If you have read my previous blog…hint hint, nudge nudge…you will see that we have just returned from 11 nights island hopping in the beautiful Cylades Islands.
We started our trip with 4 nights in Santorini (AKA heaven on earth) and booked 4 nights in the beach resort of Kamari. As this was a last minute trip as we have Italy booked in October (fingers crossed it goes ahead and Boris lets us travel!) I was under strict instructions from Rory (AKA the grumpy photographer!) that I wasn’t allowed to go crazy and spend a stupid amount on hotels. For Rory to agree to an impromptu holiday is like winning the lottery and I would have happily stayed in a hostel (well no I wouldn’t, that’s a lie!) to get away after the last few years that we have had!
As we have been to Santorini before I knew what area I wanted to stay in and we decided on 4 nights here to recharge our batteries and mainly chill out, catch some sun and eat all of the Gyros we could fit in before heading to the next island. I found a great hotel for the 4 nights on booking.com called the Blue Sea Hotel (linked below) which fitted the bill and our budget perfectly. The rooms looked modern with a nice bathroom (I can’t deal with a shit bathroom) and had amazing reviews on trip advisor so I quickly booked it as there wasn’t many rooms left and it was such a good price at around £50 per room per night including a continental breakfast (which we didn’t eat cause Rory needs a lot of food in the morning otherwise he is vile all day) but the breakfast looked great from what I saw!
As you do, I was stalking the shit out of people on Instagram that were currently in or had recently returned from Santorini (come on, we all do it) and was drooling over the amazing photos of the Instamodel brigade posing in their beautiful dresses on the whitewashed village of Oia and lounging in their private infinity pools watching the sunset into the Caldera. I started looking at some of the hotels that were tagged in some of the photos just mainly to have a good nose and of course a girl can dream and I couldn’t believe the prices…who the hell can afford £8000 A NIGHT…that’s my mortgage repayments for a whole bloody year!!
Once I have started looking at something and have it in my head I become obsessed and would spend every night looking (and driving myself crazy in the process) for a hotel in Oia, just as a treat and a surprise for Rory after the shit few years that he has had, that was within my budget that I had set for myself…which I can confirm was significantly less than £8000 a night!!
I had three things that I wanted in a room…well I wish I could have more but I wasn’t about to spend a month’s earnings on 1 nights’ accommodation, no matter how beautiful or Instagramable it was! My wish list was once again a nice bathroom, a view of the caldera and either a jacuzzi or private pool….all for under £400…which seems like a lot but have you seen the prices in Oia?!
I searched and searched until I was blue in the face and about to tear my hair out and give up completely as all of the hotels I was coming across within my budget either didn’t have a private pool or jacuzzi or a cadera view (third world problems).
Just as I was about to give up, I realised that in my search I was asking for a pool and a private pool so unticked the shared pool box on Booking.Com, now who needs a shared one when you have your own…and up came the Liakada Suites! The reviews on trip advisor were slightly mixed so I did some stalking (thank god for location tags!) and found a lovely girl on Instagram who had just stayed there and messaged her directly to see what her opinions were on the hotel and the specific room type that I had my beady little eyes on and she couldn’t praise the hotel enough, which at this point I was literally climbing the walls with excitement!!
The room type I was eyeing up was the Deluxe Suite with Private Pool and it even had self-catering facilities which was a huge bonus as I thought we could save some money and not leave the room once we had checked in (trust me I wasn’t about to leave a room with views like that for love nor money!) The room was such a good price at only £245 per night which is literally a quarter of the price as other rooms in Oia with the same facilities…so I started wondering what is wrong with the place that it is so cheap?! After doing some more research (I’m not an impulsive kind of girl!) I found out that the hotel wasn’t as much of a hotel, just a small collection of 4 suites with no reception or shared facilities but you would check in at a hotel a few minutes’ walk away and then someone would help you with your luggage (down the million steps…I will come back to this shortly) and showed you around the room, which was perfect for what we needed so I secretly booked it and pissed myself with excitement (no, not literally) and wondered how long I would be able to keep my big mouth shut and not tell Rory about the surprise!!
I lasted until the morning we checked in… which is more of a miracle than Jesus turning water into wine! It killed me not to tell Rory what I had planned as I could hardly contain myself as this was something that has always been on my bucket list and I swear he knew something wasn’t right as I couldn’t keep still and wanted to go to bed extra early the night before so it would come around sooner, I was literally like a kid at Christmas!
The second we woke up on the morning that I had booked the room for, I blurted it out, like verbal diarrhoea or someone with a bad case of Tourette’s of what the plans were. Now Rory is a man of very few words, and doesn’t get excited for anything but he seemed really pleased and was looking forward to it and to seeing what I had booked. I had kept our room on in Kamari so we wouldn’t have to take much luggage with us as I had read how steep the steps were down to the room and didn’t fancy karting our huge suitcases with us that were really bloody heavy so I just took my light hand luggage which was the perfect size and easy to navigate around the cobbled streets and steep steps of Oia. I’ve popped the link below for our hand luggage that we used, we have had it for a few years now and it is still in perfect condition…and it has been used A LOT!
