Iconic Santorini: A Cave Hotel Experience

Written By: The Planet D

Santorini is a dream destination and what better place to stay in Santorini than in a place called Iconic Santorini? We had heard of the cave hotels built into the side of high cliffs of Santorini, Greece.

We’d seen yogurt commercials showcasing the blue and white villages of Santorini situated in paradise. But until we laid eyes upon the island of Thera in Greece we never truly understood the beauty this land possessed.

Iconic Santorini Experience

santorini, greece
View from Iconic Santorini

We arrived early in the morning from Athens. The drive from the airport was uninspiring, but once our taxi let us off and we walked to the cliff’s edge towards our cave hotel located in Imerovigli, we gasped in awe.

Santorini is truly breathtaking.

White and blue cement buildings line the edge of the cliffside town with long pathways leading down to luxurious boutique hotels.

Cave Hotels in Santorini

Great amenities like this infinity pool at the Iconic Santorini
Great amenities like this infinity pool.

We were staying in the Iconic Santorini cave hotel. Cave hotels in Santorini are all the rage. They are old cave houses renovated to beautiful boutique rooms carved into the side of the rocky cliffs.

Residents of Santorini built these caves to blend into the rocks to hide from pirates, but today, they have been remodeled to rooms of pure bliss and luxury.

The staff met us at the top of the cliff to take our luggage down the long narrow stairs. There are no escalators or elevators in Santorini so a lot of walking up and down narrow passages is on the agenda.

It’s worth the extra effort to stay in one of these Cliffside villas though, as you are immediately transformed to a world of luxury.

The Room at a Cave Hotel Santorini

beautiful rooms of the iconic santorini hotel.
I have to get one of these Cocomat beds.

It was near the end of the season so we were lucky to be able to check into our room even though it was only 7:00 am. We were treated to fresh fruit juice and hot towels upon check-in, and immediately felt refreshed after the early morning start from Athens.

As our luggage was taken to our room, we were shown all the amenities the hotel has to offer. A beautiful infinity pool, spa and massage, soaker tubs, and fine dining were on the agenda for the next couple of days.

But it was the room that really stood out. The staff showed us to our domed room built on the side of a cliff. It definitely looked like a cave, but this wasn’t a bare bones rocky cavern.

It was a luxurious room mixed with chic bedding and traditional design.

Coco-Mat Beds

Catching up on some work in our room
Catching up on some work in our room

They even took time to talk to us about our bed!

Each room has the award-winning Coco-mat mattresses with high-grade sheets and thick duvets.

I don’t think I have ever slept so well.

I’ve been suffering from neck pain for quite some time, but with the combination of the bed and high-end pillows, my pain disappeared during our stay on the island.

Relax in a Santorini Cave Hotel

Deb enjoys some Greek Yogurt on our balcony.
Deb enjoys some Greek Yogurt on our balcony.

Santorini is a place where you simply relax. For our first two days on the island with Iconic Santorini, we did nothing but stay in the hotel.

Each morning, breakfast was brought to our private balcony where we sat outside eating yogurt and honey, and assortments of fresh breads and cheeses accompanied with rich cappuccinos and freshly squeezed juice.

You would think that would be enough, but we also had eggs to order and pastries to savour. I dreamed of breakfast each evening.

Relaxing in Luxury

Epic views from the Iconic Santorini Cave Hotel
Epic views from the Iconic Santorini Cave Hotel

Days started late here in Santorini.

We slept in for the first time in months and ate leisurely at our own pace.

We then went back to our room to relax and enjoy some light reading or writing before heading out to the pool for some more sunshine and tranquility.

The Views

Nothing says relaxation like this view from our room at Iconic Santorini
Nothing says relaxation like this view from our room at Iconic Santorini

There are so many little nooks and crannies to get lost in our Santorini cave hotel.

We barely saw another person as we had our own lounge chairs in front of our room or we could sit in one of the many levels to the hotel.

