We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Like a youth hostel with a great view”
Review of Hotel Kavalari

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 11 more sites!
Hotel Kavalari
Ranked #35 of 80 Hotels in Fira
Certificate of Excellence
NYC
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Like a youth hostel with a great view”
Reviewed 14 October 2013

My wife and I just returned from a trip to Greece encompassing (in order) Santorini, Mykonos (Delos) and Athens. After my experience at Kavalari in the first 48 hours I was seriously considering just flying back home, but I’m glad I didn’t since Mykonos and Athens were pretty astoundingly awesome.

So…our arrival at the Santorini airport was at 6:15 AM and we were met by a scheduled pick up from Kavalari. So far so good. Now, prior to the booking, we had been concerned about our early AM arrival at the hotel. Through email correspondence we received confirmation that the pick up driver would take us to a café where we could wait for a couple hours until the hotel opened its doors. Unfortunately, the driver dropped us off an a culdesac with the hotel nowhere in sight. We tried to convey to him that were were supposed to go to a heated shelter of some sort (it was about 10 C/50 F degrees), but he didn’t seem to understand English. He did, however, enthusiastically reassure us that the hotel was open. After receiving his directions by way of hand-signals and a 200-meter walk across the Caldera’s cobblestone pedestrian walkway, we found the hotel. It was closed tight and not a light was on. No doorbell, nothing. We did some recon and finally found one pastry shop that was open about 10 minutes away. Really sweet owner, actually made his wife (?) get up and give us her chair. Delicious apple croissant and Illy cappucinos.

OK, at 8:20 AM we’re finally able to check in, right next to another, equally bedraggled couple (who apparently did not find as nice a café as we did). We tried to report this timing issue (or what I like to call an “Email Confirmation-vs-Reality Disconnect”) but the desk fellow could only say “of course we were closed, we open at 8am” before moving on to another customer. Perhaps the person who handles the email correspondence was off that day.

Room: If you need wi-fi then during the day you can get a solid dial-up modem-like connection – maybe 26k. After about 2am if seems to go up to about 1mb. This was kind of true at every island hotel we stayed at so maybe that’s just the way it is off the mainland. Athens was much better for wi-fi, tho still lots of dropped connections. Recommendation if you need wi-fi – use a cell service.
The hot water (or lack of it) in the room was not very good at all. The front desk instructed us that you need to turn on a hot water heater switch about 10 minutes before taking a shower so it would get hot. I did this and got about 1 minute of hot water before the water unexpectedly (and inconveniently) turned lukewarm and then cold. I actually fell for this TWICE before realizing that even if the switch is on for an hour it still only heats up about a minute’s worth of hot water. My wife at first didn’t believe me but she soon changed her mind and we had a bonding moment. So basically we didn’t have a real shower for the entire length of our stay at Santorini (and this after an 18-hour trip from the US). OK, so now we had to recalibrate our mindsets to “camping” mode. The bed sheets were appropriately very coarse and I ended up sleeping in my clothes on the second night. Both nights we were treated to loud party music till about 3am. I’ve never been to “Burning Man” before but now I feel like I have.

We did inform the desk woman about the problem with the hot water on the evening of our second night and she explained that it was a fuse - but unfortunately it was too late to call a repairman. She told us that we should have reported it earlier (no argument there), but we had been in a hurry to get out and catch an early bus that day and had thought that we would have gotten back earlier. In any case, the desk lady seemed less sympathetic to our unwashed troubles and more concerned about how this would affect the Kavalari Trip Advisor ratings, and took pains to lay the blame at our feet for not reporting it when a fuse-qualified repairman was available. To me, even if we had reported it earlier and they had fixed it immediately, encountering a lack of hot water under any circumstances (for any place outside of a youth hostel at least) is definitely a buzzkill.

Complimentary breakfast: No hot food, except for coffee. Basically croissants and some fruits. Waiter was very nice (unlike the maintenance staff who respond to “hi” with disdainful silence). Fantastic view tho, no doubt about that, right out of a travel magazine. As other reviewers mention, be prepared to climb stairs, but having lived in a 6 floor walk up – no big deal for us. Also worth mentioning (and this is actually the entire island) no paper of any kind is allowed to be flushed in the toilets, all soiled refuse is stored in a convenient flip-top trash can (more Burning Man festivity!).

