a nice place and I dont think the walk into Oia was that long at all. Our room was very small. It wasnt particulary clean (crumbs on table and chairs etc) and 'bathroom', well its an experiance. Its a cupboard really with a huge sink unit in, toilet and shower head with wrap around (you) curtain. A wet room really but very small. It did the job but probably the worst bathroom ever! There was a small sink etc in room, not needed really. The bed was small with a torn tatty net over it and a very old cushion with a ciggarette burn in, nice. And I swear the bed had a single bed size sheet on so there was plently of sheet tug-of-war at night! The breakfast was very basic set out on a table that you also have to sit around, bit cramped and awkward really especailly if everyone is speaking in French! (the owners 1st language) The outside area is nice.
But finding the place!!! As others have stated the owner doesnt speak good English so directions from her over the phone were useless. For reference - head towards Oia. When you've come arouund the mountain road and start seeing buildings again on the right you will see a restaurant called 'Santorini Mou' turn right just after. Head down the hill and turn first right into a small carpark. You will have to park here or get out the taxi. At the other end of carpark from where you entered there is a footpath, head down here and keep to the left going down hill. You will hopefully start seeing signs for it now. it'll be on the right - phew! Quite a trek with heavy luggage!
We didnt really spend much time at the accommodation so it served our purposes but would'nt reccommend.

Room Tip: Pay abit more??
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MWIG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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33 - 39 of 103 reviews

Reviewed June 24, 2012

We stayed at Heliophos for three days. The room was nice, each room has it's own patio or balcony. These are old houses built into the hillside turned into a lovely bed and breakfast. Very charming!

When we arrived we were disappointed to find that the air-conditioning advertised was in fact "natural A/C" owing to the fact that the rooms are built into the hill and "stay cool". Our concerns were for nothing. The A/C was not necessary, the room stayed pleasantly cool and there was a fan if needed.

The owner, Sophia, is wonderful! A more lovely, hospitable woman could not be asked for!

A great place to stay just a short 5-10min walk into Oia. Peaceful and beautiful!

Room Tip: Sorry, there is no pool, accidentally rated it and can't unrate...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank getoutdomore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2012

We loved Heliophos when we last stayed in Santorini. The owner was very welcoming and helpful and the accommodation very reasonably priced compared to other hotels or guest houses in Oia. Yes you do not have the view of the volcano as other- much more expensive places- boost but you can walk easily to the centre of Oia and still enjoy the awesome view. And Heliophos has the added benefit of being in a quieter part of town so you do not feel that you are in a place crowded with tourists which Oia is. There was a very good taverna nearby from which we could see our room window and the room itself was lovely, on two floors and very charming with a roof terrace. Every morning we loved having our breakfast-very good- on the hotel terrace from where we could look at the village and people going about their business. However the place was very quiet when we went so I am sure this helped as we nearly had the place to ourselves. The whole experience was very atmospheric and we will stay there again if we ever go back to Santorini.

Room Tip: Rooms on the top have better view from their terrace and are brighter
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank cf070261
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2011

So cute!!!!! Loved this hotel. It gave me the real Greek experience I was looking for. It's a cute Greek cave. Me and my girlfriends loved it and tried to take pictures but they did not do it any justice. The owner was very sweet and the breakfast was good and made you feel at home. She made lots of delicious jams. After I got home I watched a movie called "summer lovers" with Daryl Hannah and the movie brought me back to my Santorini holiday! The place where they stay in movie is very similar. This was one of the best prices I could find in area also. When I walked by some of the other hotels that I was thinking of staying at it made me even happier... I chose the best place. I would stay again and I would encourage others to stay because it's not your typical hotel you can find anywhere else in the world.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Minnie92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2011

I stayed 5 days with my grown up daughters in a nice 2 bedrum appartment with a little veranda with a view of the village and the sea. The village of Foinikia is beautiful and peaceful, abount 15 minutes walking distance from Oia. It has not Oia's stunning views to the caldera, but it is very quite and to me it remiended Santorini many years ago.
The appartment was clean and nice, Sofia very helpful with tips for restaurants and beaches and there was always some breakfast even if you were a late sleeper. This is not a place if you do not want to walk at all (you have to leave your car in the parking area, there are no cars in the village), but it is sertainly a place to enjoy greek hospitality, in very special atmosfere and at a very good rate.

Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
Thank tesAthens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2010

I stayed with four friends in one house for nearly a week last month. The Heliophos is a bit of a challenge to find - after exiting the bus at Finikia we wandered down many a cobbled lane for quite some time. After asking some locals for directions and finally spotting a tiny sign we arrived, sweaty and cranky, at our destination.

