Firstly, I feel I should comment on the handful of bad reviews of this excellent hotel. Looking at the dates of most of the reviews I have to assume that any of the issues regarding the staff, service, location, odours, etc are no longer relevant or the problems that have been addressed, because I can not think of a single thing to complain about; hence the 5 stars which I do not give lightly.
We arrived at the hotel via a transfer from the airport that they arranged for us. It cost us 24 euros each way which may seem a lot but when you consider the hotel is 20km from the airport, maybe not! Immediately our bags were taken and we were warmly welcomed by Yiota, the joint owner. We were offered a free 'welcome drink' and advised to sit out on the terrace. We sat down, beer in hand, sun beaming down, 180 degree panoramic views of the beautiful sea and stunning rock faces. We were quite speechless.
We were shown to our room and were pleasantly surprised. Yes, the decor may not be the standard of The Savoy but we found it endearing and it reminded us that we were on a tiny Greek island, with its white painted bare brick walls and blue painted window frames and wooden shutters. Also, it was impeccably clean. We had a decently sized living room with good seating and table space, a desk, a kitchenette, a safe, a comfortable bed and a bathroom that was fairly small but had everything you would need - including a very nice shower. Let's not forget our beautiful balcony with those amazing views again; an absolute delight. It also had a room with bunk beds which we had forgotten about and would be great if you were a couple with 1 or 2 kids.
Regarding the location, I can genuinely understand why there may be a division of opinion here. If you are a person that needs bars, restaurants, shops and a beach on your doorstep then this is possibly not the hotel for you. Equally if you have mobility problems, this is not for you due to the cobbled mountain paths (although Santorini as an island may not be the right place at all in this case). However, I must stress that you do not need a car. We were a 25 minute walk from the capital Fira and the walk down was one drenched in stunning views of the Caldera - absolutely fine for us! Once in Fira you have a bus station where you can go to any part of the island: beautiful beaches in Perissa and Kamari, ancient Akrotiri, stunning Oia etc. A car may be handy but we were fine with just taking our time and soaking in the scenery. Plus I think it's a bit nicer and more interesting when you have to 'find' places rather them just be shoved in your face. It also meant that at any time of day in the hotel it was unbelievably peaceful which is lovely if you need to escape for a bit as we did.
All in all, a holiday we will never forget and one that was made that much more enjoyable by Hotel Heliotopos and its staff. Breakfast was GREAT and a lovely way to start the day. It included freshly squeezed orange juice, homemade pastries, fresh bread, cereals and most importantly English tea! The service was remarkable and we just felt completely welcome and at home there.
We were already thinking about a return visit before we had even left - Highly recommended!!!! I have added a photo of the sunset from our balcony as we were getting ready to go out, to at least try and convey how stunning the views were.
One last thing is that we travelled during October half term and the weather was still glorious and everything was still open for business.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Heliotopos is a unique boutique hotel complex in the traditional dome style, with one or two storey suites and studio apartments. Built on the foundations of old island structures it has been constructed to reflect the beauty of Santorini's architecture. Located at the highest point of the crater-top (the rim of the Caldera) it offers an extraordinary, breathtaking view of the volcano, the sea and the surrounding islets from every point of the hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Heliotopos Hotel Imerovigli
- Heliotopos Hotel Santorini/Imerovigli