“A sophisticated, discreet mansion with restored Cycladic vault-rooms in a hilltop village on Greece’s most spectacular island”
Although the name sounds like some futuristic space-travel gadget out of Star Trek, the Zannos Melathron (which actually means the manor-house of Mr Zannos) is liable to take you back in time… to an age of cave-dwellers. Most of the suites are cut wholly or partly into the soft tuff rock: labyrinthine, vaulted rooms with tiny ledges and windows, carved in the traditional style of Santorini’s earthquakophobic people. Beautifully designed, with sumptuous curves, arcaded partitions, and stuccoed walls in ochres and mauves, the effect is soothing and cool.
The most troglodytic are the Canava Superior Suites - a staggered succession of small, barrel-vaulted room. Non-wombles might prefer the Canava Family Suites in the overground poolside building: high-vaulted rooms with a wooden mezzanine providing space for 2 double bedrooms as well as a spacious sitting room whose drinks cabinet is nattily disguised as a wardrobe. The Canava Junior Suites sit around a small courtyard below the main ‘melathron’, feeling slightly overlooked. For maximum privacy, splash out on a Canava Honeymoon Suite, set in its own courtyard below the terrace.
The intimate hotel restaurant serves up traditional Santorinian dishes on the rooftop terrace or in the mansion's grand dining room. Ingredients are locally sourced, and the chef is willing to create meals based on personal taste (if given enough notice). We were prepared a classy Greek salad with powerful local capers and olives the size of walnuts, followed by a subtle fillet of sea-bass pepped up by a gritty olive tapenade. Excellent wines from Greece and worldwide can be ordered with the meal, or sampled in a wine-tasting, with cigars and a wide range of digestifs to finish. Private dining can also be arranged in the mansion.
For breakfast, at a table on the panoramic balcony, order omelettes, yoghurt and honey, pastries and French jams to go with your cappucino and fresh orange juice.
If you feel like eating out, Pyrgos has a couple of simple but charming tavernas a short, steep walk away. One is hidden beneath the church tower, the other overlooks the main plateia (the roadhead where the bus turns around). Both serve good, unpretentious local fare, including fava (split-pea purée), aubergines baked with local cherry tomatoes, and a variety of honey-and-almond based sweets.
Well behaved children are welcome, but there's more of a grown up vibe. Plus activities here aren't very child-friendly.
The Senior Suites have 2 double bedrooms, the Canava Suites 2+1, and the Master Suite can sleep up to 6. Cots and babysitting can be arranged on request
Babysitting available by arrangement
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking