Cave hotels in Santorini are in high demand but what exactly is a cave hotel anyway? We had heard of these unique hotels built into the side of high cliffs but couldn’t quite picture what the experience was like to stay in one. Having seen the dreamy yogurt commercials showcasing the blue and whitewashed villages situated in paradise, we knew we wanted to book the most decadent vacation we’ve ever had. That turned out to be sampling a few of the iconic cave hotels in Santorini. It is the best way to get that romantic and luxurious experience and to truly take in the beauty of this famous island.
Top Cave Hotels in Santorini, Greece
We arrived early in the morning from Athens. The drive from the airport was uninspiring, but once our taxi let us off and we walked to the cliff’s edge towards our first cave hotel located in Imerovigli, we gasped in awe. Santorini is truly breathtaking. White and blue cement buildings line the edge of the cliffside town with long pathways leading down to luxurious boutique hotels housing gorgeous cave rooms.
Looking to visit Santorini? Check out The Best Hotels in Santorini in our post: Where to Stay in Santorini: Best Hotels and Towns for 2022
What is a Cave Hotel?
Cave hotels in Santorini are old cave houses renovated into beautiful boutique rooms carved into the side of the rocky cliffs. The residents of Santorini built these caves to blend into the rocks to hide from pirates, but today, they have been remodeled to rooms of pure bliss and luxury. The cliff houses looked small and unassuming from the sea keeping its residents safe from pirates and pillaging. In 1953, an earthquake destroyed many of the houses but since then, the caves have been restored and remodeled to luxurious cave suites with cave pools, infinity pools, and private plunge pools drawing visitors from around the world.
Keeping the Cycladic design, the hotels of Santorini make you feel as if you have stepped back in time, albeit with many more comforts and amenities. The luxurious hotel rooms built into the side of cliffs overlooking the beautiful caldera of Thera make you feel like royalty for a few days, so make sure you spend some time in Santorini to make the most of it. To help you plan your trip to this island, we’ve rounded up the best cave hotels in Santorini for the ultimate dream trip.
Iconic Santorini Cave Hotel – Imerovigli
We had the lucky opportunity to stay in the Iconic Santorini Cave Hotel for our very first cave room experience. The staff of this boutique cave hotel met us at the top of the cliff to take our luggage down the long narrow stairs. There are no escalators or elevators in Santorini so a lot of walking up and down narrow passages is on the agenda. It’s worth the extra effort to stay in one of these Cliffside villas though, as you are immediately transformed into a world of luxury. As our luggage was taken to our room, we were shown all the amenities the hotel has to offer. A beautiful swimming pool, spa amenities perfect for a massage, soaker tubs, and fine dining were on the agenda for the next couple of days as we basked in its luxury cave suites.
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The Rooms in Cave Hotels in Santorini
The domed room built into the side of a cliff definitely looked like a cave, but this wasn’t a bare-bones rocky cavern. It was a luxurious room mixed with chic bedding and traditional design. The beds are heavenly with Coco-mat mattresses with high-grade sheets and thick duvets. I don’t think I have ever slept so well. Many of the cave hotels in Santorini feature Coco-mat mattresses.
We had our own indoor private plunge pool (cave pool inside cave suite) overlooking the caldera where we at breakfast in our room each morning. The luxury cave hotels, bring breakfast to your private balcony each morning which is a nice touch. We sat outside eating Greek yogurt and honey, and assortments of fresh bread and cheeses accompanied with rich cappuccinos and freshly squeezed juice. You would think that would be enough, but we also had eggs to order and pastries to savor. I dreamed of breakfast each evening.
Sophia Luxury Suites – Imerovigli
This all-suites sanctuary in Imerovigli has amazing views of the caldera and the Aegean Sea. The modern boutique hotel offers honeymoon suite caves with indoor and outdoor plunge pools and terraces and those oh so famous cave pools in your suite. But what makes it even better is that all rooms at least have a terrace and either an indoor pool or outdoor pool. As we said, this is all suites. With completely contained amenities, you can have spa services in your room, and the usual made-to-order breakfast, this is a romantic getaway you’ll never forget.
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Andronis Luxury Suites – Oia Santorini
We thought Iconic Santorini was amazing, but at Andronis Luxury Suites, our cave hotel experience was taken up a notch. We haven’t seen all the cave hotels in Santorini, but I don’t think any could have as beautiful a view of the caldera as Andronis. Located in Oia, it was the perfect location. We were walking distance from the Blue Domes, the castle, the historic windmills, and many of the best things to see and do on the entire island.
With guests having access to their own private pool or hot tubs we could forget the crowds gathering around the castle to enjoy the famous Santorini sunset from the comfort of your private balcony. Each suite is designed in the Cycladic style, offering lush bathrooms and spacious living areas. We didn’t have a cave pool in this suite, but the infinity pool made up for it.
Each morning, we enjoyed our complimentary breakfast on our balcony taking in the gorgeous morning views in peace and quiet away from the day-trippers and cruises. The Lycabettus restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Oia for traditional Mediterranean cuisine. Carved into the prehistoric volcanic rocks that line the cliffside, Andronis Luxury Suites is an idyllic luxury experience.
