The Rivari opened its doors over twenty years ago and that's plain to see! The buildings are ageing and the furniture is in real need of replacing. This place is quiet though, and the staff is friendly. A ten minute walk takes you to the town of Kamari and its beach. The walk is not a pleasant one unfortunately as there is nothing to note in the surroundings... The clientele is mostly French.
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In the small town of Kamari, a ten minute walk from the beach and its black sand, typical of the area. The island's capital city, Fira, is just 7 mi away - a fifteen minute drive. As for the airport, allow ten minutes to cover the 4 mi to and from the hotel.
The Rivari's 70 bedrooms are spread over seven three-floor buildings. They are divided into three categories: standard double, family and studios. Inside, the furniture is outdated and, as a whole, a little demoralising. In family rooms, children sleep upstairs and considering the size of the stairs (which look more like ladders), safety wasn't much of consideration when they were being designed. Amenities include a television set, air conditioning, a hair dryer, a balcony and a minibar but no room service. The bathroom, however, is reasonably sized but the damp smell is not very pleasant.
Out of Kamari's town centre, the surroundings of the Rivari are not at all lively but the hotel therefore benefits from a very peaceful location. The hotel's reception hall is very dingy and a little smile would not go amiss... But anyway, the garden is full of flowers, which is quite rare in Santorini. A little pathway leads the way to the large pool but its rectangular shape brings no originality whatsoever. The deckchairs are plastic or iron but the parasols are thatched. Next to the pool stands the hotel bar, with furniture that could do with a renewal... The Rivari has a gym which is best avoided. The apparatus is outdated, and some is even rusty.
Food and drink
The hotel restaurant serves all three meals of the day. Breakfast is served as a cold buffet, whereas lunch and dinner are 'à la carte' meals. The indoor area holds most of the tables but you will can also enjoy your meals outside on the terrace. You can only marvel at how they managed to squeeze so many tables into such a small space... Most dishes are Greek-style but there is a snack menu available as well.
Santorini's landforms have been shaped by the activity of its volcano, which is now dormant. Some of its beaches are therefore pebbly, while others are covered in black sand. As the west coast of the island drops sharply into the sea, Santorini's beaches are to be found along its east coast. Do not expect to find tropical-looking beaches because there aren't any. That doesn't mean that the landscapes are any less beautiful though.
Kamari beach is located some 6 mi from Fira. It is a black sandy beach stretching about 3 mi along the coast. A promenade runs along the seafront. The fairly peaceful Monolithos beach, just up the coast, offers a similar landscape to that found at Kamari. The black sandy beach of Perissa is 9 mi south east of Fira and covers more than 4 mi of coastline. It is particularly lively in the summer due to its many shops, bars and restaurants. If you want to do something different, head for the red beach. It is also a black sand beach, but it is surrounded by huge red cliffs and can only be reached by foot or caïque. The water is crystal clear, and it is one of Santorini's most famous and most beautiful beaches. It is not far from Akrotiri. Vlychada is in the Perivolos region and is often the least busy of the island's beaches. Finally, there are two pretty beaches in the north that are usually frequented by tourists staying in Oia. Ammoudi is located just below Oia, on the north-western end of the island whereas Armeni is a little further down.
The hotel is open during the summer season, from April to October.
The Sunshine is a small, unpretentious family hotel which offers a pleasant ambience and enjoys a fine location on the Kamari beach-front. It is certainly more suitable for those looking for a good pied-a-terre on the east coast of Santorini than those looking for particularly comfortable accommodation.
Formerly known as the Tropical, the Alesahne Beach was renamed when it was reopened for the 2009 summer season, having undergone a complete renovation to make it the trendy hotel it is today. Although it is pleasantly decorated, the facilities are not what you would expect from the category of hotel that it is trying to be. It does, however, offer a beautiful setting on Kamari beach..
A small and unpretentious hotel, judging from its location and pleasant family atmosphere. While enjoying good comfort, you can discover the small seaside town of Kamari which is very lively in the evening.
This is a small hotel but we like it for its simplicity. It offers a high level of service and a family atmosphere, with a splendid view of the sea to top it all off. It's a good reason to take a holiday.
This hotel is owned by the same people as the Bellonias Villas, so you won't be surprised to find that the establishments are quite similar, with identical pools, although, unlike its twin, the Hotel 28 was opened in 2008 and is not located on Kamari beach. None of this is relevant though, when you behold the pleasant, charming surroundings of this place.
Despite the fact that the Bellonias Villas lacks certain facilities that other hotels have, it does have a number of amenities which you will not find in the vast majority of hotels in Santorin, such as a small gym, a sauna, a hammam and a massage room, to name but a few. The hotel is charming and nicely decorated and occupies a pleasant location just opposite Kamari beach.
Open since 2001, the Zannos Melathron was the first hotel in Greece to be awarded the 'Relais & Chateaux' label. It isn't very big, but its service reflects very high standards. It is housed in an 18th century building which is totally enchanting, but mainly reserved for a wealthy clientele. Guests hardly leave the place at all, but benefit from its peace and quiet and admire the view over Santorini island.
Standing on a cliff in Imerovigli, this neo-classical residence makes for a unique destination, especially with its breathtakingly beautiful view - ideal for a holiday wrapped in elegance, a honeymoon, or a romantic weekend.
The Homeric Poems hotel has gradually extended over the years. Since its opening in 2004, new rooms have been added without spoiling the surrounding area or the hotel itself. It only has 19 rooms, but it is perfect as it is, as much in its interior decoration and the warm welcome that it provides, as in the view that it affords over the caldera. It is a real haven for couples who are looking to relax and explore its romantic nooks and crannies, and, to be honest, this place was our favourite for the quality of its facilities and its suites with private swimming-pools!
The Santorini Grace is hard to find but nobody wants to leave once they're there! Everything about this little hotel on Santorini is enchanting. With its architecture, typical of the island, and its position hanging off the cliffside, opposite the caldera, it is a real haven of peace. The chef here is also worth a special mention as he prepares exquisite meals. We still remember them now! It is definitely one of our favourite hotels on the island and most of the guests here come from Britain.
Open since 2004, the Icons is a beautiful, harmoniously decorated hotel and wherever you are in it, the view of the caldera is unobstructed. However, you must not be scared of heights if you wish to get close to the cliff's edge! Attached to its neighbours on either side, the Icons stands out due to its cream-coloured walls. Its stairs are a little steep and its communal areas are not very spacious, but it is nonetheless a pleasant hotel whose clientele consists of couples only, and children under 14 are not allowed.