On our check out, my wife tried to obtain some kind of monetary recompense for the first day’s arrival troubles and the desk lady said they couldn’t do anything like that because we paid in Euros. I’m not real clear on what that has to do with anything (she might as well have just said that the planet Mercury is rising in the House of Gemini - or some similar non-sequitur). Finally, the Kavalari staff called a taxi to take us to the Mykonos ferry, but it was really late and the taxi-driver kept yelling at us to carry our luggage more quickly to his cab (again at the culdesac 200m away), after which he took us on “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” down a steep mountain road and passing about 7 other cars in no-passing zones. Despite being a veteran of NYC taxis, I have never been more resigned to impending death or vehicular maiming. I can’t blame Kavalari about this part tho, but it was the perfect capper to a challenging stay.

Anyways, things got much better in Mykonos and Athens, so at least it was better to go from horrible to awesome than the other way around! I did end up with a sore throat after Kavalari which persisted for the remainder of the trip tho, so that was not exactly a lingering glow of warm satisfaction.

Pros: No roaches, breathtaking view, cold water plentiful, desk staff have very good English-speaking skills, near to all main attractions.
Cons: See above. Based on the other Trip Advisor reviews I was really surprised, and unfortunately, not in a good way….

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Ed C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

402 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    225
    121
    30
    14
    12
See reviews for
56
198
38
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver BC
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2013

We spent 3 nights at the Kavalari Hotel in September 2013. We choose this location as we wanted to be right on the Caldera and the views did not disappoint. The location and views were second to none. The front desk staff were more than accommodating in assisting us in getting a room with not too many stairs involved. Because this hotel is located on the caldera, it is built on levels and there are many stairs involved with no elevator. Due to my husbands asthma we were given a room on the lobby level which was perfect for us. There was no terrace attached to our room but there was a terrace a couple levels down which we could use whenever we wanted. We went down to the terrace with the complimentay bottle of wine to watch our first Santorini sunset and got probably the most beautiful sunset pictures we have ever taken! The price of the room includes a free breakfast which was the best greek yogurt I have ever had. Although it was 71 stairs down from the lobby level and 71 stairs back up again, it was our morning workout. Walking up the hill to the walkway where the hotel is located is also fairly steep but the front desk girl advised us that if we rented an ATV we could park it beside the Atlantis hotel for a short and level walk back to the hotel. We did this and this saved our trip. touring the island on the ATV was such fun and it made our commute back to our hotel very easy and comfortable. We loved the location of the Kavalari as it is close to the old town built right into the Caldera. Lots of places to wander around for a little shopping. we wouldn't hesitate to come back to this hotel. Staff was great, room was clean and location was second to none. Great Job Kavalari!!!

Room Tip: Think about how many stairs you are ok to climb to get to your room each day.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MoandOh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Pasadena, California
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2013

Our cave room was exactly what we were looking for in Fira, with outstanding views of the Caldera, great reception staff with amazing recommendations for food and a quiet experience. Surprisingly very quiet in such a busy and central location, I was impressed with the personal experience we received. The breakfast was amazing on the terrace! I could not think of a better place to view the sunsets in Fira, with a 180 panoranic view! Very centrally located, with a grocery store and high end shopping as well as tourist spots and bars all within close proximity. The bus stop is nearby as well as the taxi stand and any other transportation you could need (i.e. scooters, ATVs, etc.)

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Allison S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palm Springs, California
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2013

This was my second stay at the Hotel Kavalari. The first was in 2005. I returned because (1) you cannot beat the view, (2) the owners and staff are such nice people - they really went out of their way to make sure I had the best possible experience, and they did so again, (3) the location is perfect for shopping, dining, and for accessing public transportation to other parts of the island, (4) the building itself is an example of traditional cliffside architecture - some rooms extend back into areas dug out from the cliff - all very charming in contrast to the homogenized glitz of some neighboring hotels, (5) the accommodations are very comfortable. As another guest put it: It's a law of physics - you cannot walk from the lobby to your room without taking pictures. The mesmerizing view will melt your cares away, and the staff will cheerfully do their best to make sure your needs are met.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bob W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jerusalem, Israel
Level 6 Contributor
89 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2013

I stayed at the KAVALARI hotel for 4 nights (from 8-12/8/13)
Santorini is an amazing island , it was my first visit, and i feel it wont be my last! from the very first moment the ferry reached the Island the magic started! the taxi ride from the harbour to the hotel was super amazing! The taxi couldent reach the hotel since the Kavalari is located right on the Caldera, where no cars are allowed to pass through! we rolled our bags and up the hill and that is when you see what ur eyes wont believe!!! what a view, what an amazing breathtaking view !!! and whats even more amazing is that the hotel is right there which means you will wake up and sleep and eat and sit daily with that view!

here i was standing at the entrance of the hotel,. a big sign (hotel guests only ) is placed at the gate, and now i understand why! since many people want to make the best pics of the caldera, they would be using the hotel property as the ideal place to take photos!

