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TRAVELING IN STYLE.....Postcard from Santorini GREECE, Europe 2012


Santorini Heaven:

Nikos in Greece: Nick Verreos braves the 100+ Degree weather in Oia Santorini Greece

To finish my EUROPE 2012 Blog Postcard, my last stop was the island of Santorini in Greece. If you've been keeping up with my Europe 2012 BLOG Postcards--my NIKOLAKI design partner and I had the honor--and pleasure--of having a fab Fashion Presentation of our COUTURE line NIKOLAKI, in Florence Italy as well as I had a special lecture for the Summer In Italy Program students of Miami University of Ohio. This would be my fourth year being invited to lecture in Florence. Every year, after my lecture, David and I take advantage of being in Europe to get our once-a-year R & R. This year, we zero'ed in on the Greek islands as our beach/pool/do nothing destination. First we went to Mykonos and then it was onto Santorini...

No Business Class in this Ferry--Mykonos to Santorini

A Ferry Ride Adventure: We decided to get to Santorini from Mykonos via a Ferry. For some reason there were no flights from Mykonos to Santorini (only through Athens or Rome--go figure!) so this was pretty much our only option. Taking a ferry/"superjet" is a bit of an adventure: there are no lines to form and when the boat finally comes, it's a mad dash of HUNDREDS of people to get onto it, even though we all had assigned seats so the "mad dash" was useless. The ferry was late--about 2 hrs, so you wait in the burning 100+ degree sun without cover. You should have seen (and heard!) the American Honeymooners and other tourists; they were NOT having any of it (and frankly it was testing my patience). Finally on our way, it then took about four hours to get to Santorni after it stopped in just about every island in the Cyclades! It takes patience, possibly some prescription medicine (for those inclined to not have much patience) and a hand-held battery-operated fan to get through it (there was little air conditioning inside the ferry to top it all off). But David and I arrived--safe and sound to THIS:

 Oia, Santorini Greece

How Do You Say "We Need a Ride to Oia in Greek?": After arriving at the bottom of the island, our "adventure" continued as we bartered with a "Gypsy Bus" to take us to where we were staying (that's a whole other story darlings!). Anyhow, our destination was Oia, the village at the top of the island about an hour from the ferry port. We arrived just as the famous sunset was taking place (it's World renowned!). All we wanted was just to get to our hotel and break open a bottle of wine and laugh off the day's adventure...

The Hotel--A Resort beyond All Others--The Katikies Hotel Oia Santorini:

 Katikies Hotel: entrance signage (top photo), and view from the top of the hotel (bottom photo)

Welcome to Katikies: We booked our stay at the world-famous Katikies Hotel, one of the top rated Santorini hotels/resorts on Trip Advisor and "Travel and Leisure" Magazine's No. 1 ranked "Inn and Small Country Hotel" IN EUROPE! After our ferry-and-bus ride "adventure", we took one look at the view and white-washed hotel and it made us completely forget what we had just been through.

StairClimber: David Paul stops for a breather while walking down to our room at the Katikies Hotel Oia Santorini Greece

The Katikies is absolutely STUNNING! Everything looked like it was from a photo editorial from a fabulous traveler magazine. Not to mention the fact that from the moment we arrived, it was five-star, A-List service. The hotel has only 27 rooms so it feels very private, cozy and exclusive.

Santorini Home: We booked a basic room (which by the way, for Katikies,  is no chopped-liver!) but to our surprise, had been UPGRADED (Thank You Katikies!) to a two-floor Superior Suite with a loft-like set-up: bedroom upstairs, living/sitting room, dining area, walk-in closet and a sumptuous jacuzzi bathroom downstairs.

Speaking of bathrooms, I am a sucker for FAB bath products and Katikies did not disappoint: Bulgari

The Pools:

Cave Spa: The hotel boasts three pools but these two were my favorites: the Cave Jacuzzi, an "Indoor" Jacuzzi, located in a carved-out cave area of the hotel, and...

Infinity Heaven: The "Star" of the hotel--the jaw-droppingly perfect infinity pool. Here, I spent 99% of my time while I stayed in Santorini. If it wasn't for the fact that we had an expansive Superior Suite hotel room AND that pool hours stopped at 9PM, I would have probably SLEPT there too!

Breakfast Katikies Style: Breakfast custom ordered and brought to our very own private deck--Katikies Hotel Oia Santorini Greece

Pool Refreshments: My new favorite "snack"--(top photo) Watermelon with Feta Cheese on top (seriously, the combination was DIVINE!) and "Spicy Tomato Juice" (wink wink!) with olives and nuts to snack on (bottom photo)

In case you are wondering, we did leave the Katikies Hotel (it was VERY DIFFICULT to be pried away from THAT pool, darlings!) to take in Oia: the Greek Orthodox churches and domes, the colors of fences and church facades, the jewelry boutiques:

Precious Accessories: Bracelets, rings...all fabulous and all sooo CHIC--the town of Oia in Santorini is famous for its jewelry stores and all this gorgeous jewelry for women (seen in above photos)--if only I was a "kept" mistress of a billionaire Greek Shipping Heir!

Street Scene: A Bougainvillea tree--Oia Santorini Greece

After only two days of GORGEOUS relaxation in Santorni, it was time to leave this beautiful island and begin our journey back to home--above is our Aegean Airlines Airbus A320 plane arriving at the Santorini Airport to then take us to Rome to begin or way back to LA.

Stewardess Alta Moda: As depressed as I was having to come to the realization that our Business/Relax trip was over--my eyes perked up when, soon after walking into the Alitalia Magnifica Class Lounge at the Rome Fiumicino Airport, I spotted a whole entire wall devoted to Alitalia flight attendant uniforms: I was in Stewardess HEAVEN!! Armani, Florence Marzotto, Alberto Fabiani, Mila Schon, and many more designs--with fashion illustrations and photos. It was (almost) a good way for me to forget about how I wanted to fly back to this:

NIKOLAKI Pool: David Paul and Nick Verreos, enjoying the infinity pool--Katikies Hotel Oia Santorini Greece

YASSOU Santorini--and Good Bye! 'Till next year!

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