There’s something enigmatic about Canaves Oia Epitome. Striking out on its own, you’ll find it not within the white-washed maze of Oia, but sequestered on a rugged cliffside overlooking the tiny bay of Ammoudi. An antidote to Santorini’s traditional sugar-cube towns, it nods to the island’s characteristic cave-like interiors but hints at an alter-ego with smoke-hued accents and bathrooms edged in ebony. Outside is darker still, where volcanic rock in sultry shades shroud serene lamp-lit courtyards and enchanting plunge pools where you can lounge like Persephone, presiding over your own scandalously luxurious underworld.

At the hotel
Gym and yoga studio, free Wi-Fi throughout. In rooms: iPod dock; Sonos speakers; WiFi; flatscreen TV; minibar; Nespresso machine; tea-making kit; Acqua Di Parma toiletries; free bottled water.

Our favourite rooms
The private terraces in the Deluxe Suites are smaller but still have heated plunge pools, plus a picturesque outdoor dining area for feasting on room service spreads. For uninterrupted ocean views the Two-Bedroom Pool Villas are your best bet, but we particularly love the Epitome Pool Villas for their crackling poolside fire-pits.

Every room has its own heated pool or plunge pool. There’s also a large infinity pool by the bar – edged in dark, volcanic rock its aquamarine waters look extra irresistible.

There’s one treatment room for massages and facials, including signature treatments by Valmont and couples’ spa rituals.

Packing tips
A pair of Ancient Greek Sandals and, for Mrs Smith, a rich red lipstick to match Santorini’s fiery sunsets.

Rooms aren’t wheelchair accessible. An alternative is the hotel’s sister property, Canaves Oia Suites, which is well-appointed for wheelchair users and one of the only hotels in town with a lift.

Over-6s welcome. Extra beds aren’t available, but all rooms have a sofa bed and the Two-Bedroom Pool Villas can sleep up to five. Babysitting is available with three days’ notice.


Best for
Over-6s. Unlike other hotels around Oia that have lots of steep, narrow stairs, Canaves Epitome is fairly flat making it suited to families with young children.

Recommended rooms
The one- and two-bedroom villas offer reams of space for families, including a lounge, outdoor dining area and a walk-in wardrobe for stashing toy supplies and beach gear.

Swimming pool
Children are welcome at the hotel’s main pool, but all rooms have either a full-size or plunge pool, too.

The hotel has no children’s menu but the staff is happy to adapt dishes.

Babysitting is available with three days’ notice; prices vary.