As requested by a dear friend of mine for romantic travel destinations, I’m going to share about the unforgettable time I had at the best romantic hotel in the world, Anastasis Apartments, Imerovigli. Perhaps after reading it, he can get some ideas of where to take his lovely wife.
Anyone who’s ever opened a travel magazine (Conde Nast Traveler) sooner, or later will see one of ubiquitous Santorni postcard pictures. It’s basically some sort of variation of Oia, the famous cliff top, mosaic village of white houses and blue domes that boasts the most amazing sunsets in the world.
(photo taken by me!)
Santorini, referred to as Thira in Greek, is an island in the Agean Sea. The island, often attributed to the mythological lost city of Atlantis, is one of Greece’s brightest treasures, epitomizing the ultimate, jet-setters’ vacation. The shining crown of Santorini is the caldera located basically on the west side of the island.
Part of the magic of my unforgettable time at Anastasis Apartments was the actual anticipation of vacationing there.I was in the midst of finishing my master’s thesis and I couldn’t help but indulge in my favorite procrastination pastime – perusing through Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice List. What better way than utilizing real people’s experiences than reading a travel website based on genuine recommendations?
I wanted to reward myself and summer was fast approaching without a holiday booked, or destination in sight. My heart was set a romantic holiday so I went straight to Trip Advisor’s Best Hotels for Romance category (in the world) and Anastasis Apartments was at the very top. I also thought that the time couldn’t be more perfect, coinciding with our impending 1st year anniversary. What better way to spend it than on the ultra romantic island of Santorini?
My Dutch husband, bless his heart, has learned from experience that I often get ahead of myself (I’m an eternal optimist) and casually warned me that perhaps I was a bit too late. If Anastasis was really that fabulous, renowned for world class service, AND quite affordable (read = less than €500 per night), our chances for a reservation for the summer would be next to none. Rather than wasting time with an email, I decided to call them directly instead.
The worst that could happen would be that my Santorini dreams would be crushed, but at least I tried. I also thought that my charm might just help me. Low and behold, we were able to maneuver a booking via a possible last-minute cancellation.
I really wish I could tell you and show you more about the fascinating anthropological sites on the island, or the dramatic coastline with various red, white and black beaches scattered throughout the island.
Except I really can’t because……
we barely left the hotel…
We basically stayed at Anastasis for an entire week, seven nights and eight days. The three times we did venture out it was to make short, but sweet nearby trips to Oia, Fira and Imerovigli, the quintessential touristic stopping grounds of Santorini.
I had a sneaking suspicion that Anastasis Apartments was going to be a nice place to stay. However, I never expected it to be as exceptional as it turned out to be. The moment I arrived at the hotel and stared out into the caldera, I had this strange feeling of…walking on clouds. The utter stillness and immaculateness of the place added to the illusion. It was unbelievably…perfect.
Anastasis is also a hotel after a true foodie’s heart.
Each morning we woke up to a delightful breakfast of homemade baked breads, croissants, orange juice, Greek yoghurt, hard boiled eggs and fresh fruits.
Then there were the complimentary snacks at 2:00pm and at around 5:00pm.
Despina, the owner of the hotel, is one of the most inspirational woman I’ve ever met in my life. She expects nothing but absolute professionalism from her staff. And if perfect was attainable, Despina would have managed to excel in it. Best of all, one can see that everyone that works there is just cheerful. Not only did the really love their jobs, but they also had this talent for making guests feel wonderful.
We were spoiled beyond belief. They’ve managed to excel in the art of providing a lot of privacy while also appearing out of no where. Serious ninja skills my friends. It was at first a bit awkward for me since I’ve grown up being independent and not having things done for me. Let’s just say that it didn’t take long for me to acclimate to the idea of having a pool boy (or three) around.
Stay tuned for next Tuesday! I am going to post pictures of the places that we visited and the two excursions we managed to squeeze in!
1. Catch a 30 minute flight from Athens International Airport (Elefterios Venizelos Airport) to Santorni.
Unless you are feeling quite adventurous, have plenty of time on your hands and need some excitement in your life, do not take the ferry. I am grateful for this tip my Greek friends willingly shared with me. I’ve read and heard countless horror stories from others who had quite an uncomfortable time. Repeat, DO NOT take the ferry.
You can catch a direct flight to Santorini from Amsteradam on Transavia with services at the start of April and at the end of October.
2. Book early or be very flexible
Booking for the next season starts in the beginning of October. However, if you remain flexible and polite, you may be able to squeeze in.
Warning: If you have your heart set on lying on a sun lounger all day long and comfortably dipping into the infinity pool, you might set yourself up for disappointment if you book in October. It is the start of the Fall season and the winds might not be in your favor.
3. Let Despina and her staff guide you.
Arguably the best travel experiences we’ve had were the ones where locals gave us their advice. Despina and her staff have got it covered. Utilize their tacit knowledge for a guaranteed unforgettable time.