In 2010, T and I went on our annual multi-country tour right around the time the unpronounceable Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, was showing who’s really the boss of the European airspace. The plan was to surprise him with a trip to Switzerland for his birthday (“Happy Birthday, pack your bags, we’re going to Switzerland today” – thought it’d make a good story one day) before we continued onto Egypt and Greece, but with Eyjafjallajökull shutting down airports left and right, I was anxiously waiting to see if the birthday surprise would have to be cancelled. Luckily, it was not.
After a couple weeks of traveling, we finally made it to the first of our two Greek Island stops, Santorini, and here, I say is where the real vacation began. I could go on about how much I fell in love with this island (and maybe I will another time), but for now I’ll just say I loved, loved, loved the Canaves Oia Hotel in Santorini. It’s one of those properties where the minute you see it, you feel like you have arrived.
It’s built on the slope of the mountain and painted in that fresh white paint that so is characteristically Santorini. Oh, and it’s also facing the caldera which is kind of a big deal for Santorini tourists and (unsurprisingly) a huge marketing point for hotels there.
Here’s a quick tip: If you sign up for the hotel loyalty programs even if you don’t stay with that chain often (or in our case, ever), you increase your chances of getting freebies when you check in. In our case, we got automatically upgraded to a suite at this property! Talk about arriving.
The interior of the room had two floors and minimal décor – honestly, it probably could have used an upgrade here or there (I remember the floors upstairs being a tad squeaky) but hey, I was in Santorini with my own suite, to-die-for-views on my little patio, a white marble bathroom (my all time favorite)…. I think I’m picking hairs here.
If you know me, you’ll know I’m a sucker for two things – views and champagne – and that’s where this place really won me over. Right after we settled in, we walked over to the pool and were offered complimentary slightly sweetened bubbly. Imagine sipping champagne and looking out at that view. Can I move here already?
The only type of people I wouldn’t recommend this hotel to would be those who are challenged walking up and down a lot of steps, but if that’s you, you probably shouldn’t go to Santorini anyway. The place is chock full of slopes and stone staircases. For everyone else, Oia is the place to stay if you can afford it. It’s got the most picturesque sunset, direct views of the caldera, and while a lot of hotels there are pricey (I had my eye on Mystique until I saw the room rates – maybe next time!), we got our room for around $160/night – what a steal!
Not convinced? Here are some more pictures during our stay: