Travelling tens of thousands of kilometres to watch the sunset sounds a little bit ridiculous. But when you make the journey and see the sky slowly transform from blues to oranges, with a whole spectrum of awe-inspiring shades in between, it’s really not such a crazy idea anymore. This is what happened when I recently made the trip from Sydney to the Santorini village of Oia.
I knew Oia was a must-visit when planning my recent trip to Europe. Found on the north-west point of the island, the town is a hotspot for luxury accommodation, with visitors flocking to experience what’s been described as the most famous sunset in the world. My choice of accommodation was the stunning Perivolas Hotel.
Like much of the architecture in Oia, Perivolas is built into the cliffs that form the area. The 300-year-old caves that make up the ‘building’ used to be the homes of local fisherman and farmers. Now, the restored caves are luxury suites that offer a nice slice of the area’s history.
Perivolas offers the best of both worlds when it comes to location. It’s only a short walk to the centre of town, which is abundant with restaurants, galleries, and shops. This relative seclusion means that guests are granted a truly private retreat, away from the main hub of activity.
When I arrived at the hotel, after a direct flight from London to Santorini, staff were quick to carry my luggage for me into the property; an indication of what was to come for the rest of my stay. Having arrived a couple of hours before check-in, I was shown to the pool, welcome drink in hand, where there were sun loungers ready to be enjoyed until the room was ready. It was easy to get used to this kind of service.
The Superior Suite at Perivolas is unlike any hotel room I’ve stayed in before. The theme was evidently white on white, from the cave walls to the crisp bedding. There were only a few dashes of colour interspersed throughout. Though the word ‘cave’ might conjure thoughts of darkness and cramped quarters, the Superior Suite was anything but. Tonnes of natural light flooded in through the large doors, bouncing off all the white surfaces inside. It still managed to feel cosy though, despite how spacious it actually was. The bathroom was large and luxurious, fully stocked with Rituals amenities. The indulgences of the Superior Suite were capped off with a private spa and sun loungers on a large terrace.
Being constantly attached to technology has become the norm for most people. At Perivolas, I quickly realised how phenomenal a break from screens is. There was no TV in the room, and although there was free WiFi throughout the hotel, I rarely felt compelled to mindlessly scroll through my phone. Instead, I got lost staring out at the peaceful Aegean Sea and the caldera, a mesmerising sight, especially being elevated so high above sea level.
The staggered nature of the property means that from nearly anywhere on the grounds you’ll have spectacular views of the famed sunset. Most people make a pilgrimage to the ruins of the Oia Castle in the late afternoon, staking out a good spot for hours to watch as the sun descends in the sky. I gladly didn’t have to partake in this and fight the crowds for the best spot, due to the hotel’s own views.
Facilities & Service
Perivolas has an in-house restaurant that serves up fine-dining, modern Greek food daily. Meals are served either inside in the converted wine cellar or outdoors, right by the pool. Enticing lunch and dinner menus aside, breakfast was one of my favourite parts of the day. The buffet was stellar, and enjoying it outside while looking out over the sea made for a serene and relaxing start to the day. The hotel also offers a gym if you’re looking to sneak in a workout, and spa and wellness studio are available too.
Throughout my stay at Perivolas, the staff were always super accommodating and helpful. Especially when it came to restaurant recommendations; time after time their suggestions were excellent, helping me avoid anything too touristy. They helped make reservations and directed me to spots I’d never have come across on my own.
The Wrap-Up – Perivolas Hotel Review
Delivering a very tranquil and peaceful vibe, my stay at Perivolas was an exceptional retreat. Days were spent in privacy, lazing by the pool, drifting in and out of sleep with an open book in hand and drink by my side. Evenings were spent watching the magnificent sky change colours. Though it was the sunset that initially drew me to Oia, Perivolas is what really took the trip to the next level.