If your idea of quintessential Santorini is the white-washed walls of Oia and the dramatic caldera it surrounds, Canaves Oia Epitome is here to upend your expectations. Set above the picturesque fishing village of Ammoudi, Epitome is an outlier when it comes to Santorini hotels, but, as in many cases, its differences make it all the more charming.
With just 53 suites and villas, the extremely spacious rooms—a big perk that comes along with being set outside the hustle and bustle of Oia—showcase the barrel-vaulted ceilings that Canaves gets its name from, and unique accents of earthy volcanic rock throughout, a contrast to the white plaster we’ve all come to expect. Thanks to the hotel’s westward-facing setting, all rooms are sunset-facing and have private plunge pools and terraces.
Great for large families, a brand-new five-bedroom villa spans nearly 5,000 square feet and can sleep up to 14 guests. In addition to a private infinity pool and 3,400-square foot terrace, this secluded villa, the largest at the resort, has a private spa facility and option for private chef and butler services.
While it might be hard to leave your suite, you’d be remiss not to decamp to one of the two infinity pools, the newest of which, opened this year, shows off an incredible unobstructed Aegean Sea view, with “floating” landscaping and private sunbeds for relaxation. Meanwhile, the lower pool’s shallow entry is great for guests with children. (Both are prime spots for sunset-watching, with a signature Sleeping Beauty cocktail—gin, mastiha, cucumber, melon, and pink peppercorn—in hand.) Guests can also indulge in Epitome’s small but soon-to-expand spa, where treatments include a lava shell massage.
The gastronomic delights at Canaves Oia Epitome are a feast for the senses as well. The hotel’s fine dining restaurant, Elements, serves three different menu variations on chef Tassos Stefatos’ local vision, using ingredients like local tsalafouti cheese and honey to top truffle-scented fry bread. Meanwhile, brand-new all-day restaurant Omnia focuses on fresh-off-the-boat seafood and Greek classics, including a stand-out giouvetsi studded with sumptuous langoustine.
Santorini is a special place, but with many hotels facing the caldera on the cliffside, ubiquitous stairs can be both challenging and hazardous to guests with mobility issues or small children. Epitome’s location just outside Oia eliminates this issue, with many rooms requiring no more than a step or two to access.
Beyond the hotel’s confines, the charming village of Oia awaits exploration, and Epitome is on-hand to make it happen, adeptly setting up catamaran sailing excursions, meals at its four sister properties, or simply a transfer to town to explore this picturesque haven on your own.
Location: Oia, Greece
The Vibe: Sophisticated tranquility, combining the enchanting beauty of Santorini with the epitome of luxurious relaxation.
Food + Drink: All-day restaurant Omnia shines with local flair, while a sunset supper at fine-dining-focused Elements is not to be missed.
Amenities: Rooftop Bar, Pet-Friendly Accommodations, Pool, Free-Wifi, Housekeeping Services, Complimentary Bike Rentals, Special Rates At Nearby Barry’s and Yogasource.
Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: The seamless blend of breathtaking natural surroundings and modern Cycladic architecture creates an unforgettable haven of serenity and indulgence.
What’s Nearby? Naval Museum of Oia, Oia, Archeological Museum of Thera
Any Personal Neighborhood Recs? Waterfront Armeni Restaurant is a classic Greek taverna with some of the freshest seafood you’ll find anywhere. You can get there via boat or climb down the stairs in town.
Rooms: 53 suites and villas
Pricing: Suites start at $635 per night early in the shoulder season but skyrocket during peak season (June–September).
Closest Airport: Santorini (Thira) International Airport (JTR)
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