With entry rules and restrictions constantly changing as well as the Covid situation, we tried to book everything refundable in the event that we need to make last-minute changes or even cancellations. As summer is the peak travel season in Santorini, many boutique hotels and villas that have postcard-perfect views were either fully booked or have strict cancellation policy (understand that they don’t want people to hold the rooms and cancel last minute, the revenue impact would be much larger for smaller hotels). Thankfully for Hyatt’s partnership with Small Luxury Hotels, I can redeem Hyatt points on awesome 5 stars properties in Oia, Santorini and semi-fexible cancellation policy of 14 days prior to arrival. I was able to redeem 40,000 points per night at the newly added (they are constantly adding more SLH properties that can be redeemed with Hyatt points) – Canaves Oia Suites where the cash rate for the Junior Suite with Plunge Pool was over €1100! Note that there’s also Canaves Oia Boutique Hotel that can be redeemed at the same 40,000 points per night but their base rooms are standard rooms instead of a suite so it’s more valuable to redeem at Canaves Oia Suites. I booked the first night when I saw it was available and luckily, the second night became available a few weeks before our trip so I made two separate reservations to stay two nights.
Two weeks before our arrival, the hotel contacted us with information and to fill out the pre-arrival form which informs the hotel of our preferences, any special occasion we are celebrating, and special requests. I did fill out that we are celebrating our postponed 10-year anniversary and requested extra shampoos and conditioners for my long and dense hair! The hotel quoted €90 for a one-way private transfer from the airport which I thought was excessively high so I arranged our own transportation to save money. There was no mentioning of the extra benefits for being a Hyatt member and booking with Hyatt. I did double-checked that all Hyatt members (regardless of status) as long as they booked via a Hyatt Booking Channel (including on the Hyatt website or the Hyatt App), pay an eligible rate or redeem a free night award, and ensure your Hyatt membership number is on the reservation (sign-in your Hyatt account and then make the booking) to get complimentary continental breakfast for two, free Wi-Fi, early check-in, late check-out and a room upgrade (all based on availability). Those are amazing perks without any Hyatt status!!!
The hotel reception is located just a short walk from the main road where our driver dropped us off and the hotel bellboy met us. There are a few steps down but nothing compared to how the houses in Oia are built. The hotel reception/”lobby” area:
The reception area is like its own house but connected on the back to the elevator to get down to the pool level if you have mobility issues. Otherwise, it was a few flights of stairs down. The check-in receptionist confirmed our free upgrade on our first night from a Junior Suite to a Superior Suite (one category upgrade) and then our second night would be upgraded to a River Pool Suite (three-category upgrade!). We had no issue with changing rooms since we want to check out different room types anyways. Sweet! We got a tour of the hotel: pool, breakfast area/restaurant, spa, gym, and even took the elevator to get back to the reception area. Note the elevator is wicked slow so that was the only time we ride in it.
Our Superior Suite with Plunge Pool is located on the other side from the reception building and pool area so we had to walk up and then down to get there. You can only access this part of the part with your room card and then once you get in, there are three suites. Our Superior Suite, Room #41, is the very last suite with its own access door for more privacy than the other two suites (I guess those are the Junior Suites).
It is as private as it can get that you won’t see other guests walking by your terrace. There are chairs, tables, and a plunge pool (quite small but normal size for Oia hotel rooms with pool/jacuzzi).
From our terrace, you can actually look down and see the rooms at Angel Cave Houses; a different hotel.
Our 484 sq. feet Superior Suite is quite spacious with a set of chairs and a table that I can use as a work desk to transfer and edit photos. The sofa is nice and big; plenty of room for two people. The bed is one of the most comfortable hotel mattresses (the other brand I like is the St. Regis’ mattress) with plenty of pillows to support my baby bump 😉
I like the big oval mirror and all the white furnishing in the room to give a Greek island vibe.
The hotel manager wrote us a Happy Anniversary note along with complimentary peach juice, fruits, water, and a bottle of wine.
On the right side of the room is a small walk-in closet with space for the minibar and the safe.
The bathroom is located at the back of the room and I was shocked to see how big it is. This has room for a dual shower head (now that is a first that I have seen at hotels), dual sink, a bathtub, toilet, and still plenty of open space!
In cave style hotel room, the bathroom usually smells like mold or has some sewage smell but nothing at all; it was sparkling clean! The hotel toiletries are Eau d’orange verte by Hermès!!! I love their fresh orange scent! At first, I was searching for the conditioner; the hotel only provided shower gel, shampoo, lotion, and soap. I emailed the hotel for an extra set in advance for my long, dense, and dry hair; one travel-size bottle is not enough! Without conditioner, my hair will be so hard to untangle….oh no! BUT after I tried the Hermès shampoo, wow, my hair never feels so silky and smooth before with just using the shampoo without conditioner! It is the best shampoo I have ever used!
