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“Sun Rocks Was Nice - Good Resort Choice In Santorini”
Review of Sun Rocks Hotel

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Sun Rocks Hotel
Ranked #8 of 22 Hotels in Firostefani
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 June 2011

My wife and I stayed at the Sun Rocks in Santorini from Friday 10 June to Tuesday 14 June 2011. I have stayed at a many nice hotels and resorts around the world, including many other Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH). All in all I would rate my stay at the Sun Rocks as a B grade. Would I stay here again – definitely, and definitely would consider other Katikies Hotels. I looked for a while at different hotel choices in Santorini. I narrowed it down to the San Antonio and Sun Rocks. I think either would be okay, though after arriving and seeing Santorini, the San Antonio is not near anything else. So for that matter, I was glad I chose the Sun Rocks.

Here are my positives and negatives of our stay, not just limited to the hotel, that I hope will be helpful to others evaluating where to stay and Santorini.

Positives
0. Santorini is a beautiful island and quite different than other places I have been. The natural beauty and the white-washed, blue domed architecture is classy and inviting.

1. Location of Sun Rock on Santorini is PERFECT! It is in Firostefani, the quiet sister town to Fira. Fira is way too commercialized and loud for my taste, but is a short walking path to Fira – making Fira easily accessible for shopping and restaurants. All the cruise ship people invade Fira, so I am glad I was not in that.

2. Sun Rocks had a wonderful sunset view! Everyone goes to Oia, but very nice to sit on veranda or at Sun Rocks pool to watch the sunset. According to one of the staff members, we were fortunate enough to see one of the best sunsets of the early summer time.

3. Within view on the walking path at the hotel entrance is a mini market. Perfect place to go buy some water, snacks, wine or beer and save some money versus from room or hotel.

4. The breakfast every morning was quite nice, and was included in the stay. Though was busy at times, the food was good and menu options were nice. Also can get a glass of sparkling wine / champagne if you want!

5. I have to tell you about “Lefty”, the manager of Sun Rocks. He was AWESOME! Extremely helpful and can do anything for you. You ask, and he will do it. On our first full day there, my (only pair of) prescription sunglasses broke – the nose pad broke off. You can not be without sunglasses in Santorini! Lefty personally took my sunglasses at 5PM and took them to have them fixed and was back in 1 hour! And he did not even charge me anything for that! Now that was service. Then, on our last day there, I asked him where I could get a bottle of Mastica liquor to take home. Well, turns out you can not find it, but Lefty appeared with a bottle for me to take home (this I paid for of course)!

6. Had a romantic fine dining experience at Elea Restaurant at the hotel and I have to say it was AWESOME! My wife and I are “foodies” and we love dining experiences. I am leery at time with restaurants at hotels / resorts, as I have found the best restaurants and food can be “off the beaten path”. But I was impressed – the service, the presentation, the taste were all there. Nice use of gastronomy without over doing it. And quite a reasonable “prix fixe”. And on top of it, the most exquisite sunset you can imagine!

7. My wife and I rented a convertible Smart Car on day so we could explore the island. I recommend doing this, as there is much to see in Santorini. We drove to Oia and Ammoudi Bay, down to the Ancient Thira ruins, to Perissa Beach, and to Estate Argyros winery. Ammoudi Bay was really a neat and pretty. Ancient Thira is something worth seeing – but take water and wear good shoes. The drive up the switchback road it gripping to say the least. Estate Argyros winery was a fun little wine tasting, and their vinsanto dessert wine is amazing!!!

8. Pool and pool deck at Sun Rocks was nice. My wife and enjoyed the pool drinks… perhaps a little to much! Though the drinks were really expensive, they were always freshly made and very yummy! We enjoyed the mojitos and caipirinha the most, but the bloody mary’s were good as well! Hey, we were on vacation for a few days without the kids – we splurged! Was nice to order a bottle of water, have the staff put ice in the glass for you, put in lemon or lime, and fill the glass. The water would then go in a tub with ice right at your umbrella.

9. I recommend dinner in Ammoudi bay. It is certainly off the beaten path to some degree, but if you like seafood this is the place to go. Little restaurants sandwiched between the cliffs of the caldera and the sea. We had a table right at the water’s edge. If leaned wrong in our chairs we would be in the water! My wife and I splurged – had fresh (and I mean fresh – we saw them cutting it up that morning) calamari and whole lobster with champagne to toast! It was awesome and an unforgettable romantic dinner by the water!

