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Altana Traditional Houses 4.0

Imerovigli, Santorini, South Aegean

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Review Summary

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  • Unique setting at Santorini's highest point, overlooking caldera 
  • Upscale, quiet location in Imerovigli, between Fira and Oia
  • Tiny rooftop pool and spa tub with stunning panoramic views
  • Rooms with Cycladic architecture and Aegean views from terraces
  • Some suites/apartments have jetted tubs or private plunge pools
  • Free homemade Greek-style breakfast served until noon
  • Greek bistro serving cocktails and traditional snacks 
  • Kitchen uses produce sourced from hotel's own organic farm 
  • Cooking lessons, local wine tastings, and farm tours
  • Staff is highly praised by guests for local advice/tour-planning 
  • Free Wi-Fi and parking


  • Not near the beaches
  • Parking is at a distance from the hotel grounds
  • Stairs and location may challenge less-mobile guests 
  • No TVs (a pro for many)

Bottom Line

The Altana Traditional Houses is an upscale boutique property perched high above Santorini with spectacular caldera views. This restored 1779 captain's house is built into the cliffside, and features sundecks throughout and a small pool. The 10 rooms have whitewashed walls and private terraces overlooking the Aegean, and some have jetted tubs. The Altana's organic farm provides produce for its cafe, serving traditional dishes along with cocktails and local wine. Breakfast is included (and served until late), featuring homemade Greek items. The vibe at the hotel is relaxed and romantic, with no TVs on the premises, and a quiet location in Imerovigli between Fira and Oia. Guests seeking a more active, resort-style vacation may prefer the nearby Rocabella Deluxe Suites & Spa, with its two restaurants, four pools, and gym.

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Historic and romantic, with stunning views from peaceful terraces

The Altana Traditional Houses' seven levels are tucked against the Santorini Cliffs, high above the Aegean Sea. Sunbathing terraces throughout the property offer incredible caldera views, and the tiny pool at the top is the highest point in Santorini. The views and impressive design -- a carefully restored 18th-century captain's house -- are reason enough to stay here, but the welcoming atmosphere is an undeniable plus as well. The family owners personally orient guests to the island upon arrival, with a handmade map and plenty of non-touristy suggestions. An exploration of the hotel and its grounds is also in order, with its zen-level peace and quiet, and visible effort to honor local history and traditions. For example, each guest room has at least one artifact from the 1956 earthquake that devastated the property and the island. The lobby is small and pristine, with comfortable seating and a roll-top desk with a well-used guest book. Throughout the hotel there's a lot of exposed stone and attractive wood furniture and accents, with pops of Mediterranean blue. Kafeneon, the central gathering area, serves a hearty Greek breakfast until late daily -- another gracious nod to relaxation -- and is decorated with historic maps and other nautical curios. The vibe at the hotel is best-suited to couples and honeymooners seeking a private, restorative getaway.


At Santorini's highest point, with gorgeous Aegean views

The hotel sits atop Santorini’s cliffs in Imerovigli, an upmarket, yet unpretentious area. The spot is quiet, but there are a restaurant, mini-mart, and pharmacy within steps of the lobby, though there are no nearby coffee shops or cafes. Next door to the Altana is the historic Greek Orthodox Anastasi Church, a popular spot for destination weddings. Skaros Rock, a notable hiking and birdwatching outlook, is a four-minute walk from the hotel. The capital, Fira, is within a 20-minute walk, and can be reached via local bus (the stop is four minutes' walk away) -- a cab will take 10 minutes. Historic Oia village is a challenging two-hour hike or a 20-minute drive from the Altana. 

Island beaches, such as Monolithos and Kamari, are 20 minutes away by car. Some beaches in the island's South, such as Red Beach (with red sand) and Perissa Beach, are closer to 30 minutes away by car. The Old Port (for cruise ships) is a six-minute drive away, and Athinios (the main port for commercial/ferry boats) is about 20 to 25 minutes' drive. The airport is a 15- to 25-minute drive from the hotel.


Romantic whitewashed hideaways with private terraces

Guest rooms at the Altana Traditional Houses come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but the architecture and decor are peaceful and authentically Greek across categories. Everything is whitewashed and sparkling clean, with pops of bright color, fun throw pillows, and interesting touches like cool (and authentic) mosaic tiles. Polished cement floors, shuttered windows, and built-in beds are nice finishing touches. All rooms have private whitewashed terraces, and some have spa tubs or outdoor plunge pools (the hotel plans to add plunge pools to all rooms by fall 2017). 

Apartments have separate sitting areas and small kitchenettes, some with stone sinks. Bathrooms are clean and simple, but charming, with open showers done in concrete and tile. While there are no TVs at the hotel, there are CDs and books in each room, as well as iPod docks and free (strong) Wi-Fi. All rooms are air-conditioned. Other amenities include in-room safes, mini-fridges, aromatherapy diffusers, and free toiletries. Double rooms, apartments, Cavehouse suites, and a romantic honeymoon suite with spa tub are available. 


Plunge pool and spa tub, organic produce, gourmet tasting menus, and wedding planning

The Altana Traditional Houses features a small rooftop pool and spa tub surrounded by a few sunbeds and beach umbrellas. It's a fine place to kick back for the afternoon or to cool off, and there are gorgeous views of Santorini and the caldera below. A number of small, private-feeling terraces are set throughout the property, where guests can sunbathe away from the pool area. 

An organic farm on Santorini is run by the hotel and provides the source for many ingredients at the hotel's restaurant. Breakfast is free, served until late, and includes traditional and homemade Greek delicacies. Along with numerous freshly baked pastries, breakfast can feature Greek yogurt with fruit and local honey, olives and cheeses, and a full coffee bar. Throughout the day and evening, the hotel’s bistro serves snacks, light food, local wine, and, in the evenings, romantic tasting menus. Room service is available. The hotel offers farm tours, wine tastings, and cooking lessons as well. 

Business services, including loaner laptops, scanning, printing, and couriers are available. Wedding and honeymoon services, and even proposal-planning, are offered at the hotel. Parking is free, although the walk from the lot to the front door is a bit long as the hotel is set off the street. 

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Imerovigli, South Aegean 84700, Greece

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