Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa – Luxury, all-suite resort with 6 pools and the best spa in Santorini.
This decadent resort sits in inland Oia, near the village’s best restaurants, shops, and attractions. Santo Maris boasts unique sunset views over the Aegean Sea (rather than the caldera) from their fine dining restaurant Alios Ilios, as well as from most of their suites. All suites and both villas here are spacious and private, all with outdoor, heated jacuzzis, and a few with their own pools. The spa is the crown jewel of the resort, offering a holistic approach and outstanding facilities, including an indoor heated pool, cryotherapy, a sauna, and hammam. Five outdoor pools are spread over the grounds, and genuine hospitality completes the experience.
Santo Maris Oia – Location
• Area: Excellent, quiet location at the western end of Oia, north of the Castle Ruins and Maritime Museum, and about 300m from the bus terminal with service to all of Santorini’s villages. Though the area itself feels secluded, it is less than 300m from some of the best restaurants, bars, and boutiques in Santorini. The famous caldera sunset is only 500m away.
• How to Get There:
The hotel sits on the main northbound road out of Oia, making it very easy to travel to and from, whether by taxi, driving yourself, or riding the bus. 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. The hotel is only 300m downhill from the Oia bus station, so it’s very easy walking on arrival, but a bit of a climb on the way back.
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 Santo Maris 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, Santo Maris offers free parking on site.
• Handy to: Oia Bus Terminal, Byzantine Castle Ruins, and the heart of Oia’s pedestrian area.
Santo Maris Oia – The Basics
- Ages: 12 year and above only. Guests tend to be honeymooners or couples celebrating a special occasion, as well as a few families with older children. About one third of the guests are American, while the rest tend to be from the UK or Western Europe. Their target demographic enjoys privacy, peacefulness, and a romantic ambiance.
- Beach: The closest swimming spot (though it is not a proper beach) is at Ammoudi Bay, the port immediately below Oia, 1 km (it’s a steep hill) from Santo Maris Oia. 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.) Katharos Beach is another rocky beach nearby, with 1 beach bar. It is off the beaten path, so much quieter than Ammoudi Bay, but not as beautiful.
- View: Most rooms offer a sea view or sunset sea view, with a few pool view suites too. The sunset and sea views are over the Aegean but not the caldera. This is a spectacular sunset spot from a unique vantage point.
- Kitchen: All suites and villas have a hideaway kitchenette with a sink, Nespresso machine, kettle, a mini-fridge, and a minibar.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: All suites include a heated, outdoor jacuzzi or private pool on a private veranda with sunbeds. Villas all have private, heated pools.
- Parking: Free parking onsite
- Extras: All suites include a pillow menu, turndown service, and a complimentary bottle of wine and sweets. Facilities include a holistic spa with an indoor, heated pool, hydrotherapy baths, and themed days (meditation, nutrition, etc); 5 outdoor, unheated pools.
- When to Book: The hotel operates from early April until late October. Reserve at least 3 months in advance (4 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: +30 211 2340063
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: santomaris.gr
Santo Maris Oia – Amenities
- Pool: 1 heated, indoor pool in the spa. 5 unheated, outdoor pools spread throughout the property; the main pool has a bar.
- Spa: Awesome, holistic spa with top-of-the-line facilities (heated pool, hydrotherapy baths, cryotherapy, sauna, and hammam) and an extensive selection of services based on Greek and international healing traditions. The spa offers thematic experiences that change regularly, such as meditation or nutrition.
- Fitness Center: Small, well-equipped gym with cardio machines, free weights, and a cable machine. Yoga trainers are available on request.
- For Disabled Guests: Since the hotel is not in the caldera, it has fewer stairs than most hotels in the area, but no elevator. Good for someone who has mild to moderate issues walking up and down steps, but not accessible for those in wheelchairs.
- For Families: Only ages 12 and older are allowed, but there are no special facilities or amenities for kids. The largest villas and suites are 2 bedroom/2 bathroom units with 2 king-sized beds and 1 or 2 sofa beds.
- Activities: No organized activities onsite. Guest Experience Specialists are available to organize bespoke tours, excursions, and adventures for guests.
