You may be thinking – “what are these two mid-range flashpackers doing in a luxury resort?” Adding a pinch of luxury to the budget travel is our thing on most trips. Greece was our first foreign trip together. We planned the entire trip based on the availability of this particular hotel – Dana Villas in Firostefani, which remains the best to date. This is where we had Spectacular uninterrupted sight of the deep blue sea from the private hidden cave pools.
PS- This isn’t a paid post. We had one of the best days of our life. We want you to have it too.
What’s so unique about Dana Villas?
Locality and Cave pools
Firostefani is a cliffside town like most towns of Santorini. This town is more peaceful than the rest because it isn’t too popular among tourists. It is overshadowed by its neighbouring town of Fira and Oia. The beaches aren’t accessible for swimming. The narrow walkways with no artificial decks don’t attract tourists, but natives of Santorini love to spend their time with friends here.
This makes Firostefani less touristy. If you choose hotels in Firostefani, you won’t be sharing the sunset-watching spots with a huge crowd.
There are probably a few locals hanging out with friends or fellow guests, unlike Oia and Fira. Good restaurants are just a 5-minute uphill walk when you want to eat something delicious. The view of the ocean in the front, lined with whitewashed houses on the cliff by the side, uninterrupted quiet sunset is something that gets etched in your mind forever.
What is so great about the Cave pools of Dana Villas
When we walked in Firostefani, we saw many hotels with pools overlooking the deep blue Mediterranean. Most pools were open next to a public walkway. So if you are chilling on the sunbed watching the rosy sky with a circle of the glowing sun behind wispy clouds, a pedestrian may pause your vision while crossing. Few hotels had a wicket gate to stop the pedestrians, but pedestrians’ little hush and mutter are always part of your reclining evening. But this can’t happen from your cave pools! You feel as if you own the dark blue sea and the soothing sky in front of you. Each cave pool suite is at a different level, so neither you disturb someone’s view, nor someone interrupts your unwinding evening.
Does Dana villas have a pool?
The endless blue water is lined with brown mountains dotted with white cube houses on top. The view gets even better when you have rooms with a private plunge pool: When these pools get private, you ascend to Mediterranean heaven sipping wine and watching the sight.
You can see it, but they can’t see you! Most higher-end luxury hotels have a private pool, but they are so open that you don’t feel it is private! Here It is like you are in your private cliffside town. The hotel entry is restricted only to customers, so few tourists walk around the hotel. So we could easily walk back to Dana Villas from Imerovigli.
What type of room should you choose in Dana villas
After we returned, a few friends wanted to book a room in the same hotel. One of them made a big mistake. Because the prices were lower than what we had paid, they booked a room in Dana Villas that cost them half of what we had paid! Initially, we were kind of shocked and felt bad for ourselves for spending a considerable amount. Later, when they went there, they realised the mistake – They had booked a room without the plunge pools! Those rooms give you a good view, but you won’t have a private cave pool. So be attentive while you book, and don’t get carried away by the lower prices in the same hotel if you want to have private plunge pools.
There are two types of rooms – Ones without infinity pools and the latter with cave pools or larger private pools. If you are willing to book the same room as you see here, book – Honeymoon suite with a pool. It cost us nearly 30k INR or375EU / night. If you choose any rooms other than honeymoon suites, the only pool you can access is the Common pool near the breakfast area.
Few things to keep in mind before booking Dana Villas
If you are looking for a serene private place to laze in the evening with a bit of wine and don’t mind spending – this is your heaven.
As per the online forums, Dana Villas may not be voted the best luxury resort. When you look for the top 10 luxury resorts in Santorini, this may not pop up at all. The word luxury is subjective. For us paying around 375 Euros a night was a luxury.
We were a bit confused between Hector caves in Oia and Dana Villas Firostefanii. Both fell in the same price range, but we chose the latter since we had to book Hector caves for two nights compulsory, while Dana Villas let us book only for a night. Plus, Firostefani is one of the least crowded towns in Santorini.
Dana Villas spreads across the terrain.
This is not a handicap-friendly resort. There is a lot of climbing up and down- From the reception to the rooms and Breakfast area.
Call the hotel once you are on the main road next to the hotel. They will send their people to carry your luggage down the hill around 50+ steps. We could take ours; it wasn’t much. But we found a middle-aged couple struggling to get their bags down.