As the day went on, the inviting bed lured us back for a mid day siesta.

I can only imagine how hot it must be in Santorini during the summer months and to escape to a room build into the stone would be a welcome reprieve.

We visited near the end of the season and while the weather was still amazing at a balmy 27 degrees Celcius, we had no crowds to deal with and could enjoy Santorini in peace.

Sunset from Imeroviglia

Sunset from Iconic Santorini.
Sunset from Iconic Santorini.

Many people run over to the neighbouring city Oia to watch the sun go down.

The crowds at the abandoned castle can be overwhelming there, but we had the privilege of watching the sunset from the privacy and seclusion of our balcony at Iconic Santorini.

Ever-Changing Dinner Menu at Iconic Santorini

What a menu for dinner!
What a menu for dinner!

We delighted in quiet dinners by the pool relishing delicious Greek foods like muscles saganaki and souvlaki.

Santorini is proud of its wine production and a bottle of wine accompanying the delicious flavours is a must.

Ordering a second bottle to take back to our terrace, we spent the night sitting outside taking in the moment and realizing just how lucky we were to be there.

A cat came up to our door and snuggled on Dave’s lap for quite some time before deciding that it had enough of us and set off to hunt.

Dave makes a new friend in Santorini
Dave makes a new friend in Santorini

Cave Hotel in Santorini is Worth the Splurge

Sunrise from the Iconic Santorini Cave Hotel
Sunrise from the Iconic Santorini Cave Hotel

We don’t normally write about a hotel experience.

But spending two days in paradise is worth the dedicated post.

As I started writing, I had visions of writing about our thoughts and feeling of seeing Santorini for the first time, but as it evolved.

Instead, I realized that our first thoughts and feelings about the island just so happened to take place at Iconic Santorini itself. And it was pure heaven.

Starting our stay in Santorini in Imeroviglia was the perfect introduction to the island. It is quieter than Oia and Fira but it is as luxurious and beautiful as either.

Located on the path between the two towns, it is easy to get around from the Iconic Santorini and by having our car rental during our time on the island, we could scoot around to an place we wanted.

For more information on staying in Santorini, visit the Iconic Santorini boutique cave hotel website.

Read next:

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • World Nomads - Digital Nomads or Frequent Travelers.
  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

18 thoughts on “Iconic Santorini: A Cave Hotel Experience”

  1. Staying at a cave hotel, how cool is that, not what first comes to mind for a cave. Great pictures. I love your Hotels reviews, I like to read from “professional travelers” like you two and I always find ideas for future travels.

    I hope to start posting guest posts and guest interviews of travelers like you two.

    Happy travels and hope to meet up sometime.

    • Thanks Martin. We’ll try and do more reviews. I find that we tend to neglect the hotels that we stay in when we are lucky enough to be able to spend time in some amazing places. Hearing your comment makes me think that we will do more!

    • Thanks! The view was unbelievable. I don’t think we’ve had that type of reaction to a destination in years. We literally gasped when we walked up to the cliff edge after our cab ride and saw the island for the first time.

  2. Staying in a cave hotel is part of the Santorini experience! We’ve now stayed at three different ones (Mystique, Ikies Traditional Houses and Grace Santorini) – and we’ve loved all three. Some people might wonder if you get claustrophobic staying in a cave hotel. But our rooms had windows by the entrance door allowing the light to flow into the room (did yours at Iconic Santorini?). And the views! Those forever sea views can’t be beat…

    • Our room was very spacious with the lots of windows at the front. We didn’t feel claustrophobic at all, but I have a feeling these rooms are little bigger than others.

  3. The place looks like paradise and it sounds really great that you are staying at Iconic Santorini cave hotel for two days. Thanks for sharing the wonderful snaps.

    • You will love it Paul. Make sure you try the Iconic Santorini. If not, make sure you at least splurge on a night or two in a luxury cave hotel with infinity pool. It is a must in Santorini and the experience just isn’t the same without romance and luxury for a night or two.