We review award-winning Canaves Oia Epitome, the property changing the Santorini game…
One may think that Santorini is only about petite cave suites wedged like puzzle pieces down Oia’s iconic cliffsides, but Canaves, a well-entrenched name when it comes to luxury Santorini accommodation, has managed to create something quite unique with their newest property. Located just around the corner from the bustling streets of Oia (and honestly, ‘bustling’ is an understatement) lies Canaves Oia Epitome, a property that’s breaking all the usual Santorini rules – and we’re living for it.
As we checked into Canaves Oia Epitome’s Two Bedroom Villa, the first thing we noticed was the abundance of space afforded – a rarity on this tiny and highly-priced isle. It’s perfect for two couples or a family, with both the ground floor and lower level boasting its own bedroom, bathroom and lounge area (the lower bedroom even has a rather stunning bath feature built-in). Both bedrooms boast king-sized beds, but the lower bedroom can be converted to a twin set up should you wish. Amenities are by the delicious Acqua di Parma, its bergamot, lemon and orange scent the perfect match for the Mediterranean sea and sunshine.
Clocking in at 90sqm, the fit-out is ultra-modern (Epitome is Canaves’ newest development, opening mid 2018), yet the white-washed neutral palette and natural materials blend help the development to blend seamlessly into its stony surrounds, feeling not the slightest bit out of place. Both bedrooms are equipped with televisions, as does the ground floor lounge, but who really wants to be inside when you have a view this good? Epitome is set close to sea level, as opposed to much of Santorini’s accommodation which sits staggered higher up the caldera walls. All suites and villas boast spectacular sunset views over the Aegean sea, though full disclosure, there are some above-ground power lines in the line of sight if that type of thing bothers you.
The villa’s private pool is probably the biggest we’ve seen (though it might be a photo finish between Epitome and Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary…with Phuket’s Trisara coming in a close third). It would have to rank amongst the biggest on the island. Not only is the private pool ridiculously large, it has two sunbeds built into a platform that are ridiculously enticing…and the pool illuminates come sunset for that iconic Santorini atmosphere. There is a main pool for the complex located by Epitome’s restaurants, but we can’t see why you’d leave the comfort of your own complex when it’s this luxurious.
If you ever manage to extricate yourself from said ridiculously large pool, you might just find yourself with the dilemma of deciding where to relax al fresco, given how many options are on offer. There’s a double day bed, the aforementioned twin pool loungers, a lounge area, a pair of seats outside the master bedroom (ideal for your morning Nespresso), plus a shaded dining area. We guarantee you’ll be making plenty of use of the dining area because the food at Canaves Oia Epitome is spectacular.
We were blown away by the Champagne breakfasts delivered to our villa – there’s no menu as the dishes change daily, but you won’t be disappointed (they’re happy to cater to your preferences). We loved each day’s dishes, ranging from sweet (yoghurts, pastries and Greek crepes) to savoury (eggs every which way, their take on the Croque Monsieur and more). Lunches are also fabulously fresh, we loved everything from their salads to Greek-style burgers.
The good food doesn’t stop at Canaves come sundown – head to their restaurant, Elements, to experience Chef Tasos Steffato’s amazing degustation menu. A playful and modern take on Greek cuisine and Santorini ingredients, this was absolutely our favourite meal on the isle. The cocktails at Elements are also absolutely fantastic – this is a destination that will leave you wanting for nothing.
Whilst first time visitors or those visiting just one property in Santorini may have their heart set on the stereotypical cliff suites, Canaves Oia Epitome is a fantastic choice for those wanting some peace and quiet without being too far from the Oia action. It’s ideal for those who enjoy the luxury of space, for families and groups of friends, and for those who might want to enjoy a longer stay…or let’s face it, for those who just love beautiful hotels with rather large private pools. It’s also a property that will impress even the most well-travelled gastronomes – from breakfast to lunch to extensive degustation dinners and artisan cocktails, the team at Canaves Oia Epitome knocked it out of the park.