Don't worry, we didn't spontaneously just take a trip to Santorini and back, as much as I wish we could! Here's where this post is coming from...
We are planning a trip to New York later this year, and it's been on the cards for a while now. And I didn't think anything could top it or jeopardise it, but I was looking through these photos last week while sorting out my computer, and I very nearly postponed NYC because of it. I mean, can you blame me?
Something to know about E and myself when it comes to travel - 1) We very rarely feel that visiting the same place again (apart from if it involves visiting people) is a top priority. There is just so much of the world to see! and b) We're not luxury travellers. Aside from our honeymoon to the Maldives and this trip to Santorini, we are avid Airbnb users and really love renting a place to ourselves and having a "home away from home", much more so than paying for luxury hotels (as nice as they are!).
But this place. Even 2 and a half years on, E and I still cannot get over how amazing it was. Of course Santorini itself is the main event, but quite honestly, our hotel was a huge part of why we fell in love with the island. So much so, that we don't even really want to go back again if we had to stay anywhere else.
The piece of heaven I'm talking about is Anastasis Apartments. The special thing about AA is that it's a luxury, 5 star hotel, that feels like a family-run bed & breakfast. There are only 10 rooms and suites in total, with 1 villa off-site, and located in Imerovigli which is between the larger towns of Fira and Oia. This means that peace and quiet is guaranteed, with the breathtaking view over the caldera.
As E planned this whole trip as a wonderful gift and very special occasion (the setting for his proposal), he booked us in for the Anastasis Suite, the dreamiest of suites with a spacious balcony with the stunning view, and an outdoor jacuzzi!
The staff are also the best hotel staff we have ever met. Incredibly attentive yet not intrusive, so friendly and smiley and truly professional. They would unfailingly bring treats and refreshing drinks to us if we were relaxing by the infinity pool, we were given ice cold bottles of water when we headed out for a walk to the towns, and they even drive you to and from restaurants where you might be having dinner, all free of charge.
They leave little gifts for you in your room every time you go out, booking us in for any activities we had planned, and when E got a little allergy around his eyes and casually mentioned it in passing as we said hello to them in reception, we later found a tube of medicine in our room for it! I really mean it, the service here is beyond anything I have ever even heard about.
The night E proposed, he had told them that this was going to happen after we got back from dinner on our first night and asked them to make the room look nice, and they completely surpassed his expectations by putting candles all around the suite, and presenting us with a basket of bubbles and chocolate. We were then given a complimentary massage as an engagement gift! Even remembering it all, it feels like a dream.
Although the hotel itself doesn't have a restaurant, they prepare the most delicious and luxurious breakfasts for you that they bring to your suite whenever you are ready, and set out the table on the balcony for you to enjoy in private. They write lovely little notes and just make everything so personal - look at those cute eggs!
As well as breakfast and the little snacks they give you throughout the day, they do offer a good selection of room serve and lighter meals, which we took advantage of a couple of times. It was all fresh, delicious and not hideously overpriced either.
Their restaurant recommendations were always spot on, they really do know the best places - and as I mentioned, they drive you there and back which is amazing. They also recommended a souvlaki place in Fira where the delicious wraps are a couple of euros each, and it was a real local's spot which we never would have tried otherwise.
On our last night, we used the jacuzzi on our balcony, enjoyed the champagne they gave us and watched the sun go down.
Now, it really is my fault because I made E look through these photos with me and then his idea was born... why don't we save NYC for another time, and use the budget we planned for it to go to Anastasis Apartments again??
The man can be very persuasive, but he doesn't even need to be when it involves an experience like this. I was extremely torn for a few days, but I'm writing this post in the hope that this will get it out of my system and we can go ahead with our New York plans.
I know - first world problems at its worst. I'm fairly sure that we are still set on NYC, but Santorini has definitely not seen the last of us yet.
But I also really wanted to write about this hotel, because they deserve all the recognition and praise they get - even though we absolutely loved Baros in the Maldives, AA tops it for us because it is just so unique, personal and a real treasure so far from the world of corporate and commercial hotels. It's number 1 in the world for most romantic hotels on TripAdvisor - you can read lots of reviews here.
So if you're planning a luxury holiday to a Greek island, or heck, any holiday of any kind, I hope that you'll be bookmarking this place because you are unlikely to find anywhere that is as special as this.
(p.s. I'm not being sponsored by the hotel or TripAdvisor!)
And because I can't resist, here are some non-hotel related photos from the trip - and there are more in my Santorini posts.