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“If you know and love Greece you'll love this hotel!”
Review of Santa Elena Hotel

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Santa Elena Hotel
Ranked #25 of 75 Hotels in Kamari
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“If you know and love Greece you'll love this hotel!”
Reviewed August 16, 2013

The running of this hotel has recently been taken over by an American lady called Joyce along with Yiannis and his lovely sister Sofia (their families have been friends for years).
We had an amazing holiday in Santorini and were delighted with this hotel. From the outset Yiannis and Sofia couldn't do enough for us. They work tirelessly to ensure the smooth running of the hotel and ensuring their guests are looked after. We arranged transfers to and from the airport via email (15 euros each way). On arrival we were given a complimentary bottle of water. They made a point of speaking to us whenever we saw them, asking how our day was, offering advice on where to eat, directions to places and useful information on things to do and see. By the end of the holiday they felt more like friends and we were very sad to leave.
We love the Greek Islands and the accommodation offered exactly what you would expect- nothing fancy but exceptionally clean, comfortable with a nice balcony and the added bonus of a side sea view. Air conditioning and safety deposit box were included in the price ( somewhat of a rarity in Greece). Breakfast was a nice surprise Greek yoghurt, fresh fruit (they even made a point of getting in peaches for us when they ran out), fresh bread,homemade cakes and hot Greek pastries (Yiannnis and Sofia's incredibly sweet mum would also help out at breakfast adding to the family atmosphere of the hotel).
The location was perfect for us -a 10 min (max) flat walk to the centre and beach, which meant that it was nice and peaceful. We actually enjoyed the walk back after dinner.
The hotel has a lovely, quiet, reasonably sized pool area if you prefer the pool.
Kamari itself offers a nice balance of being busy but not too busy, it has a nice cosmopolitan feel to it.
Santorini is a beautiful island and again Yiannis and Sofia bent over backwards to try and help us to hire a car at a cheap rate to see the island. Our favourite restaurant in Kamari was Alismari Tavern, however, we also had great meals at Nichteri, The Spring and Zorbas did the best Lamb Kleftiko.
Overall a fantastic holiday at a great, family run friendly hotel- would definitely recommend!

Room Tip: We had an upstairs room overlooking the pool which has a side sea view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Marie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Skien, Norway
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2012

I stayed at Santa Helena in August.
It was a family hotell just 5 or 10 min walk from the beach.
This was truly the best service I ever had as far as I can remember.
When the owner was away the mother and father took care of the guests. They were just great.
The room was super clean all the time, I stayed at the second floor so I had a cozy balcony.
The swimming pool and the area was also very clean all the time.
The price was also very good for a small hotell like this.
If I ever go back to Santorini I will stay here.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jericho J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2011

This year was our 3rd year we have taken our family holiday to Santorini.
and our 2nd time staying in the resort of kamari.
We booked our holiday with Olympic holidays on a family saver holiday and got a great deal.
as we booked on allocation on arrival we didn't know what resort or accommodation.
until we arrived ...The love and surprise..!
but we was not disappointed when the coach pulled up out side the Santa Elena hotel.
as for the lady owner wanting my passport...didn't really bother me...as they do that in Spain.
my 1st impression of the hotel was how lovely and clean it was and how the garden was kept lovely and delightful, and how friendly the landlady was to my two children.
we where given 2 apartments on the ground floor ..facing the adequate sized pool...
both my children and my wife where really happy with our stay at the Santa Helena hotel and would defiantly go back there.
she loved my son Marcus..and often gave him and my daughter Rhiannon cake and croissants..
And kissed Marcus on the head at every opportunity..
also the breakfast of bread and jam was OK ..and she served us coffee on request...the rooms where adequate for what we need...and she also provided us a room to use on our last day at a reasonable charge.
so overall a very nice place to spend a week in...on the gorgeous island of Santorini.
i would defiantly recommend this hotel...
what more do you need nice room clean surroundings a swimming pool...and a short walk to the lovely beach front of Kamari.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank paulmaxey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
36 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 266 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2010

We booked, packed, and travelled to Kamari all within 24 hours, and got a great deal. Having done very little research, we therefore considered ourselves extremely lucky to have found the Santa Elena Hotel where we had a very pleasant stay.

The hotel is 5/10 minutes walk in the quiet lanes leading away from the lively town of Kamari, with excellent views across the surrounding landscape - including a glimpse of the sea. It is run by a charming elderly couple who spoke about as much English as we do Greek - fair enough - but we managed to get by.

