Greece › Santorini › Hotels › Katikies Garden Review
by Santorini Dave • Updated: January 18, 2022
• Location: In the north end of Fira, great views but a little back from the caldera
• Hotel website: katikies.com/katikiesgardensantorini/
• Hotel phone: +30 22864 40900
• Check prices for Katikies Garden
Katikies Garden – Refined yet playful hotel set in an 11th-century Venetian monastery with caldera views from their infinity pool and spacious suites with private jacuzzis and pools.
The only 5-star hotel in Fira, Katikies Garden’s facilities include an infinity pool, a holistic wellness center steeped in Mediterranean traditions, and lavish suites in contemporary florals. The hotel is set in a historic Catholic monastery (sharing walls with a still-active Dominican convent) that previously stored the pope’s wine. Playing up its wine heritage, Katikies Garden offers themed wine tastings with one of the world’s few Masters of Wine, taking place in any of its 3 ancient cellars. Katikies Garden is the new home of renowned Selene Restaurant, boasting a fine dining menu of contemporary Santorinian cuisine designed around local wines; cooking classes are available. For families, the hotel offers spacious suites that adjoin through their balconies, plus kids’ menus, pool toys, and babysitting. Most suites offer either heated outdoor jacuzzis or unheated private pools; half have sunrise sea views over the Aegean (not the caldera), while the other half feature garden views. Located in the lively Fira, the island’s capital, just steps from the caldera, cable car, dining, nightlife, and shopping.
Katikies Garden – Location
• Area: Conveniently situated at the north end of Santorini’s capital Fira with the caldera, cable car, and some of the island’s best shopping and dining just steps away. Most of the island’s bars and clubs are within a 4 to 8-minute walk from the hotel. Firostefani, a quiet suburb of Fira, is immediately north about 140 meters away.
• How to Get There: The hotel sits above and inland a bit from the caldera at the north end of Fira village on a pedestrian street about 100 meters from the main road, making it easy to reach by bus, taxi, or rental car. It is approximately 6 km from the Santorini Airport to Katikies Garden and about 9 km from the ferry port.
There are always buses waiting at the ferry port for every ferry arrival, as well as buses departing hourly from Santorini Airport. All buses stop in Fira. The entire trip from port or airport to Fira should take around 25 minutes (longer if there is traffic) and cost about €2. Tickets are purchased on the bus, in cash only. From the Fira Bus Terminal, it’s a 10-minute walk to the hotel, slightly uphill but a straight shot.
Taxis are also available from the port or airport, though there are only about 25 taxis in total serving the whole island, so there can be a long wait; schedule ahead 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 Katikies Garden should be about €25, and a taxi from the ferry port to Katikies Garden around €25 to €35. Booking through a private car service will cost only a bit more – about $45 (or €37), but it’s 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. The hotel offers free private parking for guests.
• Handy to: The Oia-Fira Hiking Trail, Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, and Fira’s famous nightlife, dining, and shopping.
Map of Katikies Garden
Katikies Garden – The Basics
- Ages: Guests of all ages are allowed here. This is the only all-ages hotel in the Katikies brand on Santorini. Family amenities include babysitting, pool toys, kids’ menus, bathroom amenities, and a special turndown service for children. Pets are also allowed. However, even the largest suites here accommodate a maximum of 3 guests; larger groups will need to book adjoining rooms.
- 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 is East Breeze, just a few meters from the cliffs. The north end has a small harbor, and another great beach bar and restaurant called Yalos. From the hotel, it’s a short 3.5 km drive to the north end of the beach, or 5 km to the south end, where the cliffs are.
- View: Sunset caldera views from the hotel’s main infinity pool. Half of the rooms have sunrise sea views over the Aegean (not the caldera), while the other half has interior garden views.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: All but junior suites feature either a heated, outdoor, private jacuzzi or an unheated, outdoor, private pool.
- Parking: The hotel offers free private parking to guests.
- Extras: 24-hour reception, wine refrigerators in rooms, 3 wine cellars with themed wine tastings, Master of Wine on staff, concierge service, Katikies Club exclusive experiences (boat, land, historic, wine, and beach tours), free transfer to other Katikies properties to try restaurants, gyms, and other facilities.
- When to Book: The hotel is open from late-March to mid-November. 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 22864 40900
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: katikies.com/katikiesgardensantorini/
Katikies Garden – Amenities
- Pool: Elevated infinity pool with sunset views over the caldera, sun loungers, cabanas, and an all-day bar.
- Spa: A.Spa offers holistic skin care, massage, and body treatments rooted in Mediterranean traditions. Individual and couples’ cabins available.
- Fitness Center: No gym, but the hotel offers complimentary transfers to their sister property Katikies Kirini for use of their fully-equipped gym.
- For Disabled Guests: This hotel has no elevator and lots of steps (though not as many as hotels built inside the caldera). Not suitable for guests in wheelchairs or with mobility issues.
