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“Great, with some caveats”
Review of Zenith Blue

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Zenith Blue
Ranked #20 of 29 Imerovigli B&B and Inns
U.S.
Level Contributor
93 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Great, with some caveats”
Reviewed 14 June 2014

This place was terrific -- beautiful and clean room, comfortable beds, a private terrace overlooking the caldera just for us with spectacular views, two separate bathrooms, two separate bedrooms, and I thought reasonably priced for what we were getting, and a view from the living room of the room out onto the ocean so that you get the view indoors or out. The desk manager was extremely helpful with restaurant recommendations, taxis, baggage, etc. The private pool and deck where the included breakfast was served was lovely with an amazing view. We had moved to this room from another place in Imerovigli where the room itself had no windows unless you wanted to climb up onto a decrepit kitchen cabinet, the private terrace we'd been promised turned out to be in front of the room next door, our only view from our doorway was of a staircase, and the hotel was two feet from the walkway around the caldera so there was a constant stream of people walking by your room from daybreak to sunset. So you have to be very careful when choosing where you will stay here. The caveats I have about Akrolithos are as follows: there is a window between the master bedroom and the living room, and there is a direct line of sight from the living room into the master bath, and the master bath has no door or curtain (the toilet is in a separate room with a door). Obvious problem here on several fronts. The window needs a screen and the master bath needs a door or curtain. There was no shower curtain for the shower in the second bathroom. The master bath shower had very low water pressure and so the neat looking Jacuzzi shower nozzles and the sauna wouldn't work. There was a track for a curtain for the second bedroom but no curtain. Also as to the view, Imerovigli like Firostefani and Fira is built into a rounded cliff shaped like a half circle. Where on the half circle you are located determines your view. If you are on the north side of the half circle, you are looking out into the ocean with its mysterious looking islands and distant cliffs. If you are on the south side of the half circle, like Akrolithos, you are looking south to the city of Fira, which is all white and bright blue and actually looks spectacular, but your view will almost always include a large cruise ship since the cruise ships all stop right in your direct line of sight. So if you care about this, choose a hotel with a view facing north.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Shain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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149 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Frisco, Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2014

You have to put santorini in top of your list of places to visit . It is the most beautiful place which you can relax , enjoy the view , and take tons of most amazing pictures .My husband and I decided to stay in Imerovigili since it offers the best view of Caldera and centrally located in the isalnd . I loved our hotel ! the friendly staff , welcome your arrival with complimentary drink and someone help you to transfer your luggages , also you get served daily breackfast by the pool with mesmerizing view of the ocean . We rent a car to be able go around the island and discover all santorini has to offer . Oia is so beautiful but it was a bit too crowded . The pictures you get in Oia is the one you see in magazins . We found one local resturante in Parissa which they smashing the plates and offersl tranditional food . Best experiance !!!!

Room Tip: Make sure you pack yourself a pair of comfortable shoes as you need to walk in narrow streets and lo...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank paris20142014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beirut, Lebanon
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2014 via mobile

The place is under renovation currently as it is under new management. The staff are kind and helpful. It's a little bit far from Fira which was ok for us for calm relaxation, but walking to town took some effort (20 to 30 mins of fast walk and stairs). We didn't like the so called superior double room (old bathroom, small,not much light goes in) so we were upgraded freely to the junior suite which was better. Like I said it's being renovated so maybe they will fix those things. The breakfast facing the caldera was priceless!

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Nour A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chorley, Lancashire
Level Contributor
35 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2014

Fantastic views of the Caldera and over to Fira, it was a real treat to sit and watch the cruise ships and the sun casting shadows along the cliffs. Lovely, friendly and kind staff, sometimes hard to get hold of anyone at the bar (they are often in reception which is up on the opposite side of the path). Large, yummy breakfast served to you at your table - we stayed for a week so it was getting a bit 'samey' but most people seemed to be there for only a night or two. Great pool, large by Santorini standards (many are the size of a bath tub!) and a lot of the time we had it to ourselves as people are usually out sightseeing. Fresh modern feel especially in the bar/pool area. Fab room, a standard double, with feature volcanic rock wall and private balcony. Good sized fridge in room (not a mini bar as stated which means you can fit lots in). TV didn't have any English channels.

Unfortunately they weren't accepting credit cards when we stayed, not great only being told on our last morning, spoilt the week of relaxation we'd had but this may be sorted for the next season. No wifi in room and was patchy outside. Some old fixtures and fittings, I'd say it's had more of a makeover than a total refurb. We stayed here on our 'babymoon' and although all info says no children there was a baby staying as we were leaving.

All in all a brilliant choice, more affordable than most hotels in this area and I'm sure any snags will have been sorted out by the new owners, it had only been open a week or so when we stayed.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Sooty123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank IWIJAYA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester
Level Contributor
169 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TheSalfordOne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 October 2013 via mobile

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
Helpful?
2 Thank palboy64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Zenith Blue

Property: Zenith Blue
Address: on the Caldera rim, Imerovigli 847 00, 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 #20 of 29 B&Bs / Inns in Imerovigli
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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