Canaves Oia Epitome Hotel in Santorini

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by Santorini Dave • Updated: September 9, 2019

Review of Canaves Oia Epitome Hotel in Santorini, Greece.

Canaves Oia Epitome – Luxurious boutique resort with an infinity pool, spa room, upscale dining, and villas and suites with private pools.

Canaves Oia 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 Oia 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. There are always buses at the ferry port for every arrival, as well as buses departing hourly from Santorini airport. The local buses from the ferry port and the airport stop in Fira first, where passengers must transfer to another bus to get to Oia village. By bus, the total trip will take more than an hour, depending on how long you have to wait in Fira to catch the Oia bus. 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 ahead to avoid this – or rent a car. A taxi from the airport to Canaves Oia Epitome should be about €40, and a taxi from the ferry port to Canaves Oia Epitome should be about €50. There will be a small surcharge for luggage or for booking in advance. If renting a car, the hotel offers free parking in their on-site lot (a major perk).
  • Handy to: Ammoudi Bay (8-minute walk downhill to get there, and 10 minutes to climb back up). Byzantine Castle Ruins (15-minute walk). The Oia Bus Terminal (17-minute walk slightly uphill).

Canaves Oia Epitome – The Basics

  • Ages: Canaves Oia 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 (8-minute walk). 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 Oia 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 protected]
  • Website: canaves.com

Canaves Oia 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 Oia 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 Oia 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 Oia 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 Oia 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 Oia 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 Oia 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 €40, and a taxi to Fira or the ferry port should be about €50.
  • 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 Oia 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 8-minute walk down (600m) takes longer coming back up, but your waiter will be happy to call you a cab.
  • Lotza: Simple, honest Greek comfort food with stunning caldera views. 14-minute walk (800m).
  • Candouni: Cozy, family-owned restaurant with live, Greek music and absolutely delicious food. 15-minute walk (900m).
  • Roka: Authentic, Santorinian menu with solid dishes, especially the meatballs and octopus. 15-minute walk (900m).
  • PitoGyros: Hands-down, the best gyros in Oia. Seating is limited. 19-minute walk (1km).
  • Melitini: 100% Greek menu, using local Santorinian, Cycladic, and Greek ingredients only. Quaint, cozy interior and stellar caldera views from the rooftop terrace. 22-minute walk (1.5km).

Best Nearby Bars and Breweries

Best Nearby Cafes

  • Meteor: Excellent coffee and breakfast with sweeping caldera views, though a little on the pricey side. 15-minute walk (850m).
  • Vitrin Café Creperie: One of the best breakfasts on the island, plus AMAZING sunset views if you arrive early enough to snag a table. 15-minute walk (850m).
  • Passaggio: The best coffee in Santorini, solid breakfast, killer cocktails, and pretty okay sunset views from the balcony, just a little back from the caldera. 23-minute walk (1.5km).

Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops

Nearby Attractions

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. 14-minute walk (800m).
  • 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. 18-minute walk (1km).
  • Elliniki Diatrofi Supermarket: Great selection of local cheeses, wine, liquor, fresh produce, and staples. Open until after midnight, sometimes as late as 2 am. 18-minute walk (1km).

Canaves Oia Epitome – The Hotel

The hotel entrance is modern, and it's on-site parking lot is just behind the reception.

Outside Canaves Oia Epitome. The main entrance is through the glass doors visible behind the Mercedes, which is the hotel’s complimentary shuttle to Oia. The driveway on the right leads to the parking lot.

The entrance sports a modern, cycladic architecture.

The hotel’s exterior is made from local, black lava rock and contrasting white, Cycladic concrete. The main entrance leads to the lobby and reception.

The sunny and modern lobby is staffed 24/7.

The lobby is sunny with plenty of windows, modern furnishing, and a cool neutral palette, a theme that is repeated throughout the property. The reception desk is staffed 24-hours a day.

Breakfast is served in the Lounge Bar & Restaurant.

Walking past the lobby leads to the Lounge Bar & Restaurant, where breakfast is served daily.

