More about Esperas Traditional Houses
Terrible reservation policy at Esperas
I made a reservation for a party of three for me, my mother and daughter at the Esperas in April of 2006 for a triple room for Aug 28-Aug 31. 2006. Unfortunately, I had to cancel the reservation (on May 15, 2006) because my mother a senior citizen developed acute arthritis and would not be able to climb the numerous stairs to reach the hotel. The management charged my credit card $275.24 which they refuse to refund. In the numerous emails back and forth setting up the reservation I was never informed of the cancellation policy. I think that I gave them adequate notice and because it was for medical reason the hotel is being unreasonable in refunding my credit card the deposit. I would not recommend this hotel because of their policies.
Esperas, just hype?
Stayed at Esperas for 2 nights after reading reviews from this site and another travel forum. Nothing extraordinary or exceptional about the hotel. The hype was all about the sunset but be prepared to be disappointed also. Our room has a view of the caldera and partial sunset (obstructed by a cliff/rooms being built); lots of steps going to the hotel and rooms. Bed was lumpy and was the worst we had considering we paid also the highest during our Greece trip. Service was good (room, breakfast, Yvonne...the morning shift receptionist, porter) except for the 2nd shift receptionist who's bend on giving a very negative comment about a well-known rest. just because SHE had poor receptions from that rest. Transfer arrangement made by hotel to/from port/airport was poor. Each time we waited for about 15 mins. under the heat of the sun (pick-up/drop-off is at the back of the hotel after numerous steps). For the amount you're paying, you have to pay extra for small things that they offer, e.g., $3 for tape rental, $3 for 1/2 hr. internet access, etc. Definitely not a value hotel nor has the best view/sunset.
What an experience!! After travelling around Egypt, Italy and Athens we finally arrived to relax for the final leg of journey. Esperas took our breath away, we stayed in room 120 as we were two couples sharing accommodation. The room was traditional and clean with two balconies, only a stones throw from the pool and amenities. We sipped champagne of a night while listening to music and watching the most stunning sunsets. The staff were friendly and professional and we cannot thank enough the guy who carried the enormous amount of luggage up the stairs (the boys luggage was the heaviest of course!). I am convinced they shopped a lot more than the girls at the charming shops in the village.
We would certainly stay here again and our advise is forget the swankie modern hotels and go and experience the Esperas traditional houses and sit on top of the world!!
Stay Here Now
Esperas was the first stop on our honeymoon. What a place. The staff was very friendly. With their help, we rented a car to check out the beaches and the rest of the island. We loved where it was situated, near the very tip of the island and away from a lot of the tourist traffic. The pool was very refreshing, and there was plenty of privacy. The views were astonishing. Waking up and breathing that Aegean air while looking at the caldera is really something you'll never forget. We are still blown away by the photos we took just from the hotel. Esperas represents the marriage of beauty and value, and I would love to go back. We also stayed at one of the "best" hotels on the island, and while I paid almost twice as much, it was only a little better in some respects and not as good in others. Do yourself a favor and consider staying at Esperas if you're looking for a quiet, romantic stay in paradise.
Exceeding our expectations
My husband and I stayed at Esperas for 3 nights (June 24-26). Prior to leaving we arranged a driver with Yvonne to pick us up from the airport.
Our room was exactly what we expected. It was bright, clean and comfortable. We loved the inset bed and the mosaic tiled shower. Each room has a patio where you can sit and enjoy the view. We would bring our breakfast back to the patio each morning. The breakfast included coffee, juices, breads, traditional Greek pastries, cheese, meats, yogurt, honey, hard boiled eggs…..etc. The food was fresh and the coffee was perfect.
Esperas provided in our room, a great handbook with information on the island to include information on the hotel, descriptions of the beaches, excursions, restaurants and bus schedules. Yvonne helped us arrange a car so we could explore the beaches. The next day we took the excursion to the volcano. We recommend booking it through Esperas. The tour guide was fabulous and the group was small in comparison to the larger groups that came in from Thira.
