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“Excellent!”
Review of Zenith Blue

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Zenith Blue
Ranked #18 of 28 Imerovigli B&B and Inns
Reviewed 21 October 2013

Words can't describe how we LOVE this hotel.

We arranged airport transfer from the hotel, and I'm glad we did because cars can only stop at the main road and someone from the hotel came and carried our luggages to thru the small steps.
Once we reached the hotel, we're stunned with the view! if I may say, even better than Oia. Oia is too crowded, too many visitors. But here, you have the real feel of Santorini and serenity in a package, and topped with the view of beautiful Caldera.

The best part was, Evi, upgraded our booking. From our private balcony, there's Caldera view. AND from our bedroom,there's a window that u have underwater view of the pool!! I think this is the only room that have this window.
We really enjoyed the breakfast by the pool. It's a decent breakfast, but could be better if only they could offer more variety on their daily menu. Their staffs are so friendly and warm.

all and all, It's really a perfect place to celebrate or 10th anniversary.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank IWIJAYA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 October 2013

The adventure started when our taxi driver stopped on the way to this hotel from the airport. He told us he needed to call the hotel to get someone to come to meet us, as there was no way he could get close enough. That was the first we knew of the access issue, so we were a little surprised.

When the taxi eventually drove into a small parking area opposite the Santorini Sailing Centre, there was a 'boy' from the hotel duly despatched to meet us and carry our bags. It took around five minutes to get to Akrolithos along a winding pathway, with steps down, and up again, partly in the dark along unlit cobbled walkways.

The Manager was in our room to meet us, and to apologise for the mix up with the booking (our email had gone a week unanswered, which resulted in a double booking for the airport transfer and a lot of wasted time on our part trying to put it right before we flew). He told us he'd booked a table at a nearby restaurant about '50 metres by the boy'. When we emerged five minutes later to find it, 'the boy' was waiting to take us, and the reference became clear. It was just as well we had a guide because it was very dark and the sign announcing the restaurant was easily missable.

We had a fantastic meal to finish our arrival adventure on this beautiful island. It was like being in a movie.

We awoke for breakfast in the morning to see the stunning views over the Caldera. That's why everyone stays here in Imerovigli, and no one who has made that choice has ever regretted it.

After four days of traversing the cobbled ups and downs of the walkways, our leg muscles were ready for a break. The only food in the hotel is breakfast, and as good as it is, it's the same every day. Fruit with yogurt, a boiled egg, cheese and ham (one slice of each), a roll, tea or coffee, orange juice and a cake. By the third morning, they'd run out of marmalade. Having breakfast by the pool is a great experience, even if you need to endure the wind on a really blustery morning. But mostly, the sun was turned up high. And the views are ever present. The odd cruise ship drifted at anchor in the bay below, and on one morning a couple of very large yachts under sail. Spectacular.

You can get a drink in the pool bar from noon until 11 pm but there are no embellishments, like nuts.

To stay here as a base, you need to work out where to get the bus and then the island is yours to explore. A bus to Fira, and the main bus station, then provides access to the south and places like Kamari and its excellent beach and a 100 places to eat (14 or 15 minutes to get there from Fira). Fira itself is a great place to shop and eat, with the views over the Caldera just as good as further north. There's also a cable car to explore.

From the hotel, you can also go north to Oia, with its fabulous sunsets and lots more shops and eating options. You'll fight with a thousand tourists and queue for the bus back.

The hotel will arrange for a taxi if you can find anyone in the office, by which I mean the Manager. He's there a lot but we never quite figured out when with any consistency.

Whether you book Akrolithos or one of the dozens of other 'hotels' carved into the cliffside, you'll have the same access problem. The rooms / suites will all be cave-like with a bed that's likely to be wedged into the round bit at the end (which really makes it feel like a cave), so couples have to climb over each other. No sprung bed underneath the mattress, so a few nights here may make your back ache but it's actually okay. The sitting area (that makes it a suite) is also a little hard with only cushions to rest against the wall. But hey, you didn't come here to hang around in the room and watch BBC World News!

The best seats are on your balcony overlooking the pool area and the Caldera. There was a path in front of our balcony along which all and sundry pass, from other hotels as well. It's a friendly place, so it really doesn't feel wrong. We imagine most of the other suites have balconies which are a little more private but it really didn't matter.

The toilet was on a permanent flush until we discovered that a quick tap on the 'handle' sorted that out but we were imagining an all night torrent until we worked out the solution. Shower worked well and water was hot whenever we needed it. But Santorini is definitely not short of heat.

Air conditioning unit in the room was easy to operate and worked well.

There was an essential fridge, in which they'd kindly left two small bottles of still water. A quick read of the useful guest notes reminded us that the water was undrinkable, so you really need to use bottled water even to brush your teeth.

TV was small but newish, with 3 channels in English. Wardrobe, two drawers under the bed (the mattress sits on top of this wooden base, which is why it's a little hard). The room is well serviced and clean.

There are a handful of shops around when you've found your way back to the road but you need to be careful on the steep slopes as the traffic comes close because there are no pavements. We tried one of the local restaurants in this area but didn't have a great experience. That was atypical because the food everywhere on the island is excellent. We decided to grab some fresh bread and cheese etc. in one of the three small grocery stores, then realised whilst shopping we had a problem. There was nothing in the room like utensils, plates etc. No kettle, and no cups. None of the shops sold cutlery so we improvised. Fresh bread that we could break. Small individual containers of Lurpak, that we could dip the bread in. And cheese that was already sliced! With beer and coke in cans that you could pull open, we were all set. If only we'd known, we could have 'borrowed' some plastic knives and forks from Easy Jet.

