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Reviewed 14 June 2009

We have just returned from a two week holiday in Greece taking in Athens, Santorini and Crete. We stayed for 6 nights at Astra - 5 of which were in a standard apartment and 1 of which was in a jacuzzi suite (courtesy of a free upgrade!). The location of Astra is excellent and from our private balcony we had an amazing view of the Caldera and the sunsets. The standard apartment itself was very clean and consisted of a kitchen / living room, bedroom and a nice shower room. In reality you would not want to spend a lot of time in the apartment which was not particularly spacious - however as mentioned before the balcony was brilliant and eating breakfast outside each morning and watching the sunsets each evening was great.

On our last night we were fortunate to receive a free upgrade to a jacuzzi suite which was incredible - absolutely huge open plan living room / bedroom, massive bathroom, massive balcony with jacuzzi and the same great view over the caldera - really stunning and if you can afford it you will not be disappointed.

The service at Astra is uniformly excellent and the location is for me the best in Santorini - right on a great coastal path that takes you to Fira with a number of decent restaurants on the way. It is very expensive to stay there which is reflective of Santorini in general. There is also a very nice communal pool and bar.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Retsilgar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2009

Santorini is simply amazing and to experience it from Astra is just out of this world. No words can adequately describe the beauty of this island. One has to experience it to appreciate it.

After traveling 3.5 weeks in both Greece and Italy, we have to say Astra was our favorite of all the places we stayed. Located at the highest point on that particular part of the island in Imerovigli, Astra offered a commanding caldera view. From our balcony (room 107), we could see the entire caldera with the old Venetian fortress ("Skaros") right in front of us. The footpath described in Formmer's guide book is just above the apartment property!

The room is nicely decorated with good taste, for a studio. The room and every place in Astra is kept impeccably clean. The service is awesome! From the beginning to the end, we were treated as if we were the only VIP guests in the hotel. Every question we asked was answered promptly, with great suggestions from the staff. Any need we had was taken care of right the way. George, the owner, is truly awesome. He gave us a great orientation when we first arrived and provided a comprehensive write-up of sights, restaurant suggestions, even directions and phone numbers! We literally worked off his sheet (with our Frommer's guidebook as back-up, only if needed) to visit the island and had a wonderful time! And the staff is wonderful because each one really seemed to care that we were enjoying ourselves.

The breakfast at Astra is the best we had in both Greece and Italy. It even beats our 4-star hotel in Venice! We loved the freshly prepared omelets, croissants and the mixed fruit salad. The amazing thing is that it is personally delivered right to your balcony or anywhere else on the property you prefer, perhaps by the pool. With the gorgeous caldera view and a tasty breakfast, it is truly a heavenly experience! We also ordered room service for lunch and the food was excellent. One thing that impressed me was how the staff team at Astra performed their work quietly, discreetly and efficiently, which makes you feel you are not at all interrupted, whether you are relaxing by the pool or sitting on your patio in the morning enjoying the view. To me, Astra provides 5-Star service to its guests!

Last but not least, the little amenities provided by Astra were truly good quality, from the complimentary Boutari wine, to the bathroom set, free Internet and powerful air conditioning. By the way, the bed was extremely comfortable. It was the most comfortable bed we slept in in all of Greece!

If you are thinking of visiting Santorini, we recommend that you come somewhere around middle of May. We arrived on May 15 and left on May 18. The weather is perfect--no rain and not terribly hot. We would also highly recommend Astra Apartments & Suites. George and his staff are so friendly and knowledgeable about everything on the island, which will help to make your experience on Santorini truly unforgettable.

George, we miss you and your entire staff at Astra. We enjoyed your properly very much and your hospitality was the key that made our stay and experience on Santorini so memorable. We regret that we didn't spend at least one more night at Astra. We cannot wait to return in the near future!

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We noticed cruise ships coming in almost every day and imagined passengers being ferried in on tenders each morning, flooding the main village of Fira by day and abandoning the island by mid-afternoon. On the one hand, what a treat. On the other, what a tragedy. To come so close to experiencing a full day on Santorini, yet to be so far.

For us, the ideal day on Santorini has to begin with breakfast at the Astra--freshly made and cheerfully delivered by staff who deliver large trays of food up and down the steps like sure-footed mountain sheep. These well-conditioned athletes would put any one of those donkeys laden with tourists to shame! Thankfully, the mornings we experienced at the Astra were cool and crisp, so server's t-shirts remained dry--at least until the afternoon. Besides the room service staff, who wend their way to and fro in their t-shirts and sunglasses, cleaning staff dressed in polos and white sneakers busily mop the deck and wipe down practically every surface at the beginning of each day to make sure Astra shines like the diamond resort it truly is.

