If you can afford it, and you are travelling with between 4-5 people in our group, do not book anywhere else.
The Dream Villa is part of Vallas apartments but is located right next door. It is a separate villa with its own large terrace with spectacular views of the Caldera and it has its only large private pool.
I had no idea when I was making the booking what I was in for. Having never been to Santorini, I had no idea if the villa was well located, and whether it would be worth the price. But I was not disappointed in any respect.
First, by Santorini standards, it is very large. It has two large luxurious king size beds, one located downstairs, the other in an upstairs mezzanine. We were travelling with our three teenage sons, and our eldest (15 years) was easily accommodated on a sofa converted into bed in the lounge area. Sometimes this causes cramping, but in this spacious villa, this was not an issue.
Second, the villa faces directly toward the Caldera with arguably the best views in the area. We would regularly see people stop in front of or near the villa to take photos of the spectacular Aegean immediately in front of the villa. Indeed, often they would turn around and take a photo of the villa (which is very traditional and Cycladic in appearance) and of its pool.
And the pool. What a beauty. It wasn't heated (which could be an issue in colder months) but it was sufficiently large, crystal clear and private. The photos on the website showed it as being in shade but both the pool and the terrace were in full sun by around 11am, which was perfect. Santorini has some beautiful pools with infinity edges etc, but very few of them are private. This one is - no seal colony, no topless lovelies, just you and your family. Truly perfect.
What next - the location!!! Again, I had no idea where Firastefani was with respect to Fira and other villages. It was great to be in a villa that was on the main pedestrian walk and only 5 minutes short walk into Fira where all the tourist shops, donkey rides, etc were. Great restaurants (we loved Pirouni) are within 5 minutes walk either way. We had lunch and dinner out every day over the week and never felt we lacked variety or had to walk too far. This villa is perfectly located - close enough to touristy areas and far away enough to enjoy some peace.
The service was absolutely top notch. Effie and Alex our hosts were extremely attentive. We were served breakfast daily in the villa and Alex went out of his way to find croissants for our boys. He fetched us lattes upon request (no charge) and Effie popped through every day asking if we needed anything. Having the ability to walk around to the reception of the Vallas Apartments was also beneficial, and we were allowed to use the spa on the roofdeck of the apartments if we wante to (although there was no need to given the pool).
The villa was cleaned daily. The linen was beautiful. The towels were replaced daily, as werer the gowns and slippers. Indeed, the villa is fabulously furbished. It is stylish, new, clean, comfortable and has little touches of luxury. The Apple Mac and work desk was a hit with our boys, as was the huge indoor spa (they ran back and forth between the pool and the indoor hot tub). Two bathrooms made our stay that much more enjoyable.
What else can I say? I had no idea what I was booking and i was a little nervous given the price we were paying (compared to other accomodation I looked at when booking) but I have absolutely no regrets and am so glad I did not go for a cheaper option. I looked at the other places I had considered booking while we were there and I was so glad I had avoided those mistakes - "private terraces" tend to be little patios partioned from your neighbours with walls only a foot high. And watch out for pools - so many were smaller (dipping pools) in reality than what the pictures indicated.
Any downsides? None. Above and set back from the Dream Villa is the Honeymoon villa which was empty during our stay. There is a staircase down the side of the Dream Villa and I was not sure if this allows access to the Honeymoon Villa, which might cramp your style a little bit in terms of your private terrace and pool, but I do know the pool is only for use by the Dream Villa as the Honeymoon Villa has its own outdoor tub.
The only real downside is if this has already been booked for your dates. If I come back to Firafestani (and I plan to), I will book well in advance to ensure we go nowhere else.
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- Also Known As:
- Vallas Apartments Santorini/Firostefani