The Andronis hotel group has the monopoly on luxury accommodation in Santorini - and, specifically, the whitewashed clifftop town of Oia with its iconic blue domed churches and fiery sunsets.
We picked Andronis Arcadia for its pared back aesthetic, serene spa and poolside vibes before packing up and moving a few minutes away to the ultra-luxe, hyper-romantic caves of the Andronis Luxury Suites.
The sunset is big business in Santorini with influencers and tourists tusselling in a nightly elbow fight for the best view of the pink and orange skies. But Andronis Arcadia has parked itself on arguably the most coveted piece of real estate in Oia so you can see the blazing transformation from your sun lounger, cocktail in hand. The hotel’s yoga instructor performs a nightly sun salutation to celebrate — it’s magical.
Andronis Luxury Suites sits in the heart of Oia with its jigsaw caves staggered down and along the cliffs. It’s a 25-minute drive to both properties from Fira airport.
Andronis Arcadia is cool, calm and incredibly zen. Think chilled hedonism. There’s a must-book spa (more on which later) and a resident poolside DJ. Start the day with a fresh fruit smoothie and finish it with a pitcher of Santorini sangria and that sunset. At the heart of everything is the pool — polished concrete, chunky low-slung linen sun loungers, a sunken swim-up bar - and its poolside restaurant Pacman — trendy reclaimed wood furniture, gorgeous staff and rattan everything.
The hotel is modelled on a traditional Greek village and the cubist white-washed suites (all with a view of the Aegean) are slotted jigsaw-style along the shoreline. Each comes with a plunge pool, suntrap terrace and infinitely instagrammable pampas grass. Rooms are pared back with wicker chairs, light neutrals and more rattan. The sunset suites offer more privacy but are within easy access to the pool and restaurant.
Over at Luxury Suites, the higgledy-piggedly resort clings to the cliffs of the caldera. Flat shoes are recommended and a walk up from the pool will leave your thighs burning. Andronis coined the concept of the cave house and still does it better than the young pretenders. The caves are simple with more polished concrete and simple interiors — because, really, it’s all about the private terrace and the views. Get up early to watch the mists dance off the Aegean in the morning light.
Food & drink
At Andronis Arcadia it’s all about poolside restaurant Pacman. Breakfast is hearty with Greek pastries, made to order omelettes, creamy greek yoghurt (the kind of which you’ll find impossible to get at home) served with any topping you can dream of and fresh juices (we loved the Lava Blood with beetroot, ginger, water, lemon and kale). For lunch, fresh sushi, local classics and chilled bottles of assyrtiko make for a lovely lingering break from the sun.
More formal dining can be found courtesy of head chef Stefanos Kolimadis at Opson restaurant where the tasting menu is based on ingredients used in Ancient Greece and modelled on the dishes loved by philosophers such as Aristotle, Plato and Omiros.
The Luxury Suites encourage you to have one of the butlers deliver the a la carte breakfast to your private terrace. No great hardship. Pre-order from the extensive four-page menu the previous night. Come nightfall, treat yourself to at least one meal at al fresco restaurant Lycabettus. It has won Greece’s answer to a Michelin star three times and the nine-course degustation menu is a showboating masterclass in outstanding cooking. The menu changes but expect sunchoke foam with hazelnut ice cream and truffle to start, wagyu striploin with celeriac pomme souffle and black truffle Japanese beef sauce is a solid main and round it off with poached peaches with verbena, moscato and almond. It’s not cheap (185€ per person (without wines) and 323€ per person (with wines), but it will be one of those meals you bore people about for years to come.
The hotel group will host its annual Andronis Gastronomy Festival this summer which sees resident chefs host a series of pop-up dinners. Jason Atherton kicked off proceedings in June and still to come is Viki Geunes of Zilte in Antwerp; Paco Morales of NOOR in Spain; Niklas Esktedt of Ekstedt in London and Alexandros Tsiotinis of CTC in Athens.
As of summer 2022, there are two pools at Andronis Arcadia and a third under construction so sunlounger surfers can take pleasure in working their way around them all. The Evexia spa offers up everything from extensive tailored three-hour treatments to manicures and pedicures. For those in need of a major reset, Dr Zulia Frost is famous for her hair profiling test. In just 20 minutes with a single strand, she can create a full wellness profile and accompanying treatment plan. ILA Beyond products are used throughout which are organic and vegan. A treatment is worth it alone for access to the relaxation room. Hop into the hammock or curl up on a day bed with the olive tree-scented breeze blowing in and views of the rustic farmland and Aegean beyond.
Away from dry land, the hotel offers a half-day island tour aboard its sleek Andronis Feretti yacht. Lunch and full crew included. Over at Lycabettus restaurant at sister hotel Luxury Suites, private wine tasting sessions can be arranged for just one couple per night.
Despite its precarious position, the Luxury Suites has also managed to squeeze the Mare Sanus spa into the clifftops. The hotel’s infinity pool and charming bar is carved into the rocks with those beautiful ocean views. It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful spot on the island.
It’s easy to spend money in Santorini and the winding cobbled streets of Oia are the best place to do it. From designer boutiques to local craftsmanship, there’s plenty to draw the eye and the credit card. A trip to a local winery is also well worth the effort.
Wear comfy shoes and take the 100 sweaty steps (avoiding the donkeys) down to Amoudi Bay where a handful of seafood restaurants sit on the water’s edge. We loved Sunset Amoudi (ask for a waterfront table) and Amoudi Fish Tavern for fresh fish suppers.
Honeymooners, friends, adults — the Luxury Suites is a child-free zone
Andronis Arcadia, from £490 per night including daily breakfast; andronis.com/hotels/andronis-arcadia
Andronis Luxury Suites, from £555 including daily breakfast; andronis.com/hotels/andronis-luxury-suites