OMMA - Santorini
Omma – deriving from the ancient Greek word which means ‘light’ – is an apt name for this peaceful property, which clings to a narrow spit of land that has dramatic caldera views on both sides. It melds organically with its surroundings thanks to clever use of fragrant plants (thyme, rosemary), low-growing olive trees and public areas punctuated by huge chunks of volcanic rock.
What we liked most
There are 30 rooms in five categories: some have jetted plunge pools with tepid water (fine when it’s hot, but chilly out of season). Roofs are domed and decor is white or dove grey, with pops of colour from enlarged photos of local sights on walls. Custom-built concrete desks and tables fit flush to the walls and there are low seats made from painted tree trunks, along with king-size beds and Nespresso coffee machines. Bathrooms are vast caverns, with sinks hewn from chunks of stone and spacious grotto-shaped rain showers.
There are luxuriously fluffy towels and bathrobes, Molton Brown toiletries – thoughtfully, they even provide beach bags and elegant sunhats. Eight small open-plan Premium rooms with beds in alcoves have direct pool access and caldera views.
Larger Residences on two floors have (dingy) lounge areas, but upstairs bedrooms are light and airy with large terraces and jetted plunge pools. Larger Villas have decent-size pools but countryside views are less spectacular. Best for privacy and sea views are the Infinity suites accessed from a private entrance off the main hiking path.
Food and Drink
Breakfast is served out on the breezy sea-view terrace (or in a cramped, windowless room near reception). It's a small buffet: cold cuts, Greek cheese, olives, fresh juices, strong coffee, eggs various ways, lots of local pastries (bougatsa, orange olive oil cake) and a few à la carte options.
Lunch and dinner are served on the same terrace (get there in time for the sunset views). There’s a small menu (changes according to season) but food is inventive. For starters try their modern take on age-old staple pastitsio: cannelloni rolls liberally stuffed with a shredded beef ragout then topped with a creamy smoked graviera béchamel. Six mains include cod with black garlic and a (cloyingly) sweet sauce. Better is the goat from Schinoussa Island served with couscous and lemon thyme foam. Desserts are the chef’s tour de force: the reconstructed pavlova topped with cream and cherry tomato foam between fragile sheets of meringue is luscious.
Services and facilities
Service was one of the best experienced in a Greek hotel: white-clad staff are efficient in delivering orders, always there when you need them, but at the same time are very discreet (not a mean feat in a small hotel with a lot of staff). The welcome package of champagne and fruit is complemented by delightful turndown goodies: handmade chocolates and a tray with a selection of herbal teas; a flask of milk and freshly baked chocolate cookies.
The cosy cave spa has several treatment rooms: one low-domed and one with its own miniature waterfall. Therapists seemed rather inexperienced (lack of, or too much, pressure), but the overall experience was very relaxing. The property’s main focus are the two elevated (unheated) infinity pools with panoramic caldera views, surrounded by comfortable day beds and sturdy sun loungers.
Location: Imerovigli 847 00, Greece.
Hotel website: ommasantorini.com
Hotel phone: +30 2286 025570