My family of 2 adults and 2 children (aged 5 and 1) stayed in the beautiful lilac windmill in the last week of June 2015.
We had seen the photos on various websites before we booked, and as amazing as it looked, it was even better in real life.
After making our online booking I was anxious to ensure that we had indeed secured this fantastic place, so I decided to contact the owner directly. I sent an email to Nikos who confirmed that our booking had been made. We were so happy. Nikos offered his assistance if there were any queries we might have and we certainly took him up on this!
We had read many horror stories about renting a car in Santorini so we asked Nikos if he could arrange one for us, including a transfer from the airport to the windmill as we were landing at midnight. Nikos said that he would arrange it all and that re-assuringly the rental company would take cash rather than a card. (I was worried about spurious claims on credit cards for "damage" to the car which I had read about).
We needn't have worried, as the rental company, SantoSun, were excellent and the Nissan Micra we were given did the job nicely. Our contact Antony was so kind and met us at the airport and escorted us to the windmill as we had no idea how to get there let alone in the dark! He took our suitcases and bags in his car and we followed him in ours. WE arranged the reverse trip for our last day too as there was no way we'd get everything in the one car. No problem in getting booster or baby seats.
Prior to the trip, we had asked Nikos to stock the windmill with some bottled water as our daughter has food allergies and needed fresh water for her special formula. This was waiting for us when we arrived so we could put the kids straight to bed after a very long day travelling. We were met at the windmill by Nikos' younger sister Chryssoula who gave us a warm welcome and a very quick tour of the windmill, knowing we wanted to go straight to bed.
She promised to return the next day to go through everything with us properly.
In the morning we could truly appreciate how amazing the windmill was. The ground floor is a fully equipped kitchen/diner with a comfy sofa and armchair, TV and DVD player. The kitchen had an oven, hob, microwave, sandwich maker, coffee machine, coffee peculator, fridge freezer and dishwasher. Everything you could need.
The middle floor was a double bedroom with en-suite bathroom. There are no baths, only showers. There were wonderful complimentary slippers and toiletries and the towels were changed each day,should you wish.
The top floor had a double bed and a further single. This also had the cot for our daughter placed in it. Again, an en-suite bathroom as before.
The rooms are huge and had wardrobes, dressers and a safe.
Each floor has air conditioning, however we didn't need any during our stay.
The decor is beautifully rustic and everything was so clean. This was in no small way due to the wonderful cleaner Tania. She was absolutely brilliant. She cleans the windmill from top to bottom each day and attends to the swimming pools and terracing throughout your stay. She was always friendly and happy and was flexible when she wanted to clean while our daughter was having her midday nap.
When the weather turned (it rained a bit while we were there and there was strong winds and a huge thunderstorm one evening) Tania appeared from nowhere to put away the sunbed and terrace cushions. As soon as the weather changed she was back rearranging everything and cleaning the pool!
The outside area is amazing. A decent sized pool that is shallow enough for children at one end and has a jacuzzi function. The sheltered terrace hosted our breakfast most mornings and my son and I relaxed in it's shade in the afternoons.
Although there are 3 windmills in total, none of them overlook the other and you have the feeling of seclusion and complete privacy. We felt so at home there almost immediately.
Each morning Tania brought our breakfast which consisted of fresh pastries and bread rolls, boiled eggs, Greek yoghurt, honey, jam, butter, fresh milk, feta and tomatoes, a fruit salad and freshly squeezed orange juice. This fed our family handsomely everyday and there was enough to make up rolls for lunch too which we stored in the fridge.
We had need to call on Chryssoula on a couple of occasions and she couldn't have been more helpful. She recommended some great restaurants (these will be reviewed seperately, but each one was fantastic) the Ammoudi Fish Tavern, Metaxi Mas and Krinaki. We ate at each of them (Metaxi Mas twice!) and Chryssoula's directions came in very handy!
She was also helpful when the thunderstorm caused a temporary power-cut, and was on hand to make sure we were ok. She also allowed us to store our cases on site after checking out as we had 7 hours between then and having to go to the airport.
We ventured out each day in the car. the windmill is about a 15-20 minute drive to Oia and about 10 mins to Fira so the location is great. The beaches in Perissa and Kamari are a 30 minute drive at the most as the island is pretty small.
We were delighted to find a Lidl supermarket a further 5 minute drive from Fira, which was an enormous help in shopping for our daughter's dietary needs. This should be a must for anyone self-catering.
Santorini is a beautiful island and has something for everyone. We split our days between spending time at our idyllic windmill and visiting the things we wanted. I wouldn't want to bore you with details of our whole itinerary but some of the things we visited were:
The Red beach (photo opportunity only)
The Santorini Brewing Company (3 real ales produced)
and so on and so on.
The island is so small you just need to get out and about.
If you get to stay on this beautiful island, you cannot do better than stay in one of these amazing windmills.