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“Yes Yes Yes!”
Review of Chelidonia Villas

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Chelidonia Villas
Ranked #27 of 55 Hotels in Oia
Certificate of Excellence
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Yes Yes Yes!”
Reviewed 13 June 2008

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.

  • Liked — Breathtaking views 24 hours a day.
  • Disliked — Nothing - it was pretty much perfect.
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank JoshNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
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English first
Mid Wales
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2008

We stayed at Chelidonia in Oia for 4 nights at the end of May, and had a fantastic time! Oia is a beautiful village, wonderful when quiet, but unfortunately gets very crowded even in May when the cruise parties arrive! But it's definitely worth staying in the village, as the views are fabulous. We stayed in House Apollon, which was spacious, clean and cool. It has 2 private patios which gives such wide views over the village and the caldera. Breakfasting on the top patio was a treat! We enjoyed watching the boats crossing the caldera, and seeing the donkeys go up and down the path each afternoon. We saw the sunset each evening from the kastro, the windmills and even from the port! The owners were very friendly and helpful, and we couldn't have wished for a better place to stay! We would definitely recommend Chelidonia Villas, and hope to return some day!

  • Liked — Views from patios, location in Oia, and coolness of the villa
  • Disliked — The steps - but we managed!
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Welshtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
north carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2008

Outstanding location! Right in the thick of things. Cozy, clean, quiet, and comfy with great views of the caldera. Nice kitchen and bathroom. We had the smallest apartment but it was very nice and plenty big for the 2 of us. Best bed we had the whole time we were in Greece. The owners are wonderful people. A real "mom and pop place"as the woner was born in the room next to ours. They were very helpful to us when our plan flight was unexpectedly canceled due to a strike. You can pay more but you will get a lot less. This place is unbeatable!!!!

  • Liked — trip advisor, travel books like Fodors etc.
  • Disliked — nothing.
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank revstj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2008

My wife and I found Chelidonia Villas through this website and chose it for our honeymoon based on the reviews of others who had stayed at this wonderful villa. Triantaphyllos and his wife Erika are warm and attentive hosts who made every effort to ensure our comfort and convenience prior to and while we were there. We were so thrilled with our villa named Apollon. If you are looking for million dollar views, this is where you find them. With a terrace that faces east and another terrace that faces south, they will give you hours of book reading and staring into the distance pleasure. Return guests know this and book well in advance, so plan ahead. Internet and free international phone access were available if needed. TV's in the villa would have been an intrusion.

Chelidonia is central to everything you want and need in Oia. Outstanding restaurants Ambrosia and its sister restaurant Ambrosia and Nectar are three minute walks away. Candouni (Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants fame) is a five minute walk to outstanding food. All the shopping you could want (at least for the men) is 92 steps away from the front door and Triantaphyllos and Erika will steer you to the shops you can trust.

Best of all is knowing that when the sun sets in Oia, the crowds leave on their buses. So wave back at them when they look jealously at you in your slingback chairs on that unbelievable terrace knowing that you will have the town to yourself and a few others for the evening.

Rent a car for a day-you can see the island thoroughly on your own timetable. If you see something you like, rent again. Don't make advance reservations, walkups are welcome. Taxis are clean, efficient and in demand, so call ahead. Take the ferry for day trips to the other islands and come back to paradise in the evening.

Thank you Triantaphyllos and Erika. It was wonderful!!!

  • Liked — Simple, Tasteful and Thoroughly equipped
  • Disliked — I had no disappointments
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank TampaGreg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, VA
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 May 2008

We stayed four nights at the Chelidonia. The location overlooking the Santorini caldera in the town of Oia is perfect. Easy to walk to small stores and lots of restaurants. Oia is a quieter town than Fira. We rented a car in Oia for a couple of days that allowed us to easily see the rest of the island. The innkeepers arranged for a taxi to pick us up at the airport. The Chelidonia consists of several restored traditional homes carved into the cliff face. Each has private patio and comfortable bed and large seating area/kitchen. The only negative for some might be the lack of a pool.

  • Liked — The view.
  • Disliked — The shower was a bit primitive, no stall or curtain.
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank mikeRichmond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlbanBerg
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2008

We are a family of four with two girls, ages 5 and 9, who traveled to Greece in March-April 2008. We spent 6 days on Santorini.

Before we left, we researched various properties in the Oia area. Having previously been to Santorini, we wanted the dramatic views of staying along the edge of the caldera, but did not want to stay in Fira, which, even in the low season in which we traveled, is hopelessly commercialized. We wanted to stay in Oia, which is on the caldera side, at one end of the the island. it is much more laid back than Fira and, frankly, much more dramatic in setting as well as in terms of the town itself.

