Meglachori, Santorini, Greece
5 nights points redemption
After arriving at Santorini Airport, we went to find the Avis Rental Car counter, where I had a reservation for a car for the 5 days we would be in Santorini. However, when coming into the small rental car area, we only saw Sixt, Hertz, Budget, and a couple others. But no Avis. I walked up to the Budget desk, where the clerk was chiefing away on a cigarette. I asked him, “where is Avis?” He responded, “outside.” We went outside, and saw many people with name placards picking people up. But no Avis. But then in the corner of my eye, I saw a guy wearing an Avis jacket. Sure enough it was the Avis guy, and he along with another colleague, were checking people outside on the curb. Like literally sitting down on the curb. Haha! The Avis guy was very friendly, and after a few minutes we were away in our car. We were told that on return, we should park anywhere at the airport, leave the key under the seat, and leave the doors unlocked. How about that for a return?
It was a 15 minute drive to the Vedema in Meglachori. Meglachori is a small village on the island of Santorini. It kind of reminds me a yet-publicized Vernaza in Cinque-Terre Italy. It was beautiful. We cruised through the narrow cobble-stone and volcanic-stone streets, until we reached the Vedema.
We parked next to the front up on the sidewalk, and went to check-in. A very friendly front desk clerk named Christina welcomed us and went through the check-in formalities. She acknowledged our Platinum status, but noted that regrettably no upgrade rooms were available due to relatively high occupancy. For the check-in amenity, we were offered 500 Starwood points, or breakfast. Considering the breakfast costs 35Euro per Day, per Person, and you get the full breakfast as the check-in amenity, we went for that. Can you imagine? That right there is an almost $500 benefit of having status with Starwood.
Christina walked us to our room, Theta-2, which had a beautiful vineyard view. It was a Dorian Suite, which is their standard room, and each one is unique.
Entrance to our room, Theta-2.
Beautiful marble was everywhere. The room had a sofa, coffee table, king bed, spacious bathroom, and comfortable outdoor private patio.
The hotel had sent some local Rose wine, a fresh fruit tray, and a hand-written note to our room to welcome us. That was a very nice touch!
The bathroom had a full tub, marble sink, and full rain shower. It was very comfortable and relaxing over our 5 nights here.
A view of our vienyard at night from the private back patio.
I had reserved the hotel in December 2012, before Starwood’s most recent devaluation. We got it for 20,000 points per night, and with four nights Starwood gives you the fifth night free. So 5 nights for 80,000 SPG points total. To us this was a great value for a room and breakfast that can often go for 500 Euros per night or more!
We were exhausted, and went right to sleep in the very comfortable bed. We slept for almost 11 hours, it was some of the best sleep I had a long time. We were quite refreshed the next day to face the tough job of lounging on the beach.
Speaking of the beach, Santorini has dozens of beautiful beaches, many are black sand. Meglachori and the Vedema are in a small village inland. However, the Vedema has contracted with the Black Rose beach club to let its guest use the chaise lounges, umbrellas, and facilities there. You could order drinks or food there, and charge it to your room. And the Vedema even has a shuttle to get you back and forth. For us, it was a 10 minute drive in our rental car.
The Black Rose Beach Club, with flags for the two Starwood properties served there, the Vedema and Mystique.
Some shots of the Vedema. This one here shows the public area near the spa, which had a unique sculpture. In the distance is another courtyard which has the entrance to the restaurant, which is in a 400 year old wine cellar.
Views of entrances to some of the other suites at the Vedema.
At 70 Euros per couple, the breakfast is normally very steep. Since we had it free as a virtue of SPG Platinum status, we enjoyed it extensively each of the 5 days we were there. We were informed that the hotel was showcasing a “Greek Breakfast” as of late, and I snapped a photo of the menu.
The fabulous fruit station as part of the breakfast.
The cheese and meat zone which I loaded up on each morning.
The wait staff would take your drink order and then you could help yourself to the buffet. I usually went for an espresso or hot tea, and Lady Tocqueville a cafe Americano or Cappuccino.
We enjoyed five blissful days exploring Santorini and relaxing in the comforts of this fabulous resort.