Santorini - Read our Stories and Reviews


After Sheira and I discovered Greece, this oddly shaped island wrapped around a stunningly beautiful lagoon-type ‘Caldera’ became one of our most treasured destinations on the planet. The picturesque settlement of Oia clings to the cliffside at the northern tip of the island: it’s a magical place where iconic domed Cycladic architecture meets the most mystical sunsets in the Aegean. Even Santorini’s popularity with travelers can’t break the spell.

We keep coming back, in large part due to the remarkable Perivolas guesthouse (its owner Costis Psychas refuses to call this amazing place a hotel, and I’m not about to argue with him!). The dazzlingly white, moulded, cave-like rooms are as unique and distinctive as the warm welcome we always receive. We now consider ourselves part of the Perivolas family, and as the years go by can never stay away for too long…
View our Black Book



"Searching for the best luxury accommodation in Santorini? Jonathan and his family share their luxury holiday experiences in the Greek Islands..."

Sheira and I first started our ongoing love affair with the luxury hotel Perivolas about a dozen years ago.  We’d been regular visitors to Italy and France, and decided that it was high time we broadened our horizons to include Greece, and Santorini in particular. 

I contacted my travel agent and told her that were looking for an authentic Santorini holiday experience, and she sent me a brochure containing a number of properties on the island. (See, even back then I was a stickler for research! Even back in the days when the world wide web was not yet a gleam in a computer programmer’s eye!)

I took one look at Perivolas and I was sold. It was in an old part of Oia, sitting majestically high on a cliff top. I still think it offers the best views anywhere on Santorini of the neighbouring island of Therasia, and across to the volcanic “Burnt Islands” of Nea Kameni and Palaia Kameni.

Everything about Perivolas appealed to me: the vaulted ceilings of the “cave houses”, the whitewashed walls, the blue shutters, and the natural stone. The architectural aesthetic had a sort of “softness” about it that I loved. There were no hard edges, no sharp angles in the moldings. Everything was curved, molded, and rounded, even the walls. This was a luxury hotel (sorry Costis, a Guest House!) that spoke to me. It still does.

On our fifth visit back to Santorini in 2007, we were child-free and coming to Santorini directly from Mykonos.  Actually, it’s more accurate to say that we were “escaping” from Mykonos.  A couple of things had gone wrong here and there – nothing major at all – but mainly we had seen the party island scene up close and wanted to try another flavour, so we jokingly decided that we should “bust out of there” a couple of days early.

Once we made the decision to leave Mykonos early, I went into full Action Man mode to get us over to Santorini. I ended up with a down to the wire purchase of the last two seats on the jet cat. It was such a last minute decision that the tickets weren’t even in the same class!

Every other time we’d arrived in Santorini, we’d flown. Arriving by sea was a new experience for both of us. Even though the jet cats are highly efficient, with their assigned seats and massive engines, they don’t quite have the same romance or sense of adventure as the old ferries that chugged along while people sat on deck playing guitars and singing songs as they tried to dodge the salt spray.

As we approached the island, I started to notice the spectacular, jagged, volcanic cliff face. As we got a little closer I could make out a smattering of rustic beige and white dwellings peppered on top of the cliff. A little closer still and the unmistakably Greek image of a turquoise dome came clearly into view.  After the crowds and noise of Mykonos, Santorini was a sight for sore eyes!

Our friends Tania and Ronnie were booked in at the luxury hotel KATIKIES. It’s a hotel that is constantly winning international awards for excellence, but for some reason Sheira and I have never really taken to it, even though it’s just 300 metres or so from Perivolas.

To be honest, I did consider 2 other hotels if Perivolas had been full.

MYSTIQUE. It’s literally been carved into the cliff face in Oia. There are only 18 suites (with six more under construction) but each of them has the same incredible west facing view, which means that they all have panoramic views of the legendary sunset over the Caldera.

The rooms themselves are painted that dazzling, typical Aegean white. They’re sort of “free style” in their design, which has been described as “cave-art,” with driftwood headboards, whitewashed low tables & stools that look like eggs. It’s very cool, in an unusual way.

IRINI. This is another of the relatively new luxury hotels in Oia.  Like a lot of the hotels in the village, many of the buildings on the property were originally actual natural volcanic caves, once used as houses as well as wineries or stables.

Kirini is selling itself as a combination of traditional Aegean charm and modern day comforts. Beyond its selection of suites ranging from Junior Suites to the Spa Suite, the Kirini also features its own Pool Lounge & Cocktail Bar and White Cave Restaurant (like name, like nature).

I called Perivolas and spoke to the always charming, ever helpful Kelly, who told me that Perivolas was full…but to call back in 10 minutes.

We needn’t have worried. Kelly called ME back to  say that she had figured out a way to fit us in.

Once again, Kelly has gone the extra mile and come up with a workable solution. She’s even organized a car and a driver to pick us up at Athinios. Sheira and I are sooo happy!  We’re headed back to our beloved luxury accommodation at Perivolas again!

Join Jonathan Said and his family on their
luxury travel journeys as they share their best restaurants experiences and luxury hotels and resorts holidays around the world. The comprehensive travel tips and ideas include some of the most popular things to see and do at each destination including a local shopping guide, photos, video, music and much more.

Bookmark and Share

Why not join us on some other adventures?


When I search for accommodation on my favourite ...

Read More


I usually like to walk (and literally jog!) ...

Read More


I am a passport carrying, 24/7, lover of ...

Read More


I live life at the frontier. When we ...

Read More


Koh SamuiPhuket


Soneva Gili
Back to Home Page
Choose a Place we've visited around the World
Where to Stay around the World
Places to Eat around the World
Things to See & Do around the World
Where to Shop around the World
More travel tips and advice
Getting To Santorini
Where to Stay in Santorini
Places to Eat in Santorini
Things to See & Do in Santorini
Where to Shop in Santorini
Our Conclusion of Santorini
Your Comments on Santorini
Our directory recommendations for Santorini