The Andronis Boutique Hotel–Santorini, Greece August 2023
By Eric Dessner MD
Let me give it to you straight: Santorini is a marvel. The entire island offers up views of the Aegean Sea that make you question whether or not your eyes are deceiving you.
Add in the unique magic of The Andronis Boutique Hotel and reality becomes even harder to fathom. If it were any more gorgeous, travelers might think they were experiencing some sort of hoax, trick of the mind, or optical illusion. Perhaps that’s why they welcome you with a delicious glass of homemade sangria as soon as you arrive–so that your senses have time to adjust to the stunning panorama that surrounds you.
After the reception team gives you an explanation of the hotel grounds and maps out some of the main attractions in the town of Oia, they will lead you to your room. Be prepared for your jaw to hit the floor, again. All of the suites are built into the side of a cliff wall. According to a local tour guide, many of the hotel suites in the area were originally used by the Spartans as strategic look-out points. The caves were later occupied by Grecian fishermen, before eventually being remodeled into luxury hotel suites. Each suite has its own terrace and hot tub and unobstructed view of royal blue water below.
It’s the cavernous feel of the suites that makes you feel extra warm and cozy while staying with Andronis. Everything has a bit of a round edge; the white stone walls have retained some of their original curves, the ceiling is slightly arched, the doorways are arched, and even the shower has a domed-shape overhead and smooth stone underfoot. If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, you might feel like you’re a Hobbit with your own little apartment in The Shire.
The unparalleled views of the Aegean and the idiosyncrasies of the 24 suites aren’t the only things that make the experience of staying at the Andronis extra special. It’s the overall attention to detail and the artistic flair that make it top-notch. For example, it wasn’t enough for the founder, Miltiadis Andronis, to illuminate all of the plants and flower beds along pedestrian walkways, he had to set up colored crystals in front of all of the lights, so that they pick up a softer, more romantic hue before landing on the lush foliage. The interior design of the spa is also representative of the artistry of the hotel. From the choice of raw materials (a nice blend of stone and wood), to the incorporation of natural light, to the spacious treatment rooms, it is all very well thought out and very well-manicured.
The staff at the hotel were also warm and welcoming. They were attentive, but not overbearing. We especially enjoyed some of the conversations that we struck up with members of the staff working at the bar and restaurant. They were very happy to talk to us about the history of the hotel, some of the characteristics of Greek culture and even revealed tid-bits about their own lives.
Potential travelers should note that some of the rooms are situated about 100 steps down the side of the mountain, on a fairly steep incline, so people with any physical limitations need to take that into consideration. Also there is no conventional lobby or gym in this hotel. The Andronis Marque, about a five minute walk away, has a nice gym and larger pool which are accessible at no additional charge.
So, if you’re looking for an experience that will stand out in the scrapbook of your memories, consider staying at The Andronis Boutique Hotel on your trip to Santorini. It is profound. You will feel connected to history, connected to beauty, and will come back feeling rejuvenated. Thank you Andronis and staff. Ευχαριστώ (Efcharisto).
I think I’m still drooling.
Eric Dessner MD is an ophthalmologist in Brooklyn, NY. He is the founder and CEO of www.medmic.com