clean, white comfort in this ultra-romantic design hotel

(Grace Hotel Auberge Resorts)

Santorini is best known for two things: sunsets and honeymoons. The two factors may not be entirely independent.

As a result, the west side of the Greek island is full of romantic hotels aimed at the couples market, especially in the upscale town of Oia at the northern tip of the Crescent.

A short way along the coast in Imerovigli, the highest village on the island, the Grace Hotel by Auberge Resorts Collection is perched, built on several levels on the cliff side.

Something of a fine dining destination, so apparently as one of the top five proposition locations in Santorini, the hotel is a couple-friendly place to combine privacy and luxury with a first-class restaurant, gorgeous swimming pool and warm and professional service.

Style

Immaculate and white, white, white. When asked how often the crisp paint is touched up, the staff just laugh. Interiors are understated – uncluttered and clean are the watchwords here – and the views are left to the bulk of the conversation. Why compete with nature when it looks so beautiful?

    (public relations sheet)

(public relations sheet)

The hotel is designed to offer total comfort and ease in enjoying the scenery and the sun. Polished concrete floors, white upholstery and black and white photographs are the order of the day.

Thoughtful touches include a pillow menu, a delicious and comprehensive selection of toiletries from the Greek brand Apivita, and a turndown service providing a different gift or experience every night.

Each bedroom also has its own plunge pool where guests can unwind after a hard day relaxing by the pool and watch the sunset in relative seclusion if they so choose. Look up and you will see the whole city mesmerized by the sight, and you may even catch a glimpse of the glamorous spectacle of women in brightly colored puffy dresses posing for photoshoots, but from the room the view belongs only to you.

    (public relations sheet)

(public relations sheet)

Local design gem

There is really no need to leave the hotel if you don’t want to. The shop is well-stocked with high-end Greek Island clothing, knick-knacks and gifts to take home with you.

Stroll through the winding cobbled alleys of Imerovigli to experience all the Mediterranean garden inspirations you could wish for and call for a drink at the Altana Café Bar for an eclectic and vintage vibe contrasting with the elegantly styled Grace.

Good to know

The hotel has the largest swimming pool in the village, both for swimming and cooling off while admiring the sparkling and misty islands of the Aegean Sea on the horizon. On the beachless island side, this is certainly a welcome addition – in Santorini visitors have to choose between beaches and sunsets, and there is only one real option for a true romantic.

The ruined castle on the craggy rock of Skaros is the closest landmark. It’s a popular hike, and the path goes directly past Grace’s pool. The trip is well worth taking, but in the warmer months it’s best to try early, as the blissful walkers who walk up the hill past the hotel in the afternoon will attest. At five courses, it can’t hurt to whet your appetite for breakfast.

Dinner at the Santoro restaurant (Grace Hotel Auberge Resorts)

Dinner at the Santoro restaurant (Grace Hotel Auberge Resorts)

Make sure to dine at Santoro on the spectacular terrace at least one night, the tasting menu and local wine pairing blend French and Greek cuisine to a delicious effect.

At the right time of year, Venus burns brightly above, unless the meltemi comes in, in which case the visibility quickly becomes quite comically poor – the waiters even struggled to see how full our glasses were at cause of the level of condensation on them during our meal.

Best room

Deluxe Rooms are extremely relaxing places, but for total seclusion and ultimate luxury this has to be the Villa, with its own private pool, huge outdoor terrace, private kitchen and dining area, and cigar bar. .

How to book

The rooms cost from 750 € per night, including breakfast. Book on aubergeresorts.com/gracehotel/

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