Greece › Santorini › Hotels › Canaves Epitome Review
by Santorini Dave • Updated: February 7, 2023
• Location: Secluded location north of Oia, not on the caldera but with sunset views
• Hotel website: canaves.com
• Hotel phone: +30 22860 71453
• Check prices for Canaves Epitome
Canaves Epitome – Luxurious boutique resort with an infinity pool, spa room, upscale dining, and villas and suites with private pools.
Canaves Epitome offers one-bedroom suites and one to two-bedroom villas, all with heated, outdoor plunge pools or swimming pools on private terraces and sunset views over the Aegean Sea (not the caldera). The signature champagne breakfast features a different menu daily, while the hotel’s bar and restaurants offer modern takes on Greek and Mediterranean cuisine using local, seasonal ingredients. What sets Epitome apart is its privacy: the suites and villas are spread out from each other within the property, and the hotel itself sits just outside of Oia village, away from the bustling footpaths, yet readily accessible.
Canaves Epitome – Location
• Area: Secluded location northwest of Oia village, just a short walk to Ammoudi Bay (dining, cruises, swimming, and cliff diving), the Byzantine castle ruins (most popular sunset viewpoint), fantastic restaurants, and upscale boutique shopping. The hotel offers complimentary shuttle service to Oia several times a day.
• How to Get There: The hotel sits on a side street just outside the village about halfway down the hill toward Ammoudi Bay – easy to reach by car or taxi, but a bit of a haul if walking there from the bus station with luggage. It is approximately 18km from the Athinios ferry port and the Santorini Airport to the hotel, though they are in different directions.
There are always buses waiting at the ferry port for every ferry arrival, as well as buses departing hourly from Santorini Airport. There are no direct buses from the port or airport to Oia, however; buses from both locations go to Fira, where you must then board a different bus to Oia – the entire trip from the port or airport to Oia will take at least an hour and cost about €5 in total. Tickets are purchased on the bus, in cash only. From the Oia Bus Terminal, it’s a 17-minute walk to the hotel along a slightly downhill route.
Taxis are also available from the port or airport, though there are only about 25 taxis serving the whole island, so there is often a wait; schedule a ride through a private car service in advance to avoid this (I use and recommend Welcome Pickups). Taxis on Santorini are not metered, so be sure to agree on a price with the driver before setting out. A taxi from the airport to Canaves Epitome will cost roughly €35 to €40. A taxi from the ferry port will cost around €35 to €40. Booking through a private car service will cost only a bit more – about $60 (or €50), but is worth it to avoid the wait and for the convenience of paying ahead.
For those who prefer to drive themselves, we recommend renting a car either at the airport on arrival, or in Fira. The road from the ferry port is steep and narrow, with many tricky switchbacks, large trucks, and buses. Leave that for the locals to navigate. We strongly recommend reserving a vehicle in advance, especially if you require automatic transmission. Upon arrival at the hotel, Canaves Epitome offers free parking in their on-site lot (a major perk).
• Handy to: Ammoudi Bay, Byzantine Castle Ruins, Oia Bus Terminal.
Map of Canaves Epitome
Canaves Epitome – The Basics
- Ages: Canaves Epitome welcomes guests aged 6 years and up. There are no amenities or facilities for children, though all suites and villas offer a sofa bed. Most guests are couples celebrating a romantic occasion, though summer months are popular with families.
- Beach: The closest swimming spot (though it is not a proper beach) is at Ammoudi Bay, the port immediately below Oia, 600m down. This is a popular spot for swimming and cliff diving; though it’s too rocky and small to do much lounging. Ammoudi Bay is the main port of Oia and is served by several spectacular seafood restaurants. It’s a steep trek down and back again, but it’s relatively easy to catch a cab at the bottom to bring you back up the hill. (Buy a snack at one of the restaurants and the waiter will be happy to call one for you.)
- View: Each suite and villa boasts an unobstructed sunset view over the Aegean, though none face the caldera.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: All suites have their own private, outdoor, heated plunge pools or swimming pools.
- Parking: Canaves Epitome offers free parking in their on-site lot.
- Extras: Lots of privacy, extra-large suites/villas all have private verandas, private pools, villas have bathtubs, complimentary champagne breakfast, shuttle service to Oia, spa room, gym, complimentary cocktail on arrival, complimentary bottle of wine and fruits on arrival, 24-hour reception, 24-hour room service, twice-daily maid service, pillow menu, robes, and slippers.
