As I drove away from the villa headed toward the airport, a few tears welled up unexpectedly in my eyes. The tears were, I think, a wave of gratitude that was washing over me as I left this wonderful place. As context, I was traveling alone with my 4-month old son (an old friend was getting married). It took over 24 hours and 4 flights to arrive and the airline lost my luggage. So, needless to say, when I arrived I was exhausted and a little frantic! Maria welcomed me with a warm smile and immediately ran off to cook me a hearty (and delicious) breakfast while I was able to just sit and enjoy a beautiful view. She then made arrangements for me to get a car and get into town to go pick up diapers and other things I needed for the baby and myself that were stuck somewhere in luggage purgatory. By the afternoon, she had brought down several of her own dresses for me to try on so I would have something to wear to the wedding and by the evening, a bag of baby clothes from a neighbor friend. Maria (and her daughter and mother) even kept my son for a couple hours while I went to the wedding ceremony. It seems an understatement to call this demonstration of kindness and friendship "hospitality."
In addition to all of this (which alone would be enough to earn 5 stars) the villa was also an incredibly beautiful, relaxing place to spend time - enjoying time by the pool, reading books inside the well-appointed villa, devouring Greek salads made from freshly-picked vegetables on the property. My friends who were staying at various hotels around Fira were so envious when they came to spend time with me at the villa and we all agreed that if we ever came back to Santorini, Anema villas would be the obvious choice!
A couple things to note:
-Location: The upside of the location is that it is blissfully serene. After the hustle and bustle of town, I was grateful each day to have a place away from it all. The downside is that you absolutely MUST have a car. While I found driving on the roads to be a somewhat fun indoctrination into Greek culture, others may find it a little nerve-wrecking.
- Food: There really is nowhere close to eat (the tavern they mention is a rather long walk) so be prepared to head to the grocery store or grab a bite while you are in town. As mentioned above, there is a plethora of delicious vegetables and herbs on the property so it makes cooking at "home" feel like a special treat.
I can't wait to go back with my husband and kids someday.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Anema Residence of Santorini is a 6000 square meter property overlooking the Aegean Sea and stunning views of the islands of Anafi and Amorgos. Located in the Santorini countryside and surrounded by vineyards and farms, and only 300 meters from the black pebble beach of Vourvoulos. Its panoramic position offers views of the surrounding farms, fields and the sea, offering a true feeling of nature and serenity.On the 3000 square meters is located the house of the owners and 2 adjacent guest houses.On the remaining 3000 square meters is located a beautiful private villa, with 2 adjacent guest houses. This villa can be rented all together or separately. Each house has a separate entrance, private pool and parking.Anema Residence is a new unique private villa in Santorini in terms of size and style, perfect for couples or a group of friends looking for spacious areas, large gardens with fruit and olive trees, comfort and privacy. ... more less
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