Santorini, Greece is the kind of destination that is hard to forget. I sense it in my friend’s faces who’ve been, read it in travel articles that suggest the island is a little piece of heaven, and find myself dreaming about returning almost every week. For a place like this, not just any hotel will do; it requires one that not only matches the isle’s serene beauty but enhances it.
Grace Santorini, has accomplished this, and is further proof that when design and nature are perfectly combined, the synergetic energy really brings the destination to life. Built into the cliffs of Imerovigli and overlooking the Caldera, Grace sits between Thira and Oia, two of the island’s most popular cities. As with many properties on the island, the hotel sticks with the white buildings and architecture that Santorini is famous for.
With only 13 guestrooms and seven suites, the property is intimate, and satisfyingly peaceful. Sophisticated and minimal, the rooms are decorated with white linens, black and white photos, and just enough pops of bold color to add some dimension to the suites. The Grace Suite comes with a king-size bed, a large terrace with sun loungers and maybe the coolest part—both an indoor and outdoor plunge pool. Request a room higher up the cliff for the best views, and close to reception.
If you’re really looking for the best accommodation though, book The Villa. The approximately 1,312-square-foot residence is luxury at its finest and even comes with its own private spa! Need I go on? With two bedrooms, king-size beds and panoramic view of the Aegean Sea, the villa is stunning. Inside the spa, guests will be able to soak in the Hammam and Jacuzzi before booking a massage or facial in the treatment room.
Probably the most recognizable feature of the boutique property is its infinity pool looking out onto the azure waters. Named one of “The Best Swimming Pools in the World” by Condé Nast Traveller UK, its views are spectacular, and don’t be surprised to be mingling with the see-and-be-seen type of crowds on its deck.
When it comes to cuisine, the Greeks have a knack for delicious, flavorful foods that are also refreshingly good for you. Heading up the hotel’s restaurant is the award-winning Chef Spiros Agious whose Mediterranean fusion cuisine includes dishes such as Aegean Sea octopus and balsamic-glazed monkfish on beetroot risotto and grilled calamari with saffron aioli foam. Under a high-domed ceiling, the dining area includes an open kitchen where the chef can be found creating gastronomic treats at times for a truly unique culinary experience.
Around the rest of the property is also a gym and small spa. When booking, be sure to discuss what types of activities you’d like to do on the island and the concierge can arrange them for you. Horseback riding, private cruises, water ports and motorbike rentals can all be requested before or during your stay.
Grace Santorini isn’t very spread out, yet like most hotels in the area, much of the public spaces can only be reached by stairs and uneven surfaces. Keep this in mind if special care is needed for you or loved ones to get around. Rates begin at around USD $480 per night.
But be warned, if you should stay at this whitewashed palace, it may ruin you for all hotels in the future. And we’d hate to say, “We told you so.”