- For Families: Katikies Garden is an all-ages hotel, the only one in the Katikies family of hotels. Rooms are spacious, but even the largest suite accommodates a maximum of 3 guests. Family amenities include babysitting, kids menus, a special turndown service, and more. Pet friendly, too.
- Activities: The hotel offers wine tastings on site led by the Master of Wine on staff. Cooking classes are available at the award-winning Selene restaurant here. Bespoke experiences can be arranged through the Katikies Club, including caldera cruises, archaeological tours, wine tours, and more.
Katikies Garden – Food and Drink
- Restaurant: After 35 successful years in Pyrgos village, Santorini’s legendary Selene Restaurant has relocated to Katikies Garden. This fine dining restaurant is known for putting a contemporary spin on Santorinian and Cycladic cuisine, with an emphasis on wine pairings and locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Though local wines are favored, Selene offers a broad menu of regional Greek and international wines. • $$$.
- Lounge/Bar: The pool bar is open throughout the day, serving refreshing signature and classic cocktails and offering a menu of light fare.
- Breakfast: A complimentary, champagne breakfast is on offer every morning from 7:30 to 10:30. An a la carte menu of hot dishes is complemented by a grand buffet of local Greek yogurt, fruits, breads, cheeses, and more.
- Room Service: Available 24 hours.
Katikies Garden – Rooms
- Room Types: Junior Suite • Senior Jetted Tub Suite • Senior Jetted Tub Suite Sea View • Superior Pool Suite Private Garden • Honeymoon Pool Suite Private Garden • Master Pool Suite Private Garden • Katikies Garden Pool Suite Sea View
- 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: Katikies Garden Pool Suite Sea View is the highest suite category, offering 50 square meters of interior space, plus a private pool and cabana with sunrise sea views of the Aegean from its 120 square meter private garden. This 1-bedroom suite features a king-sized bed, a separate living room, and a bathtub.
- For Families: The only Katikies brand hotel open to guests of all ages, Katikies Garden offers family amenities including special turndown services, babysitting, kids menus and more. The largest suites accommodate a maximum of 3 guests; larger families will require 2 suites. The 1-bedroom Katikies Garden Pool Suite Sea View is the best option for families, offering a roomy interior, the largest private garden space, and a layout offering the most privacy of all suites on the property.
Katikies Garden – Local Transport
- Walking: The hotel is located at the north end of Fira, near its border with Firostefani. The caldera is just a few meters away, while most of Santorini’s bars and many of the island’s best restaurants and shops are within a 1 to 7-minute walk from the hotel. The landmark Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral is just an 8-minute walk south (many island tours meet in front of the church).
- Bus: Santorini’s main bus hub is here in Fira, just 8 minutes away on foot. Direct routes to all of the island’s major villages, beaches, the airport, and the ferry port leave and return to this bus station. This is also where to find the most up-to-date-bus schedules, as routes and times change throughout the season (or daily in the case of the port). There is also a closer bus stop just a 3-minute walk away with routes to Imerovigli village. Tickets are bought on board the bus, 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 near the bus station. There is often a wait as there are only 25 taxis serving the entire island. Book taxis in advance to avoid waiting. The average rate from Fira to the airport is about €25; from Fira to the port is around €25 to €35.
- 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.
Katikies Garden – What’s Nearby?
Best Nearby Restaurants
- Cacio e Pepe: Authentic Italian pasta and pizza, plus a fantastic selection of Italian wines.
- Idol Restaurant: All-day restaurant serving elevated versions of traditional Santorinian dishes with 3 dining terraces and panoramic views.
- Pelican Kipos: Stellar, wine-centric restaurant with over 600 varieties of local and international wines in a charming garden setting. Wine tastings and cellar tours available daily.
- Momo: Casual, Indian and Thai restaurant with a clay tandoori oven and fantastic curries.
- Argo Restaurant: Argo features a rich menu of Santorinian and Mediterranean flavors with modern, international influences. With amazing views over the caldera, this is a popular spot for sunset dining. Reserve in advance to ensure a view table.
- Lucky’s Souvlaki: Hands-down the very best gyros in Santorini. Eating at Lucky’s is an absolute must when in Santorini. Authentic, filling, and affordable.
- Ouzeri: Exceptional spot for meze (Greek tapas), offering a modern take on traditional Santorinian flavors and Mediterranean favorites.
- Falafeland: Top-notch vegetarian and vegan street food spot with amazing falafel and veggie burgers, and cozy outdoor seating. There are a handful of meat dishes here too, which are prepared separately from the vegetarian/vegan items.
- Aktaion: The oldest taverna on the island, Aktaion has been serving authentic Santorinian flavors since 1922.
- Naoussa Restaurant: Traditional Greek fare near the cathedral with caldera and sunset views. Live music occasionally.
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- Casablanca Soul Bar: With house and deep house DJs or a live band every night, tasty cocktails, and a truly friendly staff, Casablanca is always a favorite for locals and travelers alike.
