Thursday, May 6

Pantelia Suites

Regular readers will know that I rarely blog about the hotel we stay in. As a regular business traveler each hotel generally starts to look very much like the last. However, every so often, we discover a venue whose impossibly stunning web images fail to do justice to the real thing. Pantelia Suites in Santorini is one such location. When we booked this hotel, the internet promoted a stunning array of postcard perfect images. Previous guests had also written rave review after review. It all seemed too good to be true.

However, since arriving yesterday afternoon we continue to pinch ourselves in disbelief. The real thing is every bit as magical as the web implies. Picture if you can a truly immaculate white walled series of cubic buildings moulded into the hillside. Each door and window shutter painted in the perfect shade of baby blue. Then imagine the entire location sculpted by sun-baked terraces, each offering its own interpretation of a breath-taking view across volcanic islands and on towards a hazy blue horizon. Even better its literally 50 metres from the town centre, down a quiet shaded laneway.

Our room is one on the lower levels. It was once a cave hewn from the cliff face below the narrows lanes of Fira, Santorini’s main town. Today, it’s a white-walled, barrel vaulted suite that serves as a cool, airy respite from the intense Greek sunshine. The back half of the interior has been walled off to create a spacious bedroom, complete with its own mini-cave walk-in wardrobe and the remains of an old domed wood oven. The bed is delightful comfortable and spacious. Our bathroom is another adjoining cave, with a soaring high vaulted ceiling and a deep, tiled bath tub.

This morning we were greeted with a full breakfast served outdoors on our terrace. Last night we sat here with a drink witnessing a stunning sunset. It’s hard to believe this is the cheapest venue on our Greek vacation. We’ve picked the perfect time of year to come. Our room was more than 40% cheaper than the peak season rate, the sun is hot without being debilitating and the crowds are sparse despite the famous honeymoon location. Pantelia Suites is worth every penny – and those internet images really are as good as they look.

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