Staying at Santo Pure Oia in Santorini was an absolute dream. I mean, we’ve all seen the blue skies and cobalt domes that punctuate the white-washed buildings and incredible views of Santorini in pictures. But something I wasn’t expecting to see, was just how much more striking it would be in person. I’d had images of Santorini on my Pinterest board for years, thinking it would be nothing more than a distant dream, yet after taking the ferry from Mykonos to Santorini, there I was.
With a transfer arranged through the hotel, my trip to Santorini was off to a smooth start. A sleek black Mercedes was there waiting to pick me up, and it took around 40 minutes to get from the ferry port to Santo Pure in Oia. The journey was incredibly scenic, and what surprised me the most was just how steep the roads were. I know the island is volcanic, but still. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any higher up, it kept going—making for incredible views en route to the hotel. But about those later, let’s dive into this hotel review!
Santo Pure Hotel in Oia, Santorini
The location of Santo Pure (full name Santo Pure Oia Suites & Villas) is incredibly convenient. Set just off the main Fira-Oia road, the hotel is situated a little more than a stone’s throw from the main strip and even has its own private path that you can use to get there.
You enter the hotel through the gates and it feels like a completely different world as the busyness of the main road and traffic is left behind. It’s wonderfully peaceful with its own sinuous paths running through the resort, perfect for the electric buggies and walkers to navigate. There are 83 suites and two villas in Santo Pure Oia, split into different categories and each cluster of suites is centred around an infinity pool creating little neighbourhoods in the resort.
One aspect I particularly liked was Santo Pure’s attention to sustainability. Black and white chunky volcanic stone walls line the edges with clusters of greenery (including herbs and vegetable plots!) dotted throughout. They have a focus on water and energy conservation, which you can see through the use of filtered seawater in their pools, tap flow reduction filters and a ‘wash on demand’ towel policy. But it’s not just with water, there’s also optimised air-conditioning, low waste policies in the kitchen and the replacement of plastics with eco-friendly alternatives (such as cartons of fresh water instead of bottles), recycling bins in every suite and the growth of many of their own herbs and vegetables.
Arriving at Santo Pure
Arriving at the hotel was pure bliss. After an early start to pack, a cancelled ferry then a 4-hour trip, I was more than ready to unpack and unwind. I was greeted the moment I stepped out of the transfer, with my suitcase taken and a refreshing towel and herby lemonade drink handed to me instead. The staff at Santo Pure Oia dress in white shirts and beige slacks and there’s an instant consistency between the team and the hotel’s surroundings. The lobby was decorated in a chic bohemian style, with lime-washed walls, cloudy white sofas, neutral accents from accessories and pampas grass combined with pops of colour from the coffee table books and plants. Check-in was swift and as I sat sipping on lemonade, I was told about the different hotel facilities such as the spa, gym and dining options before being handed over to one of the team to lead the way to my suite.
Our Suite in Santo Pure Hotel in Oia
There’s something so fun about being taken to your suite by electric buggy—especially when you’re high on life after arriving in Santorini and desperately trying not to spill lemonade on yourself! Driving around the winding roads, I got to see a little bit more of the grounds of the hotel. The suites all have a similar vibe in terms of buildings, fitting into the image of what you’d expect of Santorini. However, there were some suites that, in my opinion, weren’t very well positioned. For example, some of the suites had their hot tubs situated next to the resort’s public path which meant a lack of privacy for those guests.
My suite was situated just uphill behind the bar and main pool. Suite 103, located near one of their allotments where they grow some of their produce, including tomatoes and aubergine.
As the door to the suite opened, I was immediately in the living room space. The suite was beautiful with high ceilings, minimalist decor and colourful accents. Strip lighting softly lit the floors and there were woven baskets on the walls offering a nice contrast to the neutral colours. At the end of the living room were double doors, opening onto a private terrace with loungers, a hot tub and a dining table. An incredibly peaceful space (as there was barely any foot traffic near the suite) offered distant sea views and helped us make friends with our neighbours on the first night! They were a couple from New York who offered us a welcome Aperol and a nice chat. Turns out they had been to Santorini on their honeymoon 20 years prior and had returned to show their children around the island. (Steve and Michelle, if you ever read this, HELLO, you’re both great!)
The rest of the suite was just as spacious. To the left of the living room was a cosy kitchenette with a sink, snacks, coffee facilities, a minibar and preparation space that had doors to close it from sight. Opposite that was a dining table. The rest of the suite was laid out to the right, with a corridor that housed the wardrobe (complete with iron, board and safe) leading to the bedroom and the bathroom, complete with bespoke concrete showers.
In the bedroom, the bed was the star of the show. It must have been superking in size because you could easily roll over twice and have room to keep rolling, and it was incredibly comfortable. It was also incredibly cosy, and after dinner one night I legit went into the hot tub, had a shower and then climbed onto the bed in a giant robe and fell asleep watching Netflix. It felt weird to be doing so on holiday, but there was something so homely about the suite and resort that made everything feel so relaxing.
