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Astra Suites
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Reviewed 10 September 2008

We stayed at the Astra apartments for four days and three nights last week. Although the location is definitely worthy of 5 stars, the hotel experience was worthy of just 3 stars.

Our room (104) was large and spacious. However, it was located off the pool terrace (about 5-6 feet from the pool itself). While this could in theory be very pleasant, the constant influx of hotel guests using the pool/talking by the pool/having drinks by the pool was not very private or relaxing at all. In fact, the only way we felt we had a modicum of privacy was when we were inside our room with the shutters closed, as pool-goers could see right into our room when the windows were open.

Also, we did not have a "private balcony", rather there was a bistro set placed on the landing outside our room. In the morning, staff were cleaning/mopping the pool area which, while necessary, was not something you want to see or hear while you are eating your breakfast. The large HVAC unit next to us on the landing also quite disturbed the peace. The following morning, we decided to wake up an hour earlier for breakfast, (in order to avoid the commotion) but somehow the same happened. In addition other hotel guests were already using the pool area by 8 -9 am.

We did ask the front desk for a more private room. We were told that there were no other rooms available until our last night and that we would have to pay extra for an upgraded more private room.

Another problem was that the internet did not work in our room (neither the wireless nor the wire connection). We heard another couple talking about the same problem with internet connectivity. The staff told us to use a public computer terminal in the hotel for internet access.

Overall, the service was underwhelming considering all the accolades Astra has received in the travel community. I hate to be nit-picky, but this hotel did not live up to its billing in Frommers, Trip Advisor and Concierge.com. After traveling extensively through Greece, we found the staff to be merely adequate compared to other hotels we stayed in. We never met George Karayiannis, who we have heard so many good things about. The day time front desk clerk was not Greek, and this was clearly obvious as she just did not have the same warmth and friendliness that we had experienced at other Greek hotels. There is just something about Greek hospitality that you come to appreciate.

As an aside, I had told a Greek-American lady who I know (who visits Santorini often) where we were staying. She asked me how much we were paying. I told her $200 US, when actually it was just short of 400 Euro per night (because I was too embarrassed to tell her how much we actually payed.) She almost fell over apoplectic over the $200 and told me that we payed way too much. For instance, very close by, there is a nearly identical, very beautiful hotel that she stays in for just 100-120 Euro per night. In fact there are hundreds of similar hotels with great caldera views and nice rooms that are less expensive.

As a result of our room situation, we spent most of our days away from the hotel. We also took lunch and dinner at restaurants outside the hotel (various beach tavernas, Selene in Fira, Archipelagos in Fira). We also rented a quad ATV for 2 days. The rental company will deliver the ATV directly to the hotel. We spent two days at Perivolas beach, which we loved. There is a undeveloped and beautiful beach road that takes you from from Perivolas beach to Vlihada beach and back up to Akotiri.

There is also a spectacular ride from Imerovigli to Oia. Lots of places to stop for pictures. Reminded us a bit of Chapman Peak drive in Cape Town. This Imerovigli-Oia ride may have been the highlight of our entire Greece trip. We went early in the morning around 9 before the roads were too busy and before the cruise ship buses were on the road. Had a frappe in Oia on the terrace at Skiza. It was an incredible morning.

All in all, while we loved our time in Santorini, we will not be staying at the Astra apartments next time.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank MaryBethesda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AstraSuites, Manager at Astra Suites, responded to this reviewResponded 15 September 2008

*Astra has 6 categories of accommodation. Clients chose our least expensive category. If privacy was a major issue for them we would have recommended a higher category offering complete privacy. They never expressed such. We offered a 200E suite upgrade for only 50E. They declined.



*As stated in previous responses, we are not in the habit of providing free upgrades under threat of bad reviews. We don’t feel that’s fair to us or our other clients who expect objectivity in these reviews, from paying customers.



*The apartment clients had is our most spacious Standard apartment as they apparently did appreciate, and also one of the most requested for it’s proximity to the pool which especially in the evening can be positively enchanting with your own “private” pool all lit up right in front of you. Perhaps it’s not for everyone, but again this could have been remedied by simply requesting more privacy and booking a higher category accommodation.



*Our reception staff is 100% Greek. Perhaps their English fluency confused clients. And if you read other reviews, this particular receptionist normally receives raves so we’re particularly perplexed by this one inconsistency.



*Internet connection was working fine by cable as always. Wireless signals are never quite as consistent as hard-wired systems, especially on a rocky island in the middle of the sea, which is why we offer both! And because perhaps our clients own laptops are not always set properly to foreign systems, we offer 100% compatible laptops on loan to take to your room! We even have an additional PC set up in our hospitality suite for all guests to use. With so many possible access options, all free of charge by the way, how could clients possibly complain of no internet?



