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“Horribly poor service - will never return” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Alexander's Boutique Hotel of Oia

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Alexander's Boutique Hotel of Oia
Ranked #31 of 55 Hotels in Oia
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Horribly poor service - will never return”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2010

We stayed at Alexander's for the first time back in September 2008, for one night, and our experience then was so lovely, we decided to stay there again for our 8-night visit to Santorini in April 2010. We were very disappointed to find that our return experience was nothing at all like the first.

When booking this visit, we requested the semi-private airport transfer, pre-paid and arranged through the hotel. We dealt with Martha (the owner's wife) for reservations, and she arranged for the taxi to pick us up from the airport when our plane landed at 6:30am, and bring us directly to the hotel. Our cab dropped us off at the entrance to Alexander's at 6:45am, but upon our arrival, we were in for a rude awakening when we discovered that the reception was abandoned and closed up. The hours on the door stated an opening time of 8:30am, but this was little comfort to us, considering that in Santorini in April, at 6:45am, it is still dark as night outside and very cold.

Because we had all of our luggage with us and nowhere to go, our only option was to sit on the steps outside of the office, shivering, waiting for someone to come in to work. To make matters worse, we had flown from New York City with long layovers in London and Athens - total travel time of 2.5 days - and so we hadn't slept in days and were delirious. After an hour and fifteen minutes of waiting, a bell boy showed up at 8am and let us into a tiny room by the office, telling us to sleep it off and check in when we were ready.

When we emerged from the room that afternoon and went to the office to check in, we were greeted by Alexander, the owner of the hotel, and so we proceeded to explain to him our dilemma. We told him we were aware that check-in time was 3pm, but since Martha had specifically arranged for the taxi to drop us off at the hotel at 6:45am, we thought it might be helpful if she had also mentioned to us that no one would be there upon our arrival!! Had we known, we could have made any number of alternate plans, including staying at the airport (where it was warm) until later in the day. Alexander was extremely unsympathetic and even made the ludicrous comment, "what, if you had known we wouldn't be here, you would have changed your flight to arrive later in the afternoon?" He next stated that the airport had changed their flight schedules as of April 1st, and this was the first time a flight had come in so early, so there was no way of them knowing we would be there so early. We reminded him that his wife, Martha, had been the one to arrange our drop-off at the hotel at 6:45am!!!

After bleakly apologizing and still insisting that no wrong-doing had been committed on the part of the hotel, he told us that he was going to upgrade us from the room that we had requested (Opal Cave House) to the much smaller room we had been dumped in upon our arrival (Sapphire Villa). When we questioned him, he told us, "the size of the room is not what matters, it's what's in the room that's important." These items were supposed to be a bathtub, countertop stove (ours didn't work), and satellite TV - all items we could have done without, as we would have much preferred a larger room.

After reading other reviews on this site, we've learned that it's common for the hotel to overbook guests and to move people around so as to maximize their income. However, what's even stranger is that the room directly to the left of us remained empty during our entire stay (April is low season, so the hotel wasn't full). On our second-to-last day, during breakfast on the terrace, a lady from the office opened up the door to that room and offered for us to go on in and have a look. When we did, we were shocked to find out that it was much, much larger than the one we had been staying in. To this day we still haven't figured out why they wouldn't have put us in that room, since it was vacant - especially since it was our return visit to Alexander's and we stayed 8 long nights (unheard of in Santorini, where it's common to stay only a few)!!

On our second day, we happened to meet Alexander in town, at which time he proceeded to invite us to dinner on our last night, and we accepted. Again, after reading other reviews on this site, we've learned that it is his common practice to treat his guests to meals out on the town. We looked forward to dinner and hoped to see some traditional Greek dancing - however, on our last night, we dressed and waited for his arrival to pick us up as promised. Alexander never showed, and we never saw him again.

On our last morning, we had to leave very early to catch our flight. We were told that the bell boy would be available to help us with our luggage, but when our cab arrived to the hotel at 5:30am that morning, he had failed to turn up, so we had no choice but to haul our own luggage up the steep steps to the waiting taxi. We thought perhaps the bell boy had overslept, but after reading other reviews on this site, we've learned that this has happened to other guests. It seems they make the promise to arrange for help, but then have no intention of inconveniencing their bellboy to wake up early.

Last, when booking this trip, we were specifically asked if we were visiting Santorini for any specific special occasion. We told them yes, we were there to celebrate a milestone birthday. After our 8-night visit, thinking about the size of our "upgraded" room, the hotel's and staff's failure to meet any promises or standards, and the atrocious service for which there are no words, we walked out of there certain this second stay would be our last. We also wondered why they would even make a point to ask about special occasions, because it seems that special occasion or not, you will be shown a horrible experience.

  • Stayed April 2010
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank almondUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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543 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Dublin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2010

After reading so many positive reviews about Alexander's, we chose this hotel for the last 2 nights of our 6 night stay in Santorini, as a "splurge". We booked the Tanzanite Villa, with high expectations based on the website pictures and all of the great things people had to say. Unfortunately, we didn't experience the great service that others seemed to enjoy. When we arrived we were told that we had been upgraded to the Alexanderite Villa, which had been newly renovated and we would be the first to stay in it.

