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Ikies Traditional Houses Review: A Stunning Santorini Cave Hotel

Santorini is one of the most unique places to visit in Greece.

That’s partly because of its unique cave hotels.

But don’t think of these Santorini cave hotels as hobbity holes!

When planning your Greek island visit, you’ll be delighted to know they’re actually some of the most romantic hotels in Europe.

Some – like Ikies Traditional Houses – are favored by couples looking for very modern comforts on their honeymoon in Santorini.

Look at the view from this Ikies’ suite!

Ikies Traditional Houses review

Yes, its 11 rooms and suites are carved out of pumice in the cliffs of the caldera (the front façades are covered by classic white-washed vaulted roofs).

And Ikies is modeled after the Greek island’s traditional cave dwellings (cheap accommodation for early fishermen).

But this Santorini cave hotel in Oia boasts A/C, free WiFi, flat screen satellite TVs, kitchenettes and luxurious Coco-Mat mattresses (made from sea grass and coconut).

Ikies Traditional Houses
You’re forgiven if you just want to lounge on your terrace all day

They also have spacious terraces, with private outdoor Jacuzzis, that command heavenly views of the cerulean Aegean Sea.

There’s also a small hotel pool for cooling off during the summer heat – a welcome necessity, we know from first-hand experience.

View from Ikies Traditional Houses
View from Ikies Traditional Houses

Which Ikies suite to pick?

If you can, splurge on the most popular honeymoon suite, the Winemaker’s House.

Along with a king-size bed and steam room, it has an antique distillery vat in the center of the living room and grape vines growing over an outside trellis.

The Winemakers House is popular with honeymooners

Then again, you might prefer the adorable Boatman’s Studio.

Decorated in pale blue, it’s one of the most requested rooms and has probably the most private terrace in all of Santorini.

The Collectors Suite is great for two couples traveling together.

It features two ensuite bedrooms, plus a private spa area with a steam room and indoor/outdoor jacuzzi.

Ikies' Collectors Suite has two ensuite bedrooms.
The Collectors Suite has two ensuite bedrooms

Also delightful is the two-bedroom Antiquarian Suite.

We stayed here and loved its beautiful Minoan wall frescoes, outdoor jacuzzi and blue shuttered windows.

Recommended reading: The Santorini Grace is another cave hotel we loved. Read this review next!

Breakfast at Ikies

No one is going hungry at this Oia, Santorini, hotel!
No one is going hungry at this Oia, Santorini, hotel!

Days at this boutique Santorini hotel start with a bountiful breakfast served on your terrace – thick Greek yogurt, croissant, spinach cheese pie, juicy strawberries and cappuccino.

Breakfast on the terrace of Ikies Traditional Houses - killer views and a cuddly cat too!
Breakfast on the terrace – killer views and a cuddly cat too!

Exploring Santorini

Interested in an easy five-minute stroll into Oia?

Oia is a fairytale town of white sugar-cube shops, cafés and houses, all interlaced with cobblestone paths.

It’s also the hot spot for photographers who gather in droves each evening to watch the legendary sunsets.

A photographer captures the sunset glow on Santorini
A photographer captures the sunset glow

You can also step out for a longer hike along Santorini’s northern spine, past Cycladic churches and poppy fields, to the tourist hub of Fira.

Indeed, hiking from Oia to Fira (or vice versa) is one of the best things to do in Santorini.

Church domes gleam white in the dark blue Santorini sky
Church domes gleam white in the dark blue Santorini sky

Sunset views

Just be sure to save time for the pure pleasure of lounging on your cushioned double day bed outside on your terrace, sipping your welcome Ikies bottle of fine Santorini wine, and soaking in those eye-popping views.

Santorini at dusk

If you book Ikies Traditional Houses

What we love

  • Free WiFi
  • On the edges of Oia, is within walking distance to the village, but away from the hustle and bustle
  • Lots of room to spread out and enjoy those views!

Be aware

Stairs, stairs and more stairs (you’ll be climbing up and down outside steps to get to the pool, reception, etc.)

Bottom line? Review of Ikies, Santorini

Ikies is one of the best of the Oia, Santorini, hotels.

We’d have no hesitation staying here again.

Ikies Traditional Houses: Check rates and availability here

Experience more of Greece!

Athens: Is Athens worth visiting? You bet! From the fabulous Acropolis Museum to the changing of the guards, check out these excellent reasons to go.

Mykonos: Mykonos is a slice of cool in the hot blue Aegean. See our Mykonos travel guide, including the 5 best Mykonos beach hotels.

Philippi: History whispers around every corner at the ancient ruins of Philippi.

Facts and tips: Did you know you know it’s illegal to wear high heels to the Acropolis? Check out these 100+ useful and fun facts about Greece.

Our top travel tips and resources

Hotels: is great for scoring a “wow” hotel – or at least a decent one. (We especially like their flexible cancellation policy!)

Vacation homes, condos and rentals: We prefer and use Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner).

Tours: For the best local food, walking and other guided tours, plus skip-the-line tickets to attractions, check out Viator (a TripAdvisor company) and GetYourGuide.

Car rental: Renting a car is often one of the best ways to explore off the beaten path. Discover Cars searches car rental companies so you get the best rates.

Travel insurance: SafetyWing is designed for frequent travelers, long-term adventurers and digital nomads. It covers medical expenses, lost checked luggage, trip interruption and more.

Travel gear: See our travel shop to find the best luggage, accessories and other travel gear. (We suggest these comfy travel sandals for city walking, the beach and kicking about.)

Need more help planning your trip? Check out our travel tips and resources guide for airline booking tips, ways to save money, how to find great hotels and other crazy useful trip planning info.

Pssst! If you make a booking or purchase through our site, we may earn a small commission (at no cost to you). Thanks!

Photo credits: 7 to 11 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase | Remaining photos courtesy Ikies

We stayed at Ikies Traditional Houses as media guests for review purposes – but as professional travel writers, we always write what we honestly think.

About the authors

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!


Monday 24th of February 2014

Wow, that place looks gorgeous! Having breakfast on a beautiful terrace like that is a dream.

Janice and George

Monday 24th of February 2014

We'd go back to Ikies and Santorini in a heartbeat! Those views never go stale :-)

Irene S. Levine

Saturday 27th of July 2013

Looks like a hidden gem. I've always wanted to visit Santorini!