The restaurant also offers lunch and pool service.

In the afternoons, the Lounge Bar opens for lunch, cocktails, and pool service. The pool is on the other side of the glass doors.

The infinity pool is just outside the restaurant.

View of the infinity pool from the Lounge Bar doors.

The main is fairly quiet and has several sunbeds and umbrellas.

The pool is lined with sunbeds and umbrellas. Because all suites and villas here come with a private pool, Epitome’s main pool is usually quiet.

Elements Restaurant offer Greek fine dining and amazing sunset sea views.

Elements Restaurant, the hotel’s Greek fine dining spot, sits at the far end of the infinity pool and offers spectacular sunset sea views.

The restaurant has plenty of outdoor seating.

Turned around to see the rest of the tables…

The bar is located to one side.

…and the bar.

The hotel ha a small gym.

Back inside the hotel, guests will find a small gym.

The Honeymoon Suites feature a large terrace with a heated plunge pool.

All suites and villas at Epitome are heavenly and include a terrace with sun loungers and a private, heated outdoor pool, in this case a plunge pool. This is a Honeymoon Suite, one level up from the entry category.

The pool offer excellent sea views.

View from the plunge pool toward Thirassia Island and the sea.

The suite's living room features a contemporary design.

The 1-bedroom Honeymoon Suite opens up to a living room with contemporary design and luxe accents, like the marble coffee table.

The bathroom has dual vanities.

Past the living room is the bathroom with dual vanities…

The bathroom has a rain shower.

…and a rain shower.

The suite's bedroom has a king bed.

The bedroom features a king-sized bed…

The bed offers romantic sea views.

…and romantic sea views from the bed.

The Two Bedroom Pool Villa has a full-sized swimming pool.

The larger villas have full-sized swimming pools. This is a Two Bedroom Pool Villa.

The fairly large pool offers amazing sea views.

View from the other side. OK, you can see that the pool’s not quite as huge from this angle, but still plenty of room to swim and a fantastic view.

The villas has an al fresco dining table behind the pool.

View toward the pool and terrace from the villa’s al fresco dining table.

The villa's living room has a single sofa bed.

The villa opens up to a living room with a single-sized sofa bed.

One of the bedrooms is right behind the pool.

One bedroom sits directly behind the pool…

The bedroom has an ensuite bathroom.

…with an ensuite bathroom.

The second living room is on a lower level.

The Two Bedroom Pool Villa has a second living room on a lower level.

The master bedroom has a contemporary, Santorinian architecture.

The large master bedroom is downstairs, and features contemporary, Santorinian, cave-style architecture.

The bedroom also has a large soaking tub.

A large soaking tub sits opposite the bed…

The bathroom is adjacent to the tub.

…and is adjacent to the bathroom.

Aqua Retreat Two Bedroom Pool Villa is ideal for families.

The Aqua Retreat Two Bedroom Pool Villa is the best option for families, though it doesn’t look like much from here. The pool is on the other side of the lava rock wall.

The living room opens onto the private terrace and pool.

The villa opens up to a living room with glass doors that lead to the private terrace and pool.

The terrace has a large al fresco dining table.

On the terrace is a large outdoor dining space…

The terrace also features the pool and sun loungers.

…with a swimming pool, 4 sun loungers, and a high wall for privacy.

The pool offers sea views.

View from the Aqua Retreat’s infinity pool.

One bathroom is located beside the living room.

Back inside, there is a bathroom with a rain shower next to the living room.

One of the bedroom overlooks the pool and sea.

And one bedroom looking out to the pool and sea.

A second living room is located downstairs.

Downstairs is a second living room,…

Another larger bathroom is also located downstairs.

…a large bathroom with a rain shower,…

The master bedroom has a king bed.

…and the master bedroom, with one set of windows behind the king-sized bed.

The bedroom has a soaking tub with a window that looks into the pool upstairs.

Opposite the bed is a soaking tub with a window into the pool.

Closer view of the tub.

Closer to the tub.

View into the pool from the bedroom.

And the view into the pool.

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