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All reviewsevery morningour honeymoongeorge karayiannispool bartenderpool suiteroom servicesenior suitethe entire staffprivate balconybottle of champagneskaros rocksantorini winewine tourdaily breakfastthe entire islandthe cliffservice was impeccable
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Reviewed 28 May 2009

The Astra is sheer perfection. My suite was enormous with a balcony jacuzzi which was designed to look directly at the sunset. (was told by other tourists that the sunset from the jacuzzi was the best on the island). The resort is beautiful, basically everything is done in simple elegance allowing complete luxury while at the same time not overwhelming the remarkable natural beauty of the island.

The staff, especially as the front desk, was extremely helpful. I did not plan one function the entire week I was in Santorini, but rather approached the front desk every evening and explained what I wanted to do and had it all prepared for me by the next morning. I had two sailing trips, ATV rental, meals and other functions planned. Furthermore, all advise I received with regards to the island by the staff was always to our benefit rather than to the hotel's.

On a last note: The Astra is an expensive property to stay at--however, it is worth every penny. After 6 days and 5 nights at the Astra, I am completely satisfied with its value and would never hesitate to do it all over again.

Truly the greatest vacation of my life.

  • Stayed: May 2009
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Thank IotaLamda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2009

Having a house in Santorini but still chosing to stay to a hotel says it all....The only place i feel so pampered i never want to go away...Stayed in a suite with a private pool overlooking the volcano...the best sunset of my life from this balcony!! Impecable service...you just wonder how the staff can move so fast, how they already know what you want before you realise you want it and still remain discrete...i needed desperately a relaxing escape from my every day routine and i knew that only there i could find my peace and refill my batteries! well i got much more than i expected...the food was amazing, the amenities in the room and bathroom impressive...had just bought from the airport my clarins cremes when i realised that the full set of these amenities were offered from the hotel and were already in my bathroom! There was also something else that really impressed me, there was a wedding dinner taking place one of the evenings i was there...could see the preparations and elegant people moving around the pool...but could'nt hear anything at all!!! i was not disturbed throught my stay not even once from anything! what can i say.....only 3 days there and it felt like a week of holiday...strongly reccomend it.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank Maria S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2009

From the genuine warm welcome from George to his friendly helpful assistant, Valentina, we could not have had better attention or a better experience. We had a senior suite overlooking Skaros, the volcanoe, and Ia. What could be better than that! We would love to return--maybe later in May on in the autumn for warmer weather.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank onthego17Virginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2009

First of all....

Santorini is amazingly beautiful. You might not think so on your way from the airport on a cold night in April, but by the time you wake up the next morning to your caldera view and the sun just warming up on your patio---that's the moment that you'll "get it." I am in the tour industry and travel the world. I have to say that Santorini is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.

The Astra Apartments are special. The view of the mantle (the big mountain of a rock you see in all of the pictures) is spectacular from the Astra property, and better yet, you have easy access to the hiking path to it and around it (since it's literally right in front of you). There's actually an old Greek church you can hike to on the other side of the mantle which is not visible from the apartments.

The service here at the Astra is impeccable, really. It's five star service. They have computers you can borrow for your room, wireless service (as well as plug-in network lines), a lovely breakfast served on your patio each morning, and a staff that really seems to care what sort of time you are having. Chris, the bartender, is terrific. He's got some great tips on things to do and is interesting and fun to talk to. He also makes a great drink. My husband commented that the service here is "invisible," meaning, you don't see people running around and cleaning or making a big "to do." Things are just done quietly and efficiently.

The pool is nice, although it is too cold to swim right now.. And the bar area is small but pretty and the views are...well, unbelievable.

If you're wondering when to come here....There's a season for everyone, I think. We're here at the end of April and the beginning of May. The nights are windy and cold and the mornings are cold, as well. But you pack a wind breaker and some fleece and you deal with it. Santorini is not overrun this time of year (like it is in the summer), so there's plenty of room to stretch out and make some of the places here your own. The afternoons are very warm and there are a few people at the beach...and we're all sunburned...so the whole day isn't cold and uncomfortable. It's perfect hiking weather, if not beach weather. If I were to come back again, though, I'd come back on June 7th or so and stay nine days. It would be warmer, but still, fewer crowds. Truthfully, this isn't the "season" in Santorini, but it's less expensive now and more navigable.

