Property review : San Antonio (Santorini)

WoW‘ is the only word to describe our feeling when we first walked into the hotel reception of San Antonio.The reception is a tunnel which runs through the rock that forms the Caldera edge. Past a tiny chapel and out through the doors to the amazing Caldera view, which every room has.

 


THE PROPERTY

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At first San Antonio seems like your typical perched-on-a-cliff, Santorini hotel with an infinity pool that clings precariously to the cliff, the dark blue caldera yawning below. So far, so standard ! But take deeper look at this hotel and youll see that its the small details that add up to make San Antonio special. It isn’t just built out of original cave houses, it’s built in the actual spot where the grandfather of the owner used to live, on a remote cliff halfway between Santorini’s famous Imerovigli and Oia villages. The owner, a local builder, broke from the crowd, opting not to whitewash the entire property. Instead, it mixes whites with dark volcanic stone, hewn from the island’s foundations — that, he says, was the original style of Santorini’s buildings.

 

Tip:- It is beautiful, in a gorgeous setting of the Island, admittedly away from any of the main towns. You have to rent a scooter or car to go to either side of the hotel. If you cant drive, it will come out very expensive for you to book private taxi everytime you want to venture out ( but probably you may not want to !). But this is great but this is great for a bit of privacy and quite.

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San Antonios large, white rooms have slightly crooked walls and arched ceilings. the imperfections remind you that the rooms were dug from the volcanic rock. They’re dressed in boutique tones, with driftwood-style lamps and cupboards, and antique-style chairs meticulously upholstered in modern creams and grays. On top of it, you have this amazing view of Cladera from your bedroom. Who needs to get out of the bed ?

 


THE SERVICE

All members of staff, led by Maria, are exceptionally polite & overly attentive, ensuring that every small request is catered for, which really put us at ease & allowed us to truly relax.

 

There was always someone available at reception – to recommend places and restaurants to visit, make arrangements for car hire, give information on bus times and book taxis – nothing was ever a problem.There was an issue back home due to which we made lot of long international calls . To our surprise , the calls were not charged!  San Antonio Suites is‘once-in-a-lifetime-experience’, we most certainly will be planning to return at some point in the future.’

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THE FOOD

To build a king size appetite for the breakfast , we usually started our day with a relaxed swim in the infinity pool.The complimentary breakfast in the restaurant veranda, overlooking the sea is a lovely beginning for the day. We still remember the lovely breakfast of pancakes, omlettes with cherry tomato and feta cheese salad. My husband still dreams of the home made multigrain muesli with greek yoghurt.  The dinner menu is carefully selected as you would expect from a Michelin starred restaurant.Santorini is world famous for its dramatic setting, live volcano and astonishing sunsets watched from cute-little-hill villages. It is less well known for its cherry tomatoes, which grow well because the soil on Santorini is made up of volcanic ash making it very fertile but with very little rain. they use it in every dish possible from spaghetti to pizza to risotto to omlette. It is quite sweet and tasty.

 

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FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES ON OFFER

The property has an amazing infinity pool , Michelin star restaurant and Spa.

The nearest village is Imerovigli, a few minutes drive away. Just ask the reception and the car/ATV turns up, sign the contract and off you go, never had such a carefree ATV hire experience, even the return was great, just left the keys with reception and that was job done.

There are some amazing places around the property to visit . We did the following there and loved it :

  • Oia is a picturesque town and lives upto the hype and white washed postcards you see in travel magazines. Narrow cobbled lanes, whitewashed domes, amazing restaurants and a grand theatrical performance by sun. The way people lined up and occupy every corner of this village from where you can the sunset is not funny. There is a round of applause, with every change in hue of the sky, when the sun sets.
  • Fira Town today. Fira is the capital of Santorini Island, perched high on the cliff top above the edge of the ancient volcano. Fira town boats magnificent views out to the sea with dazzling white houses and old pebbled, winding streets under ancient arches.
  • Half day tour of Volcano and hot spring. It starts from old port of Fira, where they pick you up in a ferry and take you to the volcano of Santorini in Nea Kameni Island. It is a long trek to the top of the volcano and see the crater and walk on its rims. It is an experience of lifetime to get up close and personal with an active volcano.
  • Amoudi Bay. It is below Oia, where you will find a few tavernas, hotels and one of the best swimming spots on the island. We went there without any expectation, just to kill time and were just taken aback by its beauty. This is the freshest seafood you can get and the cleanest sea water to take a plunge. Shobhit, still regrets, not taking a dip but he did try the seafood.

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The author of this article only profiles properties he has visited and where he would like to go again, without blinking an eye or changing anything about it.  Author paid for himself, during the visit. Any property is reviewed on five parameters, which are:

  • Setting : The property needs to have its own personality.
  • Service: I like being looked after,  without the staff being intrusive.
  • Food: Has to be sumptuous, even if there are limited options.
  • Facilities: No minimum requirement but should have basic comforts that should add to the character of the place.
  • USP: There has to be one unique quality, which makes it different than the other offerings out there.

 

 

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