Heliotopos Hotel in Imerovigli, Santorini

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by Santorini Dave • Updated: November 13, 2018

Heliotopos Hotel in Imerovigli Hotel Review

Heliotopos Hotel – Family-friendly, family-run, boutique hotel in the Imerovigli caldera with an infinity pool on the cliff and a popular wine bar with a sunset terrace.

One of only a handful of all-ages hotels on the caldera, most traditional houses here can accommodate three to five guests. No two suites are alike, but most units offer kitchenettes, and all have private balconies with impressive sunset views of the caldera. Architecture and décor is in the classic, Cycladic style with domed roofs, stone floors, and Greek antiques and textiles; two of the studios are cave-style, as is the indoor portion of the restaurant and wine bar. With only 11 total rooms and suites, service is very personal with every detail attended to. This is a popular hotel for small wedding parties.

Heliotopos Hotel – Location

  • Area: Absolutely gorgeous location in the heart of Imerovigli village, with amazing dining and attractions all within 1 to 15 minutes of the hotel. Imerovigli is the highest elevation on the caldera, and the views are stellar throughout the hotel and at most of the restaurants here.
  • How to Get There: The hotel sits above the caldera in the center of Imerovigli village, not far off the main road connecting Fira and Oia, making it easy to reach by bus, taxi, or driving yourself. There are always buses at the ferry port for every ferry arrival, as well as buses departing hourly from the airport (both buses will stop in Fira from where you’ll get a different bus to Imerovigli – the entire trip from port or airport to Imerovigli will take at least an hour). The bus stop is just 5 minutes away on foot, and the walk from there to the hotel is mostly flat, easy to navigate with luggage. 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 Heliotopos Hotel will cost roughly €25. A taxi from the ferry port to Heliotopos Hotel will cost roughly €30. If renting a car, there are is free parking in front of the hotel (often full), near the Imerovigli Basketball Court, and near Sunbird Rent-A-Car. Imerovigli has the hardest-to-find parking in Santorini, so you may have to circle around a couple times to find a spot.
  • Handy To: The Oia-Fira Hiking Trail (2-minute walk), Anastasi Church (7-minute walk), Skaros Rock (17-minute walk).

Heliotopos Hotel – The Basics

  • Ages: All ages are allowed at this hotel, with children under 2 years staying for free. Guests are about half couples and half families.
  • Beach: The nearest beach is Exo Gialos, a quiet, black sand beach with intriguing wind-sculpted cliffs at its southern end. The best beach bar and restaurant there is East Breeze, just a few meters from the cliffs (16-minute drive). The north end has a small harbor and another great beach bar and restaurant called Yalos (13-minute drive). From the hotel, it’s a short 4.7 km drive to the north end or 7.2 km to the south end, where the cliffs are.
  • View: Overlooking the caldera with excellent sunset views from the rooms and throughout the hotel.
  • Kitchen: Most studios and suites include a fully-equipped kitchenette.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools/jacuzzis.
  • Parking: Free street parking in front of the hotel or in the nearby lots. Parking can be difficult in Imerovigli.
  • Extras: Welcome drink, board games, wedding planning (up to 30 guests with food, or 50-80 guests with cocktails only).
  • When to Book: The hotel is open almost year-round, closing one month annually in either January or February. Reserve at least 4 months in advance (6 months is better) for stays during high season from June through September, and about 2 months in advance for the low and shoulder seasons.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +30 22860 23670
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: https://hotel.heliotopos.net/

Heliotopos Hotel – Amenities

  • Pool: Small, unheated pool over the caldera with incredible views.
  • Spa: No spa.
  • Fitness Center: No gym.
  • For Disabled Guests: This is a caldera hotel with lots of steps and no elevator. Not suitable for guests with mobility issues.
  • For Families: An all-ages hotel, most studios and suites here accommodate between 3 and 4 guests (5 of the studios can even add a fifth guest using the sofa bed), and have kitchenettes. Kids under 2 years stay free. A variety of board games are available to lend.
  • Activities: The staff is happy to arrange any sailing, driving, or archaeological excursions.