They don’t have an in-house restaurant other than for the buffet breakfast. Instead, they outsource it from the “Da Vinci” restaurant, which is extremely good but expensive.
One thing I wish we knew before going was – the unstated grooming standard at the resort! So, in a nutshell, be in your smart casuals while on the hotel premises! To know more, read our post “What to wear in Greece.”
Where did Kardashians stay Santorini?
Updated in 2022 – At least 10 people must have asked this question! I was wondering if people would ask me if Hrithik and Katrina Kaif Mehrbaan’s song was filmed here. But it looks like there are more Kardashian fans. Apparently there stayed in a hotel located south of Fira and not in Dana Villas.
Things to do in Dana Villas luxury resort in Santorini
Soak in the cave pool and chill on the sunbed
I highly recommend doing nothing here! When you have your private pool and fantastic views, why do you bother about a to-do list? You get a complimentary wine bottle for a honeymoon suite and rooms superior to that. Get a cup of it, soak yourself in the pool’s warm water and watch the endless Mediterranean. The scene keeps changing while the sea remains void of waves. A huge cruise ship sails over. A Catamaran overtakes it. The clouds gather to change their colour. The sun disappears, painting the clouds yellow, while the white villages glow beige. Forget everything and do nothing other than soak in nature and enjoy your luxury.
Have a Breakfast with a view of Santorini
Get up in the morning, and take a dip in your pool. Climb down to the breakfast area. Swim in the pool again. Have a hot cup of Greek coffee and an unlimited variety of bread and buns with cheese or marmalade. Dip the sundried tomatoes in Feta cheese or spread it on the bread. Cool your tummy with fresh yoghurt if you feel too heavy after breakfast. Still hungry? Take your plate of eggs and cheese, sit on the sunbed by the pool, eat more and view more.
Stroll in the streets of Bougenville by the cliffside Firostefani
Are you bored of lazing around on the sunbed? Take a stroll in and around the hotel. The walking paths in Firostefani are open to the public but maintained by the private resorts. Fewer people, more Bougainville, cleaner streets, and fantastic sea views are the best memories you can make on the lanes of Firostefani.
Get married or witness the most romantic wedding ceremony!
If you are lucky, you get to see a Greek wedding! Yup! Dana Villas hosts wedding ceremonies too! We were chilling in the pool while a melodious Greek song started with the background of a Violin! We thought of it as someone’s Bluetooth speaker from the waiting lounge. But it sounded more like a piece of live music. So curiously, we got up to see where the music was coming from. Two guys were singing a traditional Greek wedding Song,” Siemera gamos”, one playing violing and the other guy with a guitar! We both thought Dana Villas arranged it for the guests. So without speaking a word, we relaxed on the sunbed with the soothing classical music, sun and cold breeze, watching the horizon behind the deep blue sea.
Later, the live music was added with some chirpy girl’s voice and shoe clackers.
Then, we saw a woman in an elegant cyan dress with a flower bouquet in their hands walking down! The girls were smiling and waiting for someone. Finally, an enchanting bride arrived in her white gown!
A wedding at A luxury resort in Santorini is many people’s dream, I read! And someone’s dream was coming true there!
It was a Greek wedding happening right there! What a beautiful spot to get married. As much as we enjoyed our traditional Hindu marriage back home in India, we wanted to marry again like her beside the Mediterranean! From the other side, the groom walked to the deck opposite her. The bride walked up the steps to that deck. The music got more intense, more soothing. Beyond a point, it was only the RSVP guests allowed. We chose to sit by the parapet, watching them getting married! I can’t decide what was more beautiful – is it the ceremony? Is it the locality or the decor? Even today, I feel blissful when I remember that wedding ceremony of strangers by the cliffside of the brown volcanic mountains topped with white sugar-cube houses and lined with Lenin-like blue seawater.
Flaunt your traditional outfits in Santorini
Getting a photoshoot done is easier in Firostefani than in Oia and Fira if you are ready to pay a massive amount to the photographers. In Dana Villas, right before the sunset, the time was perfect for a photoshoot! We neither had a pro camera nor a photographer. Hoping for staff to click our pictures, we came out and began to walk around the hotel. The locals and staff were excited to see two people in Indian traditional outfits for the first time. The appreciation and admiration worked out in our favour as we requested them to click our photos.
Would you consider staying in Dana Villas for a beautiful day? Let us know in the comment section below.