Santorini’s state of grace: the Grace Hotel in Imerovigli, Greece
The award-winning, Auberge Resorts Collection-managed Grace Hotel lives up to its name, especially now as it reopens with fresh interior design and a lively culinary programme. The 20-room sanctuary in the quaint village of Imerovigli encompasses a luxurious two-bedroom villa, appealingly appointed suites, and partnerships with Athens’ most innovative culinary and cocktail creators. The newest marquée amenity, however, is programming that promises immersion into the local Ægean culture and opportunities for guests to explore the Greek islands’ creativity, cuisine and culture at and beyond the property.
The refreshed private two-bedroom villa is laid out in the spirit of the Mediterranean’s laid-back seaside lifestyle, blurring the indoors with its clean lines, whitewashed furniture and luxurious natural materials. The exclusive dwelling is outfitted with unique amenities like its own spa with a traditional hammam, full kitchen, swimming pool, wine and cigar cellar and dedicated butler. Villa guests can reach true indulgence with exclusive activities like sunset yoga on the private terrace, cooking classes in the state-of-the-art kitchen or massages and facials in the spa.
The experiences’ programme, open to all guests, is driven by authentic local traditions and secret Santorini spots. Culinary experiences include honey tastings, private sunset picnics, and cooking classes with a Greek yaya (grandmother). Crafting classes include Greek sandal-making and pottery, while adventure excursions include jet-ski safaris, hidden hikes with a local guide, and scuba diving the crystal clear waters and volcanic reefs.
Chef Lefteris Lazarou, who earned one of Greece’s first Michelin stars, brings the flavours and presentation of his popular Athens restaurant, Valroulko Seaside, to the property with the opening of his second restaurant, Valroulko Santorini. Lazarou has earned his reputation in part through his passion for sourcing superior materials and experimenting with modern technique. His protégé, Komninos Mouflouzelis, will interpret the Valroulko philosophy as the resort’s new head chef, bringing together an entirely Mediterranean menu balanced by organic produce, local grains, herbs and spices, but primarily driven by fresh seafood. Varoulko Santorini also boasts the island’s most exceptional vantage point for sunset views in a completely reimagined contemporary space for indoor and outdoor dining.
‘Santorini has long served as a place of inspiration for me,’ explains Lazarou. ‘It is a dream realized to collaborate with Grace Hotel and the culinary visionaries at Auberge Resorts Collection. Varoulko Santorini will marry the island’s freshest flavours with the artistry of Athens for a truly unforgettable fine dining experience rooted in the surrounding land and sea.’
The restaurant is complemented with the 363 Bar, reimagined by international acclaimed barkeep Thanos Prunarus, whose Baba Au Rum is known as the birthplace of Athens’ cocktail culture and a fixture on the ‘World’s 50 Best Bars’ list. His new avant-garde menu, featuring some of the best spirits from around the world, celebrates Santorini’s island setting by placing a heavy emphasis on rum. Guests can now enjoy unusual tiki and rum cocktails from Baba Au Rum’s original menu as well as libations crafted exclusively for the hotel. Better still, the 363 Bar is open to guests outside of the hotel and features a lite bites menu by Lazarou.
‘Very little has been unveiled to the world about the Greek Islands’ unique local culture. In débuting the reimagined Grace Hotel experience, each guest’s stay is deliberately designed for the ultimate immersion in our stunning destination,’ sums up George Avgoustis, general manager of Grace Hotel, Auberge Resorts Collection. ‘Santorini has a greater story to tell, and our team is honoured to convey it through the Auberge lens of creative culinary, nourishing wellness and authentic local experiences.’
For more information, visit the Auberge Resorts and the Grace Hotel website.