Santo Maris Oia – Food and Drink
- Restaurant: Alios Ilios is their fine dining restaurant, offering Cretan cuisine with influences from all over Greece, and an exquisite selection of local wines. In addition to their regular menu, they also offer an 8 or 11-course degustation menu with wine pairings. Located on the main level with the pool and facing the Aegean, this is a perfect vantage point for watching the sunset. This restaurant is open to the public, so reserve a table to ensure the best view. Open for dinner from 7:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
- Pool Bar: Offering a Mediterranean selection of snacks and lunch, fresh juices, and cocktails. 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- Breakfast: Complimentary breakfast buffet with hot and cold dishes, fresh juices, and coffee. This breakfast has been certified by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels as an authentic Greek Breakfast. Served at Alios Ilios from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Early breakfast available on request.
- Room Service: Available 24 hours a day.
Santo Maris Oia – Rooms
- Room Types: Suite Pool Front • Junior Suite Sea View • Suite Sea View • Deluxe Junior Suite Sunset Sea View • Deluxe Suite Sunset Sea View • Exclusive Sunset Junior Suite Sea View • Honeymoon Suite Sunset Sea View • Royal Suite Sunset Sea View • Exclusive Sunset Suite Private Pool Sea View • Cave Junior Suite Private Pool • Luxury Sunset Villa Private Pool
- Smoking Rooms: Santo Maris Oia does not allow smoking inside any suite or villa. It is allowed on private verandas and in the outdoor, common areas of the hotel.
- Best Room: For couples, the best choice is the Exclusive Sunset Suite Private Pool Sea View. This is in the newest wing of the hotel, and offers the most privacy and a completely unobstructed sunset view. This spacious, 1-bedroom suite has a king bed, separate living and dining areas, as well as a private pool.
- For Families: The best options for families are the 2-bedroom Royal Suite Sunset Sea View or the 2-bedroom Luxury Villa Private Pool Sunset Sea View. The Royal Suite measures an ample 97 sqm and sleeps up to 6 guests, with 2 king beds, 2 single sofa beds, and 2 bathrooms. The 2-bedroom, 4-bathroom Luxury Villa is an enormous 190 sqm, but accommodates only 4 guests, with 2 king beds and 1 sofa bed, a full kitchen, private parking, plus butler’s quarters (bring your own or hire theirs). The Luxury Villa includes a private pool and outdoor jacuzzi, while the Royal Suite has an outdoor jacuzzi.
Santo Maris Oia – Local Transport
- Walking: The hotel is located northwest of Oia’s center, with its fine dining, luxury boutiques, and few bars only a 4-minute walk away (uphill, though). Oia Castle ruins are just 12 minutes away. Ammoudi Bay is accessible via a steep and winding path, an easy walk southwest and down the caldera, but arduous going back up; many people taxi or take a donkey back to the top.
- Bus: The Oia Bus Terminal is only 300m away (uphill and to the east), and serves all of the major villages and beaches on the island (sometimes 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, also 350 meters uphill and east 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. The average rate from Oia to Fira is €20, and from Oia to the airport runs about €35 to €40.
- 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.
Santo Maris Oia – What’s Nearby?
Best Nearby Restaurants
- 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.
- Lotza: Simple, honest Greek comfort food with stunning caldera views.
- 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.
- Ammoudi Bay Restaurants: Each of these waterfront restaurants is phenomenal, offering the freshest fish on the island. The steep 15-minute walk down takes longer coming back up, but the waiter will be happy to call a cab.
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- 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.
- Marykay’s Bar/Hassapiko: The only nightlife in Oia, this is where to go for dancing, as they regularly host live bands and DJs.
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.
- 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.
Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops
- Atlantis Books: Widely considered to be the best bookstore in the world. Nat Geo calls it a “Destination of a Lifetime”.
- B.Loose: Greek-made, casual linens for men and women.
- It’s a Beautiful Day: Greek-designed clothing and luxury-brand accessories.
- BLOW by Labro: High-end designer boutique with unique pieces.
- 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.
- 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. 5-minute walk from the hotel.
- Museum of Ancient, Byzantine Musical Instruments: Faithful replicas of Greek instruments dating from the prehistoric through Byzantine eras.
- Church of Panagia of Platsani: The most iconic church in Santorini, beautiful inside and out.
- 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.
- 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.
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Proton Supermarket: Small market, but usually has the best prices. This is where most locals shop in the area.
- 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 2:00 a.m.
Santo Maris Oia – The Hotel