Sophia Luxury Suites – Luxurious collection of cave-style suites with indoor or outdoor private pools, romantic ambiance, and spectacular sunset views over the caldera.
Sophia Luxury Suites is a posh boutique hotel with unique rooms and suites spread out over the cliffside in Imerovigli, the highest village in the caldera. Though every suite is completely unique, built to incorporate the natural shape of the caldera, all feature private plunge pools, traditional architecture, and contemporary luxury furnishings and amenities. The layout is decentralized, with no shared facilities; rather, each suite is treated as a private unit with in-suite spa services and meals served directly to their private terraces. The only common area is the reception office, which is staffed twenty-four hours a day with a helpful, polished, friendly staff ready to assist in every way.
Sophia Luxury Suites – Location
Absolutely gorgeous location in the heart of Imerovigli village, with amazing dining and attractions all within a couple of minutes from the hotel. Imerovigli sits at the highest elevation on the caldera, and the views are stellar from all of Sophia’s suites and from most of the restaurants here.
• How to Get There:
The hotel sits above the caldera in the center of Imerovigli village, on a footpath not far off the main road through town, making it easy to reach by bus, taxi, or driving yourself. It is approximately 8km from the Santorini Airport to Sophia Luxury Suites, and 12km 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. There are no direct buses from the port or airport to Imerovigli, however; buses from both locations go to Fira, where you must then board a different bus to Imerovigli – the entire trip from the port or airport to Imerovigli will take around an hour and cost about €5 in total. Tickets are purchased on the bus, in cash only. The bus stop is just 8 minutes away on foot, and the walk from there to the hotel is mostly flat or downhill.
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 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 Sophia Luxury Suites should be about €25 to €30, and a taxi from the ferry port to the hotel around €30. Booking through a private car service will cost only a bit more – about $45 (or €37), 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. In Imerovigli, there are small, free parking lots near the Imerovigli Basketball Court, near Buddha Bar Beach, 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.
Sophia Luxury Suites – The Basics
- Ages: Sophia Luxury Suites is an adults-only hotel, which in this case means anyone over 12 years. The policy is flexible though. They also allow pets. Guests tend to be couples celebrating a romantic occasion, usually a honeymoon or anniversary.
- 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 5 km drive to the north end, or 7 km to the south end, where the cliffs are.
- View: All rooms and suites offer panoramic, direct caldera and sunset views over Skaros Rock toward Thirassia, from the tip of Akrotiri to the tip of Oia.
- Private Pools: All rooms and suites have indoor or outdoor private plunge pools. The Character Cave Room features an indoor cave pool; the Aroma Cave Rooms, Enigma Cave Suites, and Efhari Exclusive Suites offer open-air, outdoor plunge pools; the Aurora Cave Suites feature cave-style, outdoor plunge pools; and the Crypt Exclusive Suites, Utopia Exclusive Suites, Sophia Honeymoon Suites, and Superior Honeymoon Suites boast both indoor cave pools and outdoor plunge pools.
- Parking: There are a few free parking areas near Sophia Luxury Suites, but they are small and often full. Check near the Imerovigli Basketball Court, near Buddha Bar Beach, 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.
- Extras: 24-hour reception, twice daily maid service, concierge service, turndown service, pet-friendly, welcome drinks, complimentary gift box, airport/port shuttle (additional fee), complimentary fruit basket (except Character Room), honeymoon packages, proposals, weddings, private dining; records and record player in Aurora Cave Suites, Enigma Cave Suites, Crypt Exclusive Suites, Sophia Honeymoon Suites, and Superior Honeymoon Suites.
- When to Book: The hotel is open from the beginning of April to early or 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 22860 21181, +30 69432 18923
- Email: [email protected], [email protected]
- Website: sophiasuites-santorini.com
Sophia Luxury Suites – Amenities
- Pool: No shared pool. All rooms and suites have their own private pools.
- Spa: No central spa. All spa treatments, salon services, and private yoga sessions are done in-suite or on the private terraces. For groups, there is a group of 3 rooms that all have adjacent pools.
- Fitness Center: No gym, but private yoga and personal training can be arranged.
- For Disabled Guests: This is a caldera hotel with lots of steps and no elevator, and many split-level rooms. Not suitable for guests with mobility issues.
- For Families: Sophia Luxury Suites is an adults-only hotel, which in this case means anyone over 12 years, though this policy is flexible. They also allow pets on request.
