Charisma Suites in Oia, Santorini

GreeceSantoriniHotels › Charisma Suites Review
by Santorini Dave • Updated: August 4, 2021

Essentials
• Location: Quiet location in Oia, with sunset views above Ammoudi Bay
Map
• Hotel website: charismasuites.com
• Hotel phone: +30 22860 27310
Check prices on Booking.com

Charisma Hotel in Santorini.

The view from Charisma Suites in Oia, Santorini.

Charisma Suites – Small luxury hotel with a lot of charm and a privileged location in Oia with direct sunset views over the caldera.

An all-suite property, Charisma is home to sixteen cave-style suites hand-carved into the caldera and one suite in a historic windmill perched at the top of the cliff. All suites come with a private terrace and a sunset view; most add a private outdoor jacuzzi or heated plunge pool. The main infinity pool offers stunning views is served all day by the pool bar, which also hosts complimentary champagne sunset events nightly. A larger, quieter infinity pool is on the bottom floor with equally gorgeous views. Nestled in a tranquil nook above Ammoudi Bay, Charisma is one of only a handful of hotels in Oia that offer caldera and sunset views. Ideal for romantic getaways, honeymoons, and proposals.

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Charisma Suites – Location

Area: Situated above Ammoudi Bay and built vertically down the side of the caldera in the peaceful southwest end of Oia. The hotel sits in a pedestrian-only zone, though it is only a short walk from the main driving road. The hotel is within walking distance of the Byzantine castle ruins and Ammoudi Bay to the southwest and shopping, dining, and attractions of Oia to the east.

How to Get There: The hotel sits partway down the side of the caldera, so it can be tricky to find. Look for Oia’s historic windmills; Charisma’s name is written on the side of its Windmill Suite near the hotel entrance. First-timers to Santorini should coordinate with the hotel directly to have someone meet you at arrival and guide you to the entrance, whether arriving by bus, taxi or driving yourself. It is approximately 23km from the Athinios ferry port and about 17km from the the Santorini Airport to the hotel.

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, though. 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 7-minute walk to the hotel, a short distance but easy to get lost in the tangle of footpaths.

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 Charisma Suites 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 in Oia, there are a few free public parking lots within a 3 to 8-minute walk of the hotel, but be patient as you may need to check a couple of lots before finding an open space.

Handy to: Byzantine Castle Ruins (4 minutes walk), Oia Bus Terminal (7-minute walk), Ammoudi Bay (11 minutes on foot downhill, and about 15 minutes to climb back up).

Map of Charisma Suites

Charisma Suites sits on the west side of Oia with sunset views and is close to Ammoudi Bay, the Castle, and the walking path.

Charisma Suites – The Basics

  • Ages: Charisma Suites welcomes guests ages 13 and older. There are no amenities or facilities for children, and the largest suites only sleep up to 3 guests. Most guests are couples on a romantic getaway. The hotel is especially popular for honeymoons, anniversaries, proposals, and weddings.
  • Beach: The closest swimming spot, though it’s not a proper beach, is at Ammoudi Bay, the port immediately below Oia, 500 meters down (11-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: Rare for Oia, every suite has an unobstructed view of the caldera and sunset.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: 10 of the hotel’s 17 suites have private, outdoor, heated pools or jacuzzis: the Charisma Windmill Suite has an outdoor jacuzzi, Charisma Pool Suites have outdoor, heated plunge pools, the Charisma Cave Pool Suite has a covered, heated pool, and Honeymoon Suites have outdoor jacuzzis.
  • Parking: There are a few free public parking lots within a 3 to 6-minute walk of the hotel, and even more if you check farther east. Be patient, as you may need to check a couple of lots before finding an open space, especially during the high season.
  • Extras: 24-hour reception, 24-hour room service, nightly sunset events with free champagne and nibbles, private or shared transportation to the port or airport (additional charge).
  • When to Book: The hotel operates from mid-March until early November. Reserve at least 6 months in advance (8 months or more 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 27310
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: charismasuites.com/

