Oia. The quintessential image of Santorini. The perfect little blue-domed churches stacked atop white buildings. The Byzantine Ruins. Amoudi Bay. When you look at postcards or stock photos of Santorini, my guess is that you’re looking right at this picturesque little town.
As I mentioned in my Sophia Suites review here, we couldn’t choose just one part of the island to stay at, so we split our time between our two favorite towns. We had already spent two dreamy nights in Imerovigli, so the bar was set high when we made our way over to Canaves. I’m happy to share that it did not disappoint!
While Sophia Suites is a tiny, new property barely 2-years-old and consisting of 6-ish rooms, Canaves Oia is a well-established group of 4 different complexes: Canaves Oia Hotel, Canaves Oia Suites, Canaves Oia Villa and Canaves Oia Sunday Suites. You can find an interactive map of the property here. Make sure you do your research and double confirm if you have a specific room in mind. We opted to go for a Junior Suite with a Plunge Pool for our honeymoon.
FIRST IMPRESSION / SERVICE
When we arrived, someone came to greet us and grab our bags for us. There are some stairs here, as it is Santorini, but the first thing we noticed about Canaves was how accessible and easy it was to walk around. The check-in is right by a couple of gorgeous churches and across the street from Passagio Cafe, where you can find the famed bougainvillea/bicycle entrance.
As we were checking in, the receptionist kindly walked us through the amenities and presented us with a voucher for a free gift from a nearby jewelry shop. When we walked over, we were given a small bracelet with the hotel logo on it. (Be aware – the jewelry store will naturally try to sell you other items there.) The front desk was also more than willing to assist us with dining reservations and transportation to catch our ferry to Naxos the next day.
Canaves is a gorgeous property, and I highly recommend walking around and exploring it. It’s very much a luxury hotel in the sense of all they have to offer – there are couches overlooking beautiful Caldera views, rejuvenating spas, a breathtaking infinity pool with lounge chairs in it (fair warning: you will see lots of photos!), a patio bar area with another pool for suntanning/breakfast and even a gym (you know, if climbing around Santorini isn’t exercise enough for you).
We splurged on a room with a private plunge pool (hip-deep for me), which added an extra special touch to our honeymoon. That said, you can absolutely get away with staying in the most affordable room here with no plunge pool, and not feel like your missing out at all – the communal pools are to die for, and you will LOVE the infinity pool!!!
When we stepped into our magical cave-themed suite, we were informed that we were the very first couple to ever stay in that particular room! What an honor it was to christen the gorgeous place. The room was well stocked with necessities, and the water pressure of the shower was excellent. It was easy to see the room was brand new.
This hotel property is conveniently located right where the town of Oia really starts happening. It’s near a variety of beautiful churches, cafes and flat(ish) walking areas. It is also next to a main road, and we merely had to cross the street when we were picked up for a wine tour we booked. A huge plus!
VIEWS!! You probably tire of hearing (err, reading?) me say that. But oh my goodness, the views! Our room had a plunge pool that you could walk into from stairs inside of the room – talk about AMAZING. The pool even had little jets going, and was warm enough that we felt content sitting in it on cool, May evenings. Relaxation at its finest.
While people can indeed walk right by your room, only hotel guests can roam the area, and little barriers between rooms made our space feel very private and romantic.
We were given the option to either get room service delivered to our room or walk over to the main pool area for breakfast (both included with the room rate). Every morning we walked to the pool area, because it was GORGEOUS. So much to see!!!!
For breakfasts, the staff immediately came out to greet us and asked what we would like to drink. Both mornings we were given a basket of pastries, a variety of fresh juices (orange and a vegetable-pear mixture) and coffee (cappuccino freddos for the win!!). We would select our mains from a menu, then head inside to explore the buffet for extras (e.g. Greek yogurt, fruit, smoked salmon, etc.).
Our favorite breakfast items were a Greek sausage/pepper hash and a tomato-egg scramble!
We decided to relax for an hour or so one afternoon, and got some drinks by the pool. They were refreshing and delightful, but a little bit on the costly side.
Upon arrival, we were presented with a nice bottle of white wine with the Canaves logo on it. There was a cute tote bag in the closet that we were told we could take as a gift, and every evening we found chocolates on our pillows in adorable little boxes.
Our first evening, we returned back to the hotel to find a firework display happening right outside our window! What a magical touch to a truly remarkable place. The hotel was even kind enough to leave a note on our bed informing us of the fireworks.
Oh, and this was actually probably the biggest highlight for me: when our room door was left open, we got cuddly, furry visitors!!!! Santorini cats!!!!!
In summary, if you are going to Santorini and want to stay in the quintessential town of Oia, this hotel is the place for you!