Some of the world's most jaw-dropping images of hotel infinity pools have been taken on Santorini, the island of honeymooners and escapists. What makes the Grace stand out? With only 13 rooms and seven suites, here guests receive the undivided attention of staff. Even before you arrive, questions might include, Would you like to organize a romantic surprise for your partner? Or, do you want your bathrobe personalized with your initials? Of course, the hotel’s seamless pool, perched like a bird’s nest over the island's volcanic caldera and the blue hues of the Aegean, is pretty unforgettable as well.
To that end, guests spend much of their time lounging around the pool and dining outdoors on a variety of dramatic terraces. All the rooms have views of the sea. Completed in 2008, the property still feels fresh and modern; rooms are all-white with brushed concrete floors, clean lines, and Vitra furniture. In 2012, for VIP guests, the hotel added a stand-alone villa with two bedrooms, a private kitchen, and a private entrance and swimming pool.
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Many of the island's standout luxury properties are in the village of Oia, just up the coast from the hotel’s perch in Imerovigli. Locals call this area the "balcony to the Aegean," and it’s a great place to catch the sunsets. Houses are built around a caldera and connected by narrow, paved paths. The area’s most famous historic site is Skaros, the remains of a 13th-century Venetian castle.
Need to Know
Rooms: 13 rooms, 7 suites. From $438, including breakfast. (Open April 15 to October 31.) Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The resort has one restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can sit inside, but most choose to sit outside around the pool or lower terrace area overlooking the caldera. The young and talented chef obsessively sources fresh, local ingredients. Menu items might include poached prawns with melon and feta cheese topped with sweet chili flakes, or pan-seared lamb fillet with bulgur pilaf and sultan caper sauce. Spa and gym details: The tiny gym has a cross-trainer and yoga mats. No official spa, but a treatment room is available for massages. The Villa has own its treatment rooms.
Who's it for: Honeymooners and escapists. Our favorite rooms: All the rooms are equally comfortable and have stunning ocean views. Local highlights: For those guests who actually venture outside the hotel, the Grace has just begun to offer unique local experiences like meeting the island's top winemakers. (Santorini is renowned for its assyrtiko white wines.) Many guides are talented photographers, which means they can take excellent pictures for you as well as teach you how to improve your own photography skills.