Charisma Suites – Amenities

  • Pool: Two infinity pools offer breathtaking views over the caldera toward the sunset. The smaller pool is served by an all-day bar with a mostly covered lounge area, while the larger pool offers a calmer atmosphere and a sun terrace.
  • Spa: No spa onsite. Spa and salon services are done in-suite.
  • Fitness Center: No gym.
  • For Disabled Guests: This is one of the more extreme examples of Santorinian cave architecture with a vertical layout interlinked by major stairways and no elevator. Not suitable for guests with any kind of mobility issues. Definitely not wheelchair accessible.
  • For Families: Ages 13 and older are allowed at the hotel. There are no specific amenities or facilities for families, and the largest room, the Charisma Cave Pool Suite, sleeps a maximum of 3 guests.
  • Activities: Nightly champagne sunset events at the pool bar with complimentary champagne and hors d’oeuvres. Activities outside the hotel, including wine tours and tastings, caldera cruises, and excursions to the Akrotiri ruins, can be arranged by their experienced concierge.

Charisma Suites – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant: No restaurant though there is a small kitchen on site that prepares breakfast, lunch, and dinner until 10:00 p.m. After 10:00 a menu of light bites is available overnight until breakfast.
  • Lounge/Bar: Wonderful poolside bar preparing a delightful menu of signature and classic cocktails, local wine, and beer. About half an hour before sunset every night, there is a complimentary champagne event with finger foods.
  • Breakfast: Complimentary, a la carte breakfast is served directly to each suite on their caldera-view terrace at the time of your choosing.
  • Room Service: Room service is available 24 hours a day.

Charisma Suites – Rooms

  • Room Types: Charisma Windmill Suite • Charisma Pool Suite with Caldera View • Charisma Cave Pool Suite with Caldera View • Honeymoon Suites with Jet Tub and Caldera View • Senior Suite Caldera View • Double Room Caldera View
  • Smoking Rooms: Charisma Suites 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 Rooms: The three best rooms are the Charisma Windmill Suite (one-bedroom suite in a historic landmark, spread over two floors with an outdoor jacuzzi), Charisma Pool Suite (the newest suites, spacious and luxurious with a heated plunge pool), and the Charisma Cave Pool Suite (a perennial favorite with the hotel’s largest private pool – covered and heated – built in traditional, Santorinian cave-style).
  • For Families: Guests ages 13 and older are allowed at the property, but there are no amenities or facilities for families. Only the Charisma Cave Pool Suite can accommodate up to 3 guests. Groups of more than 3 will need to book an extra room. Everything at the hotel was designed with couples in mind.

Charisma Suites – Local Transport

  • Walking: The hotel is located on the western point of Oia, walking distance to the area’s best restaurants, shopping, and sights. Ammoudi Bay is accessible via a steep and winding path, easy to descend the 550m down, but arduous going back up; many people taxi back to the top. The heart of Oia, with its fine dining, luxury boutiques, and a few bars is only a 2-minute walk from the hotel, while the castle ruins are only 4 minutes away.
  • Bus: Charisma Suites is close to the Oia Bus Terminal, just a 7-minute walk. 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 7-minute walk away near the Oia Bus Terminal, but there is often a wait 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 closer to the hotel. A taxi from the airport to Charisma Suites should be about €35 to €40, and a taxi to Fira or the ferry port from Charisma Suites should be about €35 to €40. There will be a small surcharge for advanced reservations and for carrying luggage, usually just a couple of Euros.
  • Scooters/Motorcycles: 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/Quads: ATVs are a fun and popular mode of transportation with tourists, but for the locals stuck driving behind them, they move too slowly and hold up traffic in an area where getting around is already a hassle. For those who don’t ride quads regularly (i.e. most people), they can be dangerous at high speeds and on turns. Crashing your ATV is a sure-fire way to ruin your vacation.

Charisma Suites – What’s Nearby?

