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“This is such a gem!”
Review of Arc Houses

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Arc Houses
Ranked #40 of 51 Hotels in Imerovigli
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 May 2010

We stayed there from 17/05 to 21/05.
It was PERFECT. Flora was there to welcome us to the hotel and she was the perfect host. She recommended the best places to dine and visit. We ended up at the most wonderful winery and had really good dinners at the most charming places all over Santorini.

Flora made us so comfortable and at ease. We stayed at the Stone room and it was wonderful. Spacious, tastefully decorated and had a private balcony with a breathtaking view to boot!

Location was perfect! There are Minimarts nearby and you could actually get to Fira by walking the costal route. I strongly recommend you walk the route at least once. The view of the caldera is unforgettable. If you do rent a car, Fira is just a 15mins drive away.

Service was no-frills, prompt and very very personalised. The room is extremely comfortable and we loved the balcony and the breathtaking view. In all, Archouses is such a gem and I strongly urge you to consider this place.

For those who are looking at luxury living, forget about this place.
For those looking for a cozy, charming and homely place to stay, with picturesque post-card views, look no further. You can't get this anywhere else with this price.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank JingSheng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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134 - 140 of 228 reviews

Reviewed 23 May 2010

Situated at the highest point on Santorini this property is a clear winner. We arrived after a horrible fast ferry ride from Crete in which we were sea sick (as were many people on the boat) and Flora brought medicine and drinks right away. We had the highest and most private balcony in the Mediterranean Room and really loved it. The room was beautifully decorated in blues and crisp whites with lovely accent pieces. Flora was onsite most of the time to help you with anything you needed. We needed our boarding passes printed for our next flight and they were hand delivered to us with a smile. I got the feeling Flora could and would solve any issue that came up.
A few cons, beds are hard by North American standards and there is no breakfast served and no place open before 9 a.m. if that is an issue for you. Internet is available only at the office.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Colleen55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2009

My wife and I stayed at ARCHouses in September, and it was a delightful experience. There are just five rooms in the hotel, and each is different. We stayed in the Thira, which was a complete apartment that can accommodate a family with children. Our friends stayed next door in the Aegean. There are three things that made this such a good experience: (1) View. You are located on the high point of the island, and the view of the caldera, volcano and all the way to Fira and Oia is spectacular. You don't need to go anywhere else for beautiful sunsets. (2) The accommodations. This is not your standard hotel room – it is more in the style of traditional cave-houses built into the side of a hill, and our room was fantastic, with lovely furnishings and decoration. (3) Flora, the owner, who is an architect and designer, was delightful and very helpful in arranging a rental car, suggesting places to go, restaurants, etc. She gave us lots of personal attention, and we very much enjoyed the time we spent with her.

If you are looking for a full-service hotel with pool, restaurant, etc., this is not the place for you. If you want a truly unique experience, my wife and I highly recommend ARCHouses.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank taypat01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2009

We stayed at Arc Houses for one week in early October. We stayed in the Aegean room. It was a beautiful room with the most amazing view. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our time here. Once you have been out all day you can then return here for the best thing of all, the sunset, and the different colours you see in the fading light.

This really is a beautifully designed room with attention to detail everywhere. Flora, our host was extremely helpful. She not only gave us numerous pointers about the best places to go and see. She also helped us book a car for four days. She managed to get the price reduced to €20/day. The company brought the car to us and we could then leave it at the airport. Double whammy!

Some other reviews have mentionned about the lack of a swimming pool. I do not think you need one. It is much better to go to the beach and be a bit more active. For a really relaxing beach I would recommend Perivolos.

I would argue that Imerovigli is the best location to stay on the island and Arc Houses is certainly one of the best hotels/apartments. You won't regret it if you stay.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank JezDem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2009

My husband and I, along with my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew stayed at the ArcHouses from 9/28/09-10/1/09. We did A LOT of research prior to booking a room at the ArcHouses. Our number one priority was the view and we weren’t disappointed.

My husband and I stayed in the Aegean Room. This room is beautiful and has a nice view. This room has a shared balcony, so there isn’t any privacy. The room is very large with a kitchen and large sitting area. The biggest complaint would be the bathroom. There isn’t any counter-space and if you are tall (my husband is 6’ 1”) then you will have an issue standing in the shower as the ceiling is probably around 5’ 6”. Also, the showerhead is one of those hand held ones, so you really can’t take a relaxing shower. There is no bathtub. The only other complaint is that the bed was extremely hard and the sheets were not of the highest quality. After three nights we were ready to move on. Overall, the view far outweighed the inconveniences of the bathroom and bed.

My sister, brother-in-law, and 2 ½ year-old nephew stayed in the Mediterranean Room. The view from their balcony was UNBELIEVABLE. Their balcony was private. We spent the majority of time on their balcony. Their room consisted of a sitting area, kitchen, and a queen bed a few steps up from the sitting area. Then downstairs, there is another queen bed and a separate bathroom.