Heliotopos Hotel – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant: The Wine Bar serves light snacks and poolside cocktails in the afternoons, and a seasonal dinner menu in the evenings. The menu is kept small but changes seasonally, highlighting the best of local ingredients and Mediterranean recipes. The extensive wine list highlights Santorinian and Greek wines, along with Greek beers, international spirits, and seasonal cocktails. The restaurant features a sunset terrace, courtyard, and covered portion in a 400-year-old wine cave. In the summer months, they open an additional rooftop terrace; book ahead for the rooftop, as the best tables get filled quickly.
  • Lounge/Bar: The Wine Bar serves poolside cocktails in the afternoons, and drinks and tapas every evening.
  • Breakfast: A rich buffet breakfast is served from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. daily, and is included in most bookings (if it is not included in the room rate, it can be added for Є17). The breakfast features traditional Greek flavors highlighting eggs, homemade pies, pastries, yogurt, and marmalades. The buffet is set up in the cave at the Wine Bar, and can be enjoyed on the terrace, or delivered to the suite at no additional charge.
  • Room Service: Only for breakfast.

Heliotopos Hotel – Rooms

  • Room Types: Traditional Cave Studio for 2 • Traditional Cave Studio for 3 • Studio for 2 • Studio for 2-3 • Family Studio for 4 • Studio with a Loft for 2-4 • Suite for 3
  • Smoking Rooms: Smoking Rooms: The hotel does not allow smoking in any of their room categories. It is allowed on the private outdoor terraces, and in the outdoor common areas.
  • Best Room: Every room is unique in size, layout, and décor, though all have similar amenities. The suites have the best views, making them the most popular for couples. These have 1 or 2 floors, a queen or king bed, a single sofa bed, and a kitchenette.
  • For Families: The best options for families are the Family Studio or the Studio with a Loft, which are 70 sqm and 42 sqm respectively. These are the most spacious suites, and offer 2 queen beds or 1 queen and 2 singles, a living area, a kitchenette, and 1 bathroom. A single sofa bed can accommodate a fifth guest.

Heliotopos Hotel – Local Transport

  • Walking: The hotel is located in the center of Imerovigli, above the caldera and the Oia-Fira hiking trail, with the village’s best restaurants, shops, and attractions just a few meters away. Easy access to Fira’s dining, attractions, nightlife, and shopping, just a 30-minute walk south.
  • Bus: The nearest bus is in Imerovigli village, a 5-minute walk from the hotel. Buses here serve all of the major villages and beaches on the island, often with a change 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 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.) 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, all the way down in Fira, so not very practical to walk or bus to. Plus, 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, and 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. The average rate from Imerovigli to Fira is roughly €10, and from Imerovigli to the airport or port is around €20.
  • 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.

Heliotopos Hotel – What’s Nearby?

Best Nearby Restaurants

  • Avocado: Traditional Greek menu, charming space, super friendly staff. Cycladic recipes and a fantastic selection of Santorinian wines. 1-min walk.
  • Le Moustache: Elevated Greek and Mediterranean dining, and excellent cocktails with panoramic sunset views over the caldera. 1-minute walk.
  • Anogi: Al fresco dining with local specialties and classic Greek dishes. Rich flavors and large portions, so come hungry. 4-minute walk.
  • The Athenian House: Elegant fine dining with spectacular sunset views. Contemporary and imaginative Greek dishes incorporate modern gastronomic techniques and locally-sourced ingredients. Most of all, they’re delicious. 6-minute walk.
  • La Maison: Contemporary, Greek fine dining with sweeping caldera views. Food, wine, and service are all phenomenal. 8-minute walk.
  • OVAC: Mediterranean-Asian fusion with spectacular sunset views and a romantic ambiance. Stupidly expensive, but everything on the menu is absolute perfection. 17-minute walk.

Best Nearby Bars and Breweries

Best Nearby Cafes

  • Hlios Bakery: Good coffee, basic pastries, and deli sandwiches. Not exceptional, but they’re cheap and they deliver (cash only for deliveries). 8-minute walk.
  • To Briki: Fantastic café, the best place to try traditional Greek coffee. Breakfasts are superb, and the sunset views are gorgeous. 16-minute walk.

Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops

  • Pegasus Boutique: Next to the hotel of the same name, this little boutique offers clothing, shoes, swimwear, and accessories by Greek designers. 9-minute walk.
  • Under a Fig Tree: Upscale boutique featuring Greek-designed fashion, accessories, and swimwear right on the Oia-Fira trail. 11-minute walk.