Best Nearby Restaurants

  • Lotza: Simple, honest Greek comfort food with stunning caldera views. 3-minute walk.
  • Roka: Authentic, Santorinian menu with solid dishes, especially the meatballs and octopus. 5-minute walk.
  • Candouni: Cozy, family-owned restaurant with live Greek music and absolutely delicious food. 5-minute walk.
  • PitoGyros: Hands-down, the best gyros in Oia. Seating is limited. 8-minute walk.
  • Ammoudi Bay Restaurants: Each of these waterfront restaurants is phenomenal, offering the freshest fish on the island. The steep 11-minute walk down takes longer coming back up, but your waiter will be happy to call you a cab.
  • Melitini: 100% Greek menu using local Santorinian, Cycladic, and Greek ingredients only. 12-minute walk.

Best Nearby Bars and Breweries

Best Nearby Cafes

  • Vitrin Café Creperie: One of the best breakfasts on the island, plus AMAZING sunset views if you arrive early enough to snag a table. 1-minute walk.
  • Meteor: Excellent coffee and breakfast with sweeping caldera views, though a little on the pricey side. 3-minute walk.
  • 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. 13-minute walk.

Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops

Nearby Attractions

  • Oia-Fira Hiking Trail: One of the top attractions on the island is this scenic 10.5 km hiking trail connecting Oia and Fira. A mix of sidewalk, cobblestones, and dirt trail, this route boasts gorgeous vistas the entire way. Hiking south to Fira, the full length of the path from the Byzantine Castle Ruins takes from 2 to 5 hours; Add about an hour for a detour at Skaros Rock in Imerovigli. 3-minute walk from the hotel.
  • Maritime Museum: Small museum focused on Greek Naval and Santorinian seafaring history. Only €3 to enter. 4-minute walk.
  • Museum of Ancient, Byzantine Musical Instruments: Faithful replicas of Greek instruments dating from the prehistoric through Byzantine eras. 4-minute walk.
  • Castle of Agios Nikolaos (aka Oia Castle): The medieval castle ruins are the most popular sunset viewpoint on the island. 4-minute walk.
  • Church of Panagia of Platsani: The most iconic church in Santorini, beautiful inside and out. 6-minute walk.
  • 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. 11-minute walk.
  • Domaine Sigalas: Santorini’s best winery, with options for tours, tastings, and tapas. 37-minute walk or 8-minute drive.

Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores

  • Mini Market: There is a small market up the hill directly above the hotel with drinks, snacks, and some basic items. 1-minute walk.
  • 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. 8-minute walk.
  • Elliniki Diatrofi Supermarket: Great selection of local cheeses, wine, liquor, fresh produce, and staples. Open until after midnight, sometimes as late as 2 am. 8-minute walk.

Charisma Suites – The Hotel

View of caldera and volcano from Charisma Suites in Oia.

The view of the caldera and volcano from Charisma Suites in Oia.

Windmill Suite and jacuzzis at Charisma Suites in Oia, Santorini

Sunset view toward the tip of Thirassia Island. The Windmill Suite sits at the top of the property near the hotel’s entrance; two private jacuzzis are one floor down.

Exterior of Charisma Suites on the caldera

Exterior view of Charisma Suites, built down the side of the caldera in Oia. The topmost windmill is part of the hotel. The new infinity pool is the blue triangle at the bottom. The main pool with the bar is two floors up from there on the left in a slightly darker shade of blue.

Aerial view of Charisma Suites and Ammoudi Bay in Oia

Aerial view of Charisma Suites and Ammoudi Bay, the port of Oia, below. It’s an 11-minute walk to the bay, where you’ll find four stellar seafood restaurants, the best swimming in Santorini, sailing tours of the caldera, and the ferry to Thirassia Island.

Charisma Suites exterior looking up toward the Windmill.

Looking up from a lower floor toward the windmill.

The main pool and bar at Charisma Suites

This is the main infinity pool and pool bar. This pool has a few spots with sun loungers and a covered area (out of the frame) with sofas and tables, where the all-day food menu is served.

The main pool facing the caldera.

In the evenings, this is the site of the hotel’s nightly champagne sunset events.

The second infinity pool at Charisma Suites

The newer, larger infinity pool is on the bottom floor with views up to the village and down over the caldera.

