In a word: amazing.
The owners arranged a taxi to meet us at the port (absolutely necessary because the island has only a handful of cabs), and we sped up into the mountain to Oia. The hotel isn't accessible to the street; a porter was waiting in the parking lot to carry our bags the 5 minutes (and 200+ steps!) from the road down to our room. (Yes, it's a hike up and down the cliff to your room, but the privacy and freedom from the hordes of tourists are well worth the walk).
By far, the best part of Chelidonia is the caldera view. It's breathtaking. The light changes constantly, and you'll want to spend hours on your balcony, taking it all in. There are chaise lounges, huge umbrellas and various tables and chairs. As an aside, you can't actually see the sunset from the hotel - you have to walk to the end of the cliff or down to Ammoudi port - both worth doing once. You'll be surrounded by literally thousands of tourists. After the first time, you'll enjoy just watching the light change from your private balcony with a bottle of wine.
The cliff houses are immaculately restored, and furnished with fitting antiques and furniture. Aside from air conditioning and a small but well-appointed kitchen area, it's entirely authentic. (ie no television or phone; and you won't miss it!) The bathroom is spartan but fine. We cooked a number of meals and ate them on the balcony - an absolute must!
Free internet and international phone calls were available in a small room next to the hotel reception. Plenty of restaurants within 5 minutes' walk - though this part of Santorini is uber-touristy and prices tend toward the exorbitant. Ask for suggestions so you're not led too far astray...
The owners and staff are incredibly nice - spend some time talking to Triantyphyllos if you can - he's a great storyteller and genuinely interested in making sure his guests are comfortable.
One of the most beautiful places I've ever been, and absolutely worth the price.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Chelidonia is a family run set of carefully restaurated traditional dwellings on the caldera cliffs in the heart of Oia, Santorini. We offer panorama and privacy for individual travellers who contact us directly. We are proud to have been recommended by the New York Times as the preferable accommodation to stay on Santorini island. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Chelidonia Villas Hotel Oia
- Chelidonia Hotel Oia
- Chelidonia Villas Santorini/Oia