Friday, January 28, 2011
WE HAVE JUST BEEN TO SANTORINI, part 1, Santorini Grace
Like a postcard, breathing myths and magic. One of the famed Grace hotels clings on the edge of the ancient sunken volcano of Santorini, looking over soft blue waters and islands. Though Santorini is one of the world’s most noted destinations, up here on the edge of the caldera you are on your own.
This is a serene, romantic and intimate hotel. From the infinity pool you have views to die for, yet there is almost no one there. That is because most rooms have their own plunge pool. Not just any plunge pool, but a pool with a mesmerizing view. Our accommodation had chairs by our pool – larger suites have sunbeds. We blissed out on sunbeds by the infinity pool, surrounded by sky and sea.
Grace Santorini is so totally right for the Greek islands. There is a style and simplicity that charms, with its bright white walls and the blue of sea and sky repeated like a theme in the décor.
This is luxury with a delicate and authentic touch. There are 20 deluxe rooms and suites, white and fresh in feel with loving touches of candles and fruit, large bathrooms and luxurious amenities.
Service, for which the hotel has won high fame, has the same delicate and authentic touch. The management couple Martina and Joseph are pleasant, accessible and very hands on.
You can dine al fresco poolside or in an intimate restaurant. We found the food excellent and not exorbitant. There is a pool bar, as well as a small gym.
There is also a choice of restaurants in the little town of Fira. We took a beautiful walk along the top of the caldera. With narrow paved streets, Fira clings to the cliffside with stupendous views, charming white houses and blue windows and doors. This little Cycladic town also offers stylish boutiques, blue domed churches, museums and monasteries. Fira is also the place to take your partying.
Note: Grace Santorini is a perfect romantic hideaway for couples on honeymoon or second honeymoon. Not for children or the infirm as there are too many steps up and down. From the road where the hotel car drops you off, you have about 5 or 10 minutes stepping to do to get to the hotel front door. But it’s worth every step and more…and of course, they help you get to paradise with your luggage.
HOW TO GET TO GRACE SANTORINI
15 minutes by car from Santorini International Airport