CLINGING TO THE CLIFFTOP ABOVE THE DEEP BLUE AEGEAN, Astra Suites boast bewitching views over Santorini’s caldera. And those pinch-yourself views are not all that make this boutique Greek island hideaway a winner.
Astra Suites' heart-stopping views, intimate style and spot-on service are up there on the top rung. Astra means “stars” in Greek, and this place is a dazzler in the island's hotel constellation: it's everything you imagine a Santorini caldera hotel should be.
Far below us, toy-sized ships were gliding across the indigo waters of the island’s wide volcanic bay. Sunsets – savoured over a glass of wine from our terrace – couldn't be bettered. And the small but inviting infinity pool is just the place for serene days on a daybed or lounger, with an iced cocktail rustled up by Astra’s obliging barman. It’s all tailor made for lazy Greek island days.
Built in the style of traditional Cyclades cave houses, Astra Suites are literally carved out of the side of a cliff, and the top-end suites seduce with private jacuzzis or pools. All have a balcony or verandah offering mesmerising views of the sea, volcano and sunset. We couldn't tear ourselves away.
Inside, the mood is one of pleasing simplicity, with whitewashed walls, arched doorways, polished tiled floors, and a minimalist feel. There’s a spacious lounge as well as a fully equipped kitchen. Walls are hung with works of local artists, shelves are dotted with candles and most units have a CD/DVD player.
Stylish poolside suites are just feet from the water, while those higher up are more private, with fabulous views of the caldera. Giving added privacy and space, they are decorated in contemporary island style. You can breakfast poolside or on your own terrace each morning.
Happy to push the boat out? Sprawling Deluxe suites come with their own outdoor jacuzzi or even a private infinity pool with spellbinding views of the Aegean. You can’t beat soaking in your hot tub or pool in the twilight, sipping chilled Santorini wine, watching the lights of ferries and fishing boats twinkle in the sea below.
Starlit dining on the terrace with views over the Aegean makes dinner at Astra Suites a must. And if all this isn’t indulgent enough, you can raise the pamper rating yet further with a session in the hotel's very own spa, where a menu of massage and treatment options await.
Set on the quiet side of the island, the village of Imerovigli is nicely tranquil, yet close enough to the action. You’re a scenic 20 minute walk from Fira – Santorini’s capital – with its shops and nightlife, and a short cab ride from Oia, with its chi-chi boutiques and bars. It’s easy to rent a scooter, jeep or car to get around.
Astra Suites is definitely not a place for kids – or for those who hate lots of steps – and it certainly ain't cheap. But with impeccable attention to detail and the warmth of manager George and his super-hospitable team – it definitely delivers.
© Room for Romance
Astra Suites was reviewed for Room for Romance by Mairiona Cotter
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A complimentary bottle of Santorini wine and fresh flowers.
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