Rich in fertile volcanic soil, and powered by plenty of sunshine and nurturing Aegean Sea breezes, the island of Santorini is a foodie paradise, brimming with homegrown bounty like capers, cherry tomatoes, and fava beans, and home to about 20 wineries making quality vintages. Located in the village of Oia, the Kirini Santorini hotel celebrates the island’s culinary traditions and draws from its harvest, while also putting a modern twist on pan-Mediterranean fare. The result: dishes that are fresh and unexpected, and a gourmet scene that’s unlike any on the island.
From the homemade ginger-mint lemonade offered to guests at check-in, to the bottle of local white wine chilling in the room upon arrival, and the Greek coffee powder dusted on a chocolate desert, the flavors of Kirini Santorini root you firmly in the destination.
Kirini’s wine experts have compiled a list featuring around 70 different Greek labels, including several from Santorini.
That sense of place is also represented in the dramatic location of Anthos, the hotel’s main restaurant, which has been carved into the side of a cliff to evoke traditional Cycladic cave architecture. From inside the all-white space, diners enjoy endless views that start with the hotel’s azure pool, then stretch out to Santorini’s signature caldera, and the sparkling Aegean Sea. It’s from those waters that the hotel’s executive chef, Theofanis Maikantis, draws inspiration for his menus, which highlight fresh fish and seafood sourced from their main supplier, Mrs. Margarita at Sunset Tavern by Paraskevas. Chef Theofanis's signature dishes include scallops with pumpkin puree, caper leaves, and smoked olive oil, and local sea bass with artichoke, marinated zucchini, and bottarga, topped with a lemon-verbena sauce. A proponent of “conscious cuisine,” which aims to balance the exacting standards of fine dining with environmental reasonableness and sustainability, chef Theofanis looks locally for the bulk of his other ingredients, too, sourcing veggies from area farmers and honey from the island’s only producer.
To complement chef Theofanis’ multi-layered fare, Kirini’s wine experts have compiled a list featuring around 70 different Greek labels, including several from the island. With Santorini’s first vineyards said to have been planted as far back at the 7th century B.C., the roots of the volcanic island’s winemaking scene run deep, and today it’s home to some of the country’s most famous producers, as well as unique varietals such as whites like assyrtiko and aidani. Guests of Kirini Santorini can learn more in expert-led tastings, which typically takes place on a terrace next to the restaurant and feature wines from seven different Santorini producers, paired with local cheeses. For enthusiasts who want to dive deeper, the hotel can also arrange for visits to vineyards and wineries, where you’ll learn about the winemaking process, taste prime vintages, and experience the natural power of Santorini firsthand.