The first day we were here ,we walked the Aegean Sea Path from the Astra all the way to Oia. It's more than 7 KM, but what an amazing way to get to know your own back yard the first day. The view changes every five steps and the reward is so worth your efforts. It's not a hard hike, but a long one...about two and a half hours if you don't stop every other step to take a picture. Oia is absolutely beautiful. I'd compare it to Santa Fe in the United States. When we got there, I actually lamented that we didn't stay there at first, but I got over that after a while. I like staying between Fira and Oia. You can choose one or the other for dinner, sightseeing, etc. You're almost half way between each. If you're the sort of person, however, who likes to be in the main stream of things, though, you might prefer to stay in Oia. I prefer it over Fira, though Fira is absolutely amazing, too. I think Oia is the more sophisticated sister of Fira.

We rented a jeep because we planned to see the whole island during our week here. If you're at all squeemish about curvy mountain roads or close calls, then don't rent a car. But the truth is, after one day or so, you'll be driving like a Greek. (which is to say you'll be somewhat crazy and unyielding to tourists as you go.) But we adjusted and did very well.

Another highlight is the Volcan Wine Museum. I think it is a "must see." Being in a career that has me visiting a lot of museums, I can tell they've put a lot of thought and effort into this museum, which traces the history of wine on the island. At the end, they have a beautiful tasting room, where we enjoyed the white much more than the red. They also have some decent gifts compared to some of the main stream tourist areas. Check out the curved wood wine holders, where a bottle of wine balances the holder. They're made of olive wood and make a lovely gift for 19 euros.

My best recommendation is Dimitri's in the bay at the end of Oia for sunset and dinner. George, the owner of Astra, recommended it, and it was our favorite place to dine. Absolutely spectacular and the fish was incredibly fresh. Joy, owner and wife to Dimitri, is a Canadian and has a great personality along with a lot of great stories. It's hard to find... get good directions..but once you find it, you'll be absolutely thrilled. It's tucked in along a row of restaurants at sea level beneath Oia. It was our most expensive meal but well worth it.

The hike to the mantle (the big rock in front of the hotel) is like every view here--breathtaking, and worth the hour or so investment. What's nice about staying at the Astra is that it is located on an old cobblestone path that goes either to Fira or Oia and straddles the cliffs along the way to both. There are restaurants and taverns located on the path and you feel as if you are journeying in old ancient Greece as you walk along. If you travel the path to Fira at night, be sure you ask for a flashlight from the front desk as it is not lit.

Ancient Thira--the archaelogical site--is worth the trip! It's a crumbling city that started sometime before the 9th Century BC. It's quite amazing to walk around the ruins. I don't think tour buses can traverse the steep and winding path to the top, so we were pretty much alone there on the mountaintop. Beautiful views and the site is free---at least when we were there. Afterwards, head down to Kamari beach and have lunch along the black sand at an outdoor patio. As of this writing, Akrotiti--the other archaeological site, is still closed.

George, the owner of the Astra is a wonderful hotelier. The rooms are fairly simple but sweet; we were very comfortable during our stay.

We really enjoyed the Astra and very much recommend it. Santorini was a lovely vacation spot....unforgettable.

Recommedations: Get a real gyro at McDaniels in Fira. Delicious, inexpensive and quick.

Try a tomato ball--- a deep fried tomato. Sounds weird, but it's actually delicious.

Shop around a lot before you purchase.

Study your restaurants before you get to Santorini. There are a lot of overpriced tourist traps here----and there's so much good food...so get to the right place.

If you come in early spring--prepare to be cold at times. Bring a warm jacket, especially some type of a wind breaker. There were a few days in which we could have hung out at the pool, so pack for anything.

Get in shape before leaving home. Santorini is really made up of a series of steps--- up and down, up and down all day...so don't come here fresh from your couch.

Try to pack well. A pair of sunglasses, suntan lotion---all these things cost more here (transport to the island makes things expensive).

Buy a few bottles of wine when you get here for your room. They have refrigerators...also, grab some pistachio nuts (grown here!) some fresh bread and Santorini cheeses and of course, olives, so you can have a little cocktail party before you go out.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Margot62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2009

Stayed at Astra Apts & Suites after transferring from its sister property Enigma Apts & Suites in Thira. Decided to stay here after reading reviews and seeing pictures of the gorgeous pool area (we wanted a pool!) and the views! We were not disappointed.

