News
Skaros Rock
When our guests arrive here at Astra Suites, they are always amazed by the imposing “Skaros” and inevitably ask us all about it… Not only is it strikingly beautiful and unique, it has a very interesting history as well! And no, this is not a volcano standing right in front of your door, so please don’t worry… In fact, this dramatic rock sculpture is actually the medieval capital of Santorini! Once home to a powerful and strategic fortified castle, it was also densely blanketed by many public and private structures that constituted the business and administrative heart of the island. In modern times, as it remains, it is simply the most impressive landmark of our tiny village of Imerovigli, and it can be seen clearly from our current capital of Fira and almost the entire volcanic caldera side of the island. Follow the ancient paths to Skaros and you will always find your way back home here to Astra! The fortified settlement of Skaros was recognized for the first time by mapmakers in 1421. Observers in the 17th century reported that its unique position made it solidly immune to attack from foreign invaders as well as pirates. On the very top of its cone was its ruling hub, thoughtfully protected by a retractable wooden bridge. There was a dense population of islanders living and working on the massive rocky surface and many paths of transport weaving about like a labyrinth. There existed two castles, one above and one below, the upper built by Venetians who took control of the island in 1207. The lower castle was built in the 17th century and was occupied by various factions including the Orthodox church, and situated nearby was the monastery of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors vital to the Aegean culture. But soon after began a slow exodus from Skaros due to generally difficult living conditions, a crumbling infrastructure due to earthquakes, and the fact that invaders and pirates were no longer such an imminent danger. By the end of the 18th century Fira had become the modern and thriving capital of the island it remains today. An adventurous hike to the Skaros reveals the remnants of a few medieval settlements and include a visit to the still existing Church of Ioannis Apokefalistheis on the opposite side of the rock, not visible from Astra but from the sea it is quite a sight. Easily accessed from our property, an exploration of our stately Skaros by foot is a great opportunity for unique vistas, important island history, and a great workout too! Feel free to visit the Astra Suites reception desk for more information and advice on hiking our fascinating Skaros rock!
2017 Classic Europe Independent Hotel Partner of the Year
Astra Suites Wins 2017 Classic Europe Independent Hotel Partner of the Year. Astra Suites is proud to have won the title ‘Independent Hotel Partner of the Year 2017’ at the Classic Vacations Awards. The Classic Vacations Awards Ceremony took place on the 4th December as part of the 2017 International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), Cannes. Mr George Karayiannis, Manager Director of Astra Suites, collected the award on behalf of the hotel. Mr Karayiannis stated; ’it is an honour and a pleasure to receive this accolade, which would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the small but skilled Astra Suites team. A hotel is only as good as its people, and I feel privileged to work with such genuine, warm and welcoming professionals every day.  We look forward to living up to the reputation of this award, and to welcoming new and returning guests for the coming season’. The Classic Europe Independent Hotel Partner of the Year title will compliment Astra Suites’ existing portfolio of prestigious awards, including Greece’s Leading All Suite Hotel 2016 and 2017 (World Travel Awards) and Best Hotel for Romance 2017 (Conde Nast Johansens Awards).
Astra Suites Wins Gold at Greek Hospitality Awards 2018
Astra Suites is proud to have been awarded gold in the category of ‘Best Greek Excellence in Service Hotel’ at the Greek Hospitality Awards 2018. Organised by Ethos Media, the Greek Hospitality Awards Ceremony took place on Friday 23rd February at the Divani Apollon Palace, Athens. Mr George Karayiannis, Managing Director of Astra Suites, collected the award on behalf of the hotel. Mr Karayiannis stated: ’Customer service is the backbone of the hotel industry, and here at Astra Suites we are committed to providing authentic and genuine hospitality for each and every guest. We are truly excited to host visitors on our beautiful island of Santorini and are proud to have received this recognition for our level of customer service today’. The Greek Hospitality Awards title will compliment Astra Suites’ existing portfolio of prestigious awards, including Greece’s Leading All Suite Hotel 2016 and 2017 (World Travel Awards) and Best Hotel for Romance 2017 (Conde Nast Johansens Awards).
Astra Suites at the Greek Tourism Awards 2018
Astra Suites is proud to have won Gold at the Tourism Awards 2018, in the category of all-suite hotels. With a nomination promising ‘the magic of Santorini at the ultimate all-suite destination’, Astra Suites impressed judges yet again, proving that the hotel’s combination of quality customer service and fine attention to detail really do provide the best all-suite experience. At a ceremony on the 20th March held at the Hellenic Cosmos Cultural Centre, Athens, Managing Director Mr George Karayiannis collected the award on behalf of the hotel and its staff. He stated, ‘it is a great honour to receive Gold at the Tourism Awards again. Astra Suites is a small hotel, but we are truly dedicated to providing genuine hospitality to each and every guest. Today’s award is dedicated to the hard working of the Astra Suites team, and I look forward to working with them again this year’. The Tourism Award is the second prestigious accolade presented to Astra Suites already this year and adds to the promise of a special 2018 summer season ahead. https://youtu.be/uphnEyPbzM8
Astra Suites at the World Travel Awards 2018
Astra Suites is proud to have been named Greece's Leading All Suite Hotel at the World Travel Awards 2018, for the third consecutive year. This year's glittering Europe Gala Ceremony 2018 took place on Saturday 30th June in a red-carpet event at the Zappeion Megaron Hall, with more than 300 guests representing the elite of the European hospitality industry in attendance. Widely known as the 'Oscars of the travel industry', the World Travel Awards were established in 1993 to celebrate excellence. Today, the awards are recognised as the ultimate global benchmark of exceptional quality. World Travel Awards are the most coveted in the travel & tourism sector, with more than 200,000 industry professionals from around the world participating in the voting process. Accepting the award, Mr George Karayiannis, Managing Director of Astra Suites, said; 'Ιt is such a privilege to be awarded this prestigious title for the third consecutive year in a row, and I would like to extend my warmest thanks to our devoted staff, loyal guests and all those who honoured us with their vote'.