I read a lot of reviews where people complained about the stairs. My theory is if you want an amazing view you are going to have to walk up a lot of stairs, no matter where you stay. It is a little inconvenient, but well worth the effort.

The owner, Flora, was extremely hospitable. She was more than willing to help us with any questions and issues. We needed to contact a family member staying in another hotel. She looked up the contact info and let us use her phone to contact them. Flora provides an access code for wireless internet, but my husband’s iTouch was not working, so she let us use her office computer and internet. She also gave us a calling card to use throughout out stay. She was a joy to talk with and always had a welcoming smile.

The housekeeper, Shelly, was exceptionally kind and helpful. We are very grateful to her for helping us with our laundry situation. :) She also did an amazing job cleaning. Everything was immaculate.

It is a nice walk to Fira and there are a lot of options for shopping and dining along the way. There are a lot of stairs and hills, so wear your walking shoes. It’s a beautiful walk and a must do.

We debated between staying in Oia or Imerovigli, but I am glad we decided to stay in Imerovigli. The sunset views are just as amazing, if not better; you don’t get the crowds of Oia; and you are able to walk to Fira.

TIPS: 1. Print the map from the ArcHouses’ website. It provides detailed directions to the hotel and was a lifesaver!
2. Go to the market right down the street (Mega Market) and load up on breakfast and snack foods, so you can take advantage of the kitchen and great views. There was nothing better than waking up and eating our breakfast while viewing the caldera or sipping on a drink and enjoying bread and tzatziki while watching the beautiful sunsets!
3. We did not reserve a rental car prior to getting to Santorini. When we got to the port we price checked a few car rental companies, found the most reasonable (25 Euro per day with max. insurance coverage and two drivers), and went on our way. I highly recommend renting a car and touring the whole island. It was nice to have our own transportation, so we could come and go as we pleased.

Overall, we found the ArcHouse was the best deal for the view. There are a lot of options when staying in Santorini, but I would highly recommend staying in Imerovigli at the ArcHouses.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Heather H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2009

We found Archouses to be exactly as advertised on their web site - just what we were looking for. Their location in Imerovigli is the perfect compromise between the hub of Fira and the quiet of Oia (only a short walk along the cliff path to one, and a scary bus ride to the other!) There are plenty of mini markets nearby for supplies, and some fantastic restaurants too - we can recommend the Blue Note and Imerovigli Tavern.
A little tricky to find initially, and a few stairs to negotiate - but the breathtaking views certainly make it worth the effort .
We stayed in the Aegean room which was homely and comfortable, beautifully decorated - we wanted for nothing. Sure the bathroom is small, and some guests seem to find issue with this - but seriously its all part of the experience.....adapt! It is cleaned and restocked daily with fresh towels.
And as for the owner Flora and her partner Stomatis, they are two very beautiful people, very generous and full of helpful advice about things to do on the island. We can't thank them enough for helping us out when we needed to stay on an extra night when we miscalulated on a ferry!!! Shelley is a gem too - maintaining the rooms daily, and always up for a chat and advice. It is people like this that make a stay so special and memorable, and ours certainly was - including the hangover we took to our early morning 15 hour ferry ride.
We will certainly recommend Archouses to anyone travelling to Santorini, and hope to return one day soon.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank TeamOz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2009

Disclaimer: This is the third of three hotels my fiancé and I stayed at during a 2 week trip to Italy and Greece, so please ignore the slight jadedness. However it was still a beautiful place to stay with beautiful views in a quiet neighborhood, or what I think was a neighborhood. :)

We stayed in the Stone Room, # 102:

Cons
- The first night we were there and introduced to our house, the entire place reeked of chlorine bleach. I think they must have cleaned the unit just hours before, but the problem was that all the windows were shut and the air conditioning off, so it just hung it the air. Sleeping in what smelled like a chlorine pool was definitely not comfortable nor a glorious first night, but after a few hours of running the air conditioner and opening the windows, it was fine, and we didn’t smell the chlorine again.
- Pretty expensive, but I bet all the hotels with the view are.
- My fiancé and I are over 6’0” tall, and because of the nature of cave houses, we continuously kept smacking our heads on the door frames. If you’re shorter, you’ll be much more comfortable.
- No tissues anywhere in the unit, so we had to use toilet paper.
- There was no division between shower and toilet. It was the same room – not really a problem, per se, but just different. The only issue was that every time you wanted to take a shower, you had to remove the toilet paper from the room, and if you had to go to the bathroom after the shower, the floor was wet.
- Having some type of breakfast offering, even a piece of bread and some jam, would have been nice, instead of having to wait till the super market or a restaurant opens.
- The steep steps are a bit of a nuisance when it comes to daily up and down, however getting our luggage in and out of the unit, both times in the dark, was very tricky and dangerous. Not necessarily a problem with the hotel, just again the nature of the village and how it’s built. I can’t imagine how people don’t die on those stairs on a monthly basis. However, the male host was amazingly helpful and stayed up late to help lug my luggage up the treacherous stairs the first night. My fiance was on his own, though.
- The hosts have limited reception hours, so if you need something, it may be hard to catch them. However, there is a number to call in case of emergencies.
- The TV was hooked up to a circuit that required 2 of the 4 lights to be on in the main room, which again, wasn’t a big problem, it just meant you had to watch TV with all the lights on, assuming you want to watch TV at all.
- The light in the kitchen was burned out – we didn’t really need it, but it would have been nice. We probably should have just told the hosts, and I’m sure they would have fixed it promptly.
- No extra pillows in the room, but I’m sure we could have asked for one. We just used the couch pillows instead.
- It seems that every other hotel around the area had a pool except this one. It'd be a plus, but there are beaches you can drive to, which is much better than a pool any day.
- No washcloths; as per usual of all European hotels.