The location of Esperas is perfect. About a 5 minute walk into Oia. The location is quiet and at night you can see many stars in the sky. As mentioned in the previous reviews, yes there are a lot of stairs but that is very common for the location. We did not find the stairs to be problematic but it could pose a problem for someone who is not fit. Although we did not use the pool, it looked very clean and inviting.
Yvonne, Amy and the entire staff were so friendly and helpful. Our experience in Santorini was exceptional. We will definitely return to Esperas again.
Could not have been better
My wife and I recently spent four days at Esperas and could not have been more pleased with the staff and accommodations. We travel to Europe for about a month each year and will remember this as one of the high points so far as accommodation was concerned.
The view from our private terrace was spectacular and the room was exceptionally clean and well cared for. While we had rented one of the small studios, we felt that we were treated as royalty. Perhaps this was becuase we arranged to be married on the terrace. The sunset wedding was beautiful and came off without a hitch. The photographs are lovely and we are the envy of our friends.
Unfortuately, we were a bit banged up from a motorscooter accident on Samos so the stairs up and down from the hotel were a bit of a challenge, but the staff were ever helpful in this regard, particularly where luggage was concerned. As a result of our injuries we chose to eat several meals at the hotel and found all to be excellant and very price competitive with those served in the restaurants in town.
While we have stayed in many other lovely accommodations over the years, my wife and I cannot think of few others where we have absolutely nothing that we believe could be improved.
Fantastic views and steps!
We stayed in Esperas Oia in May for 5 nights. Lovely hotel, fantastic view and staff, they go out of their way to be of service to you. The weather wasn't all that, but during the day it was OK. Pool was not heated (as in most hotels), so a bit freezing. The room was nice, although for me the best part was the 2 private terraces (room nr 120). Room can accomodate 4 people, but it must be 4 people who like eachother a lot, since it's not very big. Don't expect luxury overhere, but you won't find it in any other hotel on this island. As it said on the internet: "traditional" furniture, that can be anything, wright? But everything is clean, room is cleaned twice a day if you want, and the best thing is sitting on your terrace or by the pool and watch the tourists on the footpath catching their breath, which is definitely not suitable for eldery people or disabled people. The sunsets were a bit disappointing, my hopes were too high I guess.
The restaurant serves good food, but since it was too cold at night we had our first meal inside and that does not feel quite the same (you can eat outside if you want). It's more like an emergency restaurant for people who don't feel like climbing all the steps again to get to the centre of Ia. The food is good though and the staff very, very friendly.
I have to say that we stayed there 6 days, which was a bit long. It is very quiet, and if you're lying by the pool it would be nice to have something more to look at, my husband found it too quiet in the end. And of course you can watch the sea and the caldera, but that does not change a lot, so if you want lots of people around you this is not the place for you. If you want a quiet and relaxing holiday with outstanding service go to Esperas and you will not be disappointed. If you rent a car, just rent it for 1 day, the other day is wasted as you can do the island in a few hours. Go to Kamari beach, nice lively place with lots of restaurants.
Comparing it to the other hotels we've seen on the island (Katikies, Heliopotos) this is the best location and best value for money, Ia is a lovely little town, I liked it better than Fira.
Pricewise Santorini is OK, a bit funny though. A glass of wine may cost you 6,50 at one
place and 3,00 at a similar place, a few metres ahead, but I guess that's the same all over the world. Nice island, nice people, but I would say 2-3 days is long enough, but that might be my opinion because we could not sit outside at night (freezing!) and there's nothing worse than watching TV in a "traditional" hotel room while you're on one of the world's most beautiful islands. (No drinks served after 23.00 hrs). I suggest if you want to go check the weather conditions, nice weather is a must here! Restaurants recommended: Ambrosia & Nectar, and neighbour Papagalos- my favorite. (main street), for lunch go to the patisserie with patio upstairs, wonderful. We would not return to Santorini, not because it's not beautiful but there are too many other places in the world to discover!
Romantic location - at a price
My fiance and I spent two nights at the hotel early October 2005.
This hotel is located on the clifface of the prime location on the island. The view is spectacular. However, the stairs are steep and would be treacherous for elderly people or those with disabilities. We found the staff to be friendly and helpful and would assist you with any need. In fact - the best hotel staff we met in all our travels throughout Europe. The room was in the traditional style and well fitted - Spotlessly clean.
