Anyone who’s ever been to Santorini will tell you that the island, at least on the side facing into the caldera, has no bad angles. And despite the number of hotels and hostels that bristle along every inch of the steep sides of the volcanic slope, the views of the deep blue Aegean are invariably as unending as they are uninterrupted.
Less common though is a boutique hotel like the Solstice that features only three rooms, their category description sufficiently terse to leave you in no doubt about what you’re getting for your euro – Grande Suite, Honeymoon Suite and Studio.
The architects Dimitra Rafa and Matina Galati have cleaved close to the island’s traditional Cycladic architecture – essentially, spacious caves carved into the rock for protection from the weather, especially the summer’s glowering heat. The interiors are covered with white cement screed and ceramic patterned tiles, and paired with customised furniture that seem to flow out of the very rock, while the exteriors feature black cement screed to reference the colour of the island’s volcanic rock.
There is an almost casual delineation between inside and outside spaces, with each room opening onto a courtyard that’s sheltered by a pergola and anchored by a Jacuzzi and, of course, that dizzying view of sky, caldera and water.
A perfect excuse, in other words, to toast the good life with a shot or two of ouzo.