This review might read like payed for - it is. It was payed for with a genuine experience in one of the most tourist-runover places in the world.
We stayed at the Villa Ostria Hotel in end of season 2006. I know it's a bit late for review, but hey - avrio, as the greeks would say.
We chose the place mainly for a lack of money, and were rewarded with our best location on santorini yet.
A couple of days ago I called the owner, because I've lost the EMail adress, and he remembered us in a second - just by my first name. Alright, we did spend some time with him - we've been taught tavoli, one of the greek backgammon versions, and drowned a couple of souvlakis with a little amount of beer.
No, it's not a party hotel - it's just that famous greek hospitality known as "filoxenia". We've never encountered it that openly, in a beautifully relaxed and quiet place.
The Hotel complex is located right at the foot of the Mesa Vuono, a nice short stroll to the beach. While there is sun during daytime, there's welcomed shade in the the evening, and everything stays nice and cool, even without a/c.
As Kamari is one of the less expensive tourist centers on santorini, not being right at the promenade this is a plus, not a drawback - all hotels right at the beach are right at the promenade as well, lots of them have the pool facing the promenade. The Ostria, on the other hand, has a beautiful atrium-like garden, all of the buidings are traditionally scattered around it, some with their own sundeck, some with a private backyard terrace. It's calm, and a beautiful retreat from the hustle and bustle.
The rooms are spotlessly clean and well kept, have a small kitchenette, some of them sport a sofa and seperate bed with a brick built basis (perfectly comfortable!).
Kostas and Family (His wife and two kids, daughter is 16 months now son is somewehere around 4 years old) are living on the premises and are doing everything themselfes, his father is helping out with the gardening.
Alright, what could some people think of as a drawback? There is no restaurant or breakfast service, which means you have the choice of all nice restaurants in kamari. There is no pool, but you're welcome to use the nicely - set pool of a hotel right opposite of the ostria, and welcome you are. We never once felt like "guests from the other hotel there". The kitchen and bathrooms are older, but absolutely (!) not substandard, and again spotlessly clean.
What I'm about to say is, I love this place. Alright, there's places more luxurious when you're speaking facilities. But never I did encounter a place more lovable. We've spent three nights in athens right before coming to the ostria, in a 5-Star 250 bucks per night marble palace, concierge and everything. Would I have to choose, I'd choose the ostria, gladly. On Santorini, you won't get closer to greece than at the ostria.
We're about to spend our honeymoon there in April 2008 - even my wife, who likes the odd bit of luxury, never questioned our hotel on santorini even once. It's the ostria, full stop.
Other nice things to go to, my recommendation:
Lucky's souvlakis, right on the main road in Thira
Cassanova bar & hotel, Thira as well
Tipi, cycladic jewelery shop, Oia
Dolphin's Restaurant, northern area of kamari promenade
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- Also Known As:
- Villa Ostria Santorini/Kamari