If the hotel has one flaw, it is expensive accomodation.
Suggest hiring a vehicle to tour the island. Oia is a little remote from the rest of the island and your own wheels are recommended.
Overall a great few days with wonderful staff to assist. We would like to have spent more time here but it was financially impractical.
Awesome Views and Location
Visit the ---- website and you will know what to expect! It is beautiful!
The hotel is located in Oia with wonderful views of the sunset. My husband and I stayed in a "Superior Traditional House" for 225 Euros per night. We stayed for 3 nights (which I think is the right amount for Santorini).
Our traditional superior house was a cycladic "cave" style house all done in white and blue with a sitting area, kitchenette, separate bedroom, and bathroom. We had a great private balcony with umbrella, bistro table and chairs, and lounge chairs. We really loved having the balcony and enjoying wine and watching the sunsets in the evening - this is a great place to view the famous sunsets, no reason to go to the various lookout points in Oia.
The hotel staff is very helpful and will provide information about tours, rental cars, and restaurants. They also have an extensive library of DVDs you can borrow. The hotel has a pool with a great sundeck. Breakfast is served by the pool or you can take your tray down to your private balcony. Breakfast is fairly simple - breads, cereals, yogurt, etc.
The hotel is along the cliff walk to Oia and is very conveniently located. We enjoyed dinners at Skala and 1800 during our stay.
Greece: A Piece of Heaven on Earth
My husband and I spent 3 weeks traveling the islands and the Peloponnese. We arrived the end of May and had an exciting taxi ride to our hotel in the ancient district known as the Plaka. Many beautiful jewelry shops, restaurants, and of course the proverbial tourist, souvenir, and T-shirt shops as well. The streets are narrow and many are supposed to be pedestrian traffic only, but motor-cycles, taxis, and cars don't seem to pay attention. So beware. Although teeming with tourists, the Plaka is situated at the base of the Acropolis and is within easy walking distance. Our hotel room had a small balcony with a view of the Acropolis which was very romantic. The Hotel Adrian was clean, moderately priced, included a filling breakfast each morning on their rooftop garden with a view of the Acropolis and had a friendly, helpful, staff who spoke adequate english. We didn't have a problem with communication as most speak at least a little english. I had learned some phrases and they appreciated it when the effort was made to speak their language. It was thrilling to be in a place that was so ancient and full of the beginnings of modern democracy, Christianity, and philosophy. Spring and autumn are the best times to be in Athens. It gets very hot in the summer and becomes a ghost town as most Athenians head for cooler temperatures. Not every place has air-conditioning, although more hotels are having it installed.
"The Islands: Mykonos, Santorini, Sifnos"
Our first stop, Mykonos, wasn't the beautiful, romantic, sun-drenched place I had dreamed of for months. We arrived in a constant drizzle of rain, strong wind and cold! Where was the greek sunshine I had read so much about? We were dis-appointed, but we put on our wind-breakers and headed out to explore. In Mykonos town are many tiny, maze-like alleys that snake around shops, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. It's easy to get lost, but so much fun! (And you're not really lost, just pleasantly confused!) The sun came out the following day and each day after got warmer and more pleasant. We rented a scooter and took off for the interior of the island. Saw many gorgeous beaches, but the water was still too chilly for my liking. We came to a wonderful little town called Ano Mera. Found a taverna that had some of the best food we had our whole time in Greece. The waiter took us inside and showed us 2 huge cases full of food. We learned quickly in Greece not to order things separately. The servings are huge! We'd get a dish of this and that and share! Mykonos is a huge party island and fills up fast in July and August. We said goodby to Mykonos and boarded our ferry to Santorini. Coming into Santorini literally takes your breath away. In 1500 BC, a volcano in the middle of the island blew up. The Aegean Sea came rushing in and left the top of the volcano as another island. Now there is a shear cliff called the "caldera" with thousands of bright, white buildings spilling down over the edge like icing on a cake. It's a good idea to have transportation already arranged before you get there as there are very few taxis and they get taken quickly. We got on our bus and headed up the narrow, twisting road to the top. Sometimes it looked as if we