Santorini Boutique Hotel Welcomes New Chef From Favorite Athens Taverna
One of Santorini’s most popular boutique hotels is welcoming a new chef. This summer, guests at Astra Apartment & Suites will feast under the stars on traditional Greek specialties by Chrisostomos Prasatzis, the chef of Mamacas, one of Greece’s most beloved tavernas. On the menu: avgotaraho, Greek caviar; gavros, tiny fresh anchovies; the famed Santorini fava, and keftedakia, meatballs with spearmint and ouzo – and those are just for starters, or meze as the Greeks call their tapas. Launched last summer, Astra’s open-air restaurant has stunning views of the island’s volcanic caldera and the Aegean Sea below. In keeping with its aim to present an authentically Greek experience, the restaurant at Astra Apartments & Suites will offer fresh-caught local fish like barbouni (red mullet) or fagri (pink snapper) or baby lamb chops grilled over charcoal, Greek salads with tiny Santorini tomatoes and chloro cheese and for dessert, karidopita, a time-honored Greek walnut cake. A three-course meal for two with a bottle of Santorini wine would be about $120. Mamacas, or “Mommies,” was opened some 10 years ago by two textile designers in a neo-classical mansion in the then up-and-coming Athens neighborhood of Gazi and named after their mothers who provided their own traditional recipes. This marks the restaurant’s first partnering with a hotel.Consistently rated one of the top three on the island, Astra has a loyal following. Guests return year after year to enjoy the genuine Greek hospitality of the staff – and its stunning location. General Manager George Karayiannis fashions individual itineraries for guests and knows all the hidden gems, secluded beaches and trendy clubs, like the trendy Enigma, on Santorini. High up on a cliff overlooking the Aegean, offering a bird’s eye view of the 3,600-year-old caldera, Astra offers guests a setting of simple elegance. Wildflower-filled paths and whitewashed staircases lead to the cozy reception area filled with books and artwork. The signature colors of the Cyclades are reflected in the sparkling infinity pool hanging 1,000 feet above the turquoise sea and the roomy day beds draped in white linen. Each of the 28 spacious suites and rooms is decorated in traditional island style with works by local artists. The complex has 16 domed-ceiling apartments and 12 luxurious suites – eight with private plunge pools or outdoor Jacuzzis. A day spa offers a full range of massages and facials. The summer rate for a standard apartment is about $410 or 300 euros per night for two persons. High season rates for superior apartments are about $515 or 380 euros and two-bedroom apartments go for about $545 or 400 euros. Included in the room rates are: daily breakfast of yoghurt, Greek honey, local cheese, ham and fresh bread served on the guest’s private balcony, a bottle of Santorini wine upon arrival, daily maid service and all taxes. Free high-speed Internet access is in all rooms and suites.For more information about Astra Apartments and Suites, go to www.astra.gr. For reservations, visit the website or call: 011-30-22860-23641.