Andronis Concept, Santorini
Located in Imerovigli, a secluded Santorinian village on the island’s most romantic coastline, lies a brand new wellness resort that leaves guests continually speechless from the moment that they arrive.
I was sitting in the back of the car looking out to the ocean and the cloudless sky above it, when the car very suddenly stopped and pulled into the hotel. I couldn’t believe I had arrived. One minute I was twisting and turning along narrow roads, ascending closer to the heart of Santorini, and the next I had arrived at Andronis Concept which hovers on a cliffs edge looking down and out toward the ocean.
As I stepped out of the car I stood for a moment to appreciate the warm breeze that was sweeping up the mountain and through the hotel. Careless, and without a worry in the world, I wandered inside without my luggage to accept the invitation to enjoy the Kir Royal welcome drink that the hotel had prepared for my arrival. Little did I know that the flute filled with local Santorinian-made bubbles and blackcurrant crème de cassis was going to be my new favourite version of the classic cocktail.
I was then shown around the hotel before being taken to my suite because I was told that once I see my ‘Wet Allure’ suite I probably won’t want to leave it. I have to admit; I didn’t quite understand what they meant because who would want to spend so much time in their suite when you’re on an island as beautiful as Santorini and staying in a hotel as amazing as Andronis Concept? But then I was shown my suite…
I inserted the heavy metal dark-brown key into the lock and turned it. As I slowly pushed open the door my eyes were immediately met by the view from the floor to ceiling glass doors at the end of the room. I didn’t pay the slightest bit of attention to the rest of the suite, and headed straight for the balcony doors which I couldn’t unlock and open quick enough.
As the lock released and the doors glided open, I was completely awestruck by the sights and sounds of Santorini from my very own suite balcony which was complete with a private infinity pool that looked out to the Aegean Sea and the typical white-washed village of Oia in the distance.
I stepped back inside to explore the suite that I’d be staying in for the next few nights, and it was just one thing after another that left me utterly speechless.
The hotel consists of twenty-eight suites, and twenty-eight suites only, so each and every room exudes the luxury, privacy and seclusion that you’d hope to find along Santorini’s most romantic coastline.
The split-level Wet Allure suite that I stayed in was complete with an ocean-view bed, and marble staircase that led me beneath my bedroom to a state-of-the-art dressing room, vanity area, and cave-like shower and wet room. The suite balcony on the top floor boasts the luxury of a private infinity pool which captures the beauty of the volcano and sunset views.
In the morning, I woke up from such an unyielding sleep that I forgot where I was. And after a moment of having my eyes open I realised where I was and leapt out of bed to open the curtains and say good morning to Santorini and the incredible views that were waiting for me. On the first morning I enjoyed a floating breakfast which can be arranged on request, and let me tell you: there is absolutely nothing like enjoying a glass of Champagne and a banquet-like breakfast in your very own heated infinity pool looking out to the Aegean Sea from one of the most romantic destinations in the world.
As stay-worthy as the suite was, I decided after breakfast that I wanted to go and see what else the hotel had to offer.
I spent an hour or so by the hotel’s main infinity pool which faces the opposite side of the island to what my suite’s infinity pool did. I laid there with my eyes shut listening to the trickle of water as it splashed over the pool’s edge.
Tucked away behind the main pool and built into the earth’s natural rock is a cave-like pool with a waterfall inside. As you step down into the water and immerse yourself into the darkness of the cave-pool you are invigorated by the hammering sound of the water falling from above and hitting the surface of the water below.
As you stand beneath the waterfall and turn around to look toward the opening of the cave-pool, you are reminded once again that you are staying in a hotel as special as Andronis Concept where there are breath-taking sea views from every corner, whether you are arriving at the hotel lobby, lying on your
sun lounger next to your very own private infinity pool on your suite’s balcony, or splashing about beneath the hotel’s cave-like pool waterfall.
The Andronis Concept Wellness Resort is also home to Santorini’s biggest spa; The Kallos Spa. As you enter the Kallos Spa, you are invited downstairs to change into a comfortable gown and slippers before you are taken into the depth of the spa to begin your treatment.
It almost feels like you are being led into a cave when you are escorted to your treatment room. The entire spa is made out of rock and marble and has absolutely no lighting except for the flicker of candle light paving the way for your feet along the floor.
Before your treatment you are taken to a pre-treatment room which is almost pitch back aside from one or two candles. A therapist with the softest and serenest voice bathed my feet in warm water while she talked me through the treatment and discussed the different oils that could be used for my Deep Tissue Massage. The therapist was thorough, and wafted each oil under my nose for me to smell and told me the benefits of each oil. I opted for the thermal oil which she told me would feel warm on my skin and increase in warmth as it is massaged deep into my skin’s tissue.
The therapist patted my feet dry while I finished my herbal tea and then I was led through the dimly lit spa to the treatment room of dreams. It was an hour of pure heaven, and I am certain I caught myself drifting off to sleep on several occasions. I have had many massages around the world but I can tell you that my Deep Tissue Massage at the Kallos Spa is the best one that I have ever experienced.
Gastronomy is a big part of the Andronis experience. The Andronis Concept Wellness Resort is home to the Throubi restaurant which serves nutritionally balanced dishes using only the freshest raw ingredients from the Andronis garden, but the restaurant that really steals the show is Lycabettus which is situated in Oia, a coastal town on the Northwestern tip of Santorini. The town of Oia has whitewashed houses carved into the rugged clifftops and overlooks a vast caldera filled with water; exactly how you’ve always pictured Santorini to be.
Dining at Lycabettus is an experience that you will never forget. The Andronis restaurant is situated within the clifftop of Oia among many other
whitewashed buildings but it extends out onto a balcony where there is outdoor seating. Sitting at a table on the outdoor balcony means that you are almost looking back at Oia and its whitewashed buildings, and the view is truly enthralling.
As the night grows darker, the town of Oia slowly lights up; light by light the town becomes more and more magical.
We chose to dine from the Discovery Menu which consists of nine courses – each of which were exceptional. Most notably, the smoked gazpacho soup with avocado and Greek sour cheese ice cream was incredible, and something that I would never have picked if I were choosing from the menu myself. Two courses after the gazpacho soup was the chicken breast with Jerusalem artichoke, lemon and black truffle and the flavours were out-of-this-world. It was a dish that I simply did not want to end, but I was not disappointed with the course that followed it…
A selection of Greek cheese that Lycabettus presented me with was undoubtedly the best cheese board I have ever relished. The board included the freshest Greek feta and a sour cheese like no other. The accompanying chutneys were indescribable, and were the perfect end to such an unforgettable meal.
The quality of the menu and the dishes were worthy of a Michelin star, and the restaurant setting and view added to the unbelievable experience. We watched Oia fall into darkness, and then we watched the moon rise up behind the mountain in the distance and ascend high up into the starry-night sky. The evening was filled with moments that left lumps in my throat, and everlasting memories of Santorini.
A few sleeps spent at the Andronis Concept Wellness Resort would never be enough, and a night dining at the Lycabettus Restaurant will be an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.
And if you still feel like something is missing from Andronis Concept then perhaps the temptation of a private helicopter tour from the hotel’s very own exclusive helipad across the Aegean Sea to some of the most renowned Greek islands such as Mykonos and the Greek capital Athens might sway you. Or adopting your own vine at the Andronis vineyard, Kayalieros, which includes assisting in the vine’s harvest and experiencing a bespoke vineyard tour.
Whatever the experience that you might be hoping for in Santorini’s most romantic coastline; Andronis Concept will go above and beyond to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.
Epar.Od. Firon-Ias, Thira 847 00, Greece