Before I start, the situation of the hotel is stunning, the views absolutely amazing and it's pretty tranquil, but that is where the good news stops.
I read the reviews on Trip Advisor before booking through Small Luxury Hotels so had pretty high (but i like to think reasonable) expectations. I did note a couple of negative comments amidst the sea of positive ones, but as 90% seemed more than positive I put any niggling doubts to the back of my mind.
We stayed in room 7. The cave like room was very small and basic, sparsely, but prettily furnished. More upmarket backpacker than 4 star luxury. Although first impressions of the room were disappointing, we decided it wasn't too bad as we wouldn't be spending much time indoors. The view from our little terrace was, after all, absolutely awesome - but it soon became very apparent that was what we were paying a premium for - certainly nothing else we experienced warranted the £325 a night price tag we were paying for a 7 night stay.
The room smelt strongly of air freshener on arrival - which immediately recalled a negative comment someone else had made about the smell of sewage. Sure enough, we got the benefit a day or so later when the air freshener ran low. Every time we returned after that we could smell it and had to leave the door open to let the room breath. The small shower quickly proved to be an absolute disaster and constantly flooded the room. The comments about not enough storage and coat hangers were also correct.
The staff were very polite and helpful at all times - but I would expect that from a 4 star hotel, wouldn't you? The service was certainly not as mind blowing as others have made out on this site.
Breakfast was VERY basic - a slice of processed ham & cheese each, an assortment of bread, plain omelette, v. limited choice of cereal etc; We had to order it a day in advance. Unfortunately, I don't know what I want for dinner let alone what I want the following morning for breakfast. Despite the advance notice, they still got the order wrong during the first two days, could not boil an egg properly (we stuck with it for 4 days before giving up) and even ran out of egg cups one day.
There were no sun loungers for our private terrace, whilst all the neighbouring hotels equipped theirs with plenty; there was no on site restaurant, although there was a little snack bar in the pool area which served light snacks and a couple of cocktails but you had to wait rather longer than what might be thought reasonable after ordering on several occasions; the pool area was cramped and lacking enough sun loungers; there was no Internet connection in the room although I could pick up the signal from the hotels on either side (but of course didn't have the access code); there was no iron in the room, and they didn't have one you could borrow.
But the last straw was when the simultaneous romantic massage for myself and my partner was screwed up, only one masseuse pitched up and our (very separate) experiences were ruined by the sound of staff talking/shouting outside the room.
Four days into our holiday we politely explained that we were very disappointed with our experience. Katriana, the Manager, proved very sympathetic and helpful and arranged for an immediate upgrade to Room 3. Much bigger and in a proper cave, with great frescos on the wall. Our delight was short lived however, as the shower proved unusable, producing just a trickle of water. We had to resort to sitting on the floor under the faucet in a fruitless attempt to wash our hair. Might be acceptable in a backpacker hostel but not what you expect from one of The Small Luxury Hotels of The World. We reluctantly (but politely) complained again and the flow of water was improved the following day but the faucet tap and the shower hose connection was left hanging off the wall in the process.
The bottom line is that whilst the views are absolutely fantastic, if you are after luxury from your Santorini trip look elsewhere, and clearly be prepared to pay more for it. We looked around Icons and Chromata whilst there, both offered exactly what we were looking for with large stylish rooms etc. Alternatively pay less and stay in another hotel with pretty much the same views (there are plenty of them) and be prepared to manage your expectations accordingly. This one is marketing itself as something it clearly isn't. How it can claim to be a 4 star hotel and be a member of the SLH stable is beyond me. Would have loved to recommend but, on the back of our experience and despite the very best efforts of Katriana the manager, we definitely, absolutely, can't.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Little hotel On The Rocks, 200 meters above the Caldera basin, in the famous village of Imerovigli, 10 minutes from the island's capital, Fira town. Easily accessible via air and boat transportation, 10 km from Santorini airport and Athinios port. Room Facilities All Rooms have air conditioning, satellite TV, fax upon request,direct dial phone, safe deposit boxes, mini bar, hair dryer. Profile: On The Rocks has 24 hrs Front Desk, Swimming Pool, Pool Bar and Restaurant, Free wi-fi access. Guest Services: Front Desk, Bell Boy service, Travel Desk, Personal Concierge,Room Service, Daily maid service, Turn down service. Spa Facilities: On The Rocks Spa Room with Indoor Jacuzzi and massage treatments realized by experienced professionals. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- On The Rocks Hotel Imerovigli
- Rocks Santorini
- On The Rocks Santorini/Imerovigli, Greece