On a return trip to Oia, we opted to book with an individual innkeeper instead of a hotel. A big mistake. Please protect your money and rent elsewhere.
In October, I booked a 4 night stay with this business, I communicated directly with the owner Mr Johan Lantz of Stockholm. We had a pleasant communication and agreed upon the terms with one exception, the cancellation policy. I asked Mr Lantz to provide me this information because of potential cancellation due to work obligations. My request was ignored, shame on me for not persisting, in good faith I provided a very expensive deposit $250 Eu $352. This was to be our 25th anniversary celebration. Due to unforeseen health issues, I had to cancel this complete Greece trip. The notice I provided to Mr. Lantz was 90 days from the reservation date and my cancellation was not due to business but to a health issue. When I requested the refund I was refused and Mr Lantz indicated that his policy was clearly stated on VRBO. I went to VRBO which I had not returned to since finding his apartment. It indicated that deposit refund was >6weeks a 30% penalty, 4-6 weeks, a 50% penalty and 4 weeks a 100% penalty. i challenged Mr. Lantz who then indicated that I actually owed him money as that penalty was for the FULL amount, not the deposit. The whole thing was ludicrous. I booked 8 months early and provided him 3 months’ notice on cancellation, plenty of time to rent the property and he refuses to refund any of the deposit. A very poor and questionable business practice.
A greek specialist on trip advisor indicated that perhaps Mr. Lantz had violated rules indicated by the Department of Tourism. Apparently anything over 4 weeks must be reimbursed in Full by law and no deposit over 25% can be required.
I have maintained all documentation relating to this incident.
Unique Suggestions: Only rent with highly reviewed inns. Look on trip advisor and such. In this situation a mere two reviews should have given away that there was not enough history.
Fun Alternatives: Nostos or any highly reviewed lodging in Oia.
We found the shops and tavernas in Oia to be more expensive than on any other part of the island, except maybe the small area immediately surrounding the cruise ship port in Fira. It took us a long time to find a taverna in Oia with reasonable prices, and when we finally did it was very crowded with other travelers looking for good prices.
The shops were also very expensive in Oia. If you intend to do any shopping on Santorini do it elsewhere. For instance, we found Kamari to have reasonable prices on many souvinirs.