Ilivatos is exactly like the photos, and even better if that is possible. Truly a gem and perfect in every way. Exceeded any expectations we have, and this was after a long flight from the US to Vienna, then Athens, then another layover waiting for flight to Santorini. First review I've ever posted on Trip Advisor in years of surfing. Fyi, the house is in tons of paintings and postcards, since it is located very near the famous blue dome church. We all purchased artwork to remind us of our five days there.
Raymont met us, carried all our luggage through the narrow, crowded streets of Oia and provided us with everything we could need. We chose this over a cheaper/newer roomier five bedroom on outskirts of Oia, and we are so glad we did! Easily housed ten of us, 6 adults, 2 teenagers, 2 smaller kids. We all loved it. It is truly a Santorini/Oia experience since house is built into the cliffside. All the reviews about how fabulous ilivatos is are true, and Irene and Raymont make it special. They are not owners, and the place has only been renting less than two years, so not many reviews. Here are details that may be helpful:
Ilivatos.com--site has all layouts, and it's how you book/submit deposit. I was nervous booking since there's no credit card guarantee like trip advisor and only a few reviews posted, but it's the only way. Though you can find via trip advisor, you cannot book through there (my booking request via Trip advisor lapsed, and, only upon contacting Irene via email, did I realize how to book).
Rooms--terrific. Exactly as plans describe. Small by US standards but roomier than hotel rooms. Bathrooms are tight, no counter space, and basic, but one can see from photos posted on their website. I stayed in Ilivatos A specifically, but i saw all the rooms. If you have room in your suitcase, bring one of those over the door, clear shoe organizers, which proved to be very helpful throughout greece. A/C in all the rooms, very comfortable. (note hot water is incredibly hot).
Irene--Person who communicates with reservations and lives in Athens. Everything one could ask for. Responds promptly, gives you a confirmation, arranges pick up at airport (via a commercial bus), provides you emergency phone numbers, answers all questions even stuff about Athens and Oia.
Raymont--Lives in Santorini. He greets you and stops by 3x a day--morning (whatever time you tell him) to give you breakfast and to put up the blue shades, find out when you are leaving so he can come clean the rooms, wash dishes from breakfast, etc. Comes by in the evening to roll up the shades and answer any questions. English is great. He provided a true Greek breakfast with 3 kinds of yogurt, fruit, juices, delicious bread and spreads. When you walk out of your room, the table is set, the breakfast is spread out with a fantastic view--truly luxurious. When he saw one of the families was purchasing eggs, pastries and sausages for their children, he went and picked up (family cooked it). Sugared donuts were a hit. He basically goes to the market every morning and busy fresh, so you can specify what you want. He will carry all your luggage to the bus station arrival and departure. We had 8 heavy pieces among the ten of us, and he made several trips. Wouldn't hear of us helping, though he is not super young (mid-40s). He lives close by (we accidentally discovered that he owns one of the shops on the main street when we were browsing), so easily reachable. He is incredibly hardworking and does everything imaginable to make your stay perfect. Very affable, discreet and detailed. Our friends have stayed in houses at Barcelona and Florence, and said they never had a person like Raymond. For them, he made the trip.
Helpful Details: Coffee machines in both kitchens with pods. Luxury toiletries provided on first day, towels (linens, too?) were replaced mid-way on our four day visit. Wifi worked great. Terrace was wonderful and just the highlight with the view. We ended up staying up late many evenings. I was nervous that my 9 year old would trip and fall over the ledge, though it never came close to happening.. Airport shuttle transportation included even when we arrived in different times/groups. Breakfast included. There is a washing machine in Ilivatos House B, but you have to line dry on terrace for fellow guests to see. Bear in mind that since Ilivatos is built into the cliffside, you are climbing about 20 steep steps up and down, not including the climbing through the streets of Oia. Hard to tell from maps, but you really are right in Oia. Despite what they say in TA forums about Oia, there are mosquitos (at least in July) Not a lot, but we each got at least one bite every evening.
If you don't rent the entire place, you do share the terrace with the other adjoining house. I think it would be tight, but I guess it could work.
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Four days at the Oia, Santorini paradise named Ilivatos. Ilivatos.com
Azure skies meeting crystalline waters.
Blue-domed churches hugging the hills.
Steps from the sunset.
Breakfast served with flair and a smile.
Caring staff ready to help you experience the vacation of a lifetime.
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An easy 10/10 score. My wife and 6 friends stayed here for 4 days recently. Cannot fault it, location, cleanliness, traditional rooms, services, and our host Raymond all perfect. Raymond obviously takes pride in his work and also goes out of his way to provide the best service and quality of stay. Will definitely be back and would recommend this to anyone looking for an unforgettable stay.
This house is straight out of a Santorini fairytale.
Raymund met us at the airport so we could follow him as not to get lost. He then proceeded to take luggage through winding steep stairs. He was there every morning to make our breakfast which always had fresh bread, fruits, yogurt, etc. He would come in the evenings to take down the umbrellas and awnings so our view could be fully appreciated. On out last day we were nicely surprised he came to make breakfast and once again carry our luggage away while we ate.
This villa has a beautiful view of the Aegean and the homes and churches on the hillside. This town Oia is the best place to stay and has great restaurant.
If ever (hopefully so) in Santorini again we will definitely stay here.
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