Our short Mykonos trip and accommodation was always going to be difficult to beat, but that sure didn't stop us from giving it a go with two amazing hotels in Santorini on our agenda! Arriving in Santorini port our first hotel transfer took care of our luggage and whisked us up to the main town of Santorini, Fira. Coming to a stop outside an old hotel we were at first admittedly a bit confused, but alas, a very short walk in behind on the cobble stoned streets took us to our gorgeous little secret hideaway, Infinity Collection. This boutique hotel has a few luxury suites that tick plenty of boxes for authentic santorinian charm.
Each suite has all the modern luxuries you could ask for packed into seriously romantic white-walled luxurious caves That look like big igloos from the inside! With sky-lights for natural light, rainforest showerhead, free wi-fi, 100's of tv channels and a fully-contained kitchen! They all share a communal infinity pool next to the reception with a built-in jacuzzi that is so secluded from the outside world that you can enjoy it late into the evening and having only 6 rooms it's rare that you will need to share. Perhaps the best part of this unique collection of suites though is its close proximity to the main shopping strip of Fira. Rarely can you find a hotel on this island that is easy walking distance from the shops, restaurants and nightlife but still offers complete privacy, luxury and authenticity. We were even passed one afternoon by a few friendly Santorini Donkeys as we hopped out of our infinity pool!
The staff as usual in the Greek Islands were amazing. The Manager, Barbara, hails from Australia and truly knows what personalised 5 star service is. She will go out of her way to make your stay absolutely perfect; from organising your quad bike hire, suggesting and booking restaurants, sailing cruises and tours and simply going above and beyond for her guests. Even the cleaners were lovely and smiling and gave you that 'family' feel that is always welcome on holidays. This is why we choose little boutique hotels wherever possible!
We spent our second day racking up kilometres on our quad bike, travelling the entirety of the island around the east coast and up to the beautiful cliff-topping picturesque town of Oia, back down through Pyrgos to Kimari beach and around to Perissa and Perivolos. There is just so much beauty around every corner and the September weather was perfect for it! We returned that evening to Oia, along with the rest of the tourists on the island who gather there to watch the sunset. Our dinner reservation was at one of the best and most exclusive restaurants on the island known as Restaurant Lauda (see more at our food blog here!) and it was no coincidence that we made a 7pm booking to avoid the crowds. After a beautiful dinner Gianni drove our quad bike slowly and carefully (as I kept yelling in his ear) along the winding, cliff-side roads back to our Inifinity Collections hotel; all part of the experience!
Truth be told, the only box our first hotel could not tick was an ocean view, which can easily be forgiven as it more than makes up for it with charm; but you know me, I don't do things by halves... So we travelled for our next two nights to our second hotel called Santorini Heights above the village of Pyrgos. When they say heights, they mean it. Santorini Heights is a brand new boutique hotel featuring only four exclusive luxury suites, each with a pillow menu, a mattress you won't want to leave, plush bathrobes and slippers and again filled with all the modern luxuries including a fully self-contained kitchen and locally stocked wine-fridge! Each suite also has a private balcony complete with your own private pool heated to 30 degrees from where you can soak up the breathtaking views. I am talking about ocean views so vast you sometimes struggle to make out the horizon! In fact from our balcony you can see many tourists sweating as they trek up to our heights on their quad bikes just to catch a glimpse of the panoramic scenery (no doubt looking at our hotel thinking 'argh, why didn't we stay there?').
Note though just because this hotel is high up and so peacefully quiet and secluded, it does not necessarily mean that it is too far from the action. Being in the middle of the island means everything worth seeing or doing is well within a 15 minute drive. Our first night was spent relaxing in the warmth and tranquility of our private pool and jacuzzi with our complimentary local fresh fruit bowl and some champagne. Sound good? Our second night was even better! The hotel chef will go out of their way to cook up any delicious authentic Greek dish you may desire (fresh eggplant moussaka for lunch by the pool!) but if that isn't enough, the Santorini Heights hotel occasionally throws an all-you-can-eat (and drink!), authentic santorinian barbecue of meat or seafood for its guests. We were most certainly in luck, one of the best meals of our trip thus far! The staff treat you to a true Greek feast and sit down and mingle with the guests so you really do feel at home.
In just four nights we can safely say we have officially had the best of both worlds; from a luxurious cave near the main town one night, to a secluded getaway atop the highest point of Santorini the next. For those with less time or a bigger party who want to share in both of these truly remarkable experiences a little birdy told us that Infinity Collection are opening a two (2) bedroom 'cave villa' next year complete with a jacuzzi, perched on the cliff-side in Imerovigli (half-way between Fira and Oia) which will sleep up to 6!
It is with a heave heart that we leave Santorini and the Greek islands tomorrow, but I can say with certainty that this will not be our last visit!
Special Thanks to: