After many long hours of travel, there’s nothing quite as invigorating as arriving at your hotel and finding that, from the room to the view, it’s even better than you imagined. That was the case when my husband and I arrived at Ikies Traditional Houses in Santorini. After flying more than 22 hours from San Francisco to New York to Athens to Santorini, we arrived tired and a little cranky from the long trip—until we caught our first glimpse of the 180-degree view from our private patio.
With fewer than a dozen rooms (five suites, three maisonettes and three studios), Ikies Traditional Houses is a small, intimate property on the edge of Oia on the northern end of the island. Though the rooms are spread across several levels built into the cliffside, each has a fantastic view of the caldera and the whitewashed buildings that cling to the cliffs like snow. My husband and I were celebrating ten years of marriage, so we opted for a room that also had a private deck and its own jacuzzi/plunge pool.
Our room, the Boatman’s House studio, was located on one of the highest levels and had a completely private deck with a temperature controlled hot tub (we turned it down during the day so the tub was our own refreshing pool, and turned the temp back up at night to use it as a jacuzzi) and its own futon bed for lounging under the sun or stars. There was also a small table where we had breakfast with a view each morning.
Inside, our room had stone walls and a stone floor that kept the room cool even in the mid-day sun (an A/C unit also helped). We had a had a Queen bed, several comfortable seating options, a flat screen TV, mini-fridge stocked with plenty of bottled water and a complimentary bottle of wine, a small closet space with safe, and a modest bathroom with a walk-in shower.
The included daily breakfast offered yoghurt and honey, fresh fruit, fresh pastries and breads, and our choice of eggs, coffee drinks, tea and juices. Room service was also available—a perk we took advantage of for a light snack by our private plunge pool after a long hike.
Other perks include free parking, twice daily housekeeping, and free wifi. Hotel staff will offer extra beach towels and bottled water, arrange airport transfers, make dinner reservations, print boarding passes, and recommend things to do on the island. There’s an onsite pool with lounge chairs and a sea view. Yoga, pilates, and meditation sessions, as well as in-room massage, aromatherapy, and reflexology can be arranged.
I loved the hotel’s stylish combination of traditional and modern, the comfortable room, delicious food, and the staff who went above and beyond to serve us. And, of course, the beautiful views and private deck made the stay even more memorable. As we wandered around the area and explored the center of Oia, we noticed that many of the hotels lacked the privacy of Ikies. As we strolled the town’s narrow walkways, we often found ourselves just feet away from poolside loungers and with a clear view of many “private” balconies. We were so happy that we booked Ikies for our special trip, as we truly had our own private oasis. We were close to everything we needed in Oia, but had so much more privacy. In fact, even when we ate breakfast on our deck or swam in the hotel pool, we rarely saw the other guests.
With a great location in Oia, beautiful rooms and caldera views from private balconies, Ikies is a perfect boutique hotel for a romantic special occasion on Santorini.