At night there’s a turn-down service where housekeeping comes in and prepares your bed ready for sleep, leaving you a note that advises of the weather for the next day, together with a treat and a nighttime tea to enjoy. It’s a very cute touch and adds to that homely feeling.
The only issue I had with my suite was that on the first night, I was in the hot tub relaxing and taking in the tranquil surroundings when part of my upper thigh was sucked into it, leaving me with broken skin and a bruise. It was late and I was drenched so I went to bed after that and explored what hurt me the next day. I soon discovered that it was because the cover on one of the drain suction things was broken, leaving jagged plastic around the edge of where the protective cover should be. I went down to speak to the reception team who were very kind in checking whether I needed medical attention but who didn’t prioritise the issue. They advised that maintenance would be going to check it out to fix it later that day, which would have been perfect as I was going on a boat trip for the day and wouldn’t be home til later that night. However, when I returned that night the issue was not fixed, I mentioned it again and they said maintenance would come out but they never did and no alternative accommodation was offered. Which was a huge shame because I am a complete water baby and was very much looking forward to my evening hot tubs!
The Hotel Facilities in Santo Pure, Oia
The entire resort at Santo Pure Oia feels peaceful, and safe and the public areas are all well maintained. There’s an unheated outdoor swimming pool with a bar nearby, and a gym and a spa (which I sadly didn’t make it to!) which features a heated indoor pool.
I didn’t know I was going to Santo Pure in Oia until I was actually there (surprise trip!) which meant I didn’t do any of the excited pre-holiday Googling beforehand. But I did some research after my trip, whilst writing this blog, and discovered that the resort is split into different neighbourhoods and each has its own pool. There are 6 pools in total, spread out across the grounds and you’re able to use them all. This isn’t something that I was made aware of at check-in so I only used the main pool by bar. It was a shame to have missed the others, but the main pool has beautiful views and a bar, so only using that one was hardly an imposition!
Breakfast is served between 8 am and 11 am and the seating area overlooks the main pool, giving you peak holiday vibes. There’s something about waking up to early-morning sunshine and sitting alfresco, looking out to sea and seeing the water reflecting off the pool as you enjoy a fresh glass of orange juice.
The breakfast is set up buffet style and features a decent assortment of foods. There’s bread, pastries, waffles, cakes and baked goods that change daily (leave room for the carrot cake, it’s amazing!). There’s fresh honeycomb, granolas and yoghurts. There are cheeses, hams, and traditional ingredients such as dakos (barley rusks) and mizithra cheese. There are fresh fruits and watermelons so juicy and flavoursome it doesn’t feel real. Then there are the cooked options, which include daily dishes in addition to bacon, greek sausage, sauteed tomatoes, roasted vegetables and different egg dish varieties such as scrambled eggs with feta, sunny side up fried eggs, or baked egg in ramekins with tomato and feta.
For lunch and dinner, Santorini has numerous options to explore (more on those in a separate post), but you can dine in with 24-hour room service or by going to the highly-rated Alios Ilios. I didn’t eat here because I spent all of my time venturing around Santorini and exploring what Oia had to offer, but the reviews look great, and they offer a la carte or tasting menu for you to choose from.
The Staff in Santo Pure, Oia
The team at Santo Pure were friendly, helpful, and the night time turn down service with bedtime tea was super cute. It’s a shame that I wasn’t told about the different pool options and that the team didn’t fix the hot tub or provide an alternative suite… But apart from these two instances, the service was great. The team offered great local recommendations, tips for the best way to walk to get somewhere and didn’t mind taking you in the buggies to your suite when your legs were too tired from days of exploring. Something I was most grateful for after coming back exhausted (and probably a bit dishevelled)! from a day on a boat!
My last day at Santo Pure Oia was also my last in Santorini. I got up early to pack and hiked with the sunrise to walk along the coast from Oia to Fira. When I got back to the hotel, it’s fair to say I was more than a little sweaty and gritty from all the dust. I hadn’t booked a late check out, but upon my return they offered use of the late departure room for an hour to freshen up—and let me tell you, after a 10km hike that was predominantly uphill, it was absolute bliss!
My Overall Experience in Santo Pure Hotel in Oia
Overall, my stay at Santo Pure Oia was completely dreamy. Santorini is insanely beautiful, and the location of the hotel was perfect. The entire atmosphere of the resort was very peaceful, and it felt so utterly relaxing being there. It had gorgeous sunset views, but being positioned away from the main walking street meant it wasn’t ruined by the pushing and shoving of people desperate to get their shot of the view. Instead, the spacious resort offered privacy and tranquillity to take it all in. In my opinion, it’s the perfect base camp to explore Oia!