There is so much more to Santorini than Oia. And if you happen to be travelling to Santorini anytime between June and September, it’s perhaps best to avoid Oia as much as you can, unless you have a thing for crowds. It will be packed. Instead, base yourself in Imerovigli, Oia’s more genteel yet equally charming neighbour.
I have to admit that I had a little checklist when it came to deciding on where to stay in Santorini. I wanted – needed – an infinity pool, caldera location, and sunset views. It had been a dream of mine, for God knows how long, to travel to Santorini and I had these iconic images floating around in my wanderlust head. Kapari Natural Resort ticked all the boxes, and I didn’t really know how much of a right decision I made in staying here until I was there.
Kapari is all beautiful curves and light, earthy hues. The interiors are bright, light and airy, quite a feat considering that the rooms are in typical Santorini cave style. Everything is handmade or hand-crafted, and no two rooms are the same. I loved the handmade furniture, the little nooks and alcoves, and the extra tiny windows dotted here and there to let even more light into the rooms.
The infinity pool has superb views of Skaros Rock and the sunset. It is small but perfectly adequate for a splash. My favourite spot was on a sun lounger to the side of the pool. Laying there with a frozen cocktail and a good read was a perfect way to while away the afternoon.
A generous breakfast spread is served in the restaurant or can be ordered to be brought up to the room. There are a handful of tables on the restaurant’s large terrace that offer an unobstructed view of the glorious sunset. A few more tables can also be found on the smaller terrace, shaded by a canopy, and these are better options on windier evenings. The food is delicious and the presentation impeccable.
What you need to know about Kapari is that it is unlike most other hotels in Santorini. It’s a family-owned hotel and is not part of a flashy hotel group. It doesn’t have a big marketing budget and relies on word of mouth to generate business. The level of service is extraordinary and the personal care became immediately evident upon booking.
Kapari offers a complimentary pick-up and drop-off service for its guests, and a member of the hotel team promptly got in touch with me to ask for my flight details. A couple of weeks before my arrival, Kapari contacted me again to reconfirm the details and to offer their assistance should I need anything ahead of my stay. These little touches set it apart from the often impersonal hotel stays that have sadly become the norm. This is especially true in Santorini, where hotels are typically fully booked and it’s easy for guests to become faceless visitors through the hotel revolving door. You won’t have that experience at Kapari, that’s for sure.
The best things
The views, the hospitality and no crowds!
Kapari’s most popular suite is the Up & High. Its high location offers privacy, a rare commodity in Santorini. There is a lovely terrace with jaw-dropping views and an oversized outdoor Jacuzzi. If you’re on a tighter budget, my favourite Vanilla room, the most affordable class of rooms, was number 103. It’s the biggest Vanilla room (I think it is even bigger than some of the suites) and faces a charming courtyard complete with cascading blooms and an outdoor barbecue.
The Travel Nova’s Verdict
Kapari really won a place in my heart. It’s not big, it’s not flashy. It has charm and warmth in abundance. The location is magical, and the warmth and friendliness of the staff was the icing on the cake.
Kapari Natural Resort (website)
Imerovigli Santorini, 84700