Negatives
1. We arrived late to the hotel, like 23:30 or so and our welcome and greeting to the resort was less than stellar. No one showed us around the resort (or even said, tomorrow morning we will show you around) and we waited while another couple got checked in. We just kind of stood there. When we got into our honeymoon suite room, the A/C was not turned on and the room was hot. The Jacuzzi hot tub in our room was SOOO hot, you could barely touch it! Knowing how much I was paying, I was actually highly concerned that I made the wrong choice of places to stay and was not happy. All my anxiety and concern evaporate the next day when we went to breakfast and the staff greeted us by name (Mr. and Mrs. Xxx) – not sure how they knew that. And then Lefty (see above comments) welcomed us and went over everything about the Sun Rocks and Santorini.

2. My opinion on the beaches in Santorini is NG, no good. Definitely do NOT come to Santorini if you are looking for nice beaches. I did not get to Red Beach, which looked intriguing to me. They are certainly not white and certainly not sand. Due to this, the water is not “pretty” in my opinion. Will find much nicer beaches on other Greek Island, in the Caribbean, Hawaii, or South Pacific for sure!

3. Word of WARNING about the pool – the sun lounges are VERY limited and it can be frustrating to get a set of lounges for you and your spouse. We seemed to luck out and did not really have a problem, but I saw many not-so-happy couples show up and find no space available. If this is what you were planning on doing for the day, morning, afternoon – you could be disappointed and frustrated. Plan accordingly – even if it means going to the lounges at 10:00. But be respectful – it is just not acceptable to put your stuff down to “reserve” lounges and then go away. If you are there at the pool or eating at the pool restaurant, that is cool. I hate to say this, but I almost wonder if the Sun Rocks needs to consider implementing some sort of policy and making guests aware.

4. Our room was okay. For the money I was spending and compared to other hotels I have stayed at, the room was okay. We stayed in a honeymoon suite. I believe the room # was 109 (there are not numbers on the rooms). I looked on Trip Advisor extensively to help determine which room class I wanted to book, as I felt the Sun Rocks website did not do that great a job to help showcase the different rooms. The room was within sight and ear shot of the hotel “front desk” and main way in and out of the resort. Thus, there was a lot of foot traffic all the time, which certainly took away from really any privacy. You could not sit / lounge on the veranda in privacy, as the neighboring room shared the walk space. Plus, on the veranda was a closet used by the cleaning staff. The first morning I woke up and wanted to walk out onto the veranda to enjoy the caldera view and there were cleaning staff there (which only added to my frustration and anxiety from the arrival the night before – see above)! The room consisted of a huge main room area, but it was only filled with 2 sitting chairs, and little desk, and a small table. Felt this space was poorly utilized and not really practical for use. Still ended up with suitcases on the floor. There was a Jacuzzi hot tub with an outside window. The window could not be closed due to an issue with it, which would have been nice to close for some quietness. Because there was no real privacy, you had to be “careful” when in the Jacuzzi, if you can interpret what I am saying. The Jacuzzi was a constant problem to ever get the temperature and jets working. Was either too hot to touch, or they seemed to turn it off which was not good either. This was a major perk to the room, and it just was frustrating. The guest should be able to adjust the temperature and the jets without having to ask. The bed and bedroom were okay. The bedroom room was separated from that main room in an open fashion which was nice, but the bedroom area and bed were too small and cramped. The bathroom was disappointing. One thing I have come to appreciate is a nice, fancy bathroom. The bathroom was too small. The shower water pressure was a trickle, it was a single sink and not enough counter surface. Typically on vacation with a pool / sea, we commonly end up taking 2 showers a day – in the morning and then in the evening to get ready for dinner. Thus, the bathroom is key, and ours could have been much improved. The robes and slippers were too small for me (the husband) which frustrated me, and I am not a “big” guy. The pictures on the Sun Rocks website is NOT of the Honeymoon room I stayed in. I would NOT recommend my room.

5. This one is not really something Sun Rocks can deal with, but there were power lines running through the resort. Thus, in my picture of the beautiful caldera, you can see the eye-sore power lines. Kind of frustrating and had to be aware when taking pictures and such.