We contacted various places in Oia, but most were not yet open for the impending high season (which really kicks off about mid- to late April), and most of those that were open did not want children. The Chelidonia Villas were listed in the Lonely Planet guidebook for Greece. We contacted the owners directly. Their website was very good and they welcomed children. We booked a villa for 6 nights (198 Euro per night). They gave us a two-bedroom plus kitchen plus bath plus veranda villa. They asked for a 500 Euro deposit to be wired to them, which we easily did through PayPal. (They require the balance in Euros as apparently the bank takes away a hefty commission for credit card payments. This was easily done by using one of the many banks or ATMs on the island.) Erika, one of the owners, was very responsive and helpful, and also hooked us up with Vazeos Car Rental in Oia, from which we rented a small car for the week.

Mr. Vazeos met us at the airport on Santorini with the car. We followed him to Oia. There is a parking lot immediately across from his car rental office where we parked every night. The owner of Chelidonia Villas met us at the parking lot and helped us lug our bags to the villa. It was a very short walk (80 meters) and the villa was only about 20 steps down from the main pedestrian street that runs through Oia along the crest of the caldera. It was only a few steps south of the main square and church in the village.

The villa was one of the "cave-type" villas that are common in Fira and Oia. It had two bedrooms with a double bed and armoire in each, a very large bathroom, a main room with a kitchen and small dining table in front and a sitting area and small library in back. Outside was a decent sized veranda with deck chairs and a sun umbrella. The owner, seeing that I had a laptop with me, ran a high-speed Internet line down from the computer room directly above our villa (behind the reception office on the main street) so we had 24/7 fast Internet access. The rooms were clean and tastefully decorated with old paintings and good, old wooden furniture. The beds were good. Maid service cleaned the rooms and changed our linens every day.

The owners were extremely helpful and nice. When we left, they helped us carry our bags to our car. For dining, they recommended Thomas Grill, which was just behind the main church in Oia. We went there several times. On our first visit, our daughters did not know what to order. The owner's son grabbed our daughters and took them into the kitchen. He showed them what was in the various pots and what was available for grill. He brought all of us a treat of yoghurt and honey after each meal. They fell in love with the place and wanted to have every meal there. Back to Chelidonia. The owners told us which supermarkets to go to for the best prices. We bought breakfast goods and had our breakfasts in the villa. (Note: the stove is actually a double hotplate, but entirely serviceable.)

We liked the time of year we visited Santorini. While most of the curio and jewelry shops were closed, there was activity everywhere with people getting their shops, restaurants, and lodgings ready to open for the season. But because this was still low season, we pretty much had Oia to ourselves. We were only minutes by walking from the sunset viewing spot. Perhaps a 10-minute drive to Fira, 20 minutes to Pyrgos, 30 minutes to Kamari and Perissa. By the way, the excavations at Ancient Akrotiri are not expected to open until July 2008 at the earliest, following a roof collapse in 2005 that killed a visitor. Ancient Thira, however, is open and you can't beat the mountaintop site for the ruins. The two archeological museums in Fira were also good.

The weather was sunny and clear (we had one cloudy day). The evenings were a bit cool. Unless you like being jammed in the middle of tiny streets with thousands of tourists and curio shops in the height of the tourist season (i.e., summer), definitely go in the April-May and September-October season, when there are still restaurants, shops, and sights open, but you will see Santorini instead of the tourists.

The best food we had on the entire island was at a small restaurant in the village of Finikia, which is just before and below the village of Oia as you drive into Oia. It is "Krinika" and is in an old wine-making building from the 1800s. The food was fabulous. If you go there, try the tomato fritters and the eggplant salad.

Cheldonia Villas was wonderful. Great location, great owners, great service, great views, great price.

  • Liked — The location, price, rooms, helpful owners.
  • Disliked — There were no negatives.
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank AlbanBerg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussel
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2008

If you have known the extraordinary atmosphere of Oia several decades ago, this is the perfect place to find it back, especially in the early season of March. In fact we have not dared to go back to Oia after the 1980's, fearing that it had become unrecognizable and disfigured like Fira, the capital and some of the countryside. Chelidonia Villas lies at a beautiful, quieter spot of the village and gives you the incomparable feeling and hauntingly beautiful caldera views of Oia as it used to be, with all that most 21st century tourists like to find as facilities, including internet access if you wish. We usually try to 'keep secrets', but here it is important that people like our hosts Triandafyllos and Erika get the full credit for keeping this place as it should be, original Oia colours, original architecture, which unfortunately not all hotel owners chose to do, even in 'protected Oia'.

Stayed March 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank Nico5O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chelidonia Villas

Property: Chelidonia Villas
Address: Nikolaou Nomikou, Oia 847 02, Greece
Phone Number:
Region: Greece > South Aegean > Cyclades > Santorini > Oia
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
#4 Best Value Hotel in Oia
#9 Family Hotel in Oia
#12 Romantic Hotel in Oia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 10
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

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