Where to Stay in Santorini: Best Areas & Hotels, 2018
The beauty of choosing where to stay in Santorini is that the island's size makes every point easily accessible from wherever you stay, and nearly every hotel provides shuttle service to the major towns and airport. The most popular places to stay are along the Caldera of the island's west coast, best known for its breathtaking sunsets and clusters of white houses that cling to the steep cliffs. The port towns of Fira and Oia are ideal for those who want to have easy access to shopping and restaurants, especially families and those staying for a short time. The more expensive hotels are perched along the cliff tops overlooking the Aegean Sea, while good budget options are a short walk from the town square. The towns of Imerovigli and Megalochori are smaller but less crowded with day tourists, perfect for seclusion seekers and celebrities who want a quiet island retreat. You will not find any huge chain hotels here, but rather many small, personal establishments that are dedicated to providing the best service they can.
Where to Stay for Luxury
Seclusion-seekers will love the villas at Fira's Celestia Grand, which allow guests to enjoy the privacy of an individual residence with the luxuries and convenience of a full-service hotel. Each clifftop villa is equipped with a full kitchen and amenities, including a computer and Wi-Fi, and each has its own terrace with a private pool and hot tub that overlook the Aegean Sea. There is a restaurant on-site, which delivers a complimentary breakfast to the villa each morning, and the management also offers services such as babysitting and transportation to nearby attractions.
Shuttle service and breakfast is also provided for guests at the Petit Palace Suites Hotel, which sits just outside of Fira near the village of Megalochori. The hotel's restaurant features glass walls that offer stunning views across the water to Santorini Volcano, and there is a full-service day spa on-site in addition to a large pool and hot tub. Guest rooms at this all-suite hotel are large and bright in the traditional whites and blues of Santorini and feature kitchenettes and luxurious baths.
Each suite at the family-operated Atrina Canava 1894 in Oia has a terrace that looks down over the iconic cliff-side cluster of bright homes, and it is on the terrace that a cooked-to-order breakfast is delivered and set up each morning. The large pool is set in a prime location for the best views, and there is a lovely flower-filled alcove nearby for those who want to enjoy it from the shade. Thoughtful extras include 24-hour concierge service and the use of a complimentary cell phone during your stay.
Where to Stay: Mid-Range
Just a few minutes' walk to prime Caldera views, Oia's Sunset Apartments is in the heart of Oia, just a block from the bus station and close to dozens of restaurants and tourist shops. Each suite has a well-equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi, as well as a small terrace, and there is a large pool and cozy deck area for cooling off in the afternoon.
Rooms at Hotel Kavalari in Fira are built into the cliff and connected by a series of stairs and terraces, making this the perfect place to enjoy the stunning sunsets beyond the volcano. Staff members are always happy to carry your luggage and will serve the complimentary breakfast on your private terrace each morning. The hotel is also close to the town's top tourist attractions, including shops, galleries, and, of course, the many seaside restaurants.
The Grand View Hotel in the town of Megalochori is a good place for those who want the prime views from the Caldera cliff but have difficulty with the typical steep steps and hilly paths that usually accompany cliffside hotels. Each suite is equipped with a kitchenette and Wi-Fi, and hotel amenities include complimentary breakfast, a free shuttle to several island destinations, and a large pool with ample deck seating and sunset views.
Where to Stay on a Budget
Budget hotels in Fira sit on the eastern side of town, and although they lack ocean views they are just a few minutes from the center of town and the main attractions. The Costa Marina Villas has clean, bright rooms with balconies that face the sunrise. The hotel's classic Santorini architecture is accented by copious amounts of flowering vines and plants, and the large courtyard at the Pansion Zaharoula is full of bright blooms as well. Rooms at this small boutique hotel are surprisingly spacious and include a coffee maker, mini-fridge, and free Wi-Fi. The Anemomilos Hotel Apartments is a great budget option in Oia, with single, double, and family rooms available. Amenities include free Wi-Fi and parking, a mini-fridge, airport shuttle, pool, restaurant, and babysitting services.
Where to Stay for Families
Kids will love the huge pool at Dream Island Hotel in Fira, located in a quiet part of town just a few minutes' walk from the square and ocean-view restaurants. Family-run and family-friendly, this beautiful mid-range hotel offers complimentary services to make your vacation stress-free, including island-wide shuttle service, breakfast, and Wi-Fi.
For more secluded lodgings, Laokasti Villas has a variety of independent suites with private balconies that overlook the Aegean Sea from the cliffs of Oia. Each villa has a full kitchen and is convenient to the pool, hot tub, and sauna. Breakfast is included and is served at the in-house restaurant that features traditional Greek food in the evening.
Where to Stay for Romance
Although you will be hard-pressed to find anywhere on the island that isn't romantic, Aenaon Villas has a location and ambience that combine to make it ideal for a honeymoon or couple's getaway. Seclusion seekers will appreciate its peaceful location atop the cliffs of Imerovigli, and the limited number of guests that share an infinity pool with panoramic views. Amenities include complimentary breakfast and shuttle services, private verandas for enjoying the world's most beautiful sunsets, and thoughtful attention to your every need by the dedicated hosts.
Just a couple of kilometers north, Filotera Suites in Oia is also ideally situated for prime views of the water, as well as the idyllic whitewashed houses that descend along the cliffs below. Guests are pampered with complimentary beverages in the fully-stocked mini-fridge, fresh fruit, and breakfast, and enjoy private balconies and a pool that is never crowded.