6. Probably the overall main reason I would give a grade of B to Sun Rocks is the inconsistency of the service. At times the service was impeccable. Putting out towel on pool lounge, good balance when at the pool of asking if need anything to “bugging”, wonderful breakfast service. Then at other times the service was far from desirable – to a very slow morning at breakfast, to my wife asking for cream for her coffee and it not coming until her coffee was cold, to feeling like you were begging for service at the pool, to seeing some of the staff standing idle while you could be helped. For a SLH, this inconsistency in service must be improved upon.

7. Not really a negative, but just a heads up – there are lots of steps! Not a big deal to me, but just something to be aware of. If you have bad knees, are elderly, or have some other issue, you should take heed!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank PackerFanInPA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 June 2011

The clue is in the title, if you are not relatively fit then you will probably find this place a struggle but if you want to get fit this is the place for you. It was 99 steps from my room down to the pool area. Amazing views on the way down, to sample perfect food and be served by fantastic and attentive staff, well worth the walk. The coming up is challenging but hey look on it as a fitness regime in one of the most beautiful places on earth! Lefterios the manager is one of the most charming and helpful people around, as are all his staff. In my eyes they could not put a foot wrong. Sun Rocks is conveniently placed on the edge of a cliff looking down into the Caldera but also within walking distance of local shops/restaurants and bars. If you feel the urge you can walk down to the old harbour, a millions steps!! but the walk is slippery and there is a distinct chance of you getting run over by marauding donkeys!! and once down there to be honest not a lot to see! The sunsets from my balcony were simply amazing........ this place is just perfect and I would recommend it to anyone. And the added bonus is that no children are allowed!! The only screaming you hear is the occasional cat fight!!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Missmako
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2011

We've stayed in good hotels before. We've even stayed in great hotels before. But never before have we stayed somewhere like the Sun Rocks. OK, granted, it's got a geographical advantage with stunning views over the famous Santorini caldera. But it also effortlessly delivers unbelievable customer service, stunning food and casual luxury.

The room - spacious, luxurious yet individual and Greek
The welcome - Wine, fresh fruit and a guided tour from the hotel manager
The food - words cannot do the Katikies dining experience justice, the best meal we have ever had
The amenities - private verandah with a million euro view, pool bar with DJ...
The little things - we were given hotel bookmarks for our books and our first breakfast order was remembered the second day

I don't rave (see my other reviews if you doubt me) but the Sun Rocks blew me away

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank AndyDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2011

We stayed for 7 nights at Sun Rocks and loved every minute. We were initially in the junior suite room but after three nights the general manager (Lefty for short, great guy!) upgraded us to a much larger room with an infinity pool. Early May is a little early to use it since the pools aren't heated and the temperature is in the 70s but we loved sitting out there just the same. The morning breakfasts were fantastic and the staff were some of the most lovely people we met on the entire trip.
Our room was always clean, they knew whenever we left for the day and as soon as we returned the bed was made and water replenished.
The bed was comfortable for us but we tend to like less soft mattresses. The views were unbelievable.
The location in Firostefani was perfect - a short walk to the main town of Fira but not so close that it was too crowded. There's also a 6 mile walk to Oia from the hotel that was beautiful as well. The restaurants nearby are all excellent - we loved Pirouni which is literally next door to the hotel and Il Cantuccio, an italian restaurant for when you need a break from Greek food and a sushi bar called Ginger.
Any problems we had (a little snafu with the rental car), Lefty took care of without hesitation.
Overall, the hotel was wonderful. A lovely place to return to after a day of driving, hiking, shopping, etc. We highly recommend it for any romantic trip you might take to Santorini.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank minaaron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2010

We had 1 night at Sun Rocks hotel after our original hotel made a mistake with our booking (they didn't have our room available for our first night) and transferred us for that night to Sun Rocks Hotel.

We're glad it happened - Sun Rocks was fantastic! Even though we were transferred from another hotel the staff were fantastic and very welcoming, our large room (a junior suite) had a spectacular view from the bedroom, and the food was excellent too: probably the best Greek salad we've had in Greece for lunch, great food and an incredible sunset at the restaurant hotel for dinner, and a superb breakfast too.

Highly recommended, if we could have our time over in Santorini again we would definitely stay at Sun Rocks!

