Sweet Nectar Villa Santorini – a Review
Sweet Nectar Villa in the traditional Santorini village of Pyrgos was the first place I stayed in Santorini. I’m glad I stayed here as the village is laid back and casual. Pyrgos is definitely worth a half-day trip and is a lovely place to stay.
Because I’m forever booking accommodation last minute I nabbed a double discount through Booking.com. I got my 20% Genius bonus for being a regular user. And then there was some kind of “Getaway Deal” discount too. So I unintentionally ended up with a lovely big villa (for Santorini) with a jacuzzi to boot.
Unfortunately, the spa was a bit of a letdown but I’ll get to that in a minute.
Arriving at Sweet Nectar Village
The check-in process wasn’t great. After selecting the one-hour time slot that I would be arriving at, the property emailed asking me to say precisely when I would get there. It’s difficult to be exact when you’re getting the ferry as they’re so often late. Plus I had to pick up a hire car and sorting all that out can take varying lengths of time.
I responded with the repeated answers to their questions. But the next day the manager that was to check me in called to find out when I was arriving. So I gave my plans for the third time which was a bit frustrating. The manager asked me to call her when I was leaving the port and she would meet me for check-in
It would have been helpful if the manager had explained then that the villa wasn’t super easy to find. (If you go, head for Cava Alta restaurant and it’s just behind that. The red door on the corner near the outside seating area). And also where the nearest parking was.
I called before I left the port, as requested and left a voicemail. I was looking forward to getting into the villa as I’d been travelling for about 5 hours. The ferry had been late and the car hire process wasn’t ideal either. (Yes, I’m overtired, stressed out and low in tolerance at the moment!)
I followed the directions from Google Maps. But when I got close to the villa I was being sent around in circles. I tried called the manager again. She told me to park in the place that 5 minutes before I’d made a U-turn. It was only then that she told me to meet her at Brusco cafe and not directly at the villa. So, back I went. Past the donkeys and into the free-for-all parking.
Steps and Hills
Pyrgos is lovely but know that it’s built on a hill. It’s quite a steep climb up to the villa. After waiting outside Brusco for a bit the manager came. I was grateful that she helped take one of my bags up the steps.
There are donkeys on the corner near the car park and people do use them to bring their suitcases up the hill. If you can manage without I’d recommend doing so.
First impressions of Sweet Nectar Villa
As we opened the door from the street and went into the terrace my first impression was a bit underwhelming. The courtyard in the photos on the website looked vibrant and colourful with cushions and plants. In reality, there was a couple of plastic plants, a dead stick of something in a pot. In the middle, was a weather-worn table and chairs.
After what felt like a bit of an epic journey from Mykonos, I was ready to sit down. I noticed on the listing the accommodation provided water and fruit on arrival. (I notice these things on the booking because all the goodies are my favourite.
Especially in Greece where the fruit can be amazing!) I was looking forward to that and taking a moment before having to go back down the hill for supplies.
Unfortunately, the promised fruit was nowhere to be seen. But there was a bottle of water. Like in many of the islands, the water from the tap isn’t ideal to drink in Santorini.
As soon as you walk into the villa you can smell the spa. The other thing I noticed was the humidity. A few people mentioned this on the Booking.com reviews as well. There were two dehumidifiers in the house that ran constantly. They did need to be emptied during my stay but not as often as I expected, actually.
Otherwise, the accommodation was spacious and elegant.
There was a really unique wall of exposed volcanic stone. It had little alcoves filled with trinkets and pictures of religious icons, significant to the area.
Even though it’s a cave house the ceiling was high and it felt airy. There was a room above the bedroom that wasn’t in use but made for the extra height. The double doors at the entrance have screens (which didn’t close properly) but worked nonetheless.
Off the living room were the bedroom, the kitchen and the stairs to the lower level.
There was a decent kitchen with a nice hob and cooker. The fridge was full size and there was a big kitchen table and chairs in the room.
There were plenty of cups, plates, glasses and dishes as well as some saucepans. The main thing missing was knives. There was only one that wasn’t a butter knife. And that was a somewhat blunt bread knife. A couple of proper kitchen knives would have been good.
Note there is also a working washing machine. It’s not listed on the Booking page. I think because the owners don’t want to provide detergent or anything in the way of drying facilities. But I was expecting to have to go out and find a laundrette so I was grateful for it. The downside was having to buy a pack of 38 washing tablets for a 3-night stay!
On that note, there’s an iron in the bedroom. But it’s a really crappy, tiny travel iron and there’s no board. I get frustrated when staying in these lovely places that then skimp on things like this. I was wearing a linen dress to a photo shoot and needed to iron it. But trying to iron a long dress (I’m 5’9) is quite difficult on the bed. As soon as I’d ironed one bit the other got creased.
The bed is super comfortable and it was nice to curl up in. There is a small hanging space with a decent number of hangers as well as some drawers. So space to unpack. It was nice to have a couple of bathrobes provided. Size large and just about big enough for me.
There was also a dehumidifier in the bedroom. It’s quite loud but I saw it as white noise so it didn’t bother me at night. There’s no air con in the bedroom. But in September I managed with just the living room unit on for a bit before bed. I left the doors open and it mostly did the trick.
The ensuite bathroom here is nicely done. There’s a rainfall shower and a handheld head. Hot water is available on-demand at any time of day or night. There was a selection of Ativia branded products which is a popular natural range.
The spa area
Down the steps into the lower part of the house (I’d say basement except it’s also at street level!) is the spa. The whole area is a nice space to relax in. It has a sunken seating area with waterproof cushions and a huge TV. There’s also a normal sofa and a small toilet and shower area.
The disappointing thing was that the spa water was cold. I thought perhaps it was because it was so hot over the summer, they’d left the water temperature lower. But the second night I stayed it was roasting. Almost a bit too hot to get in.
What’s annoying is that I didn’t see when booking but many of the reviews mentioned this. Looks like it’s been a problem since 2019. I had to message the manager about something and then she asked if I needed anything else. I asked her then if the temperature was on some kind of system or if the water had warmed up because I’d kept the glass door closed on the second day.
She sent someone round to fix the temperature as the third day it was cold again. It got a bit warmer but was still cooler than it should have been. I reckon it was about 29 – 30 degrees. More like a warm swimming pool than something you’d want to sit still in.
Although I’ve moaned a bit I did quite enjoy staying at Sweet Nectar Villa. I would stay again but I’d want to know the spa was fixed. The village location was nice although there are still people walking around the house and can see into the top terrace. If they’re tall enough they can see into the courtyard too! So it’s not utterly private and remote, but way quieter than Oia or Fira.
Find Sweet Nectar Villa on Booking.com
If you’d like to see the details of Sweet Nectar Villa on Booking then can you find it here.