Mention Santorini to just about anyone and everything you hear is nothing but positive. While I did have some mixed feelings during my visit, I have to say, it did live up to the hype and was a beautiful island.
My trip to the Greek islands this summer just so happened to fall during the height of the country’s economic crisis. Concerned friends and family members reached out to me, some even urging me to cancel my travel plans. But unless there is a crisis so severe that the airlines are offering refunds to affected cities, I have learned by now to not really pay attention to how the media spins things. Bad things can happen, anywhere, anytime. Be careful, be aware, and plan accordingly, but think twice before canceling your travel plans. As far as my time in Greece? It was business as usual and from a tourist’s perspective, you wouldn’t even know there was anything wrong. We had no problems whatsoever, so if you’re still on the fence about visiting, please—GO!
There are a lot of options when it comes to lodging and city choices in Santorini, many of which offer sweeping views of the Caldera and the island’s beautiful architecture. Imerovigli, Fira, and Oia are popular choices, but seriously—choose Oia. This is such a unique little village and I haven’t really encountered any place like it anywhere else in the world.
One thing to consider about Oia is that it is all stairs, and you will pretty much hike to wherever you need to go. I actually enjoyed this, as I was eating way too much on this trip and I welcome a little bit of forced exercise. However, if you have mobility issues or just can’t deal with tons of stairs, skip Oia. Otherwise, I highly recommend staying here. It really is the heart of Santorini and what makes it such a unique island. In Oia, I stayed at the Charisma Suites.
Charisma Suites is at the very end of Oia, so it’s peaceful, quiet, and private. Compared to some of the other hotels in Oia, you have to walk a little further to get to the restaurants and to the parking lot areas, but I didn’t mind this. It really comes down to convenience versus seclusion. If you want to be disconnected from the crowds in Oia, this is definitely the place for you. But if you want to be right in the middle of the action, you may want to pick another hotel.
Another thing I liked about this place, which I believe is the same for most hotels through Oia, is that there are only a few rooms. The main pool area is a bit small, and shares a floor with the reception desk, but since there aren’t many people staying at once, it never feels crowded (and oftentimes is empty). However, there are only a couple sun beds, so I suggest you get there early and claim one if that’s how you want to spend your day.
With that being said, however, I think this is the kind of hotel where you really just want to stay at your suite. All rooms have private patios that offer amazing views of the Caldera, and some of the rooms also have private hot tubs, making your room an optimal place for viewing the famous sunsets of Santorini. The hotel serves breakfast every morning on your patio, and at your chosen time.
The inside of the hotel is pretty amazing, too. It’s a cave hotel, and even if you don’t stay here, you should definitely pick a cave hotel if you’re coming to Santorini.
I’d recommend this place for anyone just looking to unwind, relax, and forget about the rest of the world for a few days. It’s perfect for couples—especially if you’re looking for the ideal honeymoon destination, or if you’re celebrating an anniversary.
If you’re interested in learning more about Charisma Suites and booking a room, visit them on the web: Best Santorini hotel.