- When to Book: The hotel operates from early April until late October/early November. Reserve at least 5 months in advance (7 months is better) for stays during the high season from June through September, and about 4 months in advance for the low and shoulder seasons.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +30 22860 71453
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: canaves.com
Canaves Epitome – Amenities
- Pool: Large infinity pool with bar and drink service, surrounded by sunbeds and umbrellas, with direct sunset sea views over the Aegean and toward Thirassia Island.
- Spa: Small spa room on-site; spa treatments can be done here or in the suites/villas.
- Fitness Center: Small gym with new, high-quality equipment. Personal training and yoga sessions can be arranged on request.
- For Disabled Guests: Since the hotel is not in the caldera, it is flatter than most and has fewer stairs, though there is no elevator. All suites and most 1-bedroom villas are all on 1 level; 2-bedroom villas are on 2 stories with a bedroom on each floor. The hotel is not wheelchair accessible, but it is suitable for those with mild to moderate mobility issues. Choose a single-floor suite or villa on the main level to reduce the need to navigate stairs.
- For Families: Canaves Epitome welcomes guests aged 6 years and up. There are no amenities or facilities for children, though all suites and villas offer a sofa bed, and the largest 2-bedroom villas sleep up to 5. Unlike caldera hotels, Epitome is fairly flat with no crazy steep stairways, so it’s easy for families with little kids to get around.
- Activities: The hotel’s skilled concierge team can arrange any activities on the island, including wine tours, caldera cruises, archaeological excursions, and more. The complimentary shuttle service makes it easy to visit all the highlights of Oia.
Canaves Epitome – Food and Drink
- Restaurants: Elements is Epitome’s signature fine-dining restaurant, open from 6:30 to 11 pm. The Greek menu highlights local ingredients in traditional dishes, prepared with a modern twist. Wine pairings are exceptional, as are the sunsets. • The Lounge Bar & Restaurant offers Greek and Mediterranean mains, snacks, and light fare with a casual atmosphere from 11 am to 7 pm. The bar serves outstanding cocktails until late, usually around 1 am.
- Breakfast: The hotel’s complimentary, signature, a la carte, champagne breakfast is served in the Lounge Bar & Restaurant or directly to each suite every morning from 8 am to 11 am. The menu changes daily and is inspired by different locations in Greece.
- Room Service: Available 24-hours a day.
Canaves Epitome – Rooms
- Room Types: Deluxe Suite with Plunge Pool • Honeymoon Suite with Plunge Pool • One Bedroom Pool Villa • Two Bedroom Pool Villa • Aqua Retreat Two Bedroom Pool Villa • Epitome Pool Villa
- Smoking Rooms: Canaves Epitome does not allow smoking in any of its rooms. Smoking is allowed on the private, outdoor terraces and in the outdoor common areas of the hotel.
- Best Room: All suites and villas here are remarkable, but the best option for couples is the Epitome Pool Villa. At 55 sqm, this is the largest of their one-bedroom villas, featuring a king-sized bed, generous living room, outdoor dining area, heated swimming pool, and a panoramic view of Thirassia Island, the Aegean, and sunset from the spacious private veranda.
- For Families: The hotel allows guests ages 6 and up. There are no amenities or facilities for children. The best room for families is the Aqua Retreat Two Bedroom Pool Villa. This unique 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom villa is divided into 2 stories with 1 bedroom per level: the top floor bedroom has a view over the pool toward the sea, while the bottom floor features a glass wall with a view directly into the pool. The Aqua Retreat sleeps up to 5 guests with 1 king-sized master bedroom, a second bedroom with 1 king or 2 twin beds, and 1 sofa bed. Both the bathrooms feature rain showers, and there is 1 bathtub.
Canaves Epitome – Local Transport
- Walking: The hotel is located northwest of Oia on a hillside on the way down to Ammoudi Bay and within a 7 to 18-minute walk of fantastic restaurants, shops, and stunning caldera views. Ammoudi Bay is accessible via a steep and winding path, easy to walk down, but a real climb going back up; most people taxi back to the top. The heart of Oia, with its fine dining, luxury boutiques, and a few bars is only a 13-minute walk (750m) from the hotel, while the Byzantine castle ruins are only 15 minutes (900m) away.
- Bus: From Canaves Epitome it’s a 17-minute walk to the Oia Bus Terminal. Buses here serve all of the major villages and beaches on the island. Routes to Imerovigli, Firostefani, and Fira are direct, while all routes to the beaches, port, airport, or other villages require a change of bus in Fira. Tickets are bought on board and range from €1.80 to €2.50 per person in the daytime, depending on the route. Night buses (12:30 am to 5 am) run less frequently and cost a little more, from €2.30 to €3.10). Buses can get very crowded, especially during the high season, so much so that they often fill to capacity and are unable to take on more passengers. There are only 23 public buses serving the island.
