A great hotel for the budget-conscious.
Atalos Villas (Santorini, Greece)
Member Name: malihat
Atalos Villas (Santorini, Greece)
Date: 09/08/12, updated on 04/03/13 (81 review reads)
Advantages: Great location, clean rooms and pool, wonderful staff and good value for money.
Disadvantages: Shower floods bathroom.
I went on holiday with some friends last summer, and Santorini was one of the places we visited. I was in charge of all bookings, and checked trip advisor before booking, and saw that Atalos Villas was one of the cheaper top rated hotels. After reading some of the reviews, I decided to book Atalos Villas.
I booked through Expedia, and although my card details were taken to confirm the booking, I was not charged for it. I contacted the manager of Atalos Villas through their website and was told I could pay using cash or card when I checked out of the hotel. I booked 2 double rooms and a triple room and it was a fairly simple process. Once we booked our accommodation, the manager, Giannis, emailed me to tell me he could pick us up from the airport and to email him a day before we were arriving, which I did.
Atalos Villas is located in Kamari, 200 meters from Kamari beach (which is a pebble beach). We arrived on a Sunday morning at 6:30 am, and Giannis was there to pick us up, which we greatly appreciated. Santorini is a small island, and the airport is only 2 km away from the hotel. The hotel is about 10 km away from Fira, the capital of Santorini. There is a bus station close by, but I cannot comment on the reliability of the public transport as we were only in Santorini for 2 days, and decided to rent a car to make the best use of our time. There are plenty of restaurants and supermarkets in the area, and we had lunch and dinner at two different restaurants near the hotel. Expect to pay the standard 10 euros for a meal.
Once we arrived at the hotel, Giannis sat us down at the pool bar, gave us a map of Santorini, as well as information on the island and what places to visit. He answered all our questions and also offered us some juice. We were allowed to check in early, and once we were done with our drinks, he showed us to our rooms.
The hotel is not very big, and doesn't seem to have too many rooms. There is an outdoor pool with a pool bar, and this is where breakfast is served in the mornings as well. We had breakfast on one morning, and there wasn't a lot of variety, but we were all more than happy to fill up on the delicious bread, cheese, Greek yoghurt, boiled eggs and chocolate croissants. There were juices, coffee and tea available as well. My friend ordered an iced coffee from the pool bar, and said it was quite good, and also reasonably priced. The pool was clean, of a decent size, and was actually quite empty during our stay.
I will be talking about the double room, as that is the one I stayed in. To access some of the rooms, including ours, you have to climb up a flight of stairs. The room was very clean, and contained twin beds (which seems to be the norm in a lot of hotels in Europe, although I really would have preferred a double bed), a wardrobe, a TV and bedside tables. Our room opened into a balcony that overlooked the pool. There were chairs and a table to sit out there, but as we were out most of the time we didn't really get to do that, which is a shame. There was also a fridge, sink and stovetop in our room. We ate out though so can't comment on how the stovetop works. The air conditioning was very good, and kept our room nice and cool. The adjoining bathroom was spacious and had a toilet, sink and shower. The shower area was a little weird, because the shower rail didn't enclose it, so the shower curtain didn't cover one side, and so the bathroom flooded when the shower was used. There was a big drain in the middle of the bathroom so the water did eventually drain, but I thought this was weird, and would have preferred a shower stall. There was always hot water though, and towels were replaced daily, so there were always enough clean towels around. The room was a little aged, but not shabby at all. The room was cleaned daily to a high standard. The beds were a little hard but still comfortable and we slept well. The hotel was very quiet, even though there were other guests around, and I was grateful for this as I am a light sleeper.
Giannis really was wonderful. He runs Atalos Villas with his wife, and is not always around but is always helpful when he is around. I didn't see any other staff around during our stay. We visited some of the places he recommended and they really were wonderful. He was meant to charge us 4 euros each for breakfast, but when we were paying for our rooms during checkout, he told us he wasn't going to charge us for breakfast, even though we insisted on paying. On our last night in Santorini, after we returned the car we had hired, we asked him for restaurant suggestions in the area. He told us there was a restaurant about a 10 minute drive away with delicious food, and he dropped us there, and picked us up when we were done too. I don't think we could have expected better service. He also dropped us off to the airport the next morning at 8 am. So to summarize, Giannis provided us with a complimentary pick and drop from the airport and the restaurant, as well as complimentary breakfast.
I believe we paid 90 euros for a double room for 2 nights, so the cost of a double room for 1 night is a mere 45 euros. I feel that this is very good value for money.
I absolutely loved Santorini and am planning on returning sometime in the future, and would not hesitate to stay here again. Giannis is really wonderful, the rooms are nice and clean, the pool was lovely, Kamari is the perfect base to explore the rest of the island from, and at the price that I paid, I really have no complaints, other than the weird shower set up.
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Summary: A good basic hotel, but don't expect lots of luxuries.