It has been a few weeks since our return from the Anastasis Apartments and I can honestly say that the place has touched our hearts in a way that I don’t think any other experience could.
Our arrival was late after a 15 hour journey via Athens, we were tired and hungry. As promised there was a taxi waiting for us with a friendly welcome from the driver who sped us to Anastasis without a glitch. Despina and Katerina were there at the gate waiting for us while our bags disappeared without us noticing, to be place in our room.
We had a lovely warm welcome, such a wonderful personal touch, we were made to feel like we were old family members returning from a long trip. We were given some brief instructions and a tour, but it was dark and could not fully appreciate the setting. Yet!
We were shown to our suite, the Anastasis Suite, and when Despina opened the door I was speechless. Martin and I looked at eachother in disbelief that this suite was ours for a full week, and this was our special little place to get married and be as close to eachother as we could, away from our stressful life back home. We needed to be Martin and Rachel for a week, not mummy and daddy to our 3 children, or boss to 60 employees.
The suite was lit only by candles and tealights, with fresh flowers carefully placed around the room, which on reflection, I was so glad we arrived at night, to be left alone in such a sumptuously beautiful place, with a bottle of wine, fine Greek appetisers brought to us and placed on our balcony next to the hot tub, on crisp white linen tablecloth and more fresh flowers, to say ‘died and gone to heaven’ doesn’t even come near the feeling we felt.
We decided to finish our bottle of wine in the marble Jacuzzi bath in the bathroom, and truly unwind, amid a few tears of joy.
There was a separate shower room, huge shower cubicle, again with fresh flowers and candles to create the most romantic atmosphere.
On waking, we held our breath as we opened the blinds and see the world outside our balcony, and again it stunned us into silence at the sheer beauty of the caldera view as well as seeing the apartment complex in all its glory.
Breakfast arrived at our chosen time, placed on our balcony table which can only be described as a feast fit for royalty. Breakfast was a surprise every morning, we didn’t know what we would get, and we waited with great anticipation to see what goodies Despina has arranged. We were spoiled with beautiful sweet and savoury pastries, eggs, ham and other cold meats, cheese, bread and croissants, fruit, Greek yogurt with nuts and Despina’s mums amazing ‘honey’ to put in the yogurt which was food from the gods! Not to mention fresh juice and pot of tea or coffee.
The apartments are just something else. As you walk around them you are struck by the sheer perfection that Despina and her team have achieved. The grounds are landscaped and perfectly well kept and tended, with butterflies flying past your face as you walk along, was something akin to being inside a childrens fairytale book. The pool area was spotless and was maintained to the highest standard, you were brought water if you were spending time by the pool which was topped up all the time, and fresh fruit was brought to you. If you left the complex for a walk, one of the staff would call you back and give you a bottle of water to take, and on your return, carry your bags of shopping to your room while you sat in the cool with a glass of water. So thoughtful, and caring.
As I mentioned we had booked the wedding package here too. We just wanted it to be us, intimate and special, no hassle or stress. But we got so much more, what Despina has achieved here is legendary. Martin was given a room to get ready so we didn’t see eachother before the ceremony, we were told what time to be ready and that someone would come and get us. Easy. I was ready on time and Despina came to the apartment with the photographer and her wonderful son who is 12, and took photos of him handing me my wedding bouquet which was just perfect. Despina said she thought I would like it if her son was with me to ‘give me away’ so to speak because our children were with their grandparents at home , which I thought was so touching and made it even more special. We were told music for the ceremony would be provided, thinking it would be a CD of our traditional wedding march, but , to our absolute amazement, Despina had arranged traditional Greek musicians, in full traditional dress, one on a bouzouki and one playing a violin, who led the way for us individually, round the entire grounds in real Greek fashion playing the Greek wedding music, which I will never forget, until I was finally led to the ceremony table on the sun terrace overlooking the caldera in front of the most beautiful sunset, to meet my husband to be. The ceremony was conducted by the local minister, perfectly turned out in a white suit and tie, who guided us clearly through the ceremony. They provided vows that we read aloud, they were truly beautiful words and I couldn’t have written anything more perfect myself for they way I felt about my husband and our life together. We have the vows to keep, all beautifully prepared and printed out for us. The minister made us feel so special, like we were the first people ever to get married there, he proclaimed to the world from our clifftop ceremony that we were now husband and wife, that I really think he was moved by the beauty and perfection of the setting.
We all shared a bottle of champagne and wedding cake, and the musicians struck up a tune again and Martin and I had a dance together, with the whole team watching, then joining in for a real greek wedding dance on the terrace which was just so fabulous, they were our family that night, and they really enjoyed themselves too, and I am so proud to have shared my wedding with them, it was such a joyous occasion, and the photographer captured every single moment perfectly.
We ate at Vanilia that night, which was wonderful, as were all the meals we had on our stay in Santorini, we tried all the well known restaurants and they are all worth a visit, and so is the local tavern, Tassos Tavern, and To Steki tou Nikou where transport is provided, are really the best for your real Greek food without being ‘englished’ up to suit tourists.
The Anastasis Apartments is undoubtedly the best, the staff are there just to make you happy, and our stay there was so easy, stress free, if we had any worries or questions, they were answered and dealt with immediately.
Well, we already have children, got married, and apart from watching our children grow, the next life experience to look forward to is to return to Anastasis one day to renew our vows, with the children, what an absolute shame it would be not to meet these wonderful people again. Thankyou so much.
- Also Known As:
- Anastasis Apartments Imerovigli
- Anastasis Apartments Hotel Imerovigli
- Anastasis Apartments Santorini/Imerovigli, Greece