- Kira Thira Jazz Bar: A Santorinian standby since 1976, Kira Thira is a cozy, casual bar with fantastic sangria, strong drinks, and an eclectic selection of music.
- Enigma Club: The oldest dance club in Santorini (since 1979), Enigma opens late and keeps the party going until 7 the next morning. A hotspot for visiting celebrity DJs who spin the best dance music from Greek and international artists.
- Two Brothers: Open almost all day, from 10 am to 6 am the next day, Two Brothers is almost 2 different bars in the daytime versus the night. During the day, the bar is quiet and chill, with basic drinks and a solid 2-for-1 happy hour. Late nights, it becomes the wildest bar in Santorini: crowded, crazy, loud, and fun.
- Tropical Bar: Great cocktails and a magnificent view make this a popular spot for catching the sunset. The drinks menu strips down to basic offerings after sundown, but at happy hours (9 pm to 11 pm), all cocktails are half price. Aussies take note: they sell VB here.
- PK Cocktail Bar: The best craft cocktail bar in Santorini, PK Cocktail Bar offers superb sunset views, creative cocktails, and 3 levels of seating in the caldera.
- MoMix: Half bar, half mad scientist’s lab, MoMix (short for Molecular Mixology) creates wild cocktails served in test tubes, as edible bites or in bubble form.
- Tango Champagne and Cocktail Bar: Refined lounge with a romantic vibe and picture-perfect sunset views.
- Franco’s Bar: Well-known for gorgeous views and delicious drinks, Franco’s is one of the best spots to take in the Fira sunset.
- Volkan on the Rocks: Great brewpub in Firostefani with amazing views and an outdoor cinema.
Best Nearby Cafes
- Enigma Café: Excellent café with fantastic coffee and cocktails, plus simple and delicious breakfast and sandwiches.
- Coffee Island: Off the main tourist track, this little shop has fantastic coffee drinks (maybe the only spot you can get a flat white in Santorini), a great selection of coffee by the kilo, and absolutely the best prices.
- To Briki: Fantastic café, the best place to try traditional Greek coffee. Breakfasts are superb, and the sunset views are gorgeous.
Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops
- Little Dot: Trendy boutique offering men’s and women’s street, surf, and swim wear.
- Isia: High-end, women’s clothing and accessories with unique pieces inspired by traditional Greek designs. You can find it on the footpath next door to Cava Mejjo.
- White House Santorini: Specialty shop for all-white summer garb for men, women, and children. Located across the walking path from Idol Restaurant in Fira.
- Noi: Upscale women’s boutique offering elegant summer clothing, shoes, and accessories on Santorini’s famous Gold Street.
- Caldera Jewelry/Golden Santorini: Right across from Noi, Golden Santorini/Caldera Jewelry has offered fine gold and precious stone jewelry since 1976.
- Koukla Art: Eclectic, artsy jewelry in a range of styles and prices.
- Ammos: This shop has 2 locations in Fira, 1 in Kamari, and 1 in Oia. All offer a wide selection of international and Greek brands.
- Spicy Boutique and The Lace: These sister boutiques are located right next door to each other in the heart of Fira. Both shops sell Greek-designed women’s clothing and accessories. Spicy offers edgier styles, while The Lace caters toward a femme crowd.
- The White: Across from Spicy, The White is a luxury boutique selling hand-crafted clothing and footwear by Santorinian designer Sophia H.
- Drakkar Santorini: International and Greek designer-brand clothing for women.
- Nick the Greek: One of the oldest jewelry shops in Santorini, Nick the Greek sells fine gold jewelry and luxury watches from Greek and international brands.
- Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist: Often referred to simply as the Catholic Church, St. John’s is recognizable by its brilliant yellow and blue exterior and clock tower.
- Oia-Fira Hiking Trail: One of the top attractions on the island is this scenic 11 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 from 2 to 5 hours (add about an hour for a detour at Skaros Rock when you head north).
- Old Port of Fira: A.K.A. Fira Skala, the Old Port has a few tavernas, shops, and pretty sea views. The only connections from the port to the village are the cable cars, donkeys, or walking up the 587 steps. Nowadays, the Old Port is mostly used by cruise ship passengers, arriving daily by the thousands in the high season. To avoid the largest crowds, plan excursions around the cruise ship calendar. The beginning of the stairway down is a 5-minute walk away, plus 16 more minutes to hike down.
- Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral: This imposing cathedral dominates the main square in Fira. Fully renovated after the ’56 earthquake, this landmark church is surrounded by a series of grand archways, and is adorned with frescoed walls and ceilings inside in gold and vivid colors.
- 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. The trailhead leading to Skaros begins at Agios Georgios Church in Imerovigli.
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Sklavenitis Supermarket: Great little market with friendly staff and a good selection of produce, snacks, drinks, and more at a fair price.
- Green Market Organics: Small but well-stocked grocery store in Fira with specialty items (gluten-free, lactose-free, vegan, etc.), organic, and local products.
Katikies Garden – The Hotel
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