A review of the Majestic Hotel in Santorini
The Majestic Hotel in Santorini
It is more than 11 years since we last set foot in the Majestic Hotel, on the outskirts of Santorini’s capital Fira, but I mean it in a good way when I say that little has changed. My daughters may have grown from toddlers to teenagers (seemingly overnight) but the same high standards and bright, luxurious complex that I remember from 2012 remain front and centre at the Majestic.
After being picked up in Fira by the hotel shuttle we arrive at the hotel, at midday, to welcome cooling towels and cold drinks.
Although our room is not yet ready, this is no problem. I quickly eye the spa downstairs and the girls change into their swimmers and grab towels before heading to the large outdoor pool.
We know immediately that we are in for a relaxing final stage of our week in Santorini.
Recovering from a painful rib injury, I am particularly grateful to be able to almost immediately book in for a 90-minute remedial massage, while the girls luxuriate on pool loungers in the still hot October sunshine.
My Albanian therapist, Gabriella, is intuitive, firm of touch but careful and overall, gives one of the best treatments I have had in a hotel spa. It is an excellent beginning to our stay and relatively good value at 150 Euros..
Soon after I am finished in the spa, our room is ready and our bags already delivered to it, so we unpack, before heading back to the pool area. There is one large unheated pool and a smaller, deeper heated pool, on an expansive terrace with a bar/food outlet at one end. We don’t even have to move from our loungers to order refreshing drinks and snacks. All the staff around the pool area are attentive and chatty, carrying on the good vibes of those at reception.
The Majestic must be one of the few hotels on Santorini to have views both north to the volcanic caldera that defines the island and across the interior to the south coast, and its position, 500m from busy Fira, gives its a sense of peace and seclusion.
Full facility luxury hotel
Apart from the pools and wellness spa, the extra space afforded by the hotel being slightly out of town means it can also incorporate an array of extra facilities that make it particularly attractive to families. There is an outdoor playground which we used when the girls were younger and a fully equipped games room – with billiards, table football, darts board and an air hockey table – that we use now that the kids are teens.
My oldest also visits the air-conditioned gym a couple of times during our stay and I make use of the sauna.
Then there is the sunset champagne lounge, above the pools, and the onsite Greek restaurant Crocus, meaning that we don’t even have to leave the hotel for a memorable dinner. Among the dishes we try at Crocus are a pastry wrapped feta cheese topped with pistachio nuts and honey, summer linguini with gambi shrimp and spices and a delicate sea bass fillet.
Probably most impressive at the Majestic Hotel is the breakfast spread, in the indoor/outdoor Capparis restaurant. It would be quicker to list what isn’t available here than the extensive choice of what is, from cheese and eggs from the hotel’s organic farm, to delicious Greek pastries, an array of cold meats and sweet treats and for those that so desire, chilled sparkling wine or juices to wash it all down with. Coffees are made to order too.
Our volcano Seaview room is brightly painted and at 27sqm spacious enough for the three of us, with two large beds and a veranda from which to enjoy the panorama out toward the Santorini caldera. This was the same volcano that produced one of human history’s most powerful eruptions, in 1600BC, wiping out the Minoan civilisation not only at Akrotiri, on this island, but also on Crete, 140 kilometres away. It is said that the eruption created a tsunami with waves up to 200m high and blocked out the sun for three months.
These days it all looks tame enough but it is still active, although volcanologists believe that they are able to track seismic activity closely enough to give two weeks notice to enable evacuation of Santorini and other islands. Our veranda is well situated to capture the sunset directly behind the caldera and we watch as the fiery orb, that shines for over 300 days a year over these islands, descends into the Aegean Sea.
The Majestic at night is quite a sight, with the pools ablaze with blue light and the complex full of atmospheric lighting delineating walkways and cozy alfresco alcoves. If you do want to explore the nearby Fira shops and restaurants then the hotel shuttle bus is usually available to drop you there and pick you up, and will also transfer guests to the airport, on departure. Yet, the Majestic feels like such a warm, convivial space in which relaxation is the first, second and only thing that comes to mind and so staying put is always an attractive option..