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Aris Caves – Oia Santorini
Aris Caves in Oia offers cave suites and studios complete with a kitchenette and free Wi-Fi. Spa treatments are offered and four rooms have private jacuzzis. This property is perfect for a one-night stay in Oia being close to the town center. Even though it is close to downtown, it is still a quiet oasis. While this resort doesn’t have a swimming pool, make sure to book one of the cave suites that has its own plunge pool. That’s really all you need as you’ll never want to leave your private terrace.
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Pegasus Suites & Spa – Imerovigli
Pegasus Suites & Spa is a great option if you are looking for a hotel in Santorini with a cave pool. Book the grand luxury plunge pool suite for pure heaven. The in-suite plunge pool feels like you are swimming in a cave, but you also have access to an outdoor hot tub. You’ll never want to leave this room with its fully stocked minibar, cave pool and hot tub indoors, a private terrace with views of the caldera, and room service.
Don’t worry though if you are not staying in this luxury cave room, the hotels as all the amenities you could want with the Heaven Spa offering spa treatments like a couples massage, Fitness Center, Pegasus Wine Bar, and pool overlooking. If you want an infinity pool, book the Angels Infinity pool suite. There’s something for everyone.
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Lava Caves – Oia Santorini
Lava Caves has that dreamy cave pool carved into the volcanic rock that we’ve all come to admire about Santorini. With breakfast served in your cave suite each morning, you’ll really have no reason to leave as you take in the panoramic Aegean Sea views. There is only one cave suite in this popular hotel so make sure to book it now if you want it. It is located close to the town center of Oia Santorini, which is in our opinion, the best place to stay in Santorini for first timers. It has free Wi-Fi so you can post you pictures making all your friends at home green with envy. Check it out on TripAdvisor
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Perivolas Hotel – Oia Santorini
Poised high above the Aegean Sea, Perivolis Hotel is a premier cave hotel is located a little bit outside Oia Santorini away from the hustle and bustle. Its terraced gardens leading down to the infinity pool will take you away from it all. The private cave suites range from spacious cave rooms with balconies to rooms with private cave pools and jacuzzies overlooking the caldera and the neighboring island of Thirassia.
There is a newly launched fitness center and gym that has a 25-meter lap pool and steam bath. Can you imagine working out over the most incredible view in the world? After your morning routine, enjoy one of its spa treatments at Perivolas Wellness Studio as you drift into bliss.
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White Cave House – Oia Santorini
The most photogenic cave house in Santorini, White Cave house with a suite complete with cave pool in its whitewashed cave suite. This Villa in Oia offers the epitome of privacy in its very own private two-level suite complete with indoor and outdoor hot tub and hammam and Free Wi-Fi.
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Marizan Caves Villas
Marizan Caves Villas offers a range of one-bedroom cave suites to superior rooms offering a range of cave rooms for all budgets. While it doesn’t have its own pool, you can go to the Lioyerma Lounge Pool Bar & a pool next door and use the facilities. All you need to do is order a drink from the bar and enjoy the sunset views.
Check Rates and Availability at the Iconic Cave Hotel
When looking for cave hotels in Fira, the Tsitoouras Collection offers a collection of cave houses that are unique and distinct. When searching for cave hotels in Santorini, we think that an infinity pool is a must and this one has it. Located in the heart of Firostini, this converted mansion is a quiet escape from the overwhelming crowds. It offers villas ranging in size from 2 to 6 guests. The TC Private Villa has its own private pool, kitchen, and three bedrooms making it a wonderful shared vacation.
Check Rates and Availability at Tsitouras Collection
A Cave Hotel in Santorini is Worth the Splurge
We don’t normally write about a hotel experience. But spending time in cave hotels in Santorini is an experience unto itself. As I started writing, I had visions of writing about our thoughts and feeling of seeing Santorini for the first time, but as it evolved. Instead, I realized that our first thoughts and feelings about the island just so happened to take place inside the cave house itself. And it was pure heaven.
Tips for Choosing Cave Hotels in Santorini
When looking for cave hotels in Santorini, make sure to check each room. Many hotels in Santorini offer cave suites, but you need to check which suite has a cave pool or private plunge pool, which suites have private terraces, and where they are situated. Not all suites in the cave hotels are the same so check for the exact amenities in your room.
Hotels in Santorini range in prices and you can spend a fortune, but there are several cave hotels that are affordable. Looking for apartment rentals is a great way to save on hotels in Santorini. This: Blue & White Cave House is a good option.
Fira: There are several different areas to stay in Santorini and choosing the right place can make or break your vacation. Fira is the main hub where the cruise ships come in. There is shopping and it is the largest town in Santorini. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and accommodation to choose from.
Oia: Oia is the most picturesque of places in Santorini and we loved our stay there. It was in the heart of the action, but when staying in a cave hotels here, we could escape the crowds. Here you’ll find the blue domes and churches, windmills and sunsets. There’s shopping, dining and plenty of accommodation.
Imerovigli: This is a great option to have the cave hotel experience away from the crowds, it’s located between Oia and Fira and you can walk to each (if you are willing) along the coast path. There are plenty of hotels to choose from but we found dining and shopping lacking here compared to the other two. It’s more of a place to stay to relax in your hotel and take advantage of the amenities.
Starting our stay in Santorini in Imerovigli was the perfect introduction to the island. It is quieter than Oia and Fira but it is as luxurious and beautiful as either. Located on the path between the two towns of Oia and Fira from Imerovigli and by having our car rental during our time on the island, we could scoot around to a place we wanted.