A morning excursion to Oia by scooter (arranged by hotel staff or self-arranged at any roadside establishment) is the ideal way to experience this quaint fishing village, immoratlized in "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants." The road from Imerovigli twists and turns with moderate traffic, high above the coastline on the main spine which runs north to south. Experience on a scooter is a must and rental of the slower 4-wheeled quadrunner is a less-satisfying alternative. Follow the road all the way down to Ammoudi Bay, which most locals call their favorite spot on the island, especially for breathtaking sunsets and authentic seafood.

Head back to Astra after a lunch washed down with a bottle of Mythos beer (making sure to be completely clear of its effects before mounting your 2-wheeled steed). You might want to head up the hill and stop by the village of Oia on your way back. Addiitional notes on scooter travel: 1) an international driving permit is required; 2) some rental companies also require a motorcycle license for 2-wheeled vehicles, so be prepared; quadrunners are normally rented to anyone with an international driving permit; 3) helmets are technically required by law and highly recommended; a helmet with a visor and a light jacket or pull-over sweatshirt will help to ward off flying bugs.

A lazy, late-afternoon lounge poolside back at the Astra is the ideal way to take a mid-day break. Towels are neatly stacked next to a manned bar with breathtaking views. There are no bad spots to look out over the Aegean. All you see is blue everywhere--the pool's water with lighting flashes of light on its surface, the infinitely clear sky and the cobalt blue sea--separated at the horizon by a far-off boundary, which represents distant adventure back on the mainland.

Have dinner at a local tavern or restaurant recommended by George or any Astra staff person. Each one delivers solid and friendly service with Greek gusto. Skip the overrated Selene in Fira. We should have stayed home and tried the dinner menu at the on-site Astra restaurant.

Don't wait to enjoy the complimentary wine provided in each room. Your stay will be over (sadly) before you know it. Make sure to experience at least one sunset from your hotel Astra balcony or other favorite spot on the property.

Words truly cannot describe our Santorini / Astra experience. Hopefully, the ones penned above will whet your appetite and lead you on your own journey to a place which we'd like to see and feel again very soon.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank by_wang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2009

For those who won't read the entire review, the conclusion: staying at the Astra made my trip to Santorini the most memorable and spectacular trip of my life. I am returning to stay here for when I get married in Santorini next year. And, I will recommend Astra to my wedding guests and wedding party.

For those who like to read, here's the full review:

My boyfriend and I spent 6 days in Santorini. Our criteria for accomodations was elegant decor, impeccable service, infinity pool, and gorgeous views. Astra fit the bill and staying here went beyond my greatest expectations.

I did a ton of research. I referenced travel books, magazines, internet sites etc. And, reputable sources including, the NY Times Travel, Conde Nast Travel + Leisure, and Trip Advisor, all highly recommended Astra. After staying there, I can say with absolute certainty that Astra deserved all of the praise it received.

To begin with, I would stay here for the views alone. The infinity pool area has the most breath taking view I had ever seen of the water/caldera. To explain, I posted pictures on facebook, and within minutes I received at least a dozen messages/comments saying how gorgeous this place was, asking where I stayed, and how they had to go there.

The service and staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. My boyfriend and I did not plan a single activity prior to arrival. Each night we spoke to reception for about 5 minutes where we were presented with various activities and options. We picked one, it was booked and ready for the next day w/o any hassle. While we were there, we rented an ATV to explore the island (must do this), beach, hung out by the pool of course, walked to Fira (the capital is a scenic 30 min walk from Astra), 2 sailing trips, wine tasting and shopping in Ia.

Most importantly, Astra is located in Imerovigli, which is a quieter, less saturated with tourists, part of Santorini. This creates an atmosphere of relaxation (for those who are on business, family or friends trip), and romance (for those who are with a significant other). That being said, it's easy to get to any part of the island, so you dont sacrifice activities to stay here. And, I'll say it again, the pool and view is reason enough to stay here.

Best vacation of my life. Our stay at Astra and our trip to Santorini was so special to us that we want to get married here next year.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank kathynyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2009

My boyfriend and i decided to spend one night in Santorini and have a romantic night with a private patio and jacuzzi overlooking the Caldera and sunset. We chose the Astra due to great reviews and reputations!
Well..we have been visiting Santorini every year but this was the most romantic night in our lives! It was the first time that we enjoyed the sunset..the view..our love!
We had a very private jacuzzi suite and as i could tell from the hotels next door we were very lucky to be staying at the Astra and having privacy! The room was large and comfortable, the bathroom was wow...and the bed.....i wanted to stay there forever!
We had dinner at our patio and that was the best food we had ever! Credits to the chef Daniel!!!!!
The jacuzzi was heated and it was the best experience we ever had....relaxing under the moonlight..having our complimentary wine and falling in love again!

George Karayannis, the manager, is great and so warm person, he just had everything as we wanted! Dont leave the hotel if you dont meet him!

We will be back soon:)
Chris and Ian

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank chrisoula v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2009

We fell in love with Santorini and Astra. Our only regret was that we hadn't planned on staying longer. Spectacular!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank stargazer59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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