Get us in your inbox

Kivotos Santorini

  • Hotels
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. Kivotos Santorini room (Photograph: Jess Phillips for Time Out)
    Photograph: Jess Phillips for Time Out
  2. Breakfast at Kivotos Santorini (Photograph: Jess Phillips for Time Out)
    Photograph: Jess Phillips for Time Out
  3. Dining at Kivotos Santorini (Photograph: Jess Phillips for Time Out)
    Photograph: Jess Phillips for Time Out
  4. Pool at Kivotos Santorini (Photograph: Jess Phillips for Time Out)
    Photograph: Jess Phillips for Time Out

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

A five-star boutique on Greece’s most romantic island

It’s already dark when we arrive on Santorini, Greece’s fifth-smallest and arguably most romantic island, but even spying the half-drawn outline of the caldera dotted with pockets of orange and gold from sports bars and living room TV screens was enough to see why almost 2 million tourists – significantly made up of Americans, couples and American couples – flock here each year. By daylight, with the layers of a sapphire sea, red cliffs and iconic blue domes coming into view, it’s clearer still why so many people believe the island is the Lost City of Atlantis.

Carved high into the volcanic rock, our hotel, Kivotos Santorini, tricks you into thinking the 10 boutique suites, fitted with Sonos speakers and multicoloured mood lighting, are as natural as the island’s black sand beaches, which formed during a large volcanic eruption in the sixteenth century BC. But here, blending in is as much an objective as standing out. Unlike traditional white stone homes and hotels in the area, the resort is painted jet black; a Batcave plonked on top of a wedding cake, if you will.

The communal areas keep up the superhero aesthetic; the hotel’s main pool is stained red by underwater lights; the bar stocked with an assortment of nuclear-grade spirits. Our junior suite is just as much a stylish lair. The minimalist grey and white aesthetic is timeless, with the walk-in rain shower and Bvlgari toiletries adding touches of modern luxury. The real McCoy though is the private outdoor heated plunge pool that acts as a runway to the bedroom and offers a panoramic vantage point for watching boats bobbing in the Aegean Sea or sunkissed influencers almost taking flight while flapping their rented ball gowns on the rooftops below.

It’s not just the visuals that make Kivotos stand out though. The resort prides itself on being a gastronomy destination, having appointed Dimitris Katrivesis as head chef of MAVRO restaurant at the start of the 2023 season. During our stay we tried the new 6-course vegan tasting menu (there are also 8-course meat and fish options available), The Dark Side of the Moon, which features classic fresh dishes including sourdough and beetroot, but with a local, volcanic twist; the sourdough is glazed with black garlic, the beetroot is charred. Five courses in and we were still struggling with the culinary witchcraft of making charcoaled food taste like the whole spectrum of an Amsterdam tulip field. Unsurprisingly, breakfast was just as much an acid trip for the tastebuds, with Katrivesis’s scrambled eggs and sundried tomatoes on toast becoming a serious contender for my death row meal. 


Imerovigli is a small village of around 500 people, but is within walking distance of the island’s capital, Fira. We strolled to the centre along the coastal path in around 30 minutes, stopping along the way to taste the island’s local beer, red donkey, and browsing the boutiques.


1. Fira: Catch the cable car down to the Old Harbor where you can explore local coffee shops and quaint tavernas. Or hop on a boat to nearby islands Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni for a hike or a dip in a hot spring.

2. Oia: The place to get the iconic blue domed snap, it’s worth going off-piste to find a hidden nook to secure your shots. We found a secluded corner for our mini photoshoot and left a zigzag of cameras, sunglasses and floppy hats in our wake.

3. Paros: Not to be mistaken for the French capital (they’re pronounced the same way), the island is a 1-hour-45-minute ferry away and is known for its golden beaches, mountain ranges and watersports.

Time Out tip

Visit the island outside of peak tourist season in May or September to avoid the crowds, sweltering heat and inflated prices. Kivotos offers a 20 percent early bird package on rooms including the Honeymoon and Deluxe suites. 

*Flights were paid for by easyJet

Jessica Phillips
Written by
Jessica Phillips


Imerovigli 847 00
You may also like
You may also like