Smaragdi Hotel reviews are available all over the Internet, but I want to offer my personal extended review here. Hotels in Santorini will surprise you. Forget about many of the other island or beach-locations you may have visited in the past. Unlike many other similar locations in the world, Santorini does not have that “tourist resort” atmosphere you might find in Hawaii, Bali, etc. In my humble opinion, these massive resort hotels really steal a lot from the genuine travel experience.
Fortunately, on Santorini the hotels impart a wonderful Greek feeling giving visitors a sense of luxury while also feeling right at home on their very own island paradise. Instead of enormous resort hotels like Hilton and Marriot, if you choose the right hotel, you will enjoy a very warm welcome to a small boutique hotel – probably family-owned and operated.
In Santorini, there are really two types of hotels — those with a fantastic caldera view and those with immediate access to the best beaches in Santorini. In my stays on the island, I have always found it best to stay near the beach. I can always rent a car or a scooter for fun driving around Santorini. But I prefer to spend most of my time lounging around and taking in the sun at the beach or the hotel pool.
If you’re looking for a great value and a very personal experience in an affordable Santorini hotel, I highly recommend Hotel Smaragdi. Since my favorite beach is Perivolos, Smaragdi is an excellent choice with a quick one minute walk down to the sand, sun, and water.
Smaragdi also offers a wide-range of accommodations – from their petite budget rooms to larger sea-view rooms. I tend to choose cheaper rooms and spend more of my time outside enjoying the weather and nearby activities. The hotel pool is fantastic (an absolute must on my Santorini hotel checklist) and lots of nearby restaurants and bars offer great deals, splendid food, and wonderful sea views.
There are several things I look for in a great island hotel, and Smaragdi offers all of them:
- Wireless Internet access
- Great swimming pool
- Comfortable but affordable rooms
- Quick access to the beach
- Nearby shops, restaurants, and bars
I made this quick video of my “Petite Budget Room” at Smaragdi during my last stay there in June 2009. Take a look, but keep in mind that they have many other larger rooms available too. (I’m just your typical budget traveler.)
UPDATE: July 15, 2010
Smaragdi Hotel now has a NEW LOOK! I have not been to see it yet this year, but they have renovated the entire lobby, some of the guest rooms, and much more. The new look is fantastic and will most certainly continue to place Smaragdi Hotel at the very top of hotels in all of Santorini island.
My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to go and see it soon!
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