The second infinity pool at night.

An evening view of the new infinity pool and terrace overlooking the caldera toward the sunset and Thirassia Island.

A long staircase at Charisma Suites in Oia

As is typical at caldera hotels, Charisma Suites’ rooms and all facilities are connected by long flights of stairs.

More stairs at Charisma Suites

Due to the unique geography of Santorini and the hotel’s traditional cave architecture, there is no elevator.

A closer look at the Windmill Suite's exterior

A closer look at the Windmill Suite. The windmill itself is dates to around the 18th century…

The bottom floor living room in the Windmill Suite

…though it’s interior has been renovated in a contemporary style.

Living room of the Windmill Suite with view.

The circular, two-story suite opens up to a living room with a spiral staircase leading up…

The bedroom of the Windmill Suite

to the cozy, loft bedroom with a queen sized bed. The bathroom is on this floor, too, behind the door.

Sunset view from the Windmill Suite's jacuzzi

The Windmill Suite’s private jacuzzi offers the highest vantage point for sunset viewing at the hotel.

The plunge pool of the Charisma Pool Suite

The Charisma Pool Suite is another contender for best suite at the hotel, with a plunge pool and cabana on its private terrace.

The living room of the Charisma Pool Suite

This is the hotel’s newest suite designed in traditional, cave-style with hand-carved archways and whitewashed walls.

The interior of the Charisma Pool Suite as seen from the bedroom

One of the larger suites here, the Charisma Pool Suite features an open-plan layout and boho-chic style.

The bathroom of the Charisma Pool Suite

The bathroom features dual vanities and a cave shower off to the left.

The pool of the Charisma Cave Pool Suite

Another top tier room is the Charisma Cave Pool Suite, aptly named for it’s heated, covered pool with sweeping views over the caldera.

The terrace of the Charisma Cave Pool Suite

The terrace of the Cave Pool Suite features a pergola over its lounge chairs and expansive views.

Inside the Charisma Cave Pool Suite

The Charisma Cave Pool Suite is the largest suite onsite, the only one that sleeps up to 3 guests using the sofa bed.

Bathroom of the Charisma Cave Pool Suite

The suite’s bathroom, with Apivita amenities and a cave shower.

Inside a Honeymoon Suite at Charisma Suites in Oia

The Honeymoon Suite offers plenty of space with an open-plan layout, while its white interiors and natural woods give it a fresh, breezy feel. No two Honeymoon Suites are alike, though all are similar in size and amenities.

A Honeymoon Suite bathroom at Charisma

One type of bathroom in the Honeymoon Suite category.

Honeymoon Suite bathtub at Charisma Suites

Some Honeymoon Suites feature oversized soaking tub/shower combos. Others have a shower only.

Jacuzzi of a Honeymoon Suite

though it’s still a show stopper, with gorgeous views and a jacuzzi perched right on the caldera’s edge.

Alternate Honeymoon Suite terrace with bougainvillea

A different terrace style for a Honeymoon Suite overlooking the caldera.

Alternate Honeymoon Suite terrace facing away from the caldera

Alternate view of the second Honeymoon Suite’s terrace.

One version of a Senior Suite at Charisma

Senior Suites boast all the same amenities as higher category rooms, minus the pools or jacuzzis.

Another version of a Senior Suite at Charisma

Another version of a Senior Suite.

A double room at Charisma Suites

Double Rooms are the entry level room type at Charisma Suites. Slightly smaller than other suites but no less quality.

Another version of a Double Room at Charisma

Another Double Room. These rooms all feature traditional cave architecture, stylish decor, and comfy bedding.

A terrace of a Double Room at Charisma Suites in Oia

Double Room terraces at Charisma still offer an enviable vantage point for sunset views.

Terrace of a Double Room at Charisma

In the background right of this Double Room terrace are the ruins of Oia’s Byzantine castle, the most popular sunset viewpoint, just beginning to fill up with tourists. From this perch, you have the same view without the crowd. Check rates and availability: Charisma Suites

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