The ‘first impression’ can be particularly important for a hotel.
Our reaction on arriving at Hotel Aethrio, on the Greek Island of Santorini, was an unrestrained “Wow”!
White stone fence, blue gate, white-and-grey cobblestones, blue window surrounds, white stone buildings, blue sun roof – and a sparkling blue swimming pool.
Now that’s what you call street appeal!
We couldn’t wait to enter the hotel, perched high on an escarpment amid the scenic beauty of Oia village.
And we weren’t disappointed! The warmth of the welcome we received was matched only by the Santorini sunshine.
Our host led us to a fully equipped, two storey cave apartment in a prime position overlooking the pool and sunset deck. A wonderful few days had started.
Here’s our full review of the Hotel Aethrio:
Q: Was the booking process simple and problem-free?
A: Yes, online booking of Hotel Aethrio couldn’t have been easier. After comparing prices and location, we used the hotel’s website to book.
Q: Does the Hotel Aethrio have street appeal?
A: The hotel is off a narrow laneway, but Martin greeted us at the bus stop and carried our bags to our apartment. All we did was marvel at the beauty of the area and the hotel itself.
The Hotel Aethrio is within easy walking distance of the heart of Oia. As we had a fully equipped apartment, we walked to local bakeries and supermarkets to buy ingredients for our meals, coffee etc.
The location is less than one block from the bus terminal where coaches run regularly to the island ferry port, airport and the tourist shopping and restaurant hub of Fira.
A: Smoothly. The reception staff were professional and fast – but thorough.
Q: How was the room’s accessibly for seniors?
A: Unfortunately, there are no lifts in a cave apartment. However, if you are able to cope with a moderate number of stairs, the atmosphere makes it all worthwhile. The curved cave roof and cool walls need to be experienced to be fully understood We loved it all.
Q: Were the rooms big enough?
A: The rooms could not have been better. They were spotlessly clean and large. There was plenty of wardroom space, and the downstairs area had a stove, kettle, plates, cutlery, lounge and TV.
A: It was comfortable and, as the cave apartment was completely insulated from traffic and other noise, we slept soundly
Q: Were there adequate charging points?
A: We had seven electronic devices, including phones and camera equipment, but our Hotel Aethrio apartment catered for this with ease. As well as plenty of power points, there was one either side of the bed, ideal for using mobile phones as alarm clocks.
A: Yes. There were strong wifi signals in our apartment and in the pool area. Top marks for this.
Q: Were other facilities adequate.
A: Yes. Although we didn’t use it, the living room had a big screen TV – and the pool was beautiful.
Q: Was the bathroom to the expected standard?
A: Certainly. There was a large shower recess and a roomy vanity area. As with the rest of the Hotel Aethrio apartment, the bathroom was spotlessly clean and equipped with luxury toiletries.
Q: Did you get breakfast?
A: Breakfast was included in the room rate. There was a well appointed and modern eatery and the food couldn’t be faulted. It was first class.
The breakfast area, bar and, in fact, much of the main part of the hotel was a former sock factory that had been beautifully rebuilt for its current purpose. There was plenty of space and some of the factory’s former machinery was on show, which gave an interesting touch to the room.
A: The Hotel Aethrio staff were friendly, efficient and particularly professional.
We were given valuable information on local bus routes and the best places to view the famous Santorini sunsets.
Nothing was too much trouble for the hotel – and staff certainly looked after us.
A: No. We decided to stay at Oia, rather than Fira township and review the Hotel Aethrio after readers mentioned its great location, facilities and service. They were right. This is a hotel that is doing everything right.
Duration of visit: three nights
Q: Would we return?
A: Without hesitation.
Special mention: the hotel’s swimming pool and sun area is superbly presented and looks awesome.
Our Age-friendly rating
7/10: From our experience, the Aethrio Hotel caters well for all ages. Our shuttle was met by a hotel employee, who carried our luggage and helped us negotiate the narrow laneways of Oia. The hotel itself had a simple layout;was close to bus transport and shops; and boasted easy-to-reach sunset decks and pool area. Our apartment had a number of stone steps inside, but these didn’t challenge our level of fitness.