The hotel is absolutely spotlessly clean, and I do mean clean. Madam Elena works from dawn till dusk to keep it so. However, I would just point out that the concept of the SE is more B&B than hotel, and if you bear this in mind, you won't be disappointed.

For example, the breakfast is extremely simple - bread, jam coffee, orange squash; there's no restaurant, there's no bar, and there's no need for either because they've enough to do and have obviously decided not to compete with all that is already on offer in Kamari. However, Madam will supply cold drinks if you need them whilst you're relaxing by the good sized pool where there are always sunbeds available.

Yes, they do lock the door about 11.00 p.m. at night because it is their home, however, they open it with a smile whatever time you ring the bell and wish you goodnight.

The bedrooms are simple and again spotlessly clean. The bathroom is a small inner room with a handheld shower affair, and the towels are tiny, so take your own. However, there is a good fridge in the room and AC available at an extra cost of 5 euros a day which we used a couple of times during our stay when the breeze dropped at night.

The Santa Elena is a simple, relaxing hotel in a great location, with good housekeeping standards, a wonderful pool where we spent alot of our time (preferring it to the black beach), and a nice aspect. It actually has quite an international feel - we were only one of two British couples staying there, the other guests being mostly Scandanavian, with some Italian and Australian travellers too. It's a great base for a holiday in Kamari, or those wanting to tour Santorini, and we'd be happy to stay there again.

Oh, and do visit the fantastic Open Air Cinema - it's only minutes up the hill from the Santa Elena Hotel, and we went once to see a film, and once to hear the Buena Vista Social Club Band play live - a great night out!

Cheers

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Wirralite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
los angeles, california
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2009

I have mixed feelings about this hotel. It was a reasonable price, but lacked some things I'm used to. First off, the people do not speak any english and it does create some issues.. The husband is very agreeable, but the wife is not. He is always smiling kindly and she is always cleaning. She demanded to keep my passport which I would not do. This lady is really old fashioned and controlling. I read that others had some kind of breakfast, we had none. Nothing in the bedroom, nothing downstairs. We asked her for a cup of tea in the morning and she said she'd charge us 3 euros extra, but she never gave it to us. The room is very basic, clean. We paid an extra 5 euros for ac, which it seemed that she recented turning it on. She controls it with a key. I t turns off when you leave the room They give you a wash cloth and a floor mat, old and rough. There is not shower curtain, so water gets everywhere and then she has a sign up saying not to use the towels to dry the bathroom. They don't give you any pool towels. Her sign also says to not use her towels for the pool and another sign saying not to come in the hotel wet from the pool. I think this lady is ridiculous. We finally went to town and bought towels. We weren't camping. The hotel is quiet. The pool is really nice. I took a swim and it was great. It is in a quiet place and some nice views. Its close to Kamari Beach. Our favorite restarant was the Beach HOuse. We rented a quad to go to the beach. It is odd that they make you leave your keys on the counter when you go out and no one watches the counter, so someone could come in and go into your room. She obviously, is not worried about that. They lock the doors on and off all day and at about 8pm. I'm 56, and I felt like I was bothering them when we came in. The bed is hard, we brought foam pads, our own sheets and pillows, so I guess we were camping. We got up a 5am and the husband took us the airport at 6am for 10 euros. The airport is very close. We asked them to call us a taxi, but it got lost in the translation. The place is very, very, clean. If the lady would let up a little it could be better. I liked Kamari Beach. I'm mixed about this place because it was quiet and I liked the location, the room was a nice size, the ac worked, it was very reasonable. A cup of tea or coffee would have helped and a couple of towels. There is no phone.

  • Stayed September 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank angelofmercy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ashebell
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 27, 2009

We are both 19 year old, and decided for our first holiday abroad, we would go somewhere that seemed quite relaxed and layed back. We aren't interested in club 18-30 so when we heard about Santorini, we researched it and thought it seemed nice. There are a few different places to stay but we picked Kamari which is a beach resort. We booked up to go at the beginning of september before we went back to university.

We arrived at the airport about 6ish, the island is really small and it only took 15 minutes to get to our hotel including stop-offs. The holiday rep was really friendly and we were given details about Santorini and information packs with contact details and emergancy numbers.

We arrived at Santa Elena and we were quite impressed with the hotel. The pool area looked really nice and there was a small garden opposite. Once at reception we handed in our passports (which we given back the same night), and received the keys. The hotel seemed really clean and tidy and there is an older couple who run it themselves. They were really friendly, didnt speak much engish but were happy 'try' to help.

