Soulful Santorini – Hotel Review: Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort

Consider the medieval village of Megalahori for your next stay on iconic Santorini

Words by Vanessa Hollidge
Photos by Kate Mitrevski, SmartfFyer @escapestylist

As Santorini’s original five-star hotel, Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort offers a luxurious and rich cultural experience that is both intimate and considered. A short trip from the bustling crowds in Oia, it is tucked away in the medieval village of Megalochori – one of the island’s most historic and beautiful townships famed for its historic 17th-century mansions, pirate hideaways and cobbled streets.

What was once a traditional winery four centuries ago forms the foundations of Vedema, where original Cycladic architectural features and exceptional guest amenities are delivered seamlessly across a stunning series of rooms and private suites. Weaved in amongst the gorgeous accommodations, guests can also enjoy two infinity pools, as well as guest-only al fresco restaurants and bars, and a beautifully curated store.

During our stay, we revelled in the privacy and comfort of the Dorian Suites, which we highly recommend to solo travellers and couples. For families and larger groups, Vedema’s collection of suites and villas will exceed expectations. Newly added two- and three-bedroom villas to extend the available offerings this summer season, alongside existing accommodations sleeping up to seven guests and with floor spaces between 70-150 sqm. The connected nearby Nafsika Estate, also accommodates larger groups across five rooms, with exclusive attached amenities including a private sea-facing pool, and a private helicopter pad.

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With award-winning executive chef Olivier Campanha at the helm Vedema’s restaurant offerings are exceptional. Menus celebrate local ingredients and deliver deliciously and elegant dishes that give a gentle nod to tradition. Campanha’s ethos is perfectly encapsulated by an evening at signature restaurant, Alati, where from the moment you walk in the warm welcome and showstopping surrounds set the tone for a memorable evening.

Alati Terrace | Source: Vedema

Set against the striking backdrop of a cave carved into the stone – originally a wine cellar – Alati is staged with rustic tables, candles, and lighting, complemented by locally produced ceramics and modern tableware. We opted to eat à la carte and enjoyed every morsel put in front of us, however can’t let the opportunity pass to make special mention of the Kokoras and Stin Gastra, and to recommend having a glass of sparkling from Santo Wines to start. Santo Wines were the first to craft the traditional-method Assyrtiko sparkling wine, with vines uniquely grown close to the ground across the island.

Alati, interior | Source: Vedema
Good Old Times Swordfish Carpaccio | Source: Vedema
Alati dining | Source: Vedema
Citrus Love | Source: Vedema

An ideal base from which to explore Santorini, Megalochori is also the perfect place to adventure around on foot from the hotel, with tavernas, shops and galleries interspersed with traditional Greek village life and a multitude of churches. Under the guidance of the excellent concierge team, we were directed to Symposion Santorini, a music and cultural centre that currently hosts multiple immersive experiences throughout the season. We joined the midday Mythical Music Presentation & Historical Tour, where music, art and mythology are brought to life in a beautifully restored winery.

From June through to the end of October, an exciting new initiative will see Vedema’s parent brand, Empiria Group as the exclusive partner and sponsor of the 1st Biennale of Contemporary Keramics 2024 (BCK), launching with the inaugural theme of “Clay Echoes: Unearthing Hidden Narratives” in Santorini. Under the Patronage of H.E. President of the Hellenic Republic Ms. Katerina Sakellaropoulou, this exciting new art initiative will see 20 original works by 20 different artists exhibited in the emblematic Museum of Prehistoric Thira.

The artists were invited to be inspired by the findings of prehistoric Akrotiri, the archaeological site in the south of the island, where the ruins of a

prehistoric city of great cultural importance have been uncovered. Their works will be showcased next to the thousand ceramic vessels, tools, figurines, ritual objects, and furniture that was uncovered in the ancient settlement; and the exhibition will be complemented by an exciting program with parallel events, projects, exhibitions, and workshops for both artists and the local community.

For a Santorini experience filled with unparalleled hospitality, culture and serenity, Vedema is the ideal place to escape to on one of Greece’s most beautiful islands.

 

Kate Mitrevski is SmartFlyer. View Kate’s Instagram profile here.

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