The hotel also provides complimentary two mini bottles of hand sanitizer, cloth face masks, and even flip-flops in this cute beach bag! I much prefer flip-flops than those disposable slippers.
When we returned from dinner at night, we got two hats; those are the best turndown gifts we ever received! All I can say is Canaves Oia Suites gives out so many goodies!
The entrance below the reception/lobby to the pool, gym, restaurant, spa, and also some suites are located on this part of the complex.
The pool within the breakfast area/restaurant and spa.
An infinity pool overlooking the caldera with beds in the water.
There are three “rooms” each with cushioned beach loungers on a first come first serve basis. At night, those transformed into more private dining tables.
There’s also a terrace for wedding ceremonies.
The complimentary breakfast started at 8 AM and we were the first ones there and picked the best view table. Each table has a bottle of hand sanitizer, sparkling and still water, and a QR code to view the menu on your mobile device. We prefer the paper menu instead. Normally, the bread and cereal items would be buffet style but during COVID times, there was no buffet. Instead, we automatically got a plate of various bread and pastries with different jams and butter. The downside is wasteful; we can never finish that plate.
The waiter asked for coffee, tea, or any drinks? I said hot milk and he at first was a bit puzzled but the request was fulfilled. Breakfast with this view? What a beautiful way to start the day 🙂
There are a lot of hot breakfast choices, I ordered the Santorini omelet; it was good but a little bit too salty.
I also ordered the crepe with banana and I asked if they have whipped cream since it’s not on the menu as toppings. The waiter was so confused on what is whipped cream….urg!!! I said cream? I don’t know if he has a hard time understanding English or whipped cream is not common in Greece? So I just picked white nutella; it was super sweet!
Jason ordered the omelet with cream cheese and grilled mushrooms and vegetables, I forgot the name of the omelet. It was tasty at first but then it got heavy with so much cream cheese; we are not used to cheese. Jason made a better choice for dessert – a plate of fresh fruits. Their melons were so sweet and soft; we ended up really liking the melon there!
Our full table of food, so filling!
On the second day, we checked out of our Superior Suite (we can leave our luggage in the room and the hotel staff will move them over to the new room) after breakfast and then headed out to explore Oia. We came back after lunch and waited for a few minutes for our new room to be ready. The receptionist walked us to our River Pool Suite; no way we can find it ourselves. Our room number is 28 which is along this alleyway above the pool, the 2nd entrance.
The interior of the River Pool Suite felt much smaller than the Superior Suite even though it is bigger at 538.19 sq. feet. You can see the sofa is smaller and has less free space.
The minibar and closet are located in the hallway to the bathroom instead of a separate room.
The entrance to the bathroom:
The bathroom is much smaller; it has a dual sink but only 1 shower head. The space in between the bathtub is definitely not as spacious. I miss the Superior Suite bathroom.
The reason for the bigger square footage but the room actually is smaller is because of the room for the “river” pool. The river pool room is located on the left side of the main room where there’s a door that you can lock as it can access the outside of the room through the pool. The receptionist said it’s one of the popular rooms; it’s great for photos! I thanked her and the hotel for the upgrade; it was a birthday gift for Jason. The receptionist was surprised to hear that it was Jason’s birthday that day!
Of course, we didn’t waste the opportunity for photo ops! We took an afternoon off from our sightseeing to take photos in our river pool as well as the hotel’s infinity pool.
On our 2nd night, there was a wedding at the hotel so you can see the sign “LOVE” was there and lit up. Oia at night view from the hotel, it was magical!
The breakfast area transformed into a restaurant, as you can see, it was quite busy. It was probably due to the wedding. Even though our room was just beneath the pool, the noise level didn’t bother us.
The infinity pool lit up at night.
When we returned from dinner on our 2nd night, we were surprised to find a piece of cake for Jason since I just mentioned it once this morning to the receptionist. It was a nice gesture. The cake was too sweet and they didn’t provide the lighter to light up the candles. I guess smoking is quite common in Europe so they thought we would have our own lighter? Also, we got another set of hats that made 4 hats to bring home as souvenir 🙂
On our last day’s breakfast, we tried out other hot dishes from the menu. I ordered an egg, cream cheese, and beacon on a toast. It was tasty but the cream cheese was too heavy after a few bites as we are not used to cheese.
Jason ordered eggs, bacon, and waffle fries. We both ordered a plate of fresh fruits as dessert.
Overall, our stay at Canaves Oia Suites was awesome, great service, beautiful, clean, and comfortable room. It definitely set the bar and made other hotels on the rest of our trip to be not comparable. I totally miss the comfortable mattress and the Hermès shampoo! If this is your first trip to Santorini, I would definitely recommend staying at one of the hotels with the view of the blue-dome church so you can have access to the postcard-perfect spot. Otherwise, for a relaxed and comfortable stay, I totally recommend the Canaves Oia Suites and best of all you can redeem with Hyatt points and it came with all those free perks!