With its signature whitewashed villages, magnificent views and spectacular sunsets, it’s no wonder that Hollywood A listers such as Eva Longoria, Leonardo DiCaprio, Angelina Jolie, Kendall Jenner and Kit Harington flock to this Greek legend. A stunning gem among a group of islands known as the Cyclades, Santorini is the ultimate spot to explore and enjoy some rest and relaxation.
Where to stay in Santorini
Super-luxe, super-cool, and super everything, the Andronis Concept Wellness Resort is the epitome of sophistication and glamour. As well as providing a service that is world class, this boutique hotel boasts the ultimate in comfort, catering to its guests’ every need. Perched on a clifftop in the village of Imerovigli, it boasts panoramic views of the deep blue Aegean ocean and a huge volcanic caldera - the sea-filled crater created some 3500 years ago when its volcano erupted, giving rise to the legend of the lost city of Atlantis.
Its location and unique architecture are sensational, too. Unlike the traditional white cubes dotted around this crescent-shaped island, the Andronis appears to emerge from the rich volcanic earth like a fort made of golden sandstone. Crafted in curves with spiral staircases and natural hues, its 28 stylish suites have Greek names, not numbers – such as Bios, meaning life - and boast their own heated infinity pools.
One of the only child-friendly luxury hotels in Santorini, there are four family rooms which feature mini, as well as adult bathrobes, and activities, such as cookery classes and yoga, which also cater for youngsters. There’s also a cave cinema, two large infinity pools (offering baskets of complimentary sun cream) and a cavern featuring a waterfall.
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With health, happiness and relaxation as top priorities, guests can partake of an exclusive consultation in which experts design a tailor-made programme based on nutrition, exercise and therapies in the blissful Kallos Spa. With facilities that also include a helipad, tennis court and a cookery school, the Andronis Concept provides the holiday of a lifetime.
For the ultimate romantic location, head to Oia on the north of the island, one of the prettiest villages in the entire Mediterranean, where you can sample the delights of hotels such as the Andronis Boutique or the Andronis Luxury Suites. Set high up on the steep cliffside among the island’s distinctive white cubed buildings, these luxury hotels boast sparkling turquoise pools, unrivalled views and fine dining, and provide the perfect backdrop for the most glorious sunsets.
Where to explore in Santorini
With its quaint cobbled streets, azure domed churches, and white-washed houses layered like sugar cubes tumbling down a steep cliff, the picturesque village of Oia is not be missed. Situated in the north of the island, it commands a breath-taking view of the caldera. The perfect place to sip a cocktail while watching its spectacular sunsets, Oia is also famous for its luxury boutique hotels, high end restaurants and stylish designer shops. Keen walkers can experience the beauty of Santorini on its scenic coastal route from Fire, the capital, to Oia, or take in its renowned sites and secret places known only to locals with a ‘Greek Friend’ tour guide organised by the Andronis Concept Wellness Resort. Capture the beauty of the dramatic coastline by setting sail in a catamaran around the caldera and its bubbling hot springs, or join the jet set in a helicopter ride to the neighbouring islands of Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes, and the chic historic capital, Athens.
Where to pamper the senses in Santorini
Tucked away in a cool, cavernous environment at the heart of the Andronis Concept Wellness Resort is the biggest spa on Santorini. The Kallos – which means ‘good’ in Greek - Spa certainly lives up to its name, offering an abundance of soothing and revitalising treatments tailored to guests’ individual needs. Step into the zen zone with its signature ‘Bliss Experience’ or sample the soothing effects of its Polynesia spa ritual and holistic massage. Put a spring in your step with an early morning yoga session, where the spectacular view alone from the open-air yoga room will set you up for the day.
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Foodies can experience the delights of Greek cuisine by learning how to prepare it under the guidance of the Andronis’s executive chef. For some chill-out time, book a sunbed or four-poster cabana at Sea Side, a super-trendy restaurant and bar at the black beach of Perivolos, one of the best beaches on the island. At the touch of a button at your table, you can summon a waiter to take your order, and as you recline sipping a cocktail or flute of chilled champagne, soak up the ambient music before taking a dip in the cool Aegean.
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Where to go in Santorini
As well as the buzzing capital, Fira, and the vibrant village of Oia, visit the charming medieval village of Pyrgos and explore its steep, winding alleyways. History lovers will be fascinated by the archaeological site at Akrotiri where a Minoan settlement was buried beneath lava during the volcanic eruption.
Where to shop in Santorini
A shopping excursion to Oia - an Aladdin’s cave of chic boutiques - is not to be missed. Wander the vibrant alleyways lined with unique little emporiums selling exquisite handcrafted jewellery, sumptuous fashion and exquisite art by local artists and designers. If it’s designer sunglasses you desire, treat yourself to a chic new pair from Chanel, Gucci and Dior. And for discerning fashionistas who prefer not to venture far from their sun lounger beside the Andronis Concept’s infinity pool, the hotel’s Agora boutique is a stylish treasure trove of fine jewellery, silk kaftans, cool swimwear and fabulous creations from contemporary designers, including Paul Smith, Chiara Boni, Mary Katrantzou, and Athena Andronis.
Where to eat in Santorini
This croissant-shaped island boasts a cornucopia of the finest cuisine, and where better to begin your gastronomic experience than the Throubi restaurant at the Andronis Concept Wellness Resort. Aptly named after an aromatic purple herb which grows on the island, its ethos is to serve nutritionally balanced Mediterranean dishes with the freshest raw ingredients from its own organic garden. Against a chic backdrop of natural materials and hues, the restaurant is perched high on a clifftop, offering diners delicious dishes such as sea bream with wild greens, tender beef glazed with bourbon, and a world class wine menu to accompany its spectacular view of the ocean. From June to September the Andronis hosts a Gastronomy Festival with menus curated by world famous chefs at its three unique restaurants. Pop over to Oia for a romantic evening of fine dining at the Lycabettus or Lauda restaurants, where an explosion of flavours combined with sensational views of the deep blue caldera create an unforgettable experience that’s truly out of this world.
Suites at Andronis Concept begin at £495 per night inc breakfast; visit andronisconcept.com. Easyjet flies from London to Thira, Santorini from £206 return; visit easyjet.com.