Love Santorini but hate its crowds? Now, savvy island hoppers can take advantage of the favorite Greek isle’s coveted caldera waters and picture-perfect scenery without feeling overrun, thanks to Santorini’s latest lavish hotel opening just outside the always-bustling Oia. Tucked into a quiet spot north of the village, Canaves Oia Epitome, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is ready to give guests the ultimate chance to rise above the city’s masses and relax in the lap of luxury.
Opened in May, Epitome, which overlooks the fishing village of Ammoudi, is the latest property from the Chaidemenos family, who started the Canaves Oia brand in 1985 by transforming Oia’s 17th-century wine caves into chic (and now iconic) boutique hotels. Owners Yiannis and Anna Chaidemenos were influential in developing Santorini’s ubiquitous all-white minimalist look, implementing it to great effect in their handful of elegant and luxurious hideaways scattered across the island.
With just 24 suites and villas—each equipped with their own private pool—discretion and indulgence are the standard at Epitome. Rooms feature classic minimalist Cycladic design (think bright whites, arched doorways, and natural stone accents) and expansive terraces with ample seating that let the starkly beautiful scenery do the talking. And though the property is small, there is plenty of variation across the chic retreat, with each room type having something special to offer. The intimate Honeymoon Suite has a plunge pool perched on the highest private balcony in the resort, while the plush Epitome Pool Villa boasts the largest pool, a private cabana, and a personal fire pit with plentiful seating on its spacious terrace. To truly spoil yourself, we suggest settling into the Aqua Retreat Two Bedroom Pool Villa, which has a master suite that spans the entire second floor and two verandas—one with a lush garden, hammock, and dining area, and one with a pool featuring a see-through glass wall that allows swimmers to peek into the lower-level bedroom.
If guests crave a bit of see-and-be-seen action, the hotel also features a deluxe infinity pool with private cabanas overlooking the sea as well as a restaurant and terrace lounge bar serving up craft cocktails, Greek cuisine, and unbeatable sunset views. After days out exploring Oia (the property features a private shuttle that can whisk guests there and back) or sunning on the nearby volcanic-rock-studded Katharos Beach, guests can head back to the hotel to indulge in a spa treatment or stretch out travel-weary muscles with a yoga class. VIP butlers are also on hand to ensure each guest’s experience is exactly what they dreamed it would be.