Sofia was there to welcome us with icy glasses of juice and a sweet smile. After some stilted conversation (she speaks Greek and French fluently, but her English is limited) we were helped with our bags (down several more winding, cobbled lanes and steps) to our little house of pale lavender. Completely charming and quite spacious, the house had a fair-sized kitchen complete with stove and refrigerator, and a beautiful bathroom. From the large porch we had a lovely view of the sea (not the caldera side, but still!) Breakfast is served every morning from 8:00am to 11:00am, and is basic, but good.

After climbing up the winding steps out of the village, it is a very easy and short stroll into Oia. Rather more of a challenge is the hike to the Finikia bus station. While much closer than Oia, that last hill to the stop is a bit of a killer.

While the Heliophos is certainly a bit out of the way, it's only a walk to Oia and a twenty minute bus ride to Fira. We actually liked the quiet location, and certainly couldn't argue with the room rate (less than have of anything else we had found).

I would certainly stay at the Heliophos again.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank Kackles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2010

After reading the tripadvior reviews and their website Heliophos looked to be a charming cave house experience, but it fell far short. I suppose if you're a backpacker on a tight budget and the choice is here or a hostel, then maybe you go with this, but in any other situation I would choose anything else. While the owner is a nice lady who is doing her best to run this b&b there are some important issues to be aware of:
1. in addition to being a good 15-20 min walk from the centre of oia, you will also have a solid 500m trek with your suitcases before you even get to the hotel - no cars are allowed past the central parking lot.
2. once you reach the hotel (ask around - it's easy to miss the signs) you have to wrestle your baggage down narrow (i.e. not the width of a suitcase), twisting staircases. there's no bellboy to help you with this.
3. there is no a/c (or fans) in the rooms. at first we thought this would be okay - it's a cave, it should be cooler inside than out. unfortunately, our 'cave' was like an oven. when we got back to our room in the evening the place was stifling. it made it very difficult to sleep.
4. making it even more difficult to sleep, the bed was as hard as concrete. i actually prefer hard mattresses and even i found this bed beyond uncomfortable. i've had better sleeps while camping!
5. finally, the shower is just unworkable. there is no enclosure and the shower curtain contraption fails miserably. you end up with water everywhere and the curtain stuck to you.

There are any number of decent hotels in or close to oia that would make a better choice.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with friends
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4  Thank JEPCda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
foinikia, Owner at Heliophos, responded to this reviewResponded April 18, 2011

I feel thankfull for these comments ,because I can spot points of my services wich can improuved !
For instance , to be certain that all visitors know how to use air condition system wich is located in EVERY ROOM of the property, Or to supervise them not to leave personnal items at common use places like the kitchen or terrace, to get somebody with a donkey to carry to the hotel the luggages averytime a new arrival notify me for the amount of lugage is carrying . etc.
However somethings can not be improuved at all ! ,
Like :
Location of my hotel : Thanks God we are not in the super crowded OIA village but in 1,5 kms away in the peacefull -traditional village of Foinikia. So this is the location presented in all adverts !
Trek to hotel : Thanks God also, that in tradional villages dont exist roads for cars and traffic , and narrow streets are only for donkeys and humans !
Hard matresses etc:
Unfortunaly refuse to transform my hotel in a Hollywood style glamorous hotel. So no Jaccuzzis, fausse plastic springs, supersoft matresses. I am sorry !

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Heliophos

Address: | Finikia Village, Oia 84702, Greece
Location: Greece > South Aegean > Cyclades > Santorini > Oia
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 34 B&Bs / Inns in Oia
Price Range: $73 - $147 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Heliophos 3.5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Traditional SANTORINI vacation away from masses. Just 1.5 kms from the famous Oia, with the indescribable view of the largest volcanic caldera in the world, the small village of Foinikia, inhabited mostly by locals, remains in ancient times, before the tourist rush. The villagers with their donkeys, farm laborers and women who talk to their white houses, form a unique atmosphere. Studios Heliophos, in the heart of the village, has been renovated with great respect for rural life, and offers holiday really very quiet, apart from the crowds of tourists, but not far from the commercial and tourist center of Oia or surrounding sandy beaches at 3 kms (Note that inside the volcanic caldera of Santorini no beaches, which are only found around the island). Location: The village Foinikia is 1.5 km from OIA and caldera of Santorini, 15 km from the airport. At 100 meters there is free parking, local bus stop agency and rental cars and motorbikes. Rooms: Each studio decorated with taste, has its own veranda with view, Satellite TV, CD player and radio and are air - conditioned. Wi-Fi Internet. The kitchen is equipped (Coffee maker, toaster, electric plates-fridge), always full of required for complete breakfast included in the price (milk-coffee-orange juice-butter-buns-jam). Possibility of use the large terrace and large communal kitchen, washing machine, dryer and linen included. Bathrooms: private bath with shower, hair dryer, hot water. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Heliophos Santorini/Oia, Greece

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