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“Jaw-Dropping Views, First class service - room satisfactory - but located in super touristy Thira...”

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Enigma Apartments & Suites
Ranked #2 of 79 Hotels in Fira
Certificate of Excellence
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
45 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“Jaw-Dropping Views, First class service - room satisfactory - but located in super touristy Thira...”
Reviewed 8 March 2009

Went to Santorini (along with Naxos, Crete) for our honeymoon. Decided to stay in both Enigma Apts & Suites and their sister property Astra Apts & Suites (in Imerovigli) after reading the reviews on Trip advisor.

From the get-go our e-mail correspondence with Chrisoula for the booking process was seamless, friendly and professional. We booked the private hot tub suite (suite 8) for three nights. A driver met us and picked us up at the ferry during a very rainy day (their first in months!) We arrived and the bell hop promptly (without missing a beat) took our very heavy bags and took them into Enigma and to our suite. As I'm sure you've read in other reviews, Enigma is quite a feat to navigate. It's built entirely on the cliffside. You must be limber, not afraid to climb and you cannot have a tinge of vertigo. There are a lot of stairs and they are STEEP. Suite 8, is at the very bottom of the hotel property - and you have to walk down about 6 separate sets of stairs to reach it. (in three days we got the work out of champions - and we're healthy, active early thirty-somethings)

Not to be redundant, but Chrisoula knows her job and she does it well - She's informative (great with tailored suggestions for food, entertainment, travel), friendly, down-to-earth and super helpful. The staff and her work like a well-oiled machine. The server/bell hop was always ready with a smile and delivered our delicious breakfast down those stairs and then up our stairs in our suite to our balcony. Impressive. The hotel is small, 8 suites. All very close to each other. Even ours, was located directly next to another suite (without balcony) - which didn't feel very private. The way the rooms are staggered -it's difficult for any of them to be entirely isolated - so keep that in mind. Suite 8 is the only one that has a completely private balcony and hot tub - and whose balcony is only accessible through the suite itself.

The suite was quite large with a great sitting room, kitchen (small fridge, two burners, utensils, glasses and plates), flat screen t.v., CD stereo/radio, bathrobes, large closet with a small safe, and two bedrooms on the second floors. One in the back (built into the rock/cliff) and another in front right outside the balcony. Cute Mediterranean decor, tile floors, candles, airy. (See pictures). The balcony and the views from it MADE our time at enigma. It was ours exclusively and it was très romantique! We spent 80% of the time there eating our breakfast and enjoying the views, or relaxing with wine at night in the hot tub gawking at the sun setting (it was different every night). We were greeted with a complimentary bottle of wine and waters on our arrival - and the daily included breakfast delivered at your suite at the time of your choosing (they even call to confirm that morning) was a lovely touch. Great little selections like cheeses, tomato, cucumber, breads, fruits - Greek yogurt and honey. Such a sweet, calming way to start the day.

The cons I list below are not deal-breakers by any means, but for the price you pay - I really expected more. The few negatives: the room itself - though big - felt at times a bit claustrophobic - mostly in the bedrooms and definitely in the bathroom - The room is built in a tunnel shape and as a 5'9 girl - it felt slightly enclosed. Getting to and from the balcony, required you to walk up the stairs and I hit my head a lot on the close curved ceiling. The main bedroom in the back was recessed into the rock face and once the lights were out - it was pitch dark -- and a little more scary than cozy.

The bathroom was a let down - I wish it had been a little more luxurious and bigger. No windows, no bath, only an open, nice sized shower with good water pressure. The mirror is this wierd, luminiscent-lit mirror that is tagged with the Enigma logo. Also, the toilet smelled a bit - perhaps it's just the plumbing and the way the bathroom is inset into the cliff - but it never smelled 'fresh' in there. The mattress and the bedding weren't anything special. The bed was a queen - medium to hard with simple sheets with a very light coverlet.. Wish we had had more pillows and perhaps a light duvet - or a cashmere blanket?

