Flying into Santorini Airport, I was shocked that it felt like I was in Lancaster in Antelope Valley. The dry, Mediterranean landscape felt like I was back in Southern California. Granted, there were a few challenges in my mind, based from a weird morning at the Athens Airport.
After being rushed through customs from my flight from Istanbul, Turkey by a Aegean Airline representative, due to the tightness of our connection – we arrived at our gate to Santorini and just – waited.
Literally Aegean Airlines gave 3 – 2 – 1 – 0 fucks about us as customers and our later schedules. In fact, we were made to wait so long, without explanation, that I wondered if I was actually flying to Santorini that morning. After an hour or so, the flight gate agents then demanded that everyone measure and weigh their bags, or else they would be charged.
Mess. Messy pointless power tripping mess. An Indian man went off – and I mean Spirit Airlines OFF – on the gate agents. Apparently, he had enough. Another passenger was literally given plastic bags to put their overweight items in. I remember looking at the mess and thinking to myself – am I flying the Spirit Airlines of the Mediterranean?
The answer was – basically.
And this was after getting off a Turkish Airlines flight, my then least favorite airline of the world. Now, Zipair Airlines has happily taken its place on my mental list.
So, when I arrived at Santorini – a few hours after I’d expected to – I was not in the best mood. I was insanely tired and needed space to breathe. Luckily, because they don’t have Uber on the island, I’d arranged for a driver through the hotel concierge, so I wouldn’t have to worry about taxi scalpers.
Settling into his comfortable Mercedes Sedan, I was still present with the “This is it? This is Santorini, Greece?” feelings. The ride from the airport was short. But, at first sight, the Magma Resort Santorini just looked…. upscale mid. It was designed to blend in with the landscape, surrounded by a spaced out seemingly real residential area.
It was definitely a change of view and pace from the hotel I’d just left, the Hagia Sofia Mansions Istanbul, Curio Collection by Hilton in Istanbul, Turkey.
Day 1: Room #1
Now – during check in, I was utterly exhausted. I asked for my usual room upgrade, as Hyatt was usually good with Globalist status members. I was shocked, even though the hotel had literally just opened – I was not given an upgrade. Instead, I was told to check the next day for availability. Irritated but still trying to maintain decorum, I stated that I wanted to check into my room because I was utterly exhausted from traveling from Turkey.
Now, what unfolded was the most annoying part of travel. The “it will be a few minutes, just wait here” lie. With a tired person, this is just – beyond annoying. First, I was told to wait in the – abet gorgeous and well appointed – lobby. Then, I was escorted upstairs for my welcome drink at the bar. I believe I ordered the MAGMA SUNSET, which was perfect for the warm summer day. But, randomly the day manager came up to me and tried to have a conversation with me. Which again, is fine and good. But, I just wanted my room.
An hour later, I was escorted to room 429. Immediately, I noticed that the room had an unfinished quality about it. Again, it was visually beautiful. But, the bathroom could’ve been designed better than it was. It simply didn’t feel like a room that gave me the full experience of what I intended when I booked the stay.
I had a terrance with a table and chairs. But, the view overlooked other peoples houses, hanging clothes and the Aegean Sea. Again, was it pretty? Yes. However, did I feel satisfied in my expectations? Meh.
But, I didn’t have time to worry about things. I literally had less than two hours before I had to be at the front desk for the Spiridakos Sailing Cruises Sunset Boat Tour I’d booked.
My second day at Magma Resort Santorini, I woke up extremely late. In fact, I slept 13 hours and woke up at 12pm. Sadly, too late for breakfast. But, a perfect time for longing by the pool. I booked a massage treatment for the next day at the hotel spa, Lava Spa. Then, immediately walked down to the pool for some restful relaxation.
Slowly, I got into the vibe the hotel offered. I had to let go (often do) of my expectations and just be in the moment. I swam… who am I kidding. I splish-splashed in the pool, read my Kindle and ate light bites. I basically recharged myself and basked in the Mediterranean energy.
I ordered the SEABASS CEVICHE (Cured Seabass / Bottarga / Greens / Coriander oil / Vanilla Lemon Dressing) and the FRESHLY CUT FRUIT SALAD. I will admit, it was a vibe.
For dinner, one of the staff members of the hotel, Greg, arranged a table for me at one of the quintessential places to view a Santorini sunset, Idol Restaurant Bar in Fira Town, Thira.
Watching the sun set from the terrance, knowing that the people behind me were jealous of my unobstructed sunset view, was an absolutely incredible experience.
Later, after returning to my room, I noticed that my television wasn’t working. I called the front desk and a lovely maintenance worker came to fix the issue. Unfortunately, he left his bag of tools in my room and forgot to come back to get them.
The next day, this was my ticket to a room upgrade.
Day 3: Room #2
Thankfully, on my last morning at the hotel, I was able to savor the delicious experience of the hotel’s buffet.
This, along with the buffet at the Conrad Tokyo and the Conrad Tulum Maya Rivera create my top three buffets in the world. Not counting The Cosmopolitan buffet, or the Cesar’s Palace Buffet – which are simply too big to be counted. The buffet at Magma Resort Santorini had the juiciest cherries, the best fruit and a really high quality selection of items. I also enjoyed the French toast that was made especially for me.
The Magma Resort Santorini has the most beautiful breakfast buffet that I’ve ever experienced. All the cherries that I could eat! Plus, they have a selection of foods that they can make al la carte for you.
My mid afternoon spa service was nice. I truly enjoyed relaxing, post service, by the spa pool, enjoying my tea.
After my massage, I was moved to THE ROOM I SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN, IN THE FIRST PLACE. *cough* The difference between the new room and my old room was night and day.
First, it was more spacious and offered a lovely amount of upgrade involving movable space in the general area of the room.
Second, the television worked straight off.
Third, the bathroom had SPACE TO MOVE. Plus, the room felt finished.
Outside, I loved the daybeds next to the plunge pool. I also loved the view of the trees for semi privacy.
Everything was exactly the way that I thought it should be. It was the little things – the full length mirror, the generous counter space and the separated toilet and shower area. Perfect place for me to get ready for my flying dress photo shoot.
After settling in, I quickly got ready for my Flying Dress Santorini Photo Shoot with Danai at @santoriniphotoshoot in Imeroviglion.
Later, for dinner, the concierge booked me a table at Pacman Sunset Restaurant in Oia, at the Andronis Arcadia hotel.
Day 4: Check Out
The problem is that some spots on the island accept American Express – and some do not. During my stay, the bank did not accept American Express. Which led me to pay for my stay via a Mastercard. I later called Hyatt and received compensation for the foreign transaction fee via points.
Overall, my stay at the Magma Resort Santorini was a mixed bag. I had to be more persistent than I liked in obtaining my room upgrade. Also, the room I was first put in did not match the projected photos on the website. But again, the hotel just opened days before.
Also, you will need a driver to get to the visually appealing parts of Oi, Imerovigli, Fira, etc. I did appreciate that I paid for the driver with my room bill, as I wanted to keep my cash on hand.
Would I recommend Magma Resort Santorini? Due to the distance from high points on the island, my feelings are mixed. Yes, you are away from the high volume areas. Yes, you do have a view of the Aegean Sea. But, the fact that you have to be driven around everywhere is slightly annoying and limits mobility. Also, when I walked out of my first room, I immediately looked onto the porch of a house.
But, it is an incredibly beautiful resort with tasteful details.
Magma Resort Santorini
Santorini, Greece 84700