Nearby Attractions

  • Oia-Fira Hiking Trail: 2-minute walk. 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 northwest, the full length of the path from the hotel to Oia Castle takes about 1 hour 52 minutes. Heading south to the trail’s end in Fira, near Keti Hotel, takes about 33 minutes. Add at least 30 minutes for a detour at Skaros Rock on the way to Fira.
  • Imerovigli Basketball Court: Not an attraction, but good to know. This is the main parking area in Imerovigli. 3-minute walk.
  • Anastasi Church: The most picturesque, blue-domed church in Imerovigli offers gorgeous caldera views overlooking Skaros Rock. Popular for weddings and photo shoots. 7-minute walk.
  • Agios Georgios Church: Small white church on a platform over the caldera, marking the start of the trail to Skaros Rock. Gorgeous, panoramic views from here. 8-minute walk.
  • Skaros Rock: Impressive volcanic rock formation housing the ruins of a medieval castle and town, dating to 1207. The monastery at its base, Panagia Theoskepasti, is the only part of Skaros that is still active. 17-minute walk.

Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores

  • Mini Market: There is a mini market and ATM just across from the hotel. 1-minute walk.
  • Supermarket Nissi: The friendliest market in the area and usually the best prices in Imerovigli. 4-minute walk.
  • Jimmy’s Market Cava: Market and deli with a great selection (especially the wines) plus great coffee and breakfast sandwiches (more consistent and better quality breakfasts than Hlios but they don’t deliver). 6-minute walk.

Heliotopos Hotel – The Hotel

The courtyard leads to a nice reception area.

The picturesque doorway of Heliotopos Hotel, located in the heart of Imerovigli village.

The hotel offers amazing caldera views.

The view from above the hotel.

The hotel courtyard sports a traditional Cycladic style.

Entering the hotel’s courtyard area on the way to reception. The architecture is in a traditional Cycladic style.

The reception's exterior is connected to the courtyard.

The courtyard leads to an exterior reception area.

The reception is tastefully decorated with Greek decor.

The interior reception space is filled with Greek textiles and antiques. Similar décor is found throughout the property.

The reception leads to the pool which offers fantastic caldera views.

The pool is one floor down from reception, offering gorgeous caldera views. Seen here, Oia is on the right and Thirassia is on the left.

The Wine Bar serves cocktails and light bites. by the pool.

The Wine Bar serves light bites and poolside cocktails during the day, sunset cocktails, and a small dinner menu in the evenings.

The restaurant's terrace is popular for dining.

The terrace is the most popular dining spot. Reserve in advance if you want to sit in one of the two front tables.

The Wine Bar is set in a 400-year-old wine cave.

The Wine Bar also has indoor seating in its 400-year-old wine cave. This is where the breakfast buffet is set up in the mornings. It is popular for private events and during the winter months, when the weather is not favorable.

The Wine Bar also has a separate corner for games to borrow.

This is also where you’ll find a selection of board games to borrow.

Hand-carved studio for 2-3.

This is an example of one of their Studios for 2 or 3 guests. The studio was carved from the side of the caldera using hand tools in the traditional style.

The studio can sleep up to 3 adults.

The Studio offers a queen bed and a sofa, which can accommodate a third guest…

The studio also has a small dining area.

…and a dining are.

The studio kitchenette is well-equipped.

Down a couple of steps is a fully equipped kitchenette with a two-burner stove, kettle, and a mini-fridge.

The bathroom has dual basins and mirrors.

The bathroom features a dual vanity…

The bathroom also has a large modern shower.

…and a glassed-in shower.

The private balcony offers great caldera views.

Its private balcony offers panoramic views of the caldera.

The studio with a loft is cozy and inviting.

This is their Studio with a Loft.

The living area has a small sofa that can be used as a child's bed.

It opens into a living space with a single sized sofa that can be made into a child’s bed.

The queen-sized loft bed can be split into 2.

The loft bed can be set up as a queen or split into 2 singles.

The main bedroom is behind the living room.

The queen-sized bedroom on the main floor is two steps down, behind the living room.

The bedroom and bathroom are connected by a hallway.

The hallway behind the bedroom leads to the bathroom.

The bathroom has modern furnishing.

The bathroom is down another couple of steps with a walk in shower.

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