Lastly, (and I can't speak for the other rooms' hot tubs) - the hot tub is somewhat of a misnomer. The tub was a good size - deep and could fit at least four people. The problem? Our hot tub never really got "hot". It was always heated, but the water temperature never went above warm. We did ask Chrisoula about that, but she said the heater was in fact, operating.

Everything else aside, we really enjoyed our stay. The service was impeccable - the views truly unbeatable - and I loved our private balcony suite. The walk up and down the stairs? Unique- ah - but at least we burned off our indulgent meals. Fira (or Thira) - for me wasn't the ideal town for us. It is in the heart of Santorini, the main bus terminal is located there and it's where all the cruise ships dock (sometimes five ships a day!) and unload their passengers. During the day (and this is nearing low season!!), the little town was packed and bustling - ATMs often emptied of money.

The town is LITTERED with jewelry stores, overpriced goods and souvenir stores (buy your wine at the grocery store - specialty stores price up everything by at least 15 to 20 Euros) and it's just entirely too touristy for our taste. I am glad we ended our trip staying in Imerovigli at Astra (a half hour walk from Fira) where it was a little more authentic, and much calmer. If you want to be where the action is, where the party/drinking is (and the better restaurants, too) - stay in Fira. Also, we never rented any transportation: walked everywhere or took the bus (that can take you everywhere you need to go: the beaches (meh! not ANYWHERE as nice as Caribbean beaches), the country side/vineyards (never went - we found Greek wine mediocre), and of course, Imerovigli - (although you can get there by foot) and gorgeous Oia (go there early in the morning so you can avoid the crowds)

Astra organized a problem transfer to their sister property Astra (although NOT free of charge, as it once was - we quickly found out) -

Last two little points: Enigma lends out laptops free of charge and the rooms have internet access which was a big plus (especially on our rainy night when the cable t.v. wasn't working) - also be sure to have a lot of money on hand because they do not accept credit cards here - and with quickly emptying ATMs, we had to stockpile cash. If you are considering staying at Astra - please read my review there...

  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Catou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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athens
Level Contributor
31 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2009

Everything was exceptional, the view , the rooms, the polite personnel, really enjoyed it

  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tasbobo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bellevue, Washington
Level Contributor
17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2009

I cannot think of anything but positive things to say about this place. The stuff was super friendly and helpful. They knew exactly what we needed and gave us great tips. Even before we arrived there I already developed a great communication with them and when we arrived they knew exactly who I was.

All the rooms are unique. We stayed in the one at the bottom. The room was very cool with some interesting designs. Our bathroom was located on the bottom floor, I felt like I had to go down the cave.

And the view....just look at my pictures. Amazing views of Kaldera in the morning and sunsets.

Did I mention they bring down to your room a delicious breakfast with freshly squeezed orange juice, warm croissants and many more things.

Thank you for wonderful memories Enigma.

  • Liked — Unique style, View, Staff, Breakfast, Service
  • Disliked — Lots of stairs to walk but it's a great workout
  • Stayed September 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank olgaehr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2009

My wife and I stayed at Enigma for our Honeymoon in June of 2008. It was simply a dream come true. We stayed in a Jucuzzi suite. The views and accomidations were perfect. He never had to leave to hotel, but when we did we would ask the front desk for advice on where to eat or go. They never steared us wrong. We had the best meals of our trip thanks to the Enigma. By mentioning where we were staying, we were moved to tables with better views. I simply can't say enough great things about this place, other then to THANK them for making our honeymoon. (We visited Mykonos and Ios. While we had a great time and stayed in great places, Engima was easily the high light of the trip)

  • Liked — Views, views...did I mention we had our own jacuzzi to drink wine and look at the view?
  • Disliked — We had to come home!
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Geomod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2008

We stayed here for one night as an anniversary treat. It is the most fantastic place we have ever stayed.

We had a private jacuzzi and could enjoy the beautiful views whilst drinking our complimentary wine.

