Vedema Resort creates an unforgettable experience where heritage and gastronomy unite amidst the timeless beauty of Santorini
What makes a hotel experience truly extraordinary? Is it the luxurious amenities, the breathtaking views, or the impeccable service? While all of these elements contribute to a remarkable stay, what really sets a destination apart is the opportunity to connect with the passionate individuals behind its creation.
My weekend journey to Vedema in Santorini became an unforgettable experience, as I had the privilege of sharing an amazing day with Kalia Konstantinidou. Alongside her husband Antonis Iliopoulos, they form the power couple behind the Empiria Group, the renowned hospitality brand in Greece that owns Vedema Resort. Engaging in conversation with dedicated hoteliers like Kalia is always a fascinating delight for me, as their passion and insight add unparalleled depth to the entire experience.
A Table Set for Revelations
Nestled within the Alati Restaurant of Vedema Resort, housed in a 400-year-old winery cave, I found myself seated at a table adorned with elegance and charm. It was in this enchanting setting that Kalia began to weave narratives from the glorious past of Vedema Hotel, which became the first 5-star hotel to open in Santorini in the early 90s.
Located in the medieval village of Megalochori in Santorini, Vedema seamlessly integrates into the fabric of the village, embodying its charm and embracing its spirit. The hotel becomes a natural extension of picturesque Megalochori, offering a harmonious fusion of local tradition and world-class hospitality.
The launch of the hotel was indeed a glamorous affair, attracting a distinguished VIP crowd. However, it was elevated to even greater heights by the presence of Aliki Vougiouklaki, Greece’s most legendary actress. With her radiance and undeniable charm, she added an extra touch of allure and prestige to the opening events. The combination of esteemed guests and the iconic presence of Aliki Vougiouklaki truly made the opening a memorable occasion.
Kalia’s narrative took on an enchanting turn as she recounted encounters with international stars who sought solace within Vedema’s tranquil embrace. Angelina Jolie, while immersing herself in the role of Lara Croft, found respite within these walls. Lady Gaga, known for her flamboyance, also discovered a haven of serenity in the Presidential Villa of Vedema.
How it started, how it’s going!
The estate’s foundation lay in a vineyard with a history spanning over five centuries. This connection to the land has been evident in every aspect of the hotel, starting from its name, “Vedema”, which is the Venetian translation for “harvest”.
The first interior designer of Vedema was Yiannis Tseklenis, also a legend of Greek design with an international career, a true multi-talented genius! The 2019 interior renovation became a testament to the dedication of its visionary owners. Antique island-style furniture, adorned in pristine sugar-white hues and spacious Cycladic bathrooms offered a visual symphony of tradition and contemporary elegance. Every detail, meticulously chosen, invited guests to immerse themselves in luxury and timeless charm.
Gastronomy at Vedema
Vedema Hotel’s gastronomy is a celebration of Santorini’s local produce and Mediterranean climate.
Alati, which means “salt” in Greek, has evolved from the 400-year-old winery cave, made from distinctive stone walls that give the restaurant a captivating atmosphere. Indoor or terrace dining showcases the creative menu by renowned French Chef Olivier Campanha, who is inspired by the land of nearby islands and the surrounding sea to give guests a refined taste adventure. Pergola provides a poolside breakfast experience, while the adjacent Pool Bar serves refreshing beverages. Canava Wine Bar, located in the centuries-old winery, offers wine tastings with an in-house expert. Circe Bar & Restaurant by the new pool offers a variety of beverages and delectable lunch options.