Considerations when choosing lodging in Santorini, Greece |
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Is Lodging in Santorini, Greece worth the Money?

Once we booked our flight to Santorini, we were excited to experience the breathtaking views of the caldera and the hillside towns along the edge of the island!  Then the hard part began…..which lodging in Santorini to choose?  Did we want to stay in Fira, Imerovigli or Oia?  Did we want a caldera view room with a balcony?  Was a hot tub worth the extra money?  How much were we willing to spend?

Lodging considerations when choosing a hotel in Santorini, Greece |

Due to an issue with a hotel booking, we had the opportunity to stay at 3 different properties during our 5 nights in Santorini.  We  are going to share our perspective on the considerations of choosing lodging in Santorini and if the cliffside properties are worth the money.

Which area of the island?

The 3 most popular areas are Fira, Imerovigli and Oia.  Ultimately we chose Imerovigli and we were pleased with our decision.  Imerovigli is located in the middle of the other two areas therefore we felt it was a good base to explore.  Fira is just a short 25-30 minute walk therefore it was easy to get around both areas.  Even in the hot July weather, we found the walk to be comfortable and of course the stunning views make it easy on the eyes!

Considerations when choosing lodging in Santorini, Greece |


For us, the tougher decision was deciding between Imerovigli and Oia.  Oia is famous for it’s windmill views and since it’s on the edge of the island noted for it’s sunsets.  The con of this area are the crowds and it is a bit higher priced than other areas.  The bus regularly goes between the towns and taxis are easy to book hence we decided on Imerovigli for our lodging in Santorini.

Considerations for lodging in Santorini, Greece |

Just to clear up any concerns regarding sunset views, they were amazing in Imerovigli as you can see above!

Should you book a caldera view room?

For us, this was hands-down a must.  We were in a bit of sticker shock at first for lodging in Santorini but decided to bite the bullet…..YOLO!  Each property served a private breakfast on the balcony.  Here are the views of each property we stayed at.  In the sake of full transparency, we are being highly critical to give you some things to consider however overall we were pleased with all locations.

Aliko Suites – This property for us offered a view that lacked in comparison to the others.  Mostly due to the fact that it was quite a way down the cliff.  Due to that, the perspective was not as great due to the brush in the front.

Considerations when choosing lodging in Santorini, Greece |

Absolute Bliss  This property’s view offered the most background with the curling island and view of Oia in the distance.  It was also the largest balcony that we had.  The drawback of this one, was the high railing that was in view particularly when using the loungers.

Considerations when choosing lodging in Santorini, Greece |

Above Blue Suites – This one was our favorite!  Despite being the smallest outdoor space of the 3 properties, it had the perfect unobstructed view.  Also it was perched highest on the hill versus the others which I think added to the experience.

Considerations when choosing lodging in Santorini, Greece |

While you can visit restaurants and bars that offer caldera views, we found our private balcony was the perfect spot to enjoy some wine or champagne as the sun went down.  Again, Above Blue Suites really delivered for sunset viewing!.

Considerations when choosing lodging in Santorini, Greece |

Is a hot tub worth it?

In short, we did not use the hot tub.  In most cases we felt it took up space and would have preferred a larger balcony area.  Also the rooms with hot tubs were at a price premium that in the end was money wasted for us.

Considerations when choosing lodging in Santorini, Greece |

Due to the close proximity of rooms and properties, the jets are turned off around 9pm therefore we couldn’t enjoy the hot tub after dinner in the evenings.  Secondly they are not covered and we found the water to be lukewarm at best even at the highest setting.  Lastly they aren’t really private, you can easily see your neighbor’s hot tub within the properties.

Considerations when choosing lodging in Santorini, Greece |

Our recommendation instead, stay at a property that offers a pool when choosing lodging in Santorini!  Aliko Suites did not have a pool but both Above Blue and Absolute Bliss had pool options.

Considerations when choosing lodging in Santorini, Greece |

This is the view from the pool at Above Blue.  Very relaxing setting but you don’t have caldera views while in the water.

Considerations when choosing lodging in Santorini, Greece |

This is the pool at Absolute Bliss, aptly named hotel as it truly was bliss at the pool!  You can lean on the edge of the pool and take in the caldera view.  This property wins hands-down!

Do I need a restaurant on-site?

As shown above, all the properties where we stayed included breakfast regardless if there was a restaurant on-site.  For us, a restaurant would be a nice to have but not a deal-breaker for lodging in Santorini.

We enjoyed having the option of ordering a few appetizers to go along with our wine during sunset at Absolute Bliss.

Considerations when choosing lodging in Santorini, Greece |

The best on-site restaurant was at Above Blue Suites.  They clear the pool area and set up a few dining tables each night.  The bonus is you get to enjoy a lovely meal while taking in the popular sunset.

Considerations when choosing lodging in Santorini, Greece |

Even better, you don’t have to be a guest at the property to enjoy dinner here.  Just make sure you have a reservation in advance since there are limited tables.  Oh and don’t miss the saganaki, we almost ordered 2!

