With ‘isolation vacations’ booming, holidaymakers can now rent the luxurious Istoria hotel in Santorini and have it all to themselves. Rose Dykins reports
As travellers get used to social distanced holidays, the popular Greek island of Santorini presents a challenge. Its maze of white-walled boutique hotels – each with a handful of rooms – makes it difficult to find somewhere secluded to stay. So, to meet travellers’ demands for more privacy after Covid-19, the five-star Istoria hotel can now be hired exclusively.
For the sum of €80,000 per week, a single group can rent the entire 12-suite hotel and have the former stately home all to themselves.
Guests benefit from all the trimmings of of a five-star hotel, combined with the feel of staying in a private luxury villa. This includes in-house staff delivering a chef service, housekeeping and spa therapists, who are trained to meet current health and safety standards.
Set along the black sands of Perivolos beach – to the south of Santorini – Istoria’s name comes from the Greek word for “story.” A member of Design Hotels, Istoria first opened in 2018, when it was repurposed out of the ruins of an abandoned mansion, including its five horse stables.
Rustic terracotta, wood and concrete textures are juxtaposed with fresh, modern furnishings. The building’s traditional Cycladic design – with white-washed walls and smooth-edge corners – creates a minimalist aesthetic that feels current yet historical.
Istoria’s individually designed suites combine architectural features from the original estate with an airy contemporary feel. Each one has a private terrace with greenery, and most have private hot tubs or pools.The hotel’s Mr E Restaurant is headed up by Alexandros Tsiotinis, who made his name working in Copenhagen’s Michelin-starred Noma restaurant.
Seasonal Mediterranean cuisine and freshly caught seafood are served to guests al fresco, with canopies billowing above the wooden tables, and black sand underfoot.
The treatments at Istoria’s Elios spa use only local, organic resources. There are two treatment rooms offering body wraps, facials and massages, as well as an outdoor relaxation pool. Meanwhile, Istoria’s outdoor pool is lined with vibrant green artisan tiles and has sleek sunken bar.Proving that hotel buy-outs are an emerging trend in the age of Covid-19, Velas Resorts’ beachfront Mar del Cabo is available exclusively for US$9,960 a night. This includes a free one-hour cocktail party with a guacamole bar, private access to the beach and a pool.
Mar del Cabo has 46 one- and two-bedroom suites and two penthouses with in-suite kitchenettes, terraces with sitting area and separate living areas with sofas.
At the same time, in the Himalays, Shakti 360 Leti (available from October to April each year) can be taken exclusively (based on eight people) for seven nights from US$76,216.
This includes private accommodation in four private guest pavilions on a fully inclusive basis all activities, accompanying English speaking guide, private chef, support guide and porters, a car and taxes, as well as return transfers between Kathgodam station/Pantnagar airport, village houses and Leti.Blue Apple Beach, on the beautiful island of Tierra Bomba, Cartagena, is also available as a private hotel for up 20 guests. An exclusive buy-out costs £4,500 per night on a bed and breakfast basis and includes up to £2,250 towards food and drinks.
The Six Senses Zil Pasyon hotel on Felicité Island in the Seychelles can be booked exclusively for a week via Turquoise Holidays from €330,000 for up to 20 guests.
This includes espoke full-board dining, total privacy, full access to the island and resort facilities, and a host of experiences available once per week such as blue water fishing, guided snorkelling, sustainable marine educational evenings, and a sunset tasting of Billecarte Salmon champagne and Provence Rosé with the team.
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