Kivotos Santorini by Michael Haris

This luxurious resort situated on the Greek island of Santorini has been recently completed by Michael Haris Architecture.

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The legacy of Kivotos continues and is set to enter a brand new era come summer 2019 when the luxury hospitality group opens a new property on the island of Santorini.

Let’s turn the clock back a quarter of a century for a moment when Spyros Michopoulos famously launched the very first boutique hotel in Greece. Designed to blend harmoniously into the soothing pastel shades of its surroundings on Mykonos, it brought a markedly artistic aesthetic to enhance the feeling of refined luxury and relaxation and it has been offering its guests a haven of tranquility and impeccable service ever since.

As you would expect, the upcoming addition to the Kivotos family strives to keep the same tradition, embody the same philosophy and maintain the same exacting standards of hospitality. It also echoes the sheer scale and slightly edgier and exhilarating dynamism of this island, forged into its current spectacular form in the second millennium BC by a tumultuous volcanic eruption, sending shock waves reverberating, not only across the Aegean at the time, but throughout history itself. In the design, we have attempted to infuse elements of these dramatic natural origins. The colours you will find here are of darker, onyx-like, tones; silky greys, mixed with vibrant blues; perhaps a little bolder and more daring than those of its Mykonian counterpart. This reflects the hue of the volcanic rocks that rise out of the Aegean like the mythical Titans and the vitreous lustre of the unique black pebbles on many of the beaches. These are the colours which allow it to stand out against the Cycladic whites and blues of other buildings around it. And for a real seismic shift in design concepts, there are even simulated ‘cracks’ of different dimensions as part of the wall pattern, which can contain different automated lighting scenarios to match your mood.

Situated in Imerovigli, the hotel in fact consists of two buildings on two levels, one just above the other. Its location is ideal in so many ways. On an island bustling with visitors for many months of the year, it is definitely the quietest, most private district on the island with only a few restaurants in the area. Unlike many of the villas on the island there is little to none climbing involved in accessing it. You can drive straight to a waiting parking space in front of the entrance to the first building with a mere twenty steps leading down to the second.

Now, just close your eyes for a moment and prepare yourself for the view of a lifetime, 180 degrees worth of pure majesty, across the entire bay and caldera. You are drawn first to the remains of the ancient acropolis of Santorini perched on a single defiant turret of rock in the sea., called Skaros. Cast your gaze wider to take in the jagged coast and steep craggy cliffs buffeted by breezes since antiquity and zig-zagging haphazardly through white-crested waves Then, of course, on the next headland, there is a town perhaps more closely associated with spectacular sunsets than any other in the world. Imagine as a guest of Kivotos Santorini from your privileged vantage point, you can actually look down on all of this, across to picturesque Oia, its magnificent sunset beyond and the heavenly light show of stars that makes a fitting support act after the sun’s final encore. Even more unique is the extra romantic touch not found in other luxury accommodation on Santorini; not only do all the bedrooms look out onto this view but so confident are we of its supremacy that the windows are specially curved so whatever the time of year you stay the last rays of day will stream directly in onto your bed!

So, from the view to the hotel itself: The Signature SPA villa of 180 square metres includes a master bedroom with king size bed above an ample and luxurious living and kitchen area; Hammam; walk-in closet; gym and seperate treatment rooms. It also contains its own indoor pool with Jacuzzi , subtlely lit to accentuate its calming greys and blues and the shimmering waters reflections. The second suite is also split level with a spacious living area below and a bedroom with queen size bed above it, its special feature being the Water Lagoon with Jacuzzi. The remaining three suites boast plenty of living space, en-suite shower rooms and unlimited (?) access to an outdoor seating/lounging/sunbathing area with a Jacuzzi. All the suites have their own private sea-view balconies; Satellite Smart TVs; wireless music system with a playlist or the option to play whatever you prefer from your mobile device; library; premium linen; luxury toiletries and trouble-free wireless internet. On top of all this there’s a wonderful built-in flexibility which means that the whole of the aforementioned can be effortlessly converted into a four-bedroom villa and a two-bedroom villa for families or larger parties, naturally with all the sane luxuries and comforts at the disposal of the guests.

Haute cuisine and gourmet dining, hand-crafted designer furniture and 24-hour butler service all come as a matter of course. In the awe inspiring setting of Santorini you are soon to find another five-star home from home just like its big cousin across the water.

Photography courtesy of Kivotos Santorini

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- by Matt Watts