Considerations when choosing lodging in Santorini, Greece |

Is air conditioning important?

We found that not all properties offered air conditioning.  Considering hotels are built on the cliff, the rooms are built into the side of the mountain.  All of the rooms we stayed in were similar set-ups in that they were long narrow spaces.  To show perspective, here is our room from Above Blue.

Considerations when choosing lodging in Santorini, Greece |

Due to the design, the rooms stay relatively cool therefore it would be ok to stay in a room without air conditioning.  The only caveat would be if there is a hot tub inside the room, then air conditioning is a must!  Aliko Suites had a hot tub in the room that was not fully enclosed and no air conditioning in the bedroom.  Unfortunately the nights were uncomfortable as the hot tub ended up creating a sauna-like atmosphere in the whole room.

Considerations when choosing lodging in Santorini, Greece |

Above Blue Suites, offered a hot tub in a fully enclosed room.  This way, the heat was contained and the room was comfortable with the air conditioner.  If you enjoy hot tubs, we would recommend a room with the hot tub inside so the water is truly hot unlike the balcony issue above.


Overall we were very pleased with the lodging in Santorini and highly recommend a room on the cliff with a balcony to anyone traveling there.  Yes, they can be expensive depending on your typical budget but it will be money well spent in our opinion.  We spent most of our room time on the balcony and just went inside to sleep!  Overall it is a unique experience to stay in properties on the side of a cliff.  With a setting like that, it’s hard to make a wrong choice when choosing lodging in Santorini!

Have you gone to Santorini? What advice would you add for lodging in Santorini?

Considerations when choosing lodging in Santorini, Greece |


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  1. Santorini is one of those places where EVERYTIME I look at a photo I go WOW! It’s like it keeps getting more and more beautiful. Your photos are beautiful and the accommodation looks amazing. I agree with you about needing views of the caldera, after all, that is a huge part of Santorini. We actually got lucky, in an unusual way, when we stayed there. We stayed in Fira, at a sister hotel of the Volcanic View Hotel. Our hotel was considerably cheaper but we got to have all the facilities of the VV Hotel which was right on the caldera. So breakfast and dinner, overlooking the water. The pool was the same. Couldn’t have had a better experience. But the hot tub – well didn’t that look just fabulous. I would have loved one of those 🙂 #weekendwanderlust

  2. I am dying of envy over here! We were in Santorini last May, but our budget didn’t leave us room for such wonderful accommodations. We promised ourselves that we’d return for our 20th or 25th anniversary, though, and that we’d splurge on some place like these. Your pictures really capture the pure white and blue of Santorini. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Wow! Thanks for such a great, in depth review of some of the available lodgings. This will prove to be very helpful.

  4. I’ve been wanting to go to Greece, and Santorini is definitely on my list for when I finally get there. I somehow didn’t realize that it was so big and that there was a choice of areas to stay in. Of the places you reviewed, Above Blue sounds like the one that would suit me best.

  5. What a beautiful view! I love your outstanding review. You really do go in depth, which will help anyone looking to go on vacation in Greece.

  6. I was living in Greece for 6 months (in South part of Greece). I always wanted to go to Santorini but finally didn’t have chance 🙁
    Those beautiful pictures of this place are always in my mind but it’s very useful to read your information, easier to decide what kind of place to book. Because I believe the are so many options (maybe too many:D)? Do you think it’s bossible to get some extra discounts or “hot deals” for places in Santorini? #WeekendWanderlust

    1. Awesome that you have the opportunity to live in Greece! Yes, the options are certainly overwhelming! We traveled in peak season of summer therefore no deals for us. I would suspect there is a low season where you may get a bit of a discount but overall we found Santorini to be pricey. Hope you get the opportunity to visit!

  7. A nice overview of Santorini . Except the beaches which I don’t like them at all, everything else worth it . If it wasn’t too pricey it would be ideal.

  8. Hi, I just came across your blog while researching Santorini hotels and am considering either Absolute Bliss or Above Blue. I’m primarily interested in privacy on the balcony (while sitting on the chairs) but don’t care about using the hot tubs. It seems like neither property offers much privacy on the balcony — people above you can see down onto you and people below you can see you on their way up the public stairs — is this true? Did you see any rooms at either property that were more private than others?

    1. Hi Maria. People will not really be able to see you while going up the stairs. Both properties have doors which block the stairs so you can keep it closed for privacy. Our room was higher up at Absolute Bliss therefore there were not other rooms that could look down plus the balcony was larger so there was more space to utilize. Above Blue definitely had the smaller balconies and we could easily see down onto other balconies. I’d suggest requesting a room higher up so there aren’t rooms above to look down. Enjoy your trip!

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  10. I can’t believe this place is on Earth. It seems unearthly and magical. Santorini is one of the most beautiful places I have seen, Amanda and Brian!

  11. I wish I had stayed over there. I stood over in that area and watched the sunset, which was amazing.

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