The hotel was in a good location, close enough to walk to the sea front, but it wasnt a busy place so even staying on the sea front would be nice.

It didnt have much to offer in terms of nightlife, but the bars and tavernas were really nice. Mango was particularly nice, all bars had the same price list, mainly 5 euro for cheapest drink and with the exchange rate being so low it worked out about 5 pound for even the cheapest drinks.

The room was basic but clean, we got the balcony at the back of the hotel but compared to the front it seemed nice because it was private and you could see the blue and white church and the mountains. The balconies at the front of the hotel were in rows with small walls separating them. The room was really hot and stuffy both day and night, and aircon was 10 euros a day! so we didnt bother with that. We did get use the safety deposit box which was 10 euros for the week. There is also a small and empty mini bar style fridge in the room, useful for water and snacks.

We booked bed and breakfast, and breakfast ran from 8-9:45, but wasnt worth getting up for, as it contained 5 slices of bread, a glass of orange, some jam, and coffee. They did have tea, but didnt give it out instead had to ask for it. We met other people from other hotels, who said they could eat as much as they wanted, and had ham, cheese, cereal and bread. So we felt a really dissapointed, So much that on the 4th day we'd rang the holiday rep. Who didnt do anything about it, to be honest i dont think the hoteliers cared as this was their last week of the season. They even gave us out of date bread one day!. At night time we were going out for a meal, we walked out the door and we heard somebody calling for us, it was the hotel owner, claiming that we had to leave our keys at reception, on the top of the desk. We didnt like this at all as anybody could take them. From then on any time we left our room the keys had to stay as well.

The hotel doors are locked at 11, but whilst we were there we found they locked as early as half 8. This was a joke as we stayed out late and had no keys to get back in. So whenever we needed to get back into the hotel. We had to ring the bell, to wake the couple up. This made us feel uncomfortable as they were sleeping and made it seem like we were intruding. It was like living at home with your parents and having a curfue.

Most days we were out exploring as we dont like to sit by the pool all day. But the pool area was nice and there are chairs and tables to sit. There were also lots of sun loungers, so there was no fighting for them early in the morning. There is also a no reserving sun beds with towels policy, which was good. The hotel claims to have a bar, it doesnt.

Overall we enjoyed our stay in Kamari, the island was beautiful and we went on different trips and excursions. We visited other parts of the island, but really appreciated Kamari, as Thira was a bit too hustle and bustle. The restaurants were nice and the food was always up to good standards. The waiters didnt nag you to go into their restaurants. However, the restaurant called 'no name' on the other hand, had a really ignorant waiter. Who pestered everyone on the strip. We decided not to go in, so he shouted at us when we were walking down the street, claiming we dont like greek food and then added some insults in greek. The sea front has some really nice restaurants and bars, however we found the further back you went the cheaper it got.

The island is really accessible and there are regualar buses, which will take you to Thira which like the terminal to other parts. The bus ride cost 1.40 to get from kamara to Thira and 1.40 from Thira from anywhere else. So we spent alot of money on the bus, and they dont do all-day tickets. Only singles.

I dont think we would return to Santorini as we have seen a lot, and as the island is small, so we dont think it has much to offer in terms of a second visit. Although we would recommend it to couples, but in terms of children it doesnt have anything to offer.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ashebell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
england
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2009

hi just
returned from a week at this bed and breakfast, allthough i had a really nice time here i think you could find better accomodation in the resort, the main problem being ; we were a group ( 3 couples) of 6 who like to go out on an evening for a few drinks and a meal but this hotel locked its doors at 23.00 and to get in you had to ring the door bell and get the male owner up, as we were staying our till approx 2am this made us feel alittle uncomfatable and ungratefull . the owner always let us in quickly and smiled bidding us good night but we felt we dare not stay out later .
but saying all this the hotel in nice, lovely and clean and good sized quite pool but you could'nt get adrink or snack by it.
karmari is an excellent resort with lots of good retaraunts and a good mixture or bars to meet all needs our fav was ethnics and atmosphere for thier champange cocktails. I would go back to karmari in the future but probably not stay here. sorry hotel santa elena.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jetsetter087
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Santa Elena Hotel

Property: Santa Elena Hotel
Address: Achilleos, Kamari 847 00, Greece
Phone Number:
Location: Greece > South Aegean > Cyclades > Santorini > Kamari
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Best Value Hotel in Kamari
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Santa Elena Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 18
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Also Known As:
Santa Elena Hotel Santorini/Kamari

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