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“Good holiday rental, but location won't suit everyone”
Review of Casa Sofia

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Casa Sofia
Ranked #26 of 34 Oia B&B and Inns
Reviewed 11 June 2014

Reasons to stay at Casa Sofia:
- Decent, spacious accommodation (functional not funky)
- Location (situated just below the famous blue dome church)
- Views (overlooks the caldera, great for sunset)
- Great pre-stay communication and met on arrival as promised
- WiFi

Potential reasons not to stay:
- Location (due to close proximity to blue dome church, there is a constant stream of tourists rambling up the steps nearby, cameras clicking and the general hubbub of noise and chatter)
- Location (Oia is built on the side of a volcano caldera - you'll get strong calves and thighs simply by nipping out to the shops that's for sure! Steps are uneven and steep in places.)

All in all, the accommodation is fine and well equipped, but I wouldn't choose to stay in Oia again. Great for a trip, but the lure of the blue domed church brings so many tourists - and like I say brides and grooms - that from 10am til sunset you feel like you've gatecrashed a bridal photoshoot. Bizarre and irritating. Didn't feel like I could relax, I just wanted them to all go away! The noise carres down from the top of the cliff where there is a good vantage point for photographers

Other things to note:
- To get to the bathroom you need to leave the flat and access via the terrace. Not a problem for us, but if you would feel uneasy about doing that at night, it's worth knowing.
- There are no doors inside the flat. There is a curtain covering the bedroom, but that is all, so if you want privacy from the two guest beds in the living area, you won't get it.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank DanJamesMc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 10 of 18 reviews

Reviewed 25 August 2012

We Booked Casa Sofia Studio Back in December 2011 for our stay in August 2012 and paid a deposit to secure the studio. We arrived late in the evening and we were met by Vasili who took us to the accommodation. When I saw the apartment I thought it was rather large for the studio and it looked different to the pictures. Vasili called Maria, and handed me the phone to speak with her, she explained that she had had a cancellation and thought that we would be better placed in this other cave house there was no consultation about this. The cave house was hot and humid all the time and very shabby. We spent two nights here before we realised that we were being attacked by bed bugs at night. I rang Maria the next morning and told her and she moved us to our original reservation at Casa Sofia. The bed here was disgusting it had a shallow mattress and the bed squeaked and rattled every time you moved on it. The daily maid service did not occur daily, we only received it once in the four days we stayed there. I could not recommend Casa Sofia or any other accommodation offered by Maria Fouka as a result of our horrific stay in her accommodation. At no time did she offer us any compensation for the skin irritation we received from the bed bugs

Room Tip: Never book rooms with Maria Fouka you don't always get what you asked for
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Ridgydidge46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2012

My wife and I stayed at Casa Sofia for 11 nights. We were met at the bus by Vasilis who carried our bags down the 90 steps to our new home. Casa Sofia is in just the best position right below the famous blue dome church that every tourist comes to photograph.The bedroom is spacious and comfortable and the 2 day beds in the large room could sleep extra guests, The kitchen was well appointed but basic. We didn't actually use the dining table as we ate all our meals on the balcony.My wife cooked for 10 of the 11 nights we were there and the beef from the local butcher was the most tender we have eaten.Our hosts Maria and Nikolas were most helpful and friendly and offered us a change of towels and linen every second day.Vasilis collected our rubbish daily as well.All 3 spoke adequate English. We did the boat tour to the Volcano and lots of walking each day and found Casa Sofia to be more than a home away from home.We will definitely return to this wonderful place.

Room Tip: Casa Sofia cave house number 750 is the one we rented.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank pav54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2012

My husband and I honeymooned here in September 2011. I was very adament about staying in a traditional cave house with views, and this place fit the bill, (literally.) The cave house was clean and quiet, and just big enough for the two of us. Our room was basic but very very cute, and the views are breathtaking! You have to walk up/down quite a few stairs to get to the cave house, but my husband and I are both avid hikers and very fit, so the stair climb did not bother us at all. It was very hot in Santorini during our visit, and our little cave house didn't have air conditioning, which is why I am giving it a 4 out of 5. If you can live without AC and dont mind stairs, definitely book this place!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Victoria H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2011

We just returned from our honeymoon at Casa Sofia and experienced none of the issues of the recent reviewers.

I actually found Maria Fouka VERY good with communication -- even when I had to change our plans several times thanks to unreliable ferry schedules! We first booked the apartment back in May and had intended to stay 5 nights. By September, the ferry schedule had changed and we had to shave a day off of our trip (since our ferry was now leaving at 1:00 a.m.). Every time I wrote Maria, she immediately responded (within 24 hours...usually sooner). She was very understanding about our plans and accommodated every request.

