Santorini must be the most photographed Greek Island. With cliffs rising out of the sea and clifftop hotels literally built into the side of the ancient caldera, there is nowhere else like it. The island itself is part of a circular archipelago that remains after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements, leaving the island in its current crescent-moon shape. In the middle is the deep blue aegean sea, dotted with white sailboats, crisscrossed by ferries and graced by the peaks of the now hibernating volcano.
Visitors can enjoy the most glorious clifftop hotels with breathtaking views. Iconic Santorini, voted Greece’s Leading Boutique Hotel (at the World Travel Awards in 2014 and 2015), is one such stunning property and an unforgettable example of a high-end luxury hotel, carved into the historic and dramatic caldera cliffs.
Located in the picturesque village of Imerovigli, the highest settlement along the Santorini caldera, the Iconic Santorini, a boutique cave hotel offers panoramic views of the ancient volcano. With luxurious amenities, all-natural oversize beds, delicious local cuisine and magnificent caldera views, you can’t fail to fall in love with this rather special hotel.
19 cave-sheltered rooms including 14 suites, boast the cosiest beds imaginable; made from coconut fibres and covered in soft, downy pillows with white cotton sheets. Smooth curves adorn the white walls and ceilings of the rooms and rustic furniture is dotted around. This stylish mix of high-end luxury including A?sop® bath products and large flat-screen televisions with international satellite channels, are complemented by historic items and thoughtful additions such as a book of Aesop’s Fables and a nightly Greek amenity accompanied by a quote from the philosopher. Dedicated patios and sun-drenched terraces are decked out with olive trees, pots of lavender and sun beds with navy cushions and white umbrellas. All offer majestic caldera views.
Caldera Suites (pictured above) feature outdoor heated and jetted pools for romantic evenings, to admire the breathtaking views as the sun rises and sets. Grotto Suites feature spacious jetted indoor pools hidden deep within these historic cave homes.
Iconic Santorini’s Pergola restaurant is a shady little traditional taverna with tables for two and views over the sea. For lunch and in the evening, the local island chef rustles up typically Greek dishes which are served using the best locally sourced produce and herbs grown at the hotel. Expect Mediterranean delights such as Moussaka, flavoursome veal dressed with tomatoes bursting with flavour, and home grown aubergines, octopus and various offerings of the freshest seafood.
A delightful daily breakfast is served here to the terrace seating of each residence. Choose from divine Greek yoghurt, home-made jams and marmalades, fresh breads, a selection of meets and cheese, fruits, freshly squeezed orange juice and a selection of traditional cooked egg dishes. The honey here is exquisite and made by the few bees that live on the volcanic island.
The poolside bar is the perfect place to enjoy a tipple in the moonlight. Sip local specialities to the backdrop of Café del Mar tunes under the stars.
The heated saltwater infinity pool matches the deep blue of the sea and sky. From some angles it is difficult to work out where the pool ends and the sky starts. Bordered by loungers and casual dining tables, and of course the view, this is an easy place to waste away timeless days.
Fitness & Wellness
Iconic Santorini provides all guests use of the fitness and wellness facility, with professional cardiovascular exercise equipment, a private suite for single or couple massages, featuring a sublime indoor jetted grotto pool.
Nearby the hotel you can walk up a steep track to Skaros Rock. You can enjoy a fabulous sunset here, on top of the ruins of a 15th-century fortress which was built to protect Santorini from pirate attacks. Strolling through the winding clifftop paths, you will come across many historic settlements, old churches and the ruins of medieval castles. A slightly longer 20 minute walk will get you to the capital of Santorini, Fira. This mass of winding cobble streets is jam packed with art stalls and boutiques, and you will notice breathtaking views between the buildings as you walk around. You can also take sunset winery tours and boat trips to the volcano and hot springs from the port.
Iconic Santorini is a land of steep cliffs, sugarcube houses that tumble down the cliffside and the bluest, sparkliest sea you’ve ever seen. If you can bear to tear yourself away from the vista, you will need flat sandals to tackle the undulating clifftops and many many steps.
Easyjet flies direct London Gatwick to Thira Santorini (JTR) and British Airways operates out of London Heathrow. Most airlines fly into Athens and then on to Santorini via a short flight, or you can take a ferry which takes around 4-5 hours. Please note, due to the property’s dramatic location on the edge of the volcanic cliffs, Iconic Santorini are unable to accommodate children under 14 years of age.
Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.