When looking for a hotel in Santorini it’s very easy to get overwhelmed – so much choice and so many beautiful properties with whitewashed rooms, turquoise pools and sunset views, it’s hard to know where to start!
Usually opting to book each element of our holidays seperately – flights, hotel, transfers etc – for once we just wanted someone to do it all for us! We booked our trip through Kuoni and they arranged it all. We chose to stay at Sun Rocks in the quiet village of Firostefani, a small adults only Relais & Châteaux hotel with just 17 rooms and suites dotted along the hillside
Sun Rocks is part of the Katikies group, which has five luxury hotels in Santorini, and one in Mykonos
From the moment we arrived and were shown to the balcony in reception to enjoy a welcome drink whilst being checked in, the staff were amazing and so friendly – nothing was too much trouble
Thankfully our suitcases were carried down for us – there are no lifts here! I do not envy the guys that have to do that job but you never see them without a smile! The hotel is built into the hillside and the steps are narrow and winding so ladies, don’t bother with heels – the climb back up the stairs is way worse than coming down! We were taken past the maze of rooms…
…and down to ours where we were met with this view from our own private terrace…
As our room was lower down than most and set to one side of the hotel, our terrace was a lot more private than others which was lovely. After a little squeal we went inside to check out our room. All white everything, it felt quite spacious for saying that it was one of the smaller rooms (if you’re feeling especially flush you can book the Sun Rocks Suite with its own private pool – inside the room!) We found that we were the odd ones out staying for a week – a lot of people seemed to stay for just 1, 2 or 3 days, but I suppose if I was paying for a top suite I guess I might too!
The room was equipt with a Bose player and an iPod, already loaded with playlists so you could enjoy some music and not worry about whether your phone was compatible
Maid service was twice daily so towels and bedding were always fresh, and bottled water was delivered each evening when the beds were turned down
The clothes hanging, before we made a mess, obviously!
The bathroom was pretty small but functional, with a rainfall shower and for a hotel, actually pretty good bathroom lighting!
We were also given a mobile phone (a good old Nokia, and yes it had snakes on it!) which we could take with us when we were out and about on the island, and call the hotel if for example we needed them to arrange a taxi – very handy, especially as there are only 30-something taxis on the whole island for everyone to fight over!
We were soon distracted by that view again though…
Opening the doors to this every morning was not difficult let me tell you!
From our room we were about 10 steps from the pool deck, equipt with 5 large double sunloungers which isn’t a lot, but during our stay there was only one occasion where all the beds were full and we sunbathed on our terrace instead
The turquoise pool was so refreshing to slip into and cool off between sunbathing and drinking mojitos 🙂
Also on the pool deck are dining tables for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or if you just wanted a snack during the day…
…our favourite being the wooden bench with uninterrupted views of the caldera
Or you could snack from the comfort of your sunlounger or terrace, which we naturally took full advantage of!
Sun Rocks was especially beautiful at sunset, with a golden glow washing over the cliffside
At the end of our stay, after a great last day at sea, we decided nothing would beat walking barefoot to our hotel restaurant, Elea, for our last evening meal of the trip
You can choose to eat inside (which is great when it’s a little windy) but we reserved the table with the best view – that wooden bench under the stars, looking out onto the caldera
We toasted with Greek beer – Mythos – before ordering a bottle of ice cold white wine
The one downside of eating under the stars is that as it gets darker it’s hard to take pictures without annoying everyone around you with the flash, so please bear with me on the quality…
Warm bread rolls were brought to our table, along with olives, tomato paste & the hotel’s own olive oil. Santorini is famous for its tomatoes and their tomato paste is delicious and sweet – they use it as a dip with bread (I just had to buy some to bring home!)
We then received a huge amuse bouche of vibrant broccoli velouté with soft cheese (it was basically an extra course!)
For starters we shared a Greek salad, and octopus with fava bean puree. The salad had just the right amount of feta (it seems odd to complain about having too much cheese but it can be a bit overpowering!), sweet juicy tomatoes, peppers, onions, olives and some fantastic Greek capers. As with the tomato paste, I had to buy some capers to take home as the ones I ate in Santorini were the best I’ve ever had. The octopus was simply cooked, tender, and the portion was really generous and perfect to share. The fava bean puree (fava beans are another speciality of the island) was smooth and delicately seasoned, letting the octopus be the star of the dish. There was an accompanying powder on the dish which didn’t really taste of much and seemed to be there just for visual effect
I chose the least fine-dining main course on the menu which was pork souvlaki. What it lacked in finesse it certainly made up for in taste – juicy pork and grilled peppers were paired with perfectly crisp and golden chips, tzatziki and a pitta tower filled with fresh tomatoes and red onion chutney, which gave a lovely sweetness. The pitta breads in Greece are so much softer and fluffier than those we get in the UK, I feel like I need to track down a Greek deli to get my hands on some!
We shared dessert and went for the ‘chocolate textures’. Again there was a non-descript powder on the dish but the rest was lovely – light chocolate cake crumb, dark chocolate shards, white chocolate mousse and a few berries for good measure!
As with every other moment from when we arrived at the hotel, the staff were attentive but not intrusive and they made our last evening really special. They were passionate and knowledgable about the food and wine, and we enjoyed chatting about the menu and ingredients when making our choices
Another of the best bits of eating there on our last night? We were only 20 steps away from our bed! That’s our room you can see glowing beneath…
We alternated where we had breakfast each day – either in our room, by the pool or in the restaurant. Breakfast was included and you could choose from a range of different options from bread & pastries, fruit salad, eggs any way you like, Greek pie – or if you’re my husband, you can have them all at once! One thing we had every day without fail (as recommended by one of the concierge) was tea with Greek honey, something I have even taken to drinking now we’re home!
Sun Rocks was everything we wanted it to be – adults only, small & quiet, with excellent service and lovely food – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend staying there. Being back to the reality of normal life & work still hurts!