Pros
- Wonderful incredible view – you could see all the way to the southern tip right from our balcony, and all the way to Oia from the rooftop. Probably one of the best views on the island – people would flock to the road in front of our room just to look at the sunset, which we could already see from our private balcony.
- Was fairly private, or as private as you can get in that type of town. You could hear the other people on other balconies, but couldn’t really see them. In fact, our particular balcony was so hidden, we scared people on numerous occasions! Also very quiet.
- Our unit was amazingly decorated and had a great utilization of space. Everything was perfected to the tiniest detail, including little safety pins on the curtains!
- You could open the windows and control your own air conditioning - perfect!
- Our unit had a kitchen with two stovetop burners, pots, pans, dishes, a fridge, a dish drain, knives, wine glasses, bottle opener, coffee maker, etc. It was great to finally have room and the facilities to cook! Or at least pour or own cereal, which is much better than having to find a restaurant early in the morning.
- The unit was cleaned and mopped every day and had a wonderful cleaning woman who even did our dirty dishes one day! It was spotless – I didn’t find a speck of dust anywhere.
- There is a super market literally a 1 minute walk from the hotel and has everything you may need – cereal, milk, juice, coffee, coffee filters (though they didn’t fit our coffee pot), lots of good alcohol, candy, fruit, shampoo, etc.
- Flora, the director and main host, was amazingly helpful and felt like our own personal Greek mother. She rented us a car for a day, called the diving centre for us, offered us coffee when we said we forgot some at the store, and let us use her own personal diving masks! She went above and beyond and you felt extremely at home. I would recommend this hotel solely based on her customer service alone!

Tips
- When staying in any type of cliff dwelling, make sure you have a detailed map of where you’re staying! The taxi driver or parking lot will not be at the front door – we had to zig zag through many pedestrian streets late at night trying to find our hotel location. Luckily, the hosts were so nice and waited up for us and welcomed us warmly!
- If you’re planning on renting a car, we recommend using a GPS and your high beams a lot. :)
- Monolithos beach was probably the best of all the beaches we saw – the water was warm and perfectly clear, the beach had sand, not rocks, and you can rent an umbrella with two chairs for 5 Euros. Though, we couldn’t find a bathroom, and the airport is right next to it so a loud jet or two will fly overhead.
- Go to the Imeriovigli Tavern – it had wonderful stuffed peppers and tomatoes, and a great mousaka. Also, their cheese saganaki was superb.
- There are lots of stray dogs and cats, as in Athens. They’re all friendly from what we saw, and some will even hang around and sleep next to you at the beach.
- Get the cheese flambé at the Blue Note café just beneath the hotel. They’ll light it on fire before your very eyes! It's not the right type of cheese, but it's on fire. :)

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank moonseed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Arc Houses

Address: Malteza Square, Imerovigli 847 00, Greece
Region: Greece > South Aegean > Cyclades > Santorini > Imerovigli
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
#20 Romantic Hotel in Imerovigli
Hotel Class:3 star — Arc Houses 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
ARCHouses hotel is situated in Imerovigli - known for the breathtaking view to the Caldera - at the highest point of the settlement. The hotel lies 50m. from the church of Panagia Maltesa ( Maltese ) and 1.8 km from Fira, the capital of the island. The hotel offers magnificent views of the volcano, the Aegean Sea and the, undoubtedly, most famous sunset in the world.The ARCHouses complex is a mixture of traditional cycladic and modern architecture. The architect and householder of Archouses, Mrs. Flora Nastouli, has designed all spaces with much love giving attention to every detail. The fine structural lines and the quality of materials used (linen & silk) create an elegant and luxurious ambience that adds extra comfort in your vacation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arc Houses Hotel Imerovigli
Arc Hotel Imerovigli
Arc Houses Santorini/Imerovigli

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