My husband and I spent our honeymoon at Absolute Bliss from September 21st-27th, 2010, and had a wonderful time. Santorini was absolutely amazing and was the perfect location for a honeymoon; all the many other honeymooners we met there seemed to feel the same way. It was surprisingly cool, windy and cloudy when we arrived, but it warmed up to really hot any time the sun came out.
Absolute Bliss is made up of only 7 or so suites and is located just below the caldera rim walking path that goes from Oia to Fira, which made the hotel very private. Any hotel located above this path will not be as private, as the path is the common tourist walkway for getting just about anywhere on the caldera rim, so many strangers (not just other hotel guests) will be walking in front of your "private" balcony at any and all times. There's only one restaurant close to the hotel - everything else is a 10+ minute walk along the caldera to Firastefani.
The transfer service we arranged through Absolute Bliss was waiting for us at the airport exit with a sign when we arrived at 7:30pm on a Tuesday evening. It was about a 15 minute drive to the hotel. Sophia, the hotel manager, met our car outside the hotel, welcomed us to Santorini, then explained that there was a technical problem with our room and it wasn't yet ready for us. She offered us a room at another hotel, White (the rates for the apartment we were given are about 160euro lower than AB according to their website), saying we could stay there for 3-4 hours until the room was ready, or stay the night and transfer to Absolute Bliss the following morning. Since it was rather late and we had been traveling for 18+ hours, we chose to stay at White for the night. The next morning Sophia sent over Thomas, the Absolute Bliss do-everything guy, to get our bags and walk us back to Absolute Bliss. White was a very nice hotel and Sophia was apologetic, but nothing more was said or offered to make up for the inconvenience and dissapointment of not being able to settle in to our suite the night we arrived.
Sophia met us at our suite and explained how everything worked. We were in Room 5, a Junior Suite with Caldera View (see the picture with the netting around the bed); it was located on the middle level, directly on top of Sophia's office/reception, and overlooking the swimming pool. The room was spacious, bright, clean, and comfortable. The balcony, where breakfast was served each morning, was on the small side, but there was plenty of room for a table and chairs, 2 mini-loungers, and to move around a bit. The amazing, unobstructed view of the caldera could be seen from the living room, bedroom, and even the bathroom. The shower was huge, and a bit cave-like; it had great water pressure, plenty of hot water, and had a wall-mounted shower head in addition to a separate hand-held sprayer. The toilet area was large as well, but did not provide very much privacy with only a swinging glass door that did not reach all the way to the floor or ceiling. The toiletries provided were adequate, but nothing special. Thier website mentions that they have satellite cable tv, but we could only get about 4 channels, none of them in English (we were hoping for a music channel). The mini-bar is actually a mini-fridge filled with water and a couple of random sodas. It kept drinks fairly cold, but wasn't cold enough to really make ice. A/C worked well, and kept the room cool and comfortable. We tried the indoor jacuzzi tub one night with poor results. It took quite a long time to fill the tub, not unlike many common jacuzzi tubs. The problem was that the hot water ran out before the tub was full and the jacuzzi heater never got close to keeping the water warm. We suffered through about 30 minutes of a tepid soak with goosebumbs waiting for it to warm up, then we abandoned the idea for a warm shower. Unfortunately, I guess we had used up all of our allotted hot water filling the tub, so there was none left for a shower - ugh... Perhaps you could fill the tub with hot water before going to dinner and try to heat it via the jacuzzi warmer while you're out. We didn't try it again; for us, the jacuzzi was a great amenity idea, but didn't actually work with the hotel's hot water limitations. The website said that bed linens would be changed daily, but I don't think they were; towels, however, were swapped out each day. The sheets were soft enough, but the towels and robes were super scratchy. Oh, and like in lots of Europe, there is no top sheet on the bed - only a bottom, mattress covering sheet, then the duvet cover; I don't think I'll ever get used to that! During our 1 night at White, I noticed how nice it was to have rugs on either side of the bed, and I noticeably missed it at Absolute Bliss. Adding a few throw rugs to the cool cement floor would be a nice upgrade. Please do not read my comments regarding the room as complaints or dissatisfaction. Room #5 was exactly as the pictures on the website show and was absolutely perfect for us.
The pool was quite large compared to other hotel pools we saw and was beautifully designed and maintained. There were plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas poolside. We were rarely alone at the pool, but it never felt crowded. The pool area is really the only common area of the hotel, but it, and all the stairs, walls, lights, etc were kept clean and tidy. There were potted plants, flowers, and other decorative elements at each turn which really added to the already great atmosphere.
Breakfasts were good, but pretty basic, with a decent selection of items to choose from. For unadventurous American eaters, I would suggest sticking with mixed fruit, white bread (freshly baked), and sausage (like cooked little smokies). They serve bacon barely cooked, and the ham was not cooked at all (think 4 slices of Oscar Mayer square deli meat). We did try room service once, and were not too impressed, although the prices were fairly low. The Greek salad was good, fresh, and exactly what was expected. The pizzas were dissapointing though, as they used standard ketchup for the sauce. A can of plain tomato sauce would have been a big improvement. One area that I, an unadventurous American eater, would like to see them improve upon is the menu listing for breakfast and room service. The simple addition of detailed descriptions of menu items, including ingredients, would have helped me quite a bit. Similar to most of the restaurants we dined at, I never really knew what was going to show up on my plate.
The staff at Absolute Bliss were really wonderful. Thomas, the do-everything guy, was quiet, but very respectful and professional, and hardworking! Sophia, the manager, is the real gem of Absolute Bliss. She is friendly, helpful, and cares very much about the hotel and it's guests. Sophia has a bright, lively, and charming Greek personality. She is there from early morning to late at night, every day; and she gives you her cell phone number to call 24/7. One day we were at the pool and she brought us a freshly baked brownie treat with ice cream. On another day, she surprised us with lemonade; we saw her do the same with other guests. Sophia and her staff are extremely attentive, but I never felt like it was too much. One minor comment about Sophia... her office and the kitchen are right next to the pool, with the door always open. The telephone ring is really loud (there are 2 rings actually, maybe one for the fax?), and the phone, surprisingly, rings a whole lot. It was a regular occurrence to see Sophia scuffling up or down the stairs to get to the ringing phone. We found her scuffling kind of fun and charming, typical of her personality, but the loud phone ringing was an unneccessary annoyance, and easily avoidable with a cordless or cell phone set to vibrate.
On another note. . . we really enjoyed our dinners at Mama Thira's in Firastefani, and Archipelago in Fira; both had really good food and service. A highlight of our trip was a day sail on the Blue Lagoon Dreamcatcher catamaran - definitely a must if you like being out on the water or want to take a dip in the Aegean, and worth every penny (~$100/pp).
We had an absolutely amazing honeymoon at Absolute Bliss. It was everything we were hoping it to be. While my review is not entirely glowing, my husband and I were both more than pleased with Absolute Bliss, and would energetically recommend it to anyone visiting Santorini.
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- Also Known As:
- Absolute Bliss Imerovigli Hotel Imerovigli
- Absolute Bliss Imerovigli Suites Santorini