*If a client feels we are priced beyond their budget, please feel free to choose a less expensive hotel, yes of course they do exist, but perhaps with much smaller accommodations and fewer services and facilities provided as we do, for example breakfast included and served on your balcony, 24 hour reception, gourmet restaurant, pool bar, room service, spa, luggage porters, transfer service, car rentals, full concierge services, etc… but this is 100% the decision of the clients to stay here and accept our rates or not. Our demanding clientele stays here because they value a full service hotel with more spacious accommodations and they are prepared to pay for it.



*Lastly, I am always happy to meet all of our clients and the great majority I do as I am at the hotel most days from 8am until at least 8pm. However as clients stated they were out for long periods every day, the chances of us running into each other are naturally reduced. But all they had to do is ask for me, that’s what I’m here for!



We thank you for this opportunity to respond.

George Karayiannis

ASTRA general manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2008

Maybe the best place I've ever stayed. Amazing views, simple but beautiful rooms, the nicest most helpful staff- they give you a nice little "orientation" upon arrival, complimentary bottles of water and wine. And I LOVED the breakfast and how they would bring it to your room at whatever time you choose. It just doesn't get any better than this.

  • Stayed: August 2008
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1  Thank pontia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2008

If you want to stay in absolute paradise and be served like a King or Queen you need to stay here. Not only is Santorini wonderful but the view from the Astra is amazing as are the accomodations. Everything in the room is unique and gorgeous. The staff is incredibly nice and accomodating. A MUST stay when in Santorini.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank tmanatos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2008

We are travelling with two young kids for 6 months and wanted to find a "true" Santorini experience for a week. The Astra exceeded all expectations and George, Valentina and the staff could not have been better hosts. We were even treated to a traditional Greek Easter celebration lunch along with all the other guests while we were there. The location is spectacular and the property is everything you can imagine a Santorini Caldera hotel should be.

Thanks so much for adding a memorable chapter in our world tour!

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2008

My girlfriend and I stayed at Astra from July 16-22, and I can say we loved every minute of it. The second we stepped into our room I was immediately amazed by how quiet and peaceful it was there. Although you're surrounded, seemingly on all sides, with tourists and staff, you feel as though you're the only one on the island. There were no screaming kids (except for one day, more on that in a bit), no barking dogs, honking cars, in fact I didn't even hear a seagull.

The only bad thing I can say about the room was the bed. Although I prefer a firm mattress I can easily see how it might be a problem for someone with a bad back. Other than that the room was very comfortable, always clean and well-stocked. The TV was a bit questionable, as there's only one English channel, but I guess if you want to watch TV all day you can just stay home. Our balcony provided a wonderful view of the ocean, volcano and caldera and it appeared as though no room would have an encumbered view.

The hotel was not like other experiences you may have had, where it's only a place to sleep and watch TV. I would have been happy spending all day at the pool, sipping drinks, or taking in the views from the balcony. Staying at the hotel was a part of the overall experience and added greatly to our vacation. The pool's bartender, Chris, was more than friendly, dropping anything and everything to get you exactly what you wanted. He was very accomodating and it was a pleasure to have met him.

I looked forward to the delicious breakfast served every morning on the balcony. It's certainly different than what some might be used to, very Mediterranean-style but delicious none the less. It's amazing how accustomed I've become to eating American food, you forget what fresh food actually tastes like.

I was impressed with how efficiently the hotel was operated, without ever actually seeing it. The only time I really noticed the staff's presence was sitting on the balcony watching them deliver the breakfast trays to the various rooms. Otherwise, it seemed like the rooms were cleaned and the trash taken away and the grounds swept all by themselves.

Of course, considering what you would spend to stay there, they'd BETTER do all the things I just said. For that money you'd expect to be waited on hand and foot. So, if you're willing to spend the money, be prepared to very pleased with the results.

Under no circumstances would I recommend bringing young children to Astra or even Santorini at all. I think that, as lovely as young kids can be, it really detracts from other guests' experience. I think kids would be bored there as the hotel tends to cater more towards the slow, relaxed guest than a child that's hard to keep entertained. The pool area, perched along side a ten-foot ledge (or in some places 500 feet) can be a bit nerve-wracking and not very child-proof. the island as a whole I didn't see to very kid-friendly. The beaches are okay at best and I didn't see much or any child-type entertainment.

The town of Imerovigli is, again, remarkably quiet yet you're not far from crowds and shopping and night life. It's a comfortable 25 minute walk to nearby Fira and a short ride to Oia. There's a rent-a-car, scooter, motorcycle, four-wheeler place nearby. We rented a four-wheeler and had a great time with it.

Overall we had a wonderful time at Astra and on Santorini. I would recommend it to anyone and look forward to returning one day. If you're prepared to spend the money (everything there is very expensive) then you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MattConnecticut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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