On the highest point of every honeymooner’s favourite Greek island, Santorini Heights is formed from just four whitewashed suites – meaning you’ll almost have this heavenly private perch to yourself. The owners are relaxed, generous hosts, regularly opening up their herb garden for group barbecues and generally championing this volcanic landmass and all of its glorious produce. The suites have everything you’ll need to keep you entertained (pool, terrace, kitchen…), but make sure you venture out to the neighbouring village of Pyrgos, where you’ll find trad tavernas, chic boutiques and buzzy bars.
Get this when you book through us:
A welcome bag of edible goodies (a bottle of Santorian white wine; olives and olive oil; vinegar; sundried tomatoes; cheese; eggs; ham; and fruit and vegetables from the hotel's garden)
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability and a 50 per cent charge. Earliest check-in, 2pm, also flexible.
Double rooms from $317.41 (€287), excluding tax at 13 per cent.
Rates usually include breakfast – smoked salmon, eggs, cooked-to-order dishes and cereals.
Learn how to cook with island produce grown on site by booking onto a cooking class.
The hotel closes in early November until the end of March.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout, car park. In rooms: Nespresso coffee machine; flatscreen TV; Bluetooth speaker; kitchen; natural bath products.
Our favourite rooms
There are only four suites and a private villa to choose from, and each has its own charms. If water temperature’s important to you (and you enjoy nit-picking), the plunge pools in the Garden and Herb suites are four degrees warmer than the (bigger) pools in Cactus and Vine. Cactus is closest to the roadside, but we were wooed by its outdoor space, which includes a communal table and sunken sitting area, as well as the private pool. Right at the top of the hotel, the Summit Villa has the loftiest views and the most secluded location.
There’s no communal pool, just the one in your suite.
There won’t be many other guests to compete with, so anything goes – you’ll even be able to wear heels, unlike at most other precipitous Santorini properties.
Spa therapists, personal trainers and yoga or Pilates teachers can drop by your suite.
Ages 14 and up are welcome. There are sofa beds in three of the suites and in the private villa; the cost for an extra person is 25 per cent of the stay.
The hotel has organic kitchen gardens, everything that can be is recycled or composted, solar power is used, and all cleaning products are biodegradable.
There’s no formal restaurant at the hotel, but communal barbecues are regularly laid on for guests in the herb garden, where a table is set up. These friendly affairs often move on to the dining room next to the lobby, where guests continue their local-produce odyssey with wine and cheese tastings. At other times, guests are encouraged to dine on their own private terrace. Make use of your in-suite kitchen, or ring through for room service; snacks are supplied by the hotel or, with a couple of hours’ notice, dishes from acclaimed nearby restaurant Selene will appear at your door. Breakfast is served daily and ordered the evening before.
There’s no bar, but drinks can be requested via room service, and there’s a minibar and wine cooler in your suite. The hotel owners have an impress collection of wine to sample, or order one of the garden-herb cocktails.
This is a laidback operation with no fixed hours, but staff are on-call via WhatsApp if you’re desperate for a drink/almost anything else.
Meals and snacks can be ordered between 12.30pm and 9pm.
The hotel is on the highest (hence the name) part of the island, a short drive from the village of Pyrgos.
The island’s main airport is eight kilometres away; expect the drive to take around 20 minutes. Hotel transfers cost €30 each way for up to three passengers (after that, it’s an additional €10 a person); €100 will get you a fancier vehicle. The same rates apply for transfers to and from the port.
The hotel is a short drive uphill from Pyrgos. It’s recommended that you have your own car for getting around the island; the staff can arrange hire for you, and you can leave the car at the hotel when you depart. There’s free parking during your stay, too.
Transfers from the local helipad (three kilometres away) can be organised by the hotel. Staff will also be able to assist if you want to arrive by chopper or private jet from Athens or Mykonos.
Worth getting out of bed for
The crowds will be flocking to Oia for sunset and they have a point, but there’s more to this Aegean island. The hotel can arm you with directions for some view-chasing hikes, including from Fira to Oia, around the volcano, and to Ancient Thira, a city on the ridge of a mountain. The neighbouring village of Pyrgos is filled with 12th-century alleys, pretty churches, galleries and some of the best restaurants on the island. Wine has been made on Santorini for thousands of years – see how with a trip to Venetsanos or Gavalas. Cinema buffs will love a trip to the outdoor cinema in Kamari. The hotel can also organise a sailing tour of the local coast on a yacht or catamaran.
For authentic Greek food in a traditional-taverna setting, head to Cava Alta in Pyrgos, just down the road from the hotel; its online menu is helpfully illustrated with appetite-whetting food porn, rather than plain old words. It’s a 25-minute drive north toLa Maison in Imerovigli, but worth the distance for the fine-dining fusion dishes on offer. The views are as impressive as the meals at The Athenian House, where the terrace overlooks Skaros Rock, so be sure to be seated in time for sunset.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in Greece and unpacked their ouzo and olives, a full account of their island break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Santorini Heights…
Santorini Heights, as you may have guessed, occupies a lofty perch at the island’s highest point – and though this landmass has views coming out of its volcanoes, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better vantage point than this one. With just four suites, it’s blissfully crowd-free.
It’s a slick but laidback operation, with informal barbecues thrown by the owners a couple of times a week, staff who gladly divulge their mobile number so you can WhatsApp over any requests, and meals on wheels from an award-winning local establishment in lieu of a restaurant on site. The decor is as whitewashed as your wildest Aegean fantasies, with alcoves, clay floors and wicker baskets. You’ll be left to your own devices, whether that means staking out your terrace and pool, heading into Pyrgos, one of the prettiest villages on the island, or raiding the home-made bread and cakes laid out for guests in the communal kitchen. One thing’s for certain: you’ll be leaving the crowds to it.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Santorini Heights’s Guestbook below.
We had a wonderful few days in the Cactus Suite in late August. The suite was fantastic, with stunning views, and the staff were very helpful. Thanks to Ilias and the whole team.
Stayed on 26 Aug 2019
The stunning location and beautiful villa perched on the highest point in Santorini with incredible views across the coast and Aegean. The service was absolutely faultless. Ilias and his team went out of their way to make our holiday stress-free and memorable, arranging our transfers, a rental car to be delivered to the villa when we got there and booking activities and restaurants for us. The property is so peaceful, away from the hectic tourist crowds of Oia, close to the lovely village of Pyrgos and Black Beach, both of which had several good restaurants. Breakfast was served in the villa and was generous and delicious. Thank you to Ilias and the team for a memorable stay – it was one of the highlights of our three week vacation in Greece.
To leave disappointed.
Stayed on 30 Jun 2019
My husband and I stayed in the Cactus Suite at Santorini Heights for our 10th wedding anniversary (beginning of June). We couldn't have felt more welcome by the staff and George in particular made sure that we had everything we needed and the best restaurants booked. Our experience of the island would have been very different without his local knowledge of how to find to less touristy but quite incredible places to eat and drink. Our suite was beautifully decorated in a very minimal, clean and modern way and despite not being on the caldera as such, we still had fabulous views being at the highest point of the island, and with far more space and privacy which was certainly worth it. I wouldn't now stay anywhere else on the island. I would strongly recommend hiring a car (we hired a convertible mini which definitely added to the fun of travelling around the island) and were able to visit the great spots we were advised to go and also avoid the crowds. George and his team were like a private travel guide, emailing me suggestions before our trip and making all of our bookings. There's no need to bring a travel guide. Nothing was too much trouble. The breakfasts, included in the price, were exceptional. Overall it was a fantastic place to stay and made all the more special by the staff. We will certainly be recommending to our friends although it should be a well kept secret!