Our ferry from Rhodes was supposed to arrive at the Port in Santorini at 8:00 a.m., but didn't actually arrive until nearly 9:30 a.m. No matter! The driver was waiting for us as promised with our name on a sign! He grabbed our bags and loaded them into his van. We made our way up the winding port road and arrived in Oia at the taxi stand. The Bulgarian mountain goat, Vasili, was waiting for us and grabbed our bags and begged us to follow. Because we were arriving so early, and check-in wasn't until 1:00 p.m., he stored our bags with the Blue Sky Cafe and then told us if we used his name, we could always get a 10% discount. In addition, they had free WiFi. We hung out there for a while, killed time along the caldera and then met Vasili back at Blue Sky at 1:00 p.m. He carried our bags through the throngs of tourists down about 90 stone steps to Casa Sofia. He did a quick run-thru of everything we needed to know and said he would be back on our departure date and we should have the balance of our invoice in cash for him, then. And he was off!

The apartment itself is very comfortable. It has two main rooms and a little "ante-room" with a couple of built-in closets and cabinets. The kitchen is a decent size, but the stove is like a microwave with hot plate burners on top of it. Good for coffee (we found the Euro percolator in a cabinet) and boiling water, but we didn't make much else. The bed is back in the deepest part of the cave and was fairly comfortable. There were extra pillows and blankets in the anteroom, if we needed it. The sheets were basic and there was just a knitted coverlet on the bed. I will say that the bedroom was a bit stuffy (it was in the mid-80s with 50 - 60% humidity while we were there), but there is a pretty powerful fan and an electric dehumidifier that help.

The bathroom is actually entirely separate from the apartment -- as in, you have to go outside to get to it. Thus, I would recommend bringing a robe for those midnite or early morning "nature calls!" The bathroom itself is quite nice and well-appointed (including a bidet) and the view from the window over the toilet is lovely. There is a tub with a handheld shower and the water heater is large enough to provide enough hot water for a bath and shampoo.

The view from the terrace is breathtaking and, on the whole, that section of the caldera is very quiet. However, the apartment is located directed below one of the most famously photographed churches in Santorini, so we were occasionally disturbed by tourists making their way down the stone steps to photograph our house! If you look at many photos/paintings of this church, you will actually see Casa Sofia's bathroom door in the picture!

The only complaints I really had were: (1) the kitchen for the studio is actually downstairs with its door right on the apartment terrace next to our front door. There was no glass in the door, so whenever someone was in the kitchen, it was a bit loud (pots & pans banging around, etc.). (2) in the morning when the cleaning staff arrived, they sat in what I believe was the laundry room upstairs and talked VERY VERY loudly (argued?) for at least an hour each day. I guess they wanted us to know they were there, but it wasn't terribly romantic to hear what sounded like arguing while we were out on our terrace enjoying breakfast.

Despite these very few issues, we LOVED Casa Sofia and had a fantastic honeymoon in Oia. I never met Maria in person, but appreciate her communication and responsiveness. Vasili is a great greeter and very organized. The house is cute and has a gorgeous view and is, on the whole, fairly private and romantic. For the price, I think it's a wonderful choice.
We actually made a little video tour of Casa Sofia, if you want to get a good idea of what it's like:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAizIWYTF0Q

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank spycygrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2011

Take no notice of the moaners. We have stayed at Casa Sofia and other accommodation managed by the same company for the last three years and WILL be returning.

Management approach and attitude examples
2008 I had booked a rental car but forgotten my driving licence. Understandably the company would not rent the car to me. A quick phone call to Maria and she organised a Taxi for us. Arriving at Oia, we were met by Maria and Vasilli and taken to our villa. Everything was explained perfectly. They booked us into a traditional restaurant and Vasilli came for us later to escort us there. Try the Roka restaurant – it’s rustic but great
2010 Our flight was delayed by 7 ½ hours (don’t fly Thomas Cook – the cabin staff are good but the company’s admin stinks). We landed at Fira airport sometime around midnight. Our taxi was waiting for us (re-organised by Maria) and when we got Oia (00:30) there was good old Vassili waiting for us. A really warm welcome followed by him carrying our cases down the 100 or so steps (this was another of their villas). Vasilli has the build and agility of a mountain goat combined with the strength of 10 men!
Whenever we needed anything, Vasilli and Maria were always there for us on all three visits.
It’s interesting to note that there are : 4 top review from our ex-colonial friends across the pond (a notoriously demanding people where service is involved); 1 top review from Jersey UK (a well heeled bunch if ever there was one) and another top review from Italy (my Italian is poor but I can recognise superlatives such as ‘Bellissima’, ‘stupendo’, ‘molto bello’).

