Where to Stay in SantoriniFirst Look – Greek Icon
Once in a while, a hotel doesn’t just welcome you with open arms and ultra-plush pillow-top Duxiana mattresses. It actually serves as a city’s icon. Think of the sail-shaped (and self-proclaimed seven-star) Burj al Arab in Dubai; or Miami’s Art Deco, Morris Lapidus-designed Fontainebleau; or the tony Savoy in London, former host to Sir Winston Churchill and Frank Sinatra. They’re iconic because they take the essence of a place and infuse it into every crevice. And in the case of the recently debuted Iconic Santorini (with a name like “iconic,”it better be), by crevices we mean 22 rooms notched right into the face of Santorini’s famous volcanic caldera.
If you’re going to pick a point to dig into a caldera, it might as well be the highest (hello, views). Iconic Santorini is set in the quaint village of Imerovigli at the peak of the Greek Island’s cliffs. If you can tear yourself away from the panoramic vistas, Imerovigli is in a prime spot close to Skaros medieval castle ruins, the cliffside Chapel of St. George, delightful markets and local tavernas. Or, rent a scooter and cruise to nearby Fira to black-sand Perissa beach and then back again to the village of Oia for a phenomenal sunset finish.
When it comes to style and amenities at Iconic Santorini, all things point to Cycladic. The cavernous, high-ceilinged (and individually decorated) rooms – some with indoor grotto pools and all with personal verandas – sport whitewashed arches and cobalt touches in typical Hellenic fashion. If you’d like a heated and jetted outdoor pool in addition to your indoor one, and obviously you would, book the Iconic Suite and you can spend all day dipping back and forth.
Meanwhile, the Pergola Restaurant is so homey you might as well be dining on your best friend’s terrace, though we doubt your best friend can make meat keftedes and pasta skordomakarona like this. And we hear the chef is more than happy to be your BFF. He invites guests to watch him in action and changes meals on a daily basis depending on your preferences. So don’t be surprised to find spanakopita on the restaurant blackboard after you happen to mention your constant craving for it since you arrived in Greece. To top it all off, there’s the outdoor infinity pool and sun terrace overlooking the Aegean Sea and the ancient caldera – a gorgeous expanse of azure cradled by a crescent of charcoal. Yeah, we think they’ve got the iconic thing down.
Note: Their soft opening in August 2013 was just a tease. This April, they opened in full swing.
(Photos courtesy of Iconic Santorini)