You walk down 10 steps, to the reception! we were met by 2 gentlemen, Costas and James, who checked us in and gave us room number 30! which was just 10 steps down from the recption floor!! what a blessing!! as some of the rooms are deep down the cliff, and that takes huge huge effort walking up and down on daily basis!

the room was basic, simply furniture, beige furniture, 2 beds, nice decor! the bathroom was spacious! the room had a tv (which for some reason kept on changing channels and playing with volume on its own) heheh funny!
the AC was working amazingly!
the best was the moment you opened the window! you got views to die for! i couldent believe my eyes, i couldent believe that this will be the view i will be seeing for the next 4 days!

the guys at the reception were very helpful! they give you a map and they explain fully all the important sites, beaches, areas you need to see!

the breakfast was served daily on the main terrace! which again overlooked the wonderful blue sea, and the volcanic island!! breakfast and despite not being a buffet was ONE OF THE BEST I HAD! fresh fruit, wonderful pastries, fresh bread, fresh coffee and orange juice and the best greek yogurt ever tasted!!

this was my first trip that i actually spent more time in the hotel than in the city itself, everything i wanted was opposite my eyes!! i would sit on the terrace,read, listen to music and watch the view!! when i wanted to drink or eat, just 2 steps away from the hotel , i would buy drinks and greek gyros (take away) and go sit and enjoy it with the million $ view!! i realized i was not alone doing this, as many others were doing the same!

an issue that i hope the management takes into consideration: please make sure the housekeepers do their job correctly!! this is no complaint! but it happened that in the shower i was regularly finding long hair! it was there on the first day and it was still there!! me and my friend we both have short hair so it was for sure not ours!!! on an occasion one of my towels had something red on it,,, not sure if it was blood or what!!! but i saw where the towel cabinet was,, i went and took a new one!
and under the bed!!! it needed cleaning!!!
again not a complain but let them pay more attention to the small details!!

i left the kavalari with huge sadness, it was amazing! and i will certainly be back!!
i recommend this hotel 100%

Room Tip: if you dont want to be climbing up and down the hill on daily basis - try to get room 30-31-32 or so...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank leloso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pa
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2013

Our family of 5 arrived at the Kavalari after 30 hours of travel , only to find a hotel with no electricity or water due to a island wide power plant fire. The owners were helpful over the next four days, even though they were stressed with the rolling outages. The hotel location is gorgeous-on the cliffs of the caldera- which made the overall experience memorable. The breakfast was more than enough to keep us fueled for the morning activities. We stayed in the cave apt on the bottom floor- 6 stories below street level. The space was large enough for our family and had an amazing sitting area over looking the old port and the donkey trail. Be prepared for the walk up- but it's worth it! The breakfast and room staff was very professional during a difficult few days. We would definitely recommend this hotel- for the views, room, staff and breakfast- just be prepared for a good work out!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mythreechicas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 August 2013

We stayed here in 3 rooms during the blackout of 2013 in Santorini. The hotel is right on the main jewelry street in Fira with ridiculous views. The staff was put into chaos given there was no power and they made sure everything about our trip was as good as it could have been given the circumstances. We will be back!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HWeinberger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Fira hotels
0.0 mi away
Panorama Boutique Hotel
0.1 mi away
Atlantis Hotel
Atlantis Hotel
#40 of 80 in Fira
293 reviews
0.4 mi away
Evgenia Villas & Suites
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.2 mi away
Kastro Suites Santorini
0.1 mi away
Tzekos Villas
Tzekos Villas
#17 of 80 in Fira
562 reviews
0.2 mi away
Antonia Hotel Santorini
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Hotel Kavalari? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Hotel Kavalari

Property: Hotel Kavalari
Address: Fira 84700, Greece
Region: Greece > South Aegean > Cyclades > Santorini > Fira
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#26 Family Hotel in Fira
#27 Romantic Hotel in Fira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel Kavalari 2*
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Kavalari, a small unique hotel originally a captain's house, the property retains its traditional island architectural style. Situated on the rim of the Caldera, 300m above the sea, the property has exterior stairways which wind down the cliff face to various flowered terraces overlooking the volcano. Rooms are built directly into the cliff with access to various flowered terraces where guests relax enjoying beautiful surroundings and spectacular sunsets. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Odigeo, Bookgreece.com, Hotels.com, Priceline, Agoda, Ebookers, TripOnline SA, Evoline ltd, HotelQuickly and Cancelon so you can book your Hotel Kavalari reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Kavalari Hotel Fira
Hotel Kavalari Santorini/Fira

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing