Breathtaking, picturesque, magical, heavenly, astonishing- these are just a few terms people use to describe Santorini. But really words nor pictures can do this popular holiday destination any justice.
As soon as you step foot on this Cycladic Island, it’s easy to understand why it’s adored by people all over the globe and is always named as one of the world’s best.
Today we take a close look at two stunning hotels located in Imerovigli, a village north of the capital Fira, and famously known for its beautiful sunset.
Above Blue Suites and Amber Light Villas are family owned and operated by a local Santorinian gentleman Giorgos Sigalas, who was born on the island way before it became popular amongst tourists and now has his grandchildren working alongside him.
His grandson George (named after him), George’s partner Eleftheria and his granddaughters, twin sisters Ilianna and Irini who have also been born and raised on the island, reside here all year round and manage the hotels amongst each other.
With a natural passion for tourism and also having studied hospitality, all four young managers are great hosts. They are always there to personally greet their guests and make it an absolute priority to help each visitor feel welcome.
Today Eleftheria and Iliana take us inside their gorgeous hotels, whilst also sharing some local secrets from an amazing island they are proud to call home.
Can you please tell us when Above Blue Suites and Amber Light Villas opened?
Amber Light Villas opened in June 2015 and Above Blue Suites has been operating since 2009.
Are you completely booked at Above Blue Suites and Amber Light Villas for Summer 2016, or are there still a few rooms available over the Summer period?
Above Blue Suites has an occupancy of more than 90% for the summer season with some available rooms. Amber Light’s occupancy is more than 85% for the summer season with a few available rooms.
What makes Above Blue Suites and Amber Light Villas one of the best places to stay in Santorini?
Above Blue Suites consists of 10 suites and one Villa and offers a unique combination of privacy, luxury, unique interior design and breathtaking views of the endless blue sea and the famous sunset.
Amber Light Villas is curved in the mountain and offers the combination of comfortable villas opening up to private terraces and balconies with stunning views out to the Aegean Sea and Cyclades complex.
Where exactly are the hotels located and what can visitors find close by?
Above Blue suites is located in Imerovigli village, which is at the highest point of the famous Caldera. It is only a few minutes far from local taverns and restaurants. Also, a cobblestone walking path below the hotel unites you with Fira or Oia village.
Amber Light Villas is located on the east side of the famous village of Imerovigli, just above the beaches of Koloumbos and Pori.
Where are most of your guests from?
Amber Light’s guests are mostly from England, France and United Arab Emirates. Above Blue Suites tends to have people from Korea, America and United Kingdom.
Can your staff speak English?
All the staff is well trained and speaks fluent English.
Is Above Blue Suites and Amber Light Villas child friendly?
Children are allowed at both our hotels.
Do you offer a shuttle service from the airport or port?
We offer shuttle service from/ to the Airport/ Port with an extra charge.
What are some of your main facilities that guests can enjoy?
Both our places have a Pool Bar, Restaurant, Spa and Above Blue also offers an in room private massage service.
Where should guests go in Santorini for some authentic Greek food?
The Dolphins at Akrotiri village, Kura Katina at Ammoudi Bay in Oia, Naoussa restaurant in Fira town and Argo restaurant, which is also in Fira town. Another great option, more creative but also based on Greek food and tastes is La Maison in Imerovigli.
Best place to grab an ice cream?
Chill box in Fira town and Lolita’s Gelato in Oia Village.
To catch a glimpse of the famous Santorini sunset?
Imerovigli village and Oia village are the most famous places to enjoy the sunset.
Best place for a swim in the ocean?
Perissa and Perivolos are the most famous and most organised beaches on the island. Also Red beach offers a unique scenery. For the wild and nature lovers we recommend Columbos rocky beach.
To grab a delicious cocktail?
Head to Franco’s Bar, Tango Bar and Crystal Bar.
For a casual or quick bite to eat?
For souvlaki head to Lucky’s Souvlaki in Fira and Yogi Gyro in Fira. For mezedakia, we recommend Ouzeri in Fira and Geromanolis in Megalochori village.
What traditional Santorinian food should people try?
Santorini is very famous for its local products, such as fava beans, cherry tomatoes, white eggplant and capers. People coming to Santorini should try the tomato fritters, pureed fava beans with onions (Pantremeni Fava), Santorinian salad with cherry tomato, capers, onions Chloro cheese (Santorinian goat cheese), olives, and fried eggplants or eggplant salad.
What should tourists do before leaving Santorini?
Visit a winery and a vineyard- we love Gavalas Winery, Venetsanos Winery, Santo wines and Koutsogianopoulos underground winery and museum. Go to the Santorini Arts Factory, the White Door Theatre and enjoy the Traditional Santorinian wedding. Make sure you go to the archaeological site in Akrotiri village and definitely do not leave until you get lost in the cute alleys of Oia village and have a romantic moment enjoying the sunset in Oia village.
Can you please give us a few local secrets that people should know about Santorini?
Santorini’s vineyards are considered some of the oldest and most important in Europe, as they have been growing on the Island since the 13th century BC.
Columbos volcano is an underwater volcano, which lies 8kms off the north east side of Santorini. It is considered the most dangerous volcano in Greece.
According to travellers of the 17th century in the middle of the Skaros rock, there were 200 houses, deserted at the time and slowly crumbling; so it is actually more than just a rock.
* Frontpage image also provided by Anna Tsouligiannis annawithlove.com