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank nzcam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2010

My wife and I recently spent our honeymoon at Sun Rocks (in the honeymoon suite no less) and were blown away by the experience. We were actually upgraded from another hotel in the same family, and even though we were paying a fraction of the price, we were treated like royalty. Lemonade awaited us upon arrival as our room was prepared and our bags taken to the room (there are a lot of stairs to walk down to your room and the pool - which is standard for Santorini). You'll probably meet Lefty, the general manager of the hotel and he will show you around and give you a bit of info on Santorini. Make sure to meet him if ever it is someone else showing you around. He is THE man, he'll get you into the best restos and bars in town -anything you need he can get. Though we didn't get one, you can get a cell phone at reception for your stay, allowing you to call the hotel for any recommendations while out on the town. They also have a laptop to lend out which can come in handy.

Our room was spectacular; very big, huge dining room table fit for a King and Queen, luxurious modern bathroom with Bulgari toiletries, even a plunge pool in the room! While the balcony wasn't very private, the views were spectacular.

The staff at Sun Rocks are top notch, as if in a dream... practically feeding you grapes! The only small negative point was that the pool area was so quiet! Even though they have funky music playing, everyone is very sure to not make noise, almost to the point of whispering! Still, it is perfect for relaxing.

Be sure to try the restaurant at sunset. Most often it is empty so you'll have the place to yourself. Possibly one of the best meals you'll have in your life. Super hip, fine-dining - the experience is incredible. In fact, the whole experience at Sun Rocks will make your entire vacation... trust me, you'll be talking about it long after you return home. I wanna go back!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Scott M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2010

Sun Rocks is luxury hotel and I can certainly see why many find it wonderful. Unfortunately for us between our room and the minimalist service, our experience was disappointing. We paid for a junior suite which is their lowest level suite room but we were "upgraded" to an experience suite. The "highlight" of the suite is a huge sunken indoor Jacuzzi bath that took over most of the room. My husband and I would never have voluntarily chosen a room whose main feature was this. That said, we figured we'd try it one night and when we started to run the water, hair and dirt rose to the top. It was disgusting. Along the same lines, the entire suite has seen better days and is in dire need of some maintenance. As a previous reviewer mentioned, the wood floor surrounding the bathroom area has gone soft due to moisture from the Jacuzzi. The view from our patio was substantially blocked by bushes and our room was ridiculously far from reception and the main road of Firostefani. I believe we were the farthest room in the whole hotel. Each time we left our room, we had to climb no less than 200 steep stairs and pass through two different hotels to get back to the main area of our hotel. Our first night after coming home from Fira after 1am, we spent forever trying to find our room, ultimately giving up and retreating to reception to ask for help. There are no signs anywhere. As the hotel never told us that our room was an upgrade, it took me a few nights to realize that we were not in the junior suite that we paid for. I tried to speak to reception about our less than satisfactory feelings about the room but communication was too hard and it just didn’t seem worth fighting halfway through our stay. I really think if we had a better room (which it seemed the junior suite would have been) with far less steps, we would have enjoyed our stay much more. Lastly, we found the service at the hotel to be too minimalist. It was like staying in a library. Everyone was polite but no one (other than the excellent guy at the pool bar from Bulgaria) was warm and outgoing. Also, we only experienced turn down service one of the four nights we were at the hotel. If the cleaning staff came to our room in the evening and we were still in it, they would hand us a bottle of water and leave - rather than come back to tidy up when we were out of the room. I found that unacceptable for a luxury hotel. For the price that we paid and given the abundance of nice hotels on the caldera - especially in Oia, where I wish we stayed, Sun Rocks was a disappointment for us. On the plus side, we very much enjoyed breakfast each morning overlooking the ocean.

Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
2  Thank missleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sun Rocks Hotel

Address: | Thira, Santorini, Firostefani 84700, Greece
Phone Number:
Region: Greece > South Aegean > Cyclades > Santorini > Firostefani
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Firostefani
Price Range: £216 - £522 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sun Rocks Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sumptuous aesthetics abound, reflecting its luxurious, low-key, in-house lifestyle where complete peace and tranquility in a magical setting artfully combine with abodes flourishing in comfort, convenience and seduction. Enmeshed around it is the meticulous attention to detail that makes all great hotels bask in magnanimity, that has made Sun Rocks Boutique Hotel, a key destination, time and time again, for Santorini weddings and honeymoons, a prominent couples only hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sun Rocks Santorini
Sun Rocks Hotel Santorini/Firostefani

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