Between Santorini’s internationally renowned reputation as one of the most romantic destinations in the world, and the fact the word ‘iliovasilema’ translates to ‘sunset’, I was loving my stay at the Iliovasilema Suites before I had even stepped foot in the hotel! After a short drive from the airport, making our way through the streets of Santorini, I arrived footpath overlooking the stunning ocean and islands before us.
White stone steps lead down the cliff face to the reception area, which can be difficult to navigate with heavy baggage, however the friendly staff will be happy to carry them for you if you ask. The warm smile of the receptionist and her thick accent was a welcoming sight, and after a quick introduction to the island and best places to go, I was skipping off to my suite.
Tucked into the cliff faces of Imerovigli, Iliovasilema Suites presents a modern take on the traditional Greek architecture. Divided into 4 levels, my suite was on the lowest level which presented uninterrupted views of the ocean and Caldera. The room decor and design was a firm balance between traditional and modern, with the cool palate and soothing lilac tones enhancing the romantic aroma of the island. The hotel has deliberately chosen quality over quantity in their design (there are less then 20 suites in this hotel), which I found reassuring as it communicated their commitment to delivering each customer with an exclusive, luxury experience.
My room was completed with a cute sitting area, a spacious bathroom and a large window which soaked the room in natural light. My favourite feature of this room was without a doubt the private balcony out the front of my room which overlooked the Caldera! The view from the balcony was truly breathtaking and easily one of the best places I’ve ever eaten breakfast at!
LET’S TALK FACILITIES
You’re on a beautiful island. You’ve got decadent views of surrounding islands and the ocean, stretching further then your eye can see. It’s taken you months of anticipation to get here, and really, the only thing left to do is enjoy it. Thankfully, the Iliovasilema suites makes this as easy as possible for you by providing ample relaxation areas. Not only is there a cozy lounge area stocked with board games and comfy couches, but visitors are also invited to swim in the deep pool and relax on the sun-baking chairs, both of which entertain decadent views of the ocean below. I did find the pool relatively small, however this lack of space was compensated for in its generous depth. The outside lounge area maintained the Suites’ intimate atmosphere and provided a continuation of the romantic atmosphere. Iliovasilema Suites have created an environment that breathes tranquility and oozes luxury and even now, days later, I can’t help but smile at the memory of it.
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
When visiting Santorini, you’re going to want to stay near either Oia or Thira, which are the two hottest spots of the island. Oia is considered the more tourist-heavy section of the island whilst Thira provides a more local experience. Iliovasilema Suites are a 20 minute walk from Thira, which means visitors get to experience the best of the local town during the day, and the isolation of a secluded area at night.
The footpath to Thira winds along traditional streets and provides incredible photo opportunities at each turn, so whether you’re interested in visiting the town or not, it’s a must do for every visitor. Within the town of Thira you will find everything you need, including some wonderful local shopping, Greek souvenirs and fine dining restaurants.
WHAT ABOUT THE STAFF?
The staff of this hotel were so special I feel as though they deserve their own category! In many luxury resorts it’s hard to find a balance between being welcoming without overstepping the boundaries of professionalism, and often this comes across as a clinical customer service experience. However at Iliovasilema Suites, this was not an issue at all. I’m not sure whether it was the attitudes of the business, or the Greek culture itself, but each smile, conversation and gesture carried out by the staff was so genuine it allows you to feel so warmly relaxed without even trying. Every query or concern I had was answered swiftly, and their thick Greek accents was calmly endearing.
WAIT…IS IT VEGAN FRIENDLY?
Of all places in the world, you’d think that an Island in Greece would be the last place a vegan could find food, but actually, I found this to be an incredibly accommodating hotel. Included in the price of each room is breakfast, which is delivered to your room and served on your balcony. Whilst the original delivery included breads, cakes and pastries, a quick chat with the staff meant I was able to re-organise my meal to include no animal products. Instead I was served freshly baked bread and fruit salad, with tea and juice to cleanse my palate after the food. Between the the hotel willingly accommodated for my vegan attitudes, and my incredible view, each morning here was the perfect start to any day.
Whilst left unspecified of the distributing brand, the Iliovasilema Suites toiletries were generically branded so I can only assume they were produced by a larger manufacturing company that uses generic toiletries ingredients. Consequently, I would advise against using them as I don’t believe them to be vegan. However a quick chat to the friendly house-keeping staff assured me untouched toiletries would be reused for the next guest as to avoid wastage, so if you don’t open them you won’t be contributing to their production in this respect.
THINGS TO NOTE
Be sure to stock up on bottled water before your stay, as Santorini tap water is unfortunately undrinkable. For more information as to what to do during your visit, stay tuned for my upcoming posts on the sights of Santorini!
Rooms starting from €299.