Set in a spectacular cliff-side location on the Greek island of Santorini, Perivolas is redefining the luxury hotel

“perivolas is and always has been a family business and our guests are welcomed as members of our family,” says Irene Psychas, Managing Partner at the luxury Greek retreat of Perivolas. “One of the reasons we have such a significant number of return guests – many people have been coming to stay with us for more than 10 years – is because they truly feel like they are at home here on the island of Santorini.”

For over 35 years, Perivolas has been providing understated luxury holidays to those seeking a peaceful and authentic Santorini experience. Built like an amphitheatre into the cliffs, intimate in scale and architecture, every one of the 22 units is different. It comprises 300-year old houses and cave dwellings that were once the homes of local fisherman and farmers, as well as a pumice mine. All have been lovingly restored by native craftsmen using authentic materials.

Situated just a short walk from the village of Oia, Perivolas Hotel offers views of the azure sea and absolute privacy and tranquility, while Perivolas Hideaway, located on the island of Therasia, has the feel of a private island. It has its own helipad and is just a short boat ride from the picturesque port of Ammoudi. It is also truly an island retreat: there is internet connection but there are no televisions. Design has the simple and ergonomic elegance of traditional island architecture, and the décor features colours that are reflective of the island. The owner Costis Psychas is responsible for the concept of Perivolas Hotel and Perivolas Hideaway. He works with space and light, using natural materials – stone, wood, linen and wool – to create a state of harmony.

The hotel’s restaurant, which is set in a converted wine cellar, caters exclusively to its guests and offers cuisine that is both traditional and modern, using the freshest local ingredients, such as cheeses, seasonal fish and vegetables. While there is a menu, the chef is happy to accommodate every individual’s specific dietary requirements, or even their cravings. This personalized touch extends to every aspect of Perivolas.

“We listen to what our guests want,” says Irene. “The people who visit our hotel are looking to enjoy the experience of island life. They are well-travelled people, looking for harmony and a sense of belonging. Guests can switch off entirely from their daily routines. Some people choose to engage in conversation, others read or just savour the magnificent, panoramic views of one of the world’s largest crater lakes.”

There are many activities on offer for guests at Perivolas, from its free gym to its wellness centre, which uses all-natural ingredients, such as sea salt, lavender and honey. Guests can also go on a private boat trip with their own captain, admire the seascape and enjoy snorkelling, paddling and other water activities. Alternatively they can explore the island, learn about its history and visit the wealth of art on a private tour, or visit one of the many award-winning wineries and taste some of the fine local wines.

Over the years, Perivolas has won a plethora of awards for its architecture and hospitality, including the Conde Nast Traveller Reader’s Choice Award, the 2019 Gold List Award and the 2011 Philippe Rotthier European Prize for Architecture. This year sees the opening of a new two-bedroom private villa within the hotel complex, offering unparalleled views of the sunset.

“Perivolas is a place where you can recharge your energy and wellbeing,” says Irene. “For the time that they stay with us, our guests truly belong to Santorini.”