We flew out to Santorini on May 27th 2014, I had very high expectations even tho I had read mixed reviews on this hotel... in hindsight, I would probably agree with both good and bad but I would not book to stay in this hotel again.
As everyone says the staff are great and a credit to the hotel and the views and sunsets are spectacular!
On our arrival I was a bit shocked at the rough grounds and derelict gardens around the outside of the hotel, but upon entering La Maltese all seems very beautiful. Reception is like a posh Laura Ashley room with floral sofas a piano and stripey mint green drapes, ornate mirrors and lamps.... very nice.... it leads out on to a tranquil terrace over looking the Caldera.
There was a wedding going on when we arrived so we did feel a little bit like we couldn't have a drink at the bar of look around properly, as it would be intruding on someone's special day... the wedding party however were great and made us feel more than welcome to have a drink with them... so all was well. I can imagine it being really annoying as a paying guest if you could not use the sun terrace pool, bar or restaurant comfortably, just because a wedding was on that day! it would seem unfair on both sides.
We were eventually taken to our room, and I almost fell on the rough cobbles round the outside of the hotel to get to our room to our room.... I was wearing a low heel admittedly but flip flops or trainers are the only suitable shoes to walk around in outside the hotel.
We don't spend a lot of time in our room, but when you are paying £2200 for one week bed and breakfast in May, I do expect a bit of luxury or niceness...... It didn't happen... my heart sank as I saw the small cramped strange little room... with the only outside space being a small patio area with two small metal chair sand round table.......overlooking the derelict overgrown graffiti, garden. The 'wardrobe' was a rail with a curtain that bent severely in the middle which also hid the over frozen fridge. There was one set of drawers which you literally had to shake hard to open a drawer and 9 times out of 10 the whole chest of drawers would travel across the room with you.... Not good!!!!
The daily tanker lorries and their fumes, and crowds of other holiday makers that hang around outside your room each morning just make a very unrelaxing, horrible outside space. Theres no chance of leaving a single thing outside your room as other people from the surrounding hotels are constantly stumbling past.
We spoke to one couple from a nearby hotel that had an identical style room to us but had paid £700 less!!!! I could go on and on about annoying niggles about this room but to cut a long story short, and after trying to make the best of it, the following day my husband eventually complained to reception and said we just were not happy to be given what seemed the worst room in the whole hotel.
I must now give credit to Adelina who arranged without hesitation for us to be upgraded for three nights in their sister hotel Agali Houses in nearby Firostefani. We were given a suite with a view of the volcano, with private balcony and sun loungers....On our arrival we just felt over the moon at the change. It completely turned our holiday around. We were told that we would also be upgraded back at La Maltese for the last two nights of our stay to a superior double room with our own pool! Happy days!
I have to say I did not want to leave Agali Houses and would stay at there again in a heart beat it was amazing on all levels!
However by the time we returned to La Maltese and saw our once again upgraded room the disappointment of the first few days had worn off. The staff were professional and always polite and did sort out our grievances which really cant be overlooked.
I do think the hotel is over rated and not 5 star for a few reasons, but it is nice enough and I am sure the Caldera view rooms make all the difference again. Drinks were expensive, and breakfast was minimal to say the least.
We got the usual sliced bread, and croissants served to the table with tin, tiny portions of butter, jam, marmalade etc. You are then given a menu to chose what we assumed to be the main breakfast. I don't eat eggs so opted for just bacon and potatoes... I can appreciate they were trying to be artistic but one piece of bacon twisted in the middle with a miniscule piece of parsley in the centre, and one and a half new potatoes cut into eight, to decorate my plate was literally laughable! One day I asked for extra potatoes instead of eggs it didn't happen! However watching the mist rise over the Caldera just made me not care about a silly piece of bacon... I loved the ambience of breakfast and its funny quirks.
The pool area unfortunately is just not inviting, its a small infinity pool and to look at on the terrace is very nice, but you get the impression its really there just for show.... no steps in or our are the first clue.
The surrounding area of the hotel is ok, and you can walk into Thira if you have your hiking boots and the will to want to, which I have to say many many people did, although its not my thing!!
We hired a jeep for the week and travelled right around the island. The Caldera side is stunning, and the views are unforgettable. But the resorts are really not all that... forget finding a nice beach... its not in Santorini. Kamari Beach was ok, but hot black stones, so almost impossible to walk along or get into the sea... however its very nice, with numerous bars and restaurants all along the front with a lovely holiday vibe... well worth a visit either by day or night but I would not stay in that resort.
Oia is stunning and we loved the cosmopolitan feel of Thira, it was busy in May and must be a completely crazy place at the height of the season. We felt lucky to be there at the time we chose as we always got a good seat with a great view, brilliant service everywhere we went and it was very picturesque.
Firostefani is a great location to be in and Agali Houses wins my vote on a great hotel.
I felt let down by La Maltese but have to say the professionalism of Adelina and the staff made our holiday turn around and we had an overall wonderful experience in Santorini and it was one of the best holidays we have ever had. Location and room with a view are key to a great time :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At the highest point of the Caldera, 250m above the sea on the top of the traditional village of Imerovigli, with spectacular views of the village, the cliff, the volcano, the famous sunset and the Caldera rim 10 km from Santorini International Airport and 10 km from Athinios Port 3 km from the capital of the island, Fira located La Maltese Estate, a neoclassic mansion-captain’s house, a true sample of luxury and culture have been renovated and converted to a luxury exclusive Hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- La Maltese Hotel And Restaurant
- La Maltese Estate Villa Santorini/Imerovigli, Greece