“A stylish and indulgent hotel in a gloriously romantic setting on Greece's most photogenic island”
The 22 rooms are spread over 7 levels down the cliffside. The beauty of this is not only privacy - it means that all have awesome sea views, most overlooking the caldera and Skaros Rock. Inside, things are pristine and uncluttered: chic white decor, kingsize beds decked out in crisp white cottons, perhaps an oversized black and white photo on the wall. They’re very contemporary, yet fresh flowers and cushions prevent them from looking stark.
For those who care about their gadgets, all the mod cons are in place - WiFi, iPod and dock, satellite plasma TV, DVD player. For those who care about their luxury, all the boutique boxes have been ticked - rain showers, a 7-pillow menu, summer goose-down duvets, Apivita toiletries (the new Korres, we are told). There are even oil-burning vaporisers with a choice of scents, should you not like the fresh sea air...
Deluxe rooms are the smallest, though at Grace Santorini that still means a beautiful 35sq.m. room plus a private outdoor terrace with a plunge pool for 2. Next up are the Junior Suites, with wider terraces and indoor seating areas. The Honeymoon Suites have chairs and comfy bed linen, as well as sensational views towards Thirasia island, Oia, and the Aegean sea. Superior Suites are the highest on the hill, with panoramic sea views and enormous outdoor terraces.
The VIP Suite sounds delectable, with a steam shower in its ensuite bathroom and an oversized plunge pool on its terrace. However, king of the castle has to be the Grace Suite: cushioned loungers on the terrace, a separate interior plunge pool and a hammam in the bathroom. This can be arranged with 1 bedroom or 2.
Most recently, the Santorini Suites and a super-luxurious Villa have been added to the ensemble. We haven't seen them yet, but the latter boasts 2 palatial ensuite bedrooms, a private kitchen and spa, plus a stunning outdoor living space with lounge areas and a large pool. The property also comes with a personal concierge and the option of a private chef. Needless to say, nothing will be to much trouble...
Meals are served on the cliff-top terrace, complete with its heart-stopping views, or in the high-ceilinged airy restaurant if the weather is bad (unlikely). By all accounts, the food is excellent. Days begin on a suitably indulgent note with a champagne breakfast served until 11.00am - or all day if you ask nicely. Fresh coffee and homemade breads and pastries are just the appetiser. Eggs any way you like are served with bacon, sausage, haloumi cheese and olives. The homemade pancakes come recommended, or for traditionalists there are cheeses, meats, fruit salads and homemade muesli. Freshly squeezed juices and smoothies will help with your 5-a-day.
After you’ve recovered your appetite via a couple of lazy laps in the pool, there’s a Mediterranean all-day menu to explore - mezze for two, salads, sandwiches... all the usual suspects though, we suspect, rather superior in taste. At dinner, the terrace is aglow with moonlight and flickering candles. Chef Spiros Agious's menu is a fine dining take on Greek favourites; think prawn giouvetsi or sea bass moussaka, an innovative version of this all time favourite Greek dish. For special occasions, you can also request a Romantic Dinner - set menus served on your private cave by the pool.
If you’d prefer to eat out, there are several good options within walking distance. Saltsa serves contemporary Greek food and Santorini specialities - it gets good feedback. Koukoumavlos in Thira is award-winning; Mediterranean cuisine is served alongside a terrific view from the terrace. Further afield (reception can arrange taxis), Dimitri in the pretty harbour town of Ammoudi is a traditional fish tavern, while Nychteri in Kamari has an excellent reputation across the island.