I will say that the reviews were right about the views, the location and the wireless internet in this hotel, all of which were great. Our first sign of trouble was when we asked whether the Alexanderite Villa also had its own jacuzzi on the balcony, as the Tanzanite Villa pictures clearly show this (especially on booking.com, which we used). Alexander told us no, "only the Imperial Villa has its own jacuzzi, all other villas can use the jacuzzi located beside reception". We felt let down, particularly since that was one reason we booked the Tanzanite Villa over other cheaper available rooms. He did say that the villa had a new jacuzzi in the bathroom, which seemed nice. However, our negative experience continued when we entered the upgraded villa: the TV and phone didn't work, it was full of black flies, presumably because the windows and doors were all opened during construction.

The jacuzzi was still unpainted, untiled poured concrete so a bit rough and unfinished. Worse, it could only be filled with hot water over several hours, since the hot water tank of 80L would run out of hot water after 10 minutes and 3 inches of tub filling. By the time the tub is full, the water is not hot, and we even added our own boiling water with the kettles (yes, we tried to make the best of it!) so all in all not a relaxing luxurious experience as we had hoped.

When we raised our concerns with Alexander, he was very gracious and thanked us for our input, and said he would try to improve things, but the bigger hot water tank would take 2 weeks and the TV would be looked into. These things aren't awful, but they're just not what you expect from a four star property with such glowing reviews, and all in all we left feeling shafted, and wishing we had stayed at our original hotel in Firostefani for less than half of what we paid at Alexander in Oia. I hope other people have better experiences than we did, but just thought I would warn people about being "upgraded" and being suckered by nice website photos like we were.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank traveler2877
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Il
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2010

Our recent stay in Alexander's Hotel ranks as one of our top vacations so far. We stayed in the Imperial Diamond Villa which was just wonderful for a family of 5! Alexander, the owner, gave us an orientation on the room's features and the island and checked on us daily. A great breakfast ( hardboiled eggs, croissants, greek yogurt with honey, fruits, meat and cheeses) was served outdoors daily. We capped our days with a dip in the outdoor jacuzzi. The views from the hotel are to die for, and pictures that you'll take right from the hotel are "postcard perfect". Santorini, most especially Oia, exceeded our expectations of a relaxing and beutiful vacation. Overall, we highly, highly recommend this hotel!

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank FAandPC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
americans, living abroad
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2010

We honestly cannot give Alexander's enough credit. The entire staff made our stay ahhhh-mazing. From the moment I booked our stay, I knew that we were in good hands. The personal touch is truly not lost on this quaint boutique hotel. We were lucky enough to have caught the charming owner, Alexander, during the off-season, and we feel honored to have spent our time in Oia in his excellent care. What a wonderful opportunity we had to break bread with this well traveled and interesting gentleman!
The renovated rooms cut into the caves on the cliffs of Oia were immaculate, well kempt, and brightly lit by the sky and sea. Our room was a perfect combination of the authentic feel of cave dwelling, with all the modern amenities that one would expect in a five star hotel. Each time we return to Santorini, and we hope that we will have many opportunities, we will return to Alexander's every time.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank theshakurs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2010

After a beautiful scenic ride up the mountain to our hotel we were surprised for a short trip to paradise. At the time of our arrival we were kindly greeted with coffee and traditional athinian cookies seated by the most beautiful view in my life. Quite honestly after visiting many countries I have never experienced such peaceful serenity in the midst of paradise. Aside from the view that Alexander's boutique offer it also welcomes you with an exquisite setting within the Imperial Suite. Breakfast is served on your terrace while relaxing in your jacuzzi.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jennyzambrano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2010

We stayed here 3 nights for our honeymoon in Feb 2010, being upgraded to the Diamond Suite. Fantastic view, one of the best location in Oia to have the caldera view. Free Wifi and great breakfast!

  • Stayed March 2010
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Niniwong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 February 2010

Santorini is a magical place, and for us the magic started the moment we walked through the cobble stone arch entrance of Alexander's Boutique Hotel. We were upgraded to the Blue Diamond Imperial Suite, which was impeccably and tastefully appointed by Alexander the owner and which came with a view that was simply sublime - we even got to watch the famous Oia sunset from the patio ouside our suite. Alexander himself was the gracious host during our five-day stay at the hotel around Christmas time, and he did everything to make sure this would be the most memerable Christmas vacation our family ever took - including a special (and delicious) Christmas dinner with him, his beautiful daughter and other hotel guests at his favorite restaurant in Fira that almost last until 2 AM! Add to it the friendly staff and the quiet but still convenient location, and you can understand why I'm already thinking about booking our next stay at the Alexander's Boutique Hotel as I write this review...

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank islandlover59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Alexander's Boutique Hotel of Oia

Property: Alexander's Boutique Hotel of Oia
Address: Main St. | Santorini, Oia 847 02, Greece
Phone Number:
Region: Greece > South Aegean > Cyclades > Santorini > Oia
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#18 Luxury Hotel in Oia
#31 Romantic Hotel in Oia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Alexander's Boutique Hotel of Oia 4*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury, elegance, intimacy, breathtaking views of the caldera...Alexander’s is a boutique hotel consisting of suites, cave villas and cave houses all named after precious and semi-precious stones, according to Cycladic architecture. We are a hotel with less steps. We have been recommended by the New York Times, the Independent and the Daily Telegraph. Our hotel was the main location of the film “Thira.” Special occasions are magical when held at Alexander’s. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alexanders Boutique Hotel Oia
Alexanders Boutique Oia
Alexander's Boutique Hotel Of Oia Santorini

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