Astra in Imerovigli was a welcomed respite after staying three days in bustling Thira. Facing the caldera and the large rocky Skaros framing your view - you can see Oia at a distance and the view is splendid from wherever you take it in. Reception was warm, informative and friendly. (yet not as intimate as Enigma - see my review for a comparison). We had great communication by e-mail for booking as well. We reserved a superior apartment for 320 Euros. Service was top notch from the get-go, with baggage carriers awaiting our arrival and carrying our heavy things with ease to our rooms with a smile.

Our apartment was two staircases up and above the reception and main area of the hotel. The room was small, very simply decorated, with a small sitting room/kitchenette (small fridge, a burner, utensils, glasses and plates), small bed area directly adjoining with flat screen t.v. and a small bathroom in the very back. (with a hairdryer - and bonus - complimentary awesome Korres - a Greek natural skincare line- toiletries- shampoo. conditioner and body wash - I forgot that Enigma also provided this) - along with a small closet with a safe. We had our own private veranda, balcony with the same view as poolside.

Few letdowns: After paying only 60 Euros more for suite in Fira at their sister boutique hotel, I had hoped our apartment would be bigger. There was minimal bedding - single sheet and a very light coverlet. Wished the bedding had been a bit more luxurious with more pillows and perhaps a light duvet. Our veranda also directly abutted with the hotel next door and the rooms next door - so it is not isolated or very private.

The huge plus for us was the Pool area, the surrounding view and the bar. We were lucky, as we were there in late September, at almost beginning of the low season, there was never more than six people there at a time, so lounge chairs and beds were always free and the bartender always at the ready to serve us (and make us laugh! Chris was the best - a true asset to Astra!) I can't imagine what it would be like when the hotel is at max. capacity, I would HATE to fight for space as the area around the pool and bar is NOT big - there are three double lounge beds, two lounge chairs and two chairs by the bar (not including the bar stools) ... (Also: note: there are hotel rooms that directly face the pool area -- and it must be noisy - make sure you stay away from those rooms if you prefer it quiet and private)

After sight-seeing or walking around, we really enjoyed our time lounging around in the sun at the pool with a great cocktail in hand (Chris makes a mean... anything.. mojito, what-have-you - everything he makes is fresh and delicious) - they have surround sound system playing tunes which is nice too. The pool is September was not the warmest, but it made for a refreshing dip - and the views and sunset is just jaw-dropping and so romantic.

They have a restaurant on site, that we never tried - but we did order food from the menu when lounging at the pool - which they promptly delivered to us (heaven!) -Be sure to try the Cretan salad - hard cretan bread, olive oil, tomatoes and feta with Greek spices - so delicious, I ordered it twice! The complimentary breakfast was lovely too - delivered right to your veranda to eat while you enjoy the view. They present you with a form - to which you make your selection of beverages and food, and the time at which you want it delivered. You fill it out and drop it off the night before - and they call the morning of, to confirm you're awake - (and if not you can always reschedule...)

The day of our departure, our ferry didn't leave until six, so Astra allowed let us have free use of the facilities and let us lounge at the pool (eat and drink) until the shuttle (arranged by the hotel - so nice) came to pick us up. They even provided us with a complimentary room to freshen up, shower and change- which I thought was really fantastic!

We loved Imerovigli, the town itself was quiet and calm. Be sure to do the walk from here to Fira (about half-hour, unless you dilly-dally) The path follows around the caldera and it's lovely to explore. We also managed to climb Skaros (scary, you have the scale the rock face to get on top) and go to the church behind it which was an adventure - Great views from there too!

Last little tidbits:
Astra charges for transfers from its sister property (Enigma) and to/from the ferry - these are not free. Also there are three hotels alongside Astra (amongst them, pricier Santorini Princess(?) ) - two of them with pool areas as well - that you might want to do a price comparison or review comparison on here.... We also never met famous George while were there - although I'm sure he was around -

All in all, we really enjoyed our stay here, even though the room was nothing to write home about (it was adequate) - we really loved the pool area and the bar (which we had practically to ourselves), the service and the food - all top notch.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Catou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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