Perivolas Hideaway: Your Private Aegean Paradise
(Originally published as a feature article on Elite Traveler)
To the elite traveler, privacy is paramount. The prospect of finding an idyllic venue to reconnect with family and friends, far from the bustling cities and boardrooms of everyday existence and the see-and-be-seen hotels and restaurants, draws you to the far reaches of the world. Since opening in the 1970s, Perivolas hotel in Oia, Santorini has epitomized intimate service in a meditative, peaceful environment. With its traditional white cave-houses, world-class restaurant, and infinity pool that spills down to the thousand-foot cliffs that encircle the magnificent caldera—a volcanic crater sunk into the Aegean in the Minoan age—Perivolas has long defined pared-down luxury for the sophisticated traveler. Its quiet supremacy in the boutique luxury market has, over the years, gained Perivolas a loyal, international, and high-profile clientele and countless awards in the travel world, including recognition as the top hotel in Greece and Turkey in 2013 and sixth in the world on Condé Nast Traveler for 2013. No hotel has graced the cover of Condé Nast Traveler more frequently than Perivolas, and there are few hotels that have been featured on the Gold List as many times.
For elite travelers seeking an unparalleled level of discrete indulgence while maintaining the legendary service and ambiance of Perivolas, the hotel’s new private house, Perivolas Hideaway, is a personalized Aegean idyll. Kostis and Maria Irini Psychas, son and daughter of Nadia Psychas, founder of Perivolas, are poets of austere luxury. Nautical architect by training and consummate seafarer, Kostis discovered the site of what was to become Perivolas Hideaway while diving in a secluded cove on the coast of Thirassia, one of the larger islands that rings Santorini’s caldera. Over the next few years, Kostis led a team of builders to convert the 1850s pumice mine on the site, then just a partially standing structure of volcanic rock, into a magnificent private house with magnificent white interiors, elegant rounded archways (a nod to the Psychas family’s nautical roots), and minimalist furnishing. Their tireless efforts—supplies and materials had to be ported over by sea—were rewarded with a European Prize of Architecture, and the Hideaway has been featured in Elle Décor, Condé Nast Traveler, Cote Sud, and both German and French Architectural Digest.
A stay at the four-bedroom house means exclusive use of the property and facilities, giving the Hideaway the distinct feel of a private island. The property includes a king-size suite separated from the main house, surrounded on three sides by the Aegean and accessible only by private speedboat or helicopter. A full-time skipper can whisk you to the port (three minutes from the Hideaway) at a moment’s notice, and the staff also includes a masseuse and beauty therapist, full staff, and bartender. The roof of the house doubles as an expansive terrace that offers breathtaking views of Santorini and Oia—the ideal setting for al fresco dining prepared by a private chef and served by a full wait staff, and later in the evening, stargazing with a glass of local white wine to the sound of lapping water. Perivolas Hideaway also features a steam room and spa area, indoor Jacuzzi, salt-water pool, and PADI diving center, as well as all of the amenities and connectivity one would expect at a luxury house of this measure. For the adventurous among you, Perivolas Hideaway offers access to a Hobby Cat 21 Open-cruising sailboat (Sunseeker 40 Superhawk), two inflatable rib-boats (Hood 38), sea kayaks, water-skis, wakeboards, windsurfing equipment, as well as everything you need for snorkeling and diving.