It may have been an expensive treat to ourselves but it was well worth every single penny.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed June 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Kearw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
US
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 November 2008

What a mythical and mystical island! What a great place to stay on this island. What a relaxing atmosphere, what a beautiful light.
We are newly weds, visited Santorini end of September and fell in love with the place. Stayed in two apts. no 1 and 2. Beautiful, small boutique hotel, great service - thanks again Chris, Eddy, Anna, Demetris and Christos!
Great restaurants nearby (our favorite was Archipelagos restaurant in a renovated captain's mansion, close to Enigma), excellent shopping and dining all over the island. Don't miss Oia village!
We'll definitely be back!
Marion and Franz

  • Liked — relaxing atmosphere, great service
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank summer0707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Hampshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 November 2008

I hadn't been to Santorini in quite some time, 16 years to be exact. The last time I left I had made a pact with myself the next trip there would be for a special occasion. My girlfriend and I planned to visit Santorini during our trip to Greece in September. I told her to find the property she would like to stay at. Little did she know she picked the location where I would propose to her.

My fiance did her due diligence and found Enigma. I contacted the Hotel and found there was no availability for the dates we were to arrive. Not to worry. A few days later, Chrisoula, the manager of the hotel, contacted me and explained there was a cancellation and the room could be ours for the four days we requested. We were ecstatic when we confirmed the room, and after our stay, we couldn't have been more happier.

First of all, the location of the property is perfect. A spot carved into the landscape of Fira with views that are second to none. We spent quite a bit of time just sitting on the patio soaking it all in. Sunsets at night, cruise ships sailing in and out of the harbor during the day, and the calm of the sea whatever time of day. In addition, the center of the vibrant town is less than a two minute walk away. Location is a key to this property.

Secondly, the room was very accommodating. A large living area, a small kitchenette and a bedroom nestled up a set of small stairs. The bathroom was of good size and provided everything needed. Of course, the jacuzzi was an added bonus when the time came for catching the sunset. The breakfast that came every morning certainly would satisfy most everyone's needs. A large choice of items was available, and you tell the staff what time you would like it. The staff delivered breakfast directly to our room at the exact minute we had requested daily. Eating breakfast while overlooking the sea was a highlight every morning.

Finally, the staff. Chrisoula and the rest of the staff at Enigma were terrific. They did everything in their power to make sure our stay was everything we could have expected and more. They went above and beyond their call of duty to satisfy all of our needs. Smiles all around were the norm, and any request we had was taken care of immediately. I can't say enough about the people employed at Enigma. They made our stay one that shall remain with us for the rest of our lives.

I highly recommend Enigma to anyone looking to visit Fira. I doubt you would be disappointed. The size of the hotel and the staff's attitude make a stay there a truly personable experience in one of the world's most beautiful destinations.

  • Liked — Location, the room and the staff.
  • Disliked — Had no complaints.
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank nikos95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Enigma Apartments & Suites

Property: Enigma Apartments & Suites
Address: Ipapantis, Fira 847 00, Greece
Phone Number:
Region: Greece > South Aegean > Cyclades > Santorini > Fira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Fira
#2 Luxury Hotel in Fira
#2 Family Hotel in Fira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Enigma Apartments & Suites 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Enigma Hotel in Santorini (Apartments & Suites) is perched on the cliff side of western Santorini, in the heart of Fira, the capital of Santorini island. Its wonderful location provides its guests with a spectacular view of the famous Santorini volcano and Caldera complex, the Aegean Sea, the island’s traditional old port and, best of all, the celebrated Santorini sunset. This view, along with the hotel’s excellent service and facilities, places it as a fine Santorini hotel in Fira.The Enigma Fira Santorini luxury hotel provides an amazing atmosphere for your holidays in Santorini. Enigma’s luxury Santorini suites, apartments and studios are elegantly-designed and feature a plethora of modern amenities that fuse harmoniously with the charming island-style architecture, creating one of the most picturesque hotels in Santorini. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Enigma Apartments And Suites
Enigma Apartments Hotel Fira
Enigma Hotel Fira
Enigma Apartments & Suites Santorini/Fira

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