Sign Up for Our Monthly Europe Newsletter
You’d be hard-pressed to catch me on a StairMaster (like, ever), so it was a surprise even to me that I found myself climbing flight after flight of bleach-white stairs, pausing at each landing to bench press liter-size bottles of water high over my head.
Maybe my motivation came from my exercise buddy, Angela, a workout junkie from Southern California who shouted encouraging words from a few paces ahead of me. Or — more likely — it was the view of Santorini’s famous volcano and an endless stretch of Aegean Sea that provided the extra boost of energy I needed.
Angela and I weren’t at a gym, but rather on the exterior steps of one of Santorini’s most luxurious accommodation options. The five-star Volcano View Hotel is a multilevel boutique property tucked into the cliffside just outside Santorini’s capital, Fira, which is a midway point between tourist hot spots Oia (to the north) and Akrotiri (to the south).
Travelers to this Greek isle are lured by visions of blue and white, and this property — with its cerulean mosaic-tiled pools, stark-white exterior and striking view of the Port of Athinios — looks like it has been lifted from a postcard. (This is probably one reason it received a Certificate of Excellence last year from TripAdvisor.)
Room types include a Simple Double Room, a Superior Room, a Junior Suite and a Grand Suite, all of which feature private terraces or balconies, air-conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi access and beach and pool towels. One important note: Some bathrooms have only a soaking tub with a removable showerhead — which was the case in my Simple Double — while others have cave showers with stone walls and no tub. If clients have a preference, it should be requested in advance.
My room was situated mid-level on the property and decorated minimally, which was a sharp contrast to the almost-overwhelming feast for the senses outside my bedroom window. There is no on-site fitness center but — as I quickly found out during my laps with Angela — the hotel can quickly be transformed into a makeshift gym (complete with a gaggle of cheering poolside spectators). Clients with limited mobility should be advised that there are no elevators, and all guestrooms are located at least a few steps down from the street-level lobby.
A traditional Greek buffet breakfast at The Caldera Restaurant offers a wide selection of organic local products, while the adjacent cafe bar features light bites and cocktails. “Greek Night,” with live music and dancers, is held weekly, but if guests prefer something quieter, they can reserve their own private, candlelit dinner in the property’s outdoor seating area.
It was in this space that Angela and I found ourselves after our final lap up the stairs. Sweaty and sun-kissed, we feasted on a spread of tomato fritters, seafood salad, feta cheese and steaming french fries, and toasted with a bottle of prosecco.
Because it’s always important to enjoy the fruits of your labor — especially on vacation.
The DetailsVolcano View Hotel www.volcano-view.com