Now we’ve seen it all. A Santorini luxury boutique hotel has manifested a pimple on top of the island’s highest point, and many in New York City are supposedly cramming into planes to stay in it. No, I am not kidding. Santorini Sky is all the talk of travel media, and Sky Dome is an unsightly bit of marketing fluff I’ve witnessed in decades.
Situated in between a few other villas and accommodations, Santorini Sky is one of the newest stays on Prophet Elias Mountain. On Google Maps, you can see the satellite view of the property under construction next to Voreina Gallery Suites and Flora’s House. As Santorini geography goes, the location is not bad, but the fluffiness of the reviews of the new places just rubs me the wrong way, especially since many of those reviewing the luxury vills seem to have never been there.
God Save the Points describes Santorini Sky as a paradise possessed of “visual drama” in every direction. Be that as it may, the views from Oia are often better, but this is subjective. Gilbert Ott was at the villa last year, and his stay has been publicized reasonably widely. I am not sure whether his visit was complimentary, for paid review, as some kind of influencer campaign by Daniel Kerzner, the property owner, or what. I can’t find a disclaimer saying his several reviews attest to a type of Santorini Nirvana, something the local landscape does not attest to.
But my problem with such glamorous reviews of places not quite as dramatic as they are portrayed is all about my consumer advocacy days. The latest feature of this Santorini Elysium just pushed me over the edge. Forget the fact that writer Lacy Pfalz or her editor keyword-stuffed this Travel Pulse story with “Santorini Sky” 8 times in an article that is only 217 words in length. It’s the pimply Sky Dome the Kerzner smacked in the middle of ancient Thera that got my goat. Pfalz bills it as “the perfect faux-camping experience” and the perfect place to socially distance on the island. Santorini Sky dogma says the glass dome “blurs the lines between indoors and outdoors,” but for me, the unsightliness of a bed in a transparent bubble provokes other thoughts.
The New York Post’s Mark Ellwood only gives Santorini Sky a couple of mentions and a featured image in his story from a few days ago. In his roundup that heralds party time in Greece again, the noteworthy travel expert seems to want readers to think the world is back to normal. Okay, we all hope for this, but “Greek revival: NYC’s favorite European party spot is reopening this week?” Why would anybody write such a story unless he or she were promoting hotels? Maybe Mark is just enthusiastic like me. I do hope the pandemic goes away for good. But back to cases.
Rachel Howard at The Telegraph raves about the architecture, which is fairly normal by Santorini standards. Forbes contributor Lauren Jade Hill highlights the villas as an architectural marvel by architect Vassilis Zorzos as well, so I am wondering if the bed in a pimple addition was his idea too. Afar Travel News Editor Michelle Baran tells her readers everything they need to know about visiting Greece this season. She also mentions Santorini Sky offhand as if she read the news of the property’s opening and wanted to include a new suggestion:
“For a truly luxurious stay in Santorini, the newly opened Santorini Sky offers full-service villas with plunge pools and coastal views.”
In the Architectural Digest story about Greece’s reopening, Mr. Kerzner, Santorini Sky’s owner above, is mentioned right alongside Greece Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis by author Laura Itzkowitz. Talk about a media blitz, this collection of semi-luxurious suites is off the charts media relations-wise. Santorini Sky even graces the pages of Bloomberg, no less.
It all makes sense if the owner of Santorini Sky is the same, Daniel Kerzner, who’s a strategic advisor to Virgin Atlantic and the former VP of Marketing for Marriott International. Let’s face it; if you carry that kind of PR and marketing clout, you can even sell a transparent zit dome plopped down on top of the world’s most famous island and get noticed. Then again, maybe Kerzner just knows how to use HARO.
Should you venture a stay at Santorini Sky? Sure, why not? The rates on their site right now are only 149 euro per night for room only. And if you want to hang out in the Sky Dome for a couple of hours to drink wine, you can book for about 100 euro, or 175 if you’re going to eat too. Unfortunately, all that PR worked for the Master Villa and some others since they seem to be book up for the rest of May at least.