We spent two days at the incredible Carpe Diem resort, possibly the most-amazing hotel I’ve ever stayed at.
I read online it had won the World’s Best Honeymoon Hideaway award in 2017, which filled me with delight as I was celebrating my own honeymoon with my new wife Shona.
It was very easy to see why it had won the accolade. The ultra-private hotel was nestled on the hillside of the medieval village of Pyrgos, the island’s highest village which boasts a 270° panoramic view of the northern part of Santorini.
The hotel incredibly has one member of staff for every guest, which makes you feel really special. You even have a butler service at your beck and call if you need anything.
All the staff were really friendly and were willing to humour us as they helped us get those “Instagram-friendly” pictures inside the resort.
And the royal treatment started from the moment we arrived as they whisked away our bags and offered us a lovely glass of Sauvignon Blanc and some tasty nibbles.
There are just ten suites in the hotel, the biggest on the whole island, and all come with a private plunge pool.
We were lucky to be staying in their popular Lapis Suite, with its amazing walk-in closet, which was admittedly slightly more exciting for my wife than me.
The bathroom was lovely and really spacious and our bed was super comfy.
We’d had to get up really early to get the ferry from Crete to Santorini that morning, and my sleep that night was probably the best of my whole honeymoon.
We spent much of our first morning and afternoon chilling on the sun loungers next to our plunge pool and soaking up the rays.
There are no kids allowed, so it was incredibly tranquil and at times you feel like you’re the only people there — they’ve clearly designed it with privacy in mind.
Had we not wanted to explore, we could easily have wiled away our days relaxing by the pool, but we felt we’d be doing ourselves a disservice if we didn’t go and check out the local area.
We headed to the centre of Pyrgos, a ten-minute walk from the resort. It’s a more relaxed pace than other more tourist-friendly parts of the island, and felt like a bit of a hidden gem.
We strolled through the cobbled streets to get towards the highest point of the village, and the stunning backdrop was worth the effort.
There’s a restaurant called Rosemary almost right at the top, which we went to one night, and I’d recommend it on views alone. The food is fab too, by the way.
We bought a few snacks to tide us over for the rest of the afternoon then headed back to the hotel as we were eating in their GAIA Fine Dining restaurant.
We were the only people in the restaurant for much of the meal, so it really was an incredibly decadent experience, with a lovely, friendly and attentive waitress.
I was very adventurous and tried octopus for the first time ever for starter — a culinary treat indeed. My fillet steak main was perfection, complimented by a fancy bottle of red wine.
From our table we had the most amazing view of the sunset as we pinched oursevles to make sure we weren’t dreaming!
If you are ever lucky enough to stay here you must, must, must dine at GAIA.
Next day we sat next to the main pool before enjoying an incredible brunch. The selection of pastries would put Paris to shame — especially the fluffy croissants, Mon Dieu! Add some soothing jazz music and we were swaying with delight.
On our final night, we booked dinner at an amazing local wine-tasting restaurant, Santo Wines.
You pay a set fee to pre-order your dinner and can choose four, six or a whopping 12 glasses of local wine each to have with your meal. I developed a real taste for the local dessert wine, which was incredibly sweet and very more-ish.
The vista from the restaurant was incredible, with an amazing view to the sea below. An American couple were getting married on a cliff just yards away from us and it brought back memories of our own big day the previous week.
Just before we checked out the next morning, we were treated to a couples’ massage at their incredible Althea boutique spa. We knew we were in good hands when masseuse Charlotte revealed she had recently massaged pop sensation Justin Bieber.
Shona and I had opted for the Aegean Wind massage — it just sounded too mysterious not to try.
We were first given a herbal scrub with Cretan sea salt and olive oil to help our skin, which had dried out in the strong Greek sun, and then were rubbed into a near-blissful coma under the expert hands of Charlotte (for Shona) and Mickey (for me).
Just before we left we had a chat with the owners of the hotel to thank them for making our honeymoon so special.