Gorgeous setting, friendly staff, comfortable rooms, great food, but unfortunately we can't say it was worth the money. It was the smaller things that added up, such as torn towels, broken shutters on our window, some issues with transportation and other various service related issues. The staff really do make an effort, but on a five-star standard, they miss the mark. That is probably the most important thing to note: this is a nice hotel with nice people, but they are charging way too much for the level of service and amenities they provide. Part of the issue was the national strikes that paralyzed the country for the duration of the Summer and Fall. We were originally scheduled to visit Santorini in early July, but due to several issues, to include strikes which halted all rail, airplane, ferry, and almost all other modes of transportation, we had to postpone our reservation. Mystique was kind enough to allow us to keep the credit we already paid for until the end of the 2011 season, and when we emailed to inquire about making the trip in mid-October, Antonia gave us an exceptional discount and upgraded our room. We were really looking forward to our trip, as Santorini is always touted as one of the top romantic destinations in the world and Mystique is known for being the best on the island.
The positives: When we arrived by ferry from Crete the first morning, we had our own private driver from the hotel waiting for us with cool water and an air conditioned vehicle to whisk us away to the resort. The views along the way were stunning, and when we made it to Mystique, the views only got better. It was amazing to watch the staff who carry the luggage/laundry/groceries for the restaurant/trash up and down the stairs. They definitely have their work cut out for them, and they smile and greet you even if they have three suitcases in hand! At the front desk, we were promptly shown to our Spiritual Suite which was on the far corner of the resort. The room was simple and minimal but well done and clean with plenty of space. The exercise equipment is off in a side room, so you barely notice it if you are not inclined to use it during your stay. The mini bar was well stocked, and complimentary water was resupplied daily, along with fresh fruit. The stereo system took a bit to figure out, but it worked great once we got it working and were able to listen to music in any room of the suite. The bedroom is very spacious with an extremely comfortable bed. The bathroom was nice as well, with plenty of toiletries, to include sunscreen, which was great. The rain shower was the perfect start or end to a day, and as stated in previous reviews, there is a giant spa tub in the bathroom as well which gives off a lot of humidity. It helps to keep the door shut, but the humidifier wasn't working very well regardless of the setting. The deck outside our front door had another large spa tub which was always just the right temperature.
Every morning, the staff would bring by coffee and cookies with plenty of refills while we sat on our sun deck. We enjoyed a huge breakfast each morning at the restaurant, which has a beautiful view of the caldera and the nearby islands. The restaurant staff had a good sense of humor and excellent English skills. We had dinner at the restaurant our last evening, and the staff were always courteous, helpful with any food or wine recommendations, polite, and attentive. The two bartenders were awesome and were very amiable and always served expertly mixed drinks.
Areas that need improvement: The main aspect that downgraded our opinion of Mystique's service was the housekeeping. We were not sure if it had to do with the fact our visit was so late in the season (the hotel was scheduled to close for the year a few weeks after our stay), but, in general, both the daily housekeeping and the turndown service were lackluster and rather haphazard. Although water and fruit were replaced daily, we only received the larger, plush bath towels on the final day of our visit. The other towels in our room had holes the size of my fist or tears and were not replaced in a tidy manner. Instead, the towels were folded or rolled in different directions and placed randomly on the shelves. The toiletries were filled/replaced most days, but not all.
On one of the afternoons, the power went out across the resort. We were receiving massages at the time, and soon the power came back on, but when we returned to our room later that evening, we discovered that none of the items in our bathroom that require electricity were working (hot water, both the indoor and outdoor hot tub, the steam shower, outlets, etc). We called the front desk, but were informed that an electrician wouldn’t be able to arrive for several hours to fix the issue. We decided to wait until the next morning instead of having the electrician come in during the middle of the night. They did eventually fix the issue, but we were without electricity in our bathroom when we left for sightseeing the next day.