The staff at Akrolithos are all terrific and very very helpful, as everyone is on this fantastic island. The Manager speaks good enough English but did hand his mobile to me once to speak to his wife because he didn't understand what I was saying. And it turned out he'd forgotten to book our transfer to the airport, which his wife duly did and we left an hour later than planned. So the arrangements for arriving and leaving were flawed by language problems but it all worked out well in the end. I've always felt it wrong to expect the rest of the world to speak English and normally try to learn a little of the language. No chance here, couldn't even begin to get my head around Greek and English really is spoken pretty well by most people you're likely to meet in shops, restaurants and collecting your fare on buses.

So is this experience worth it? Absolutely. Is Akrolithos a safe bet for a cliffside venue? Definitely. It's a great little complex with a super team of people, who all go out of their way to help you. Just double check on all the arrangements! Or be better than me and learn Greek. For Fred and Wilma, this would have been a luxury break. For all of us non Flintstones, it's an experience we should relish.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank TheSalfordOne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2013

Stayed here and really enjoyed the amazing views, friendly helpful staff and the overall location. Would not be ideal if you don't like heights or steps but for us it was almost perfect. I could probably describe the odd fault or minor improvement but for a short stay it's a special place. If I get chance will add some photo to help communicate the amazing views.

Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank palboy64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2013

We stayed here for 4 nights in August, it was the most beautiful hotel of our 3 week European holiday. Staff are all very nice and helpful, beautiful room with a balcony, and possibly the best sun baking view!! It's location is perfect, you can walk to some great taverns and rent a quad or car just around the corner. Very very well priced for its location and quality. There is a fantastic sunset view point right near the hotel as well. I would highly recommend this place, it made our santorini trip the highlight! And the pool is also so amazing!

Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Mia P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2013

Three of us stayed in a two bedroom under the pool, one room had a window into the pool...but the view from the patios was amazing, all of Santorini in it's splendor. Every day was a great walk around town and from one gorgeous view to the next. Amazingly friendly as well, much, much nicer than Athens!

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank MarcoPDX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2012

We were supposedly 'upgraded' from Blue Dolphin Apartments which is a sister hotel to these Phenix apartments due to an overbooking at Blue Dolphin. Phenix is much further away from the main town and you have to get a bus into Fira or a taxi. When we arrived we had to wait over an hour as our upgrade room wasn't available, and the poor maid was rushing around to get our room ready as well as the rooks for two other couples who where also checking in and waiting. Having to move hotels and then having to wait to get into our new room was inconvenient, but the manager didn't seem to care. We were offered a bottle of wine as compensation which the hotelier chilled in the fridge. However when we returned later that evening to collect it, he'd actually put it in the freezer and had forgotten about it, so gave us a cheap alternative. The room was nice with a window into the swimming pool so that was unique, but we were awoken in the early hours by a centipede crawling around the bed, biting my other half. So all in all, not a very pleasant stay. Average at best. When we were due to leave I asked the hotelier if he would book us a taxi for the next morning as we had a ferry to catch, he said not to worry and return in the morning to do this sort of thing. So at 10am I asked him to book a taxi to take us to the ferry port, we said we wanted a taxi in 10-15 minutes which he said wasn't a problem. We headed back along the hundreds of cliff top steps with our luggage in the 36 degree heat to the pick up point where we waited and waited and waited. After 45 minutes we had to get the local pharmacy to book a taxi as the hotelier at Phenix clearly hadn't, needless to say that we very nearly missed our ferry. Would not recommend to friends and would not return.

Room Tip: AVOID this hotel, the service is dreadful
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank EasilyAnnoyed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2012

I read the reviews on this site prior to booking. I was expecting mediocre rooms with not service.

Fortunately, I arrived and found the hotel was under new management and we were one of the first customers under the new management.

The issues mentioned in some reviews below are now non-existent. The walls were nicely painted, the areas were neat and tidy and the service was beyond excellent.

I must stress the service at this hotel was far beyond any other hotel I've experienced in Santorini. The staff take the time to make things right, I appreciated this very much. They even remembered my preferred tastes for breakfasts!

The only negative I can think of is the lack of wifi in the rooms. I specifically required wifi to check e-mails but in order to receive a signal I was forced to head down to the terrace.

Very much recommended.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Edmond L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Zenith Blue

Address: on the Caldera rim, Imerovigli 84700, Greece (Formerly Phenix Hotel)
Region: Greece > South Aegean > Cyclades > Santorini > Imerovigli
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 28 B&Bs / Inns in Imerovigli
Hotel Class:3 star — Zenith Blue 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Akrolithos is perched on the cliff side of Imerovigli, only 15 minutes walk from Fira town, the capital of Santorini island. The wonderful location provides its guests spectacular views of the Volcano, the Caldera & the Aegean Sea! Akrolithos consists of 12 rooms & suites with traditional design & Cycladic architecture, just 10 km from Santorini's Airport> and 12 km from Port>. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zenith Blue Santorini/Imerovigli

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