Santorini has been ranked the world’s top island by many travel experts, with over two million tourists visiting annually. Judging from the high number of tourists even in early June, this is one of the more popular Greek islands. It’s clearly a bucket list destination. And it’s no wonder when you consider the gorgeous white stone villas, private pools and incredible views over the Caldera, the volcanic crater submerged in the Aegean sea. The architecture and landscape of Santorini create a picture postcard setting and Kivotos, a newish boutique hotel that opened in 2019, perched high atop the cliffs, is one of the most idyllic and unique places to stay. Brothers Philip and Jason Michopoulos run the Kivotos hotel as well as a sister property in Mykonos.
Kivotos Santorini, in the sleepy village of Imerovigli, is an unusual sight, due to its unconventional, bold all-black exterior and interior color scheme. In contrast to the typical white villas of the island, the hotel’s black buildings are an homage to Santorini’s volcanic origins.
The entrance to Kivotos signals luxury from the street with the black façade giving arriving guests the impression of a chic private member’s club. And the twelve suites are like luxury caves. The interiors are as black as the exterior, building on the scenic volcanic rock that makes the Caldera so distinctive while providing an interior that’s cool in atmosphere and temperature.
In one of the largest suites, the cathedral ceilings open at the top to volcanic inspired lighting features. Each room in the two bedroom villa is generous and decorated in dark stone or grey plaster. The smart lighting throughout supports the dark theme. It even offers some theater, with a choice of lighting colors from reds to blues. Another surprising feature is a private indoor five-meter swimming pool, tucked behind the master bedroom. And a Hammam is just outside the pool area.
A spacious living and dining room are complemented by a fully equipped kitchen where you or a private chef can cook. If you don’t fancy cooking, a private staircase to the restaurant leads to some of the best sunset views on the island. Other impressive luxury services include butler service, private jet or yacht rentals and a fantastic masseuse will come to your villa.
Each of the suites and villas have indoor or outdoor pools, a hammam and en-suite treatment rooms. One of the villas could be opened to adjoining suites on either side to make a super villa for larger groups. The signature suite has a large terrace with a heated plunge pool. Other suites have outdoor plunge pools. In room toiletries are luxurious, made by Bulgari.
This season, Kivotos Santorini has partnered with award-winning French chef Jean-Charles Mavro Métayer (from Le Pavillon, Athens) to offer an exciting seafood-based menu that combines Mediterranean, Greek and French cuisine. MAVRO restaurant features fresh local ingredients and island delicacies like fava (split-pea dip), fried white aubergines, tomato balls, courgette balls and baked kalamari.
The open air restaurant and bar has a sophisticated night club vibe with a well thought out music. Kivotos’s restaurant terrace provides one of the best views on the island of the legendary Santorini sunset.
For keen walkers, Imerovigli is on a magnificent ten kilometer trail, much along the cliff’s edge overlooking the gorgeous coastline. The path starts at the town of Fira to the north, extending south to the town of Oia along the Caldera.