I had organised for a transfer company that I found online to pick us up and take us to Oia, and the hotel had kindly rung us in the morning and let us know that the room would be ready early which was an extra bonus! Rory hadn’t been at all to Oia before as when we went last year it was for a friend’s wedding so we didn’t do a huge amount of site seeing. Once we had arrived in Oia and the moment that we walked up the cobbled streets from where the car had dropped us off and Rory saw the amazing views…his eyes lit up…which again is a miracle in itself! We were met by a lovely gentleman (god that sounds posh…so a bloke who works for the hotel!) who took us to the hotel to check in and waited for us to finish before walking us to our hotel and our room.
Now when I say there is a lot of steps…I am not being dramatic (for once!). For some reason I HATE steps that don’t have a handrail (yes, I am worse than your nan!) and the steps were mega steep and seemed never ending with a huge drop into the sea below on the right-hand side, I don’t know what I expected from a cliffside hotel 😉 . After what felt like a lifetime of the steep steps, we had reached our room and I was speechless…and I mean literally speechless (there is a first time for everything!) The views were out of this world and our room had its own huge private terrace with the most perfect caldera view and of course the most amazing private infinity pool…I literally cried I was that happy at how perfect it was.
I was that excited and gobsmacked by the views and the huge outdoor space that I forgot we was actually staying there! The room itself, I didn’t expect anything special, especially for the price we had paid…but my god it was frikking amazing…and HUGE!! The suite was built into the cliffside and as soon as you entered the suite there was a large living area, with a kitchen and bathroom to the left and then a massive bedroom….and even a walk-in wardrobe…. for £245…I couldn’t and still can’t believe how amazing it was for the price!
Rory’s face was a picture and he was literally farting fairy dust over the views and the room, as was I! We dumped our bags and decided that we would go and grab some lunch and then just get some bread and picky bits for dinner so we could enjoy the room and relax for the rest of the day. If I thought the steps were bad on the way down, it was nothing compared to walking back up them in the midday heat…the chub rub was on a whole other level! We had seen a supermarket near where our car had dropped us off so once I had got over my heavy breathing and wiped the sweat off ,which was coming from every orifice after the climb, we heading to get to the essentials…basically wine and crisps 😊
Rory was starving (I don’t think there is ever a time that he isn’t hungry) so we found a Gyros place called PitoGyros which I had found on Instagram and heard great things about, so we headed there for some lunch. There was a small wait for a table but my god…it was worth the wait! Oia is well known not only for its views and sunsets as it is its prices, but for the two of us including drinks and Rory having 2 gyros (hey fatty) the total only came to 15 euro which is soooo good and I would have paid double, the food was that good!
After we had been fed and watered and cooled down after what felt like climbing Mount Everest, we headed to the supermarket to get all of the essentials…basically wine (a few bottles!) bread and crisps…oh and a hat for Rory as he left his at the hotel in Kamari and he needs protection for his bald head especially as there was not much shade on our terrace 😉
With the essentials in hand we made our way back down the million steps (slight exaggeration) and back into the cool comfort of our amazing room, got into our swimmers and literally bombed into the pool…which is pretty much where we stayed all evening.
Watching the sunset over the Caldera with Rory with a glass of wine in hand, I felt so bloody grateful and content. If you have read my previous blogs you will know the last few years have literally been the hardest of our lives…but at this moment in time it was like nothing else mattered and we just sat in silence enjoying the amazing views, each other’s company and soaking up this once in a lifetime moment…yes this is mega soppy for me, but it is the way I felt! Once the sun had set, I went and made some sandwiches with the essentials we had brought from the local supermarket (I told you I was on a Lambrini budget) with some mega chewy bread which gave our jaws a proper work out…and sat and watched the stars and the beautiful whitewashed village of Oia as it lit up for the evening (with some more wine obvs!)
The next morning, we woke up early to go and watch the sunrise on our private terrace. As the sun peeked from behind the whitewashed village, I couldn’t believe we were lucky enough to have had this experience. We decided to once again climb up Mount Everest AKA the steps up to Oia village (which wasn’t as bad in the morning before it got too hot…but I still added some more to the old chub rub!) and have a walk around the beautiful cobbled streets and take in the views before the masses of tourists arrived for the day. It was truly beautiful and so lovely in the quiet morning with only us and a few locals around (and a few of instamodel brigade with their photographers in tow of course!) After a little walk, Rory needed feeding AGAIN, so we grabbed some breakfast before going back to the room to enjoy the rest of the morning enjoying the views and pool before having to check out at 11.
As we checked out of our room, I had a little moment…and I may have cried…simply because of how happy I was and so glad that we had got to experience this together, yes this is another soppy moment, I promise it won’t happen again 😉
So to wrap it up, if this is within your budget then BLOODY DO IT! I have shown that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to experience and I promise you it will be the best money you have ever spent on a hotel!
There are also cheaper hotels without a pool that have great reviews of the caldera, which I have also linked below for you…some prices are as low at £100 per night which is frikkin AMAZING!
If you want the most amazing suite for a great price, I seriously cannot recommend the Liakada Suites enough (linked below) it really was a day and night that I will never forget for the best reasons!
I haven’t been paid or gifted this experience I just wanted to share it with you and make you see that it doesn’t haven’t to cost you a fortune to have these kind of experiences (but Liakada if you see this and want to give me a free night’s stay the next time I am in Santorini, come at me bro 😉)
If anyone has any questions or would like any other tips then please give me a shout, I am always more than happy to help!
Thank you for reading xx