Views
Have to admit that the first time (2008) I was apprehensive when we landed at the airport - it looked like something out of a spaghetti western. I was expecting to see Clint Eastwood complete with poncho and six gun!
Then.. the Caldera! English does not have sufficient superlatives to describe the view.
The three different villas we have stayed at (including Casa Sofia) overlook the caldera. Get up in the morning, look out of the door and the views are an incredible way to come round. You can’t watch the sun set but it’s a short walk to the castle or the other side of Oia to see this. If you get the chance, watch it from the south side of the island looking across the caldera towards Oia

Accommodation
Basic but clean, the cleaner comes in every day. The cooking facilities aren’t really up to cooking a large meal – more for snacks etc but everything is there. If you need anything more, I suspect Vasilli would fix it for you. It has a fridge where you can store local delicacies like bread, butter, cheese and, of course, that bottle of wine so that you can have a nice snack in the afternoon looking at the superb views before a snooze and dinner. Chill!

Travel
Buses are modern, cheap and a great way to get around. But if you fancy more freedom, rent a quad or Jeep (Drossos are very good – Sodos is the man to ask for)

The more I type, the more ‘homesick’ I am becoming.

Mike & Barbara. West Yorkshire, England

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with family
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Thank MikeandBarbara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2011

Casa Sofia is a holiday rental house in Oia, which is run by "Oia Villas" ( manager Maria Fouka).

I booked for three nights. The day before we arrived I let Maria know what time we would be arriving in Oia, as requested. She said she would meet us at the bus stop and take us to Casa Sofia. When we arrived, there was nobody there, and after waiting a while ended up ringing Maria, to which she didn't remember who I was, but then said she would send someone to collect us. She sent some man named Vasili. He was friendly enough, but did not fail to make excuses every time we saw him about how busy he was and had to rush off. We felt brushed off a few times, but that was the least of it...

Vasili delivered us to the accommodation, a traditional cave house, which we thought was Casa Sofia, although something about it didn't seem right - it was bigger than I'd expected, but much older and dismal looking inside. He did not mention that it wasn't the right place, but only later that afternoon did we see a sign for Casa Sofia a little down the path, and realised we weren't staying in Casa Sofia, but "Nina's House". I was immediately annoyed at this, because I'd spent ages finding and choosing Casa Sofia as our base in Oia, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt and rang Maria to say she'd given us the wrong room. Maria knew fully well we were in the wrong place, but said that Nina's house was bigger (implying better) and she gave it to us as a favour, because she said she "knew" we wouldn't have liked Casa Sofia. I got more annoyed at this point but said that I would actually like to see for myself and stay in Casa Sofia, as we had arranged. To this, she informed me that Casa Sofia was not available due to it being booked!! Well! I coudn't believe it!! She had confirmed to me just the very day before we arrived, that we would be staying in Casa Sofia. There was something dodgy going on. We never once saw Maria in person, and when we asked Vasili where we could go to discuss this in person, he avoided answering and just said she was only available by phone.

Our night in Nina's house was awful to say the least, I won't go into detail here, but the next day I had had enough. I rang Maria and told her I wasn't happy with this substitute house she'd given us, and she tried to offer us other accommodations, which were a lot more expensive. I ended up cancelling the remaining two nights and found a nice little hotel elsewhere (not an easy task either, I might add!). As a small redemption, she didn't charge me any cancellation fee, probably realising how upset I was at being messed around. I was just glad to get out of there and get back to enjoying my holiday.

I felt the service we received here was terrible, I hope it was just a bad mixup on that day, but I get the feeling that "mixups" like these might happen quite often with this and the other "Oia Villas" houses run by the same people. Honesty and integrity was certainly not forthcoming in this instance. I don't like having to give negative reviews, but in this instance I would like to help other travellers from falling into the same traps we did, and spoiling their stay in beautiful Oia.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank PumpernickelPickle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Sofia

Address: Oia 847 02, Greece
Region: Greece > South Aegean > Cyclades > Santorini > Oia
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 34 B&Bs / Inns in Oia
Number of rooms: 2
Also Known As:
Casa Sofia Hotel Oia
Casa Sofia Santorini/Oia

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