Istoria, Santorini’s Newest Laid-Back Design Hotel, is a Study In Contrasts

Located on the island’s quieter eastern shore, the 12-suite property nails toes-in-the-(black) sand luxury.

With its sensuously curved whitewashed architecture, blinding blue views of the Aegean, and inky black sand beach, Istoria is a place where contrasts enchant. Debuted earlier this summer on the quieter eastern shores of Santorini, the boutique property lives up to its Design Hotels designation with aplomb, mixing iconic Grecian motifs with an authentic sense of laid-back, toes in the (black) sand luxury.

With just 12 suites nestled within its already perfectly weathered walls, the property feels more like a villa that’s been there for centuries than one of the archipelago’s many brand-new luxury hotels. Envisioned by local firm Interior Design Laboratorium, Istoria is designed to slowly unfold as guests step through its black wooden gate. They walk down the stairs to the open-air lobby, where white walls mix with soft light woods and terracotta accents, then back up to peek at the tranquil infinity pool (a very welcome modern amenity). Then it’s time for guests to head off find their rooms, all of which are tucked away from each other. Inside, suites are minimally designed in the Grecian island’s traditional Cycladic style, featuring creamy white linens broken up by accents of navy blue and rich brown leather. Patios spill out over the sea or hug the rocks, and almost all feature private plunge pools or Jacuzzis.

A quick walk takes guests to the otherworldly shores of Perivolos Beach, where sun loungers dot the sparkling black sand. Though it boasts some of the best swimming on the island, the beach has remained largely under-the-radar, and is far from the crowds of Karmari or the tourist-laden boats jetting around the bays off of Oia. There, guests can let afternoons slip away with a book in hand (we’d suggest brushing up on Homer or Plato, since you’re in Greece, after all), cooling off in the refreshing waters, or explore the miles-long shore on horseback. As the sun slips over the craggy mountains behind them, guests can wander their way back to the property for a glass of crisp Santorini wine and dinner brimming with locally sourced produce.

Guests can head to the endless parties of Fira if they want to, but we wouldn’t blame them for turning in early—and waking in time to watch the sun turn the black sand purple as it rises the next morning.

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