- Taxis: The nearest taxi stand is at Stathmos Taxi, a 17-minute walk near the Oia Bus Terminal. There is often a wait here as there are only 25 taxis serving the entire island (with guests from about 1,000 hotels, villas, and Airbnbs). Book ahead to avoid the wait, plus you can have them meet you directly at the hotel. There will be a small surcharge for advanced reservations and for carrying luggage, usually just a couple of Euros. A taxi to the airport should be about €35 to €40, and a taxi to Fira or the ferry port should be about €35.
- Scooters/Motorcycles: Just don’t, unless you’re Evel Knievel! Scooters are the main mode of transportation for the locals, but if you’re unfamiliar with the terrain, it can be very dangerous. The roads here are zigzagging, hilly, narrow, and have sheer drop offs with no guardrails and no street lights in most areas. Lots of dirt roads and potholes.
- ATVs: This is a super popular mode of transportation with tourists, but the locals absolutely hate them. They move too slowly and hold up traffic in an area where getting around is already a hassle. ATVs with smaller motors have been banned from the roads, and a full ban is expected to pass soon.
Canaves Epitome – What’s Nearby?
Best Nearby Restaurants
- Ammoudi Bay Restaurants: Each of these waterfront restaurants is phenomenal, offering the freshest fish on the island. The steep 10-minute walk down (600m) takes longer coming back up, but the waiter will be happy to call a cab.
- Lotza: Simple, honest Greek comfort food with stunning caldera views.
- Candouni: Cozy, family-owned restaurant with live, Greek music and absolutely delicious food.
- Roka: Authentic, Santorinian menu with solid dishes, especially the meatballs and octopus.
- PitoGyros: Hands-down, the best gyros in Oia. Seating is limited.
- Melitini: 100% Greek menu, using local Santorinian, Cycladic, and Greek ingredients only. Quaint, cozy interior and stellar caldera views from the rooftop terrace.
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- Marykay’s Bar/Hassapiko: The only nightlife in Oia, this is where to go for dancing, as they regularly host live bands and DJs.
- Sunset Sangria Bar: Chill spot for sangria, cocktails, and tapas with excellent sunset views (though not of the caldera).
- Fino Cocktail Bar & Restaurant: The best cocktails in Santorini. Plus, inspired Mediterranean food, and an extensive wine list.
Best Nearby Cafes
- Meteor: Excellent coffee and breakfast with sweeping caldera views, though a little on the pricey side.
- Vitrin Café Creperie: One of the best breakfasts on the island, plus AMAZING sunset views if you arrive early enough to snag a table.
Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops
- B.Loose: Greek-made, casual linens for men and women.
- It’s a Beautiful Day: Greek-designed clothing and luxury-brand accessories.
- Steps to Art: Truly unique metal sculptures, replicas inspired by Akrotiri, and jewelry made with volcanic sand and watch parts.
- Spilia Cave Greek Clothing: Handmade, leather sandals, cotton and linen Greek clothes, located in one of the original living caves of Oia.
- Bligaki: Santorinian accessories, especially jewelry and bags, mostly handmade.
- BLOW by Labro: High-end designer boutique with unique pieces.
- Ammoudi Bay: Best known for its fresh fish restaurants, Ammoudi is the rocky port of Oia; boats sail to Thirassia and cruise the caldera from here. It’s an incredibly popular spot for cliff diving, and is one of the best places to swim on the island.
- Museum of Ancient, Byzantine Musical Instruments: Faithful replicas of Greek instruments dating from the prehistoric through Byzantine eras.
- Maritime Museum: Small museum focused on Greek Naval and Santorinian seafaring history. Only €3 to enter.
- Castle of Agios Nikolaos (aka Oia Castle aka Byzantine Castle Ruins): The medieval castle ruins are the most popular sunset viewpoint on the island.
- Church of Panagia of Platsani: The most iconic church in Santorini, beautiful inside and out.
- Domaine Sigalas: Santorini’s best winery, with options for tours, tastings and tapas.
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Mini Market: There is a small market up the hill at the west end of Oia near the windmills, offering drinks, snacks, and some basic items.
- Asteras Supermarket: Small but solid selection with a surprising amount of fresh produce for its size, along with prepackaged deli cuts, snacks, beer, wine, and some beach gear.
- Elliniki Diatrofi Supermarket: Great selection of local cheeses, wine, liquor, fresh produce, and staples. Open until after midnight, sometimes as late as 2 am.
Canaves Epitome – The Hotel
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