Santorini - Aroma Suites
We just returned from our stay at Aroma Suites and it was very peaceful and clean. We should preface this though with the fact that the hotel is very difficult to find and because we had trouble finding it, we asked many local people if they know where it was and no one had heard ot it! So if you aren't being picked up by Fanes, make sure that you know where the hotel is beforehand.
We stayed in the honeymoon suite as there were no other rooms available and were surprised to see that the honeymoom suite is connected to the reception desk! So, you basically share the room with reception which just didn't feel very private to us, especially for the money we were paying. I would just warn people as we were a little turned off that when staying in the honeymoon suite, the owner sits right outside the room in the reception and you can hear people when they come in to ask questions.In all fairness though, the room was very nice and clean and the view was beautiful. The owner gave us a welcome glass of wine and coffee in the morning which was very nice. All in all though, it was a pleasant stay.
Which Aroma Suites is it?
Our experience begins when we phoned Fanes at Aroma Suites 4 days prior to our arrival to make sure our booking was still OK, even though a deposit was paid in March, and at the same time to re-confirm our pickup from the port. I was told that we had been moved to a junior suite at no extra cost, and that it was better than our original booking. We had booked the cave apartment at Aroma which has the orange and gold furnishings as per the website. The photos of this apartment were sent to me, as I queried exactly which apartment we were making a reservation for, since the website does not show each studio or apartment. When making the original booking in March, Fanes had tried to suggest a very tiny room at Noni's Apartments for 100Euros (which he also owns), telling me it was much cheaper than the apartment that we were interested in. He also sent me the photo, but I declined this room, and confirmed we wished to take the original apartment, which was confirmed after paying the deposit. Here is the CLUE!
On the way back from the port I was making general conversation and I ascertained that his other property was due for a major renovation after the summer season. Well this is where we were being taken to my absolute horror. Fanes is a lovely man, as all his guests say, but the wrong thing was done by us. Explanations by Fanes changed several times from when we arrived, to the following morning- none of which were satisfactory.
The first explanation given was that there are 3 properties, but as of 4 months ago, they are ALL in fact, Aroma Suites. This includes the Aroma Suites as per the website, Noni's apartments and Loizos apartments. These properties interestingly all still have their own websites or listings on other sites, and there is no suggestion that they are all one of the same Aroma Suites. So the explanation followed , that while I thought I was staying at the proper Aroma Suites, but because Noni's no longer existed (as of 4 months ago), so it too, was Aroma Suites. I didn't accept this, as I pointed out that a photo was sent of the cave apartment we had booked. I was told that he was away at the time of my making the booking, as his father was ill, so "Reception" should not have sent me the photo. What Fanes unfortunately does not remember, is that I spoke to him twice about my booking, unless that person at "Reception" was calling themselves Fanes. I am further confused as to just who, "Reception" is, as the property is very small (8 studios/apartments total), and is a husband and wife run business. Noni’s from what I could ascertain, (as our friendly neighbours showed us in to their accommodation) has an apartment, a junior suite and the small room, being our’s. The adjacent junior suite was enormous in size, having separate areas within the cave and of a higher standard, but still by no means great.
Fanes, seeing my anger, offered a free breakfast to us and confirmed that he would take us to the airport the following day. He had actually spoken about the transfer back to the airport, when he collected us, prior to this event, as he was possibly dropping his wife back home anyway, and the airport is only an extra 5 minutes further.
As well as the above explanation that all 3 properties are the same, he further said that as we were only staying for one night, he likes to give his guests this room as it has a private balcony and the best views. This clearly is not the case, as my photos will testify. The views being partly of the redundant cement plant, and around the corner from that, but out of view, is the refuse depot, where the rubbish is burnt and the seagulls flock. As far as privacy goes- our neighbour was sitting on our balcony during our absence.
By the time we arrived it was quite late at night, so we didn't have any option but to stay in the tiny room at Noni's (I will call it Noni's, even though it doesn't exist), rather than try and seek alternative accommodation. It wasn’t possible for us to stay in our room, as it was so appalling, so we stayed out until midnight. We went to bed, not really wanting to touch our bathroom or anything else. My photos will show why! What my photos don't show however, is the stench from the bathroom drain, which came through to the bedroom, even with the door closed.
When making the booking I asked about the noise level from around, as Fira can be noisy if you are in the wrong location. I was assured over the phone, and by email, that it was very quiet. Not so! We had to use earplugs and still the noise carried from the nearby restaurant. The noise ceased at 1.30am, however then the many mosquitoes in the room took over. Of course, Aroma was the quieter location out of the 2 properties, as we discovered.
Needless to say, I didn't sleep that night, as I felt too uneasy about the condition of our room. This didn't please me, as we had a long flight the following day, arriving back home well after midnight of that day. Not a good feeling to be feeling jet-lagged before you have departed.
Next morning we went to take up Fanes' offer of free breakfast which gave us the excuse to get ourselves out of the room. Breakfast at Aroma was very pleasant and we were able to use our laptop sat outside, which was one reason for booking Aroma in the first place. Fanes still tried to justify that the views were better at Noni's as the cute little chapel and power lines obstructed the view at Aroma Suites. Personally I think the chapel added to the view, and is certainly better than the cement plant. Power lines are a given in Santorini!
I decided to be discreet, and not upset his guests within ear shot, as they were most likely, happy with their accommodation, (and I don't like scenes) so after breakfast I went to discuss the situation further with Fanes. The 3rd explanation offered was that a mistake was made by Reception. I am extremely doubtful about this, and you can draw your own conclusions.
