We were supremely happy guests of Atrina Traditional Houses in the first week of July and quickly understood that, in the age of film, we would have spent a fortune. Everything about Atrina is magical, breathtaking and the source of life-long memories. The staff greets you with genuine smiles and looks after any need or request. On check in, you are given a cell phone with speed dials for reception and the pool kitchen so that, at the whim of your own schedule, breakfast can be ordered, reservations requested or sightseeing trips planned.
All of Oia is a white, frozen jumble of cubist blocks, one thousand feet above the water-filled caldera. It is difficult to tell where one house ends and another starts. Terraces might be the roofs of rooms below, walls define rooms or courtyards or narrow passageways that wind between whitewashed houses accented with bursts of bougainvillea pinks and reds. From your patio, in the middle of this postcard, you can enjoy the ever-changing colors of the sea and watch as cruise ships and ferries pass below like toy boats on a private pond.
We were in Canava 1894, a two-bedroom suite at the lower level of the complex. It is one of the most private rooms in the collection since it does not border the central stone steps that link the many terraced levels from the entry gate and reception at the pedestrian street to the pool at the lowest level below. It is a bright and spacious apartment with a high barrel ceiling over a living room and dining area that are separated from the main bedroom by an 8-foot stone wall and unpainted boulder that serves to remind guests that they are indeed in a cave.
But this cave is bright with whitewashed wood floors, white walls and light, natural materials that allow the light coming through the small deep-set windows and double doors to illuminate the spaces beautifully. A second, small bedroom with its own French doors, vaulted ceiling and private bathroom is reached via a short hall that contains the kitchenette with basic cooking equipment and dishware for simple in-house meals. The small patio is set with a table and four chairs, sheltered by a sturdy umbrella and the tall surrounding walls. The view from the terrace is ever changing and captivating, and although Oia offers many restaurants, shops and sights just outside the confines of this bleached and spotless Xanadu, it is difficult to find reasons to leave.
There are places in the world that must be seen to be appreciated. Photographs may be striking, but the full sensory experience is possible only in person. Atrina Traditional Houses is the finest perch in Santorini from which to enjoy this inspiring landscape.
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- Also Known As:
- Atrina Traditional Houses Hotel Oia
- Atrina Traditional Hotel
- Atrina Traditional Oia
- Atrina Canava 1894 Santorini/Oia, Greece