The concierge staff wasn't as knowledgeable as we expected from this caliber of a hotel. As always, they were very polite and kind, but when we asked for assistance in finding a scuba dive operator that was still working this late in the season we were given two shops. One of the shops was boarded up when we went into town to speak with them, but the other was open, although for limited hours due to the weather and the lower end of season demand. When we spoke with the concierge about mopeds, they told us it wouldn't be a problem, but when it came time to make the reservation we were told it wasn't possible due to the fact neither of us had our international driver's licenses (IDL) with us. This should have been addressed when we first requested, but regardless, the moped dealer informed us that we could rent ATVs without an IDL. We chose to get an ATV through Mystique's recommended shop, and after doing the required paperwork the company showed us how to operate the vehicle. The company's representative told us that we would need to get gas soon because there was less than a quarter of a tank, but we would only be expected to return it at the same fuel level. We didn't use the ATV that night, but waited until the next morning when we were going to head to the beaches across the island. We didn’t get a mile away from the hotel before the ATV sputtered and stalled because it ran out of gas. We were outside of town, but thankfully we had our cell phone with us (and also we had luckily purchased a Greek SIM card the day before) or one of us would have had to walk back into town. There's no gas station in Oia and you have to drive to Fira in order to buy fuel, which made us rather perturbed that the vehicle company knowingly gave us that little fuel. We called back to Mystique, who promptly called the company and called us back to let us know their representative would meet us very soon. The rep came in about 10-15 minutes and gave us more gas and told us someone "must have stolen the gas because that is a common problem". If it is such a problem, then they should install locking gas caps so their customers aren't stranded on the side of a road with 5 km to the nearest gas station! After we returned, the concierge apologized for the inconvenience. In the morning, the day of our departure, we were informed by the hotel staff that there would be a ferry strike. One of us was leaving by plane through Athens, and the other by ferry through Crete. We were told that in previous strikes that only the boats departing from Piraeus port in Athens were affected and that the inter-island ferries would still run. I don't know if the staff called the ferry companies to confirm, but they didn't seem concerned with the upcoming strike. Unfortunately, they should have been because we found out shortly after that no ferries were running and the flights to the main land booked up within an hour. The staff did work with travel agents, but we didn't feel that they were prepared or acted as efficiently as they should have been. We ended up “camping out” in the airport to try to fly stand-by and had to spend another 600 dollars on a completely new flight and I had to spend an extra night in London for yet another 200 dollars because of their lack of planning. We later found out that the ferry strike had been planned for several weeks, making us further question the reliability or knowledge of the staff.
Another smaller issue was the location. Mystique is about a 5 minute walk to the pedestrian walk of Oia where all the other restaurants and shops are. This area probably allows them more peace and quiet in the high season, but we felt as if we were out beyond the fringes. Due to their inner setting on the caldera, Mystique also doesn't have a view of the ever-popular "Santorini Sunset". You can watch the beautiful sky shift colors over the neighboring islands, but you won't be able to watch the sun dip into the ocean every evening from the privacy of your suite like some other resorts offer.
After analyzing the overall performance of this staff and hotel in general, unfortunately it confirms our recent trend of disappointing large-chain, luxury-brand properties. We thought that the service was parallel to that of a 4 star property all in all, but with the poor housekeeping and exorbitant prices, we decided that we could only give our experience a 3 of 5. Most of the staff we spoke to had only worked at Mystique for one other season, if that. There were a few members who had been on the property for several years, but they were few and far between, and the lack of experience shows. Although Mystique enjoys a beautiful vantage point and congenial staff, it doesn't warrant anywhere close to the price it charges. We can't recommend this hotel and would not return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mystique is a stylish property consisting of 39 suites and villas built exactly on Oia's most famous cliffs with dazzling views of clear blue crystalline waters towards the Volcano and the Aegean Caldera. 18 Km from Santorini Airport and 20 km from Athinios Port.All accommodations are a wondrous exploration of driftwood, a free spirited, untamed material that harness the elegance of simplicity. Enticing patterns carved into the walls. All suites open onto sea-facing terraces with relaxing daybeds. Cobblestone pathways lead to the plunge pool surrounded by sun beds for the utmost relaxation.Guests may experience an outdoor infinity-edge pool, the "Aura" Bar, the "Charisma" Gourmet Restaurant, "ASEA" the new artisan Japanese restaurant and the "Secret" Wine Cave. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mystique Hotel Oia
- Mystique Oia
- Mystique Luxury Collection Hotel Santorini/Oia