The previous night Fanes said that he would offer us a discount, for the booking, but he actually settled the account by just accepting our deposit of 65 Euros and not charging the balance of 95 Euros, being the 160 Euros for the cave apartment. Remembering that Noni's was offered to me for 100 Euros when booking, I am still wondering what I would have been paying, had I not complained, as the usual rates were not displayed in the room, as is usual in Greece.
When I told Fanes that we were unable to use the shower, as the bathroom was so bad, in his defence, he allowed us to use the bathroom from one of the rooms at Aroma, as the guests had an early checkout. We were very thankful and appreciated this offer, as going 2 days without showering in the heat, was not desirable. We were also able to use the toiletries supplied, as there weren't any at Noni's and I don't travel with shampoo etc. as I always stay in places where the full compliment is supplied. Nor were we prepared to use the towels either at Noni’s.
The reduced charge of 65 Euros charge unfortunately for us, was not compensation enough for our poor experience, as we were willing to pay 160 Euros for something that was comfortable, clean, spacious, new and modern, and not a property that was earmarked for total renovation.
Whilst Fanes is a very pleasant man, I don't think he should be substituting a one night booking from Aroma to Noni's on the basis that the views are better, and there is supposedly a private balcony, only made private by the fact that a third person could not physically fit on the balcony.
In summary, when making your booking, make absolutely sure that you are going to get the studio/apartment/suite that you have booked and you will be very happy. Apart from the little studio in which we were able to use to shower, he also showed me the apartment that we had actually booked and the bridal suite, (occupied at the time) and both were as you see it on the internet, so you won't be disappointed if making these choices.
We are still wishing that we could have stayed at Aroma Suites, as we agree with the other reviews- it is a nice place and competitively priced by Santorini prices. Many other properties charge heavily for the privilege of a small swimming pool. Aroma doesn’t have a swimming pool on site, and doesn’t charge a premium either for the nice things such as robes, safety deposit box, music system etc.
Well I hope Fanes is not too upset with us for this review, as I still recommend Aroma Suites, if you are fortunate enough to stay there. What Fanes probably does not fully appreciate is that when guests are on a short holiday and coming from a far away country, as we do, where the pace of life is very hectic/chaotic, we want to enjoy our stay, and really are not at all interested in explanations or errors, whichever one it is- take your pick. Reductions in price and free breakfasts, while a nice gesture, do not compensate at all, for the poor experience.
Fanes asked me not to write any reviews, and I must say that I agreed at the time, but after giving it some thought, I decided to write to Tripadvisor. I consider Tripadvisor to be such a useful research tool, and as I have used it extensively, I felt it was time that I put forward a review and let fellow travellers be warned, in the same way that I would want to be alerted, to potential problems and experiences, especially in high season.
Loved our stay at Aroma Suites!
My husband and I were just married in Santorini and stayed at the Aroma Suites. We spent a long time on the internet before we booked looking for a traditional cave style hotel with views of the Caldera and a reasonable price -- and Aroma Suites met all three. We would highly recommend it to anyone coming to stay in Santorini. For location, views, value and hospitality it is hard to beat!
The hotel is set a bit back from the town which made it quieter and more peaceful, yet still in easy walking distance to the town restaurants and shops. The rooms were lovely, and the views of the Caldera simply breathtaking. We stayed in both a standard room and the honeymoon suite during our stay - and both were lovely.
The highlight of our stay here was definitely the amazing hospitality from the couple Fanes and Maria who run this hotel. They were amazing hosts and picked us up and returned us to the airport. They provided excellent recommendations for local restaurants, assisted us with local calls and inquiries, made the most delicious frappes for us each morning, and even provided a lovely local wine for my parents when they were first meeting my new in-laws. They really went out of their way for us - even decorating our room, inside and out on the day of our wedding day with flowers and candles, a fruit basket and matrimonial bedding! We really appreciated all of their efforts and just loved the easy, welcoming, homey feel of this place. We could not have picked a better place to stay for our wedding and honeymoon. It was just perfect!
Fira (Santorini) - Aroma Suites
Locates on the caldera and overlooking the blue sea. It is small but charming. Quick email response.
Direction : It is hard to find this hotel when you are the 1st timer in Fira. Walking around those steps on the caldera with your luggage is not fun. From the taxi/bus station, just go straight up to the Atlantis Hotel direction and stay to the right of the Atlantis hotel. Make the first right turn as soon as you see the narrowing street.
Note : Open year round as of this writing.
web site : http://www.aromasuites.gr/
My name is Anna and i am greek-australian. I've stayed at the aroma
suites for six days. It was magnifficant. I travel a lot and stay in good hotels but aroma suites is in my heart. Everything was great there, the room, the view, the service, the cleaning but the greatest of all was mr Fanis. He was very friendy, very helpfull, it was like to be in my own house. I suggest the suites aroma to everyone.
I hope one day to return and stay to aroma suites again.
Aroma Suites was simply the best. A quaint cave apartment tucked into the site of Imerovigli, it overlooks the expansive ocean, and a volcano, as well as the entire side of the cliff. Fanes was a gracious host, and brought my friend and I wine on the balcony as we were watching the sunset. He truly tried to make every moment of our stay, memorable. The room was beautiful and cozy. We coudn't have asked for a better experience.
Most Helpful Staff
The owner of Aroma Suites was EXTREMELY helpful. He met my wife and I at the airport the moring we arrived and recommended several very good restraunts.
The airline (LOT Polish Airlines) lost our luggage and we had nothing for four days. The owner of the hotel helped us find a phone number to call the airline and helped retreive our bags.
The staff was very friendly, and could not have been more helpful.
(Also, the view from the hotel was great, and the hotel is located a short walk from all of the tourist shops and restraunts - but far enough away that the noise is not a problem).