- Activities: The 24-hour concierge team is happy to arrange activities on-site (private candlelit dinners or spa services), or off-site (photography and wine tours, caldera cruises, pottery lessons, and tailor-made excursions).
Sophia Luxury Suites – Food and Drink
- Restaurant: There is no restaurant onsite, but there is a full kitchen open from 8 am until 10:30 pm serving meals, drinks, and snacks directly to each room and suite. The menu features flavorful, modern Greek dishes, a fantastic wine menu, and excellent cocktails. Private dining can also be arranged on their exclusive rooftop terrace, popular at sunset and for proposals.
- Breakfast: A complimentary, a la carte breakfast is served every morning directly to each suite or its private terrace, usually from 8 am to 11:30 am, though the hours are flexible.
- Room Service: Room service is available for all meals, drinks, and snacks from 8 am until 10:30 pm.
Sophia Luxury Suites – Rooms
- Room Types: Character Room • Aroma Room • Aurora Cave Suite • Enigma Cave Suite • Crypt Exclusive Suite • Efhari Exlcusive Suite • Utopia Exclusive Suite • Sophia Honeymoon Suite • Superior Honeymoon Suite
- 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: The best suites for couples are the Sophia and Superior Honeymoon Suites. These 1-bedroom suites are the largest on site and feature king-sized beds, separate living rooms, record players, large terraces, rain showers, indoor cave pools, and outdoor plunge pools with caldera views. The Superior Honeymoon Suite is slightly larger than the Sophia Honeymoon Suites and has a larger cave pool.
- For Families: Sophia Luxury Suites is an adults-only hotel, which in this case means anyone over 12 years. They also allow pets. For families with older kids, the Enigma Cave Suites are the best options. These are the only suites that sleep up to 4 guests, with 1 bedroom with a king-sized bed and 2 single-sized sofa beds, record players, rain showers, and outdoor private plunge pools.
Sophia Luxury Suites – Local Transport
- Walking: The hotel is located in the center of Imerovigli above the caldera and on the Oia-Fira hiking trail, with the village’s best restaurants, shops, and attractions just a few meters away. Easy access to all dining and attractions in Imerovigli as well as the nightlife and shopping in Fira, just a 30-minute walk south.
- Bus: The nearest bus stop is in Imerovigli village, near Sunbird car rental and Posidonia Tavern, an 8-minute walk from the hotel. Buses here serve all of the major villages and beaches on the island. Buses to Oia, Firostefani, and Fira are direct, while routes to the airport, port, ruins, or beaches 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, all the way down in Fira, so it is 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 €15, and from Imerovigli to the airport or port is around €25 to €30.
- 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.
Sophia Luxury Suites – What’s Nearby?
Best Nearby Restaurants
- 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.
- Avocado: Traditional Greek menu, charming space, super friendly staff. Cycladic recipes and a fantastic selection of Santorinian wines.
- Le Moustache: Elevated Greek and Mediterranean dining and excellent cocktails with panoramic sunset views over the caldera.
- La Maison: Contemporary, Greek fine dining with sweeping caldera views. Food, wine, and service are all phenomenal.
- Anogi: Al fresco dining with local specialties and classic Greek dishes. Rich flavors and large portions, so come hungry.
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- Buddha Bar Beach: Upscale cocktail bar, restaurant, and shisha lounge with views over Skaros Rock to the caldera. Pricey but on point.
- Volkan on the Rocks: Great brewpub in Firostefani with amazing views and an outdoor cinema.
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).
- 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
- Pegasus Boutique: Next to the hotel of the same name, this little boutique offers clothing, shoes, swimwear, and accessories by Greek designers.
- Under a Fig Tree: Upscale boutique featuring Greek-designed fashion, accessories, and swimwear right on the Oia-Fira trail.
- 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 northwest, the full length of the path from the hotel to Oia Castle takes from 2 to 4 hours; heading south to the trail’s end in Fira, near Keti Hotel, takes about 30-40 minutes. Add about an hour for a detour at Skaros Rock either way. 1-minute walk from the hotel.
- 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.
- Anastasi Church: The most picturesque, blue-domed church in Imerovigli offers gorgeous caldera views overlooking Skaros Rock. Popular for weddings and photo shoots.
- Imerovigli Basketball Court: Not an attraction, but good to know. This is the main parking area in Imerovigli.
- 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.
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- 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).
- Supermarket Nissi: The friendliest market in the area, and usually the best prices in Imerovigli.
Sophia Luxury Suites – The Hotel