were going to go over the edge. Our accomodations here were fantastic, and the only place we stayed that actually had a double bed. The staff made us feel like part of the family. The Esperas Houses Hotel was great. We were in the town of Oia (or Ia) on the caldera as it's less touristy than Fira. People come from all over the island to watch the sunsets take place in this town. Public transportation was good and cheap. We did rent a car and traveled on our own for a couple days. Our final island was Sifnos. Since the other two were touristy, we wanted something that had more Greek "flavor" than the others. We found it in Sifnos! With 2,000 inhabitants, it's charming, peaceful and clean! When ap-proaching the port of Kamares, I was struck by, first, the mountains, then, the tiny little chapels perched on top of several. I wondered how people got up there. We got a taxi that took us on a 20 minute ride to the village where we were staying. We were dropped off at the end of a road and told we needed to walk the rest of the way. In front of us was sand and water! The driver pointed us in the right direction and off we headed through the sand with 3 suitcases and backpacks. The village of Vathi was small and remote. It had a small grocery and 3 or 4 tavernas. The people were very friendly. I was asked to come up onto the patio of our neighbors and have some wine. They were eating tiny fish that looked like sardines, but were not. I had a taste and they were pretty good. Sifnos is known for it's pottery and in ancient times was responsible for making a golden egg to be offered to Apollo as a tithe. The Sifnians were careful to fill in all the mines once they were done. The food was delicious! We rented a scooter and while driving the roads would smell oregano and thyme growing wild on the side of the road. We saw 2 guys from a taverna we had eaten in picking huge bundles of fresh oregano one day while driving about. It is a laid back, calm existence that has been the same for millenia.
The last leg of our trip was spent at one location with day trips to different areas. We rented a car for 3 days. The farthest we drove in one day was about 2 1/2 hours one way. If you don't count the one time we got absolutely lost! We were following signs back to our resort when they just stopped. We ended up going down a road where the ruts were as big as our car. After turning around several times and passing the same tree for the fifth time, we saw a car in front of us. Now we had seen nothing for miles. This little white car in front of us slowed down and pulled over. I rolled my window down and asked if he spoke english. He smiled and said "of course!" We asked directions and he was able to give them. We really felt as if our guardian angel had been there to see us safely home. Our day trips took us to ancient Corinth, the Corinth canal, Tiryns (where Hercules was born), Mycenae, Epidaurus and the city of Nafplion. Nafplion was the first capital of Greece after their war of independence in 1828. The city of 10,000 is beautiful! Bougainvilla, begonias, and other flowers grow everywhere. It has 2 Venetian fortresses and a pretty miniature one in the harbor. We could have stayed here for several days exploring, but that will have to be another trip. The Peloponnese is an easy drive or ferry ride from Athens. It's proximity makes it a vacation destination for many Greeks. Lovely beaches, resorts and contemporary clubbing are all drawing cards. Nafplion has just the right mix of ancient and contemporary. We also saw the Corinth canal. In antiquity the Peloponesse and the mainland of Greece were connected by an isthmus. Though it was a narrow piece of land, all ships had to go all around from east to west. The French completed the canal in 1893. They used lots of dynamite and now the canal is 4 miles long, but only 30 yards wide. Big cruise ships and barges go through now, as it's completion revolutionized the shipping industry. To get to ancient Corinth, you have to go through modern Corinth. Don't bother stopping. Although old Corinth is touristy, modern Corinth has nothing to offer as far as ambiance is concerned. Modern Corinth is confusing and the signs for Ancient Corinth are almost non-existant. We had to ask directions a couple times before finding old Corinth. A big disappointment to us when we got to old Corinth was that the workers were on strike and it was closed. Over 1800 feet above us was acrocorinth. It, also, was closed but we drove up anyway. At one time the temple of Aphrodite was here. It was staffed by 1,000 temple prostitutes. Some would come down into the town, but most stayed in the temple awaiting the customer willing enough to make the hike. Epidaurus is an ampitheater built in the 4th century and is still used today. It seats 14,000 spectators and has fantastic accoustics.