During 2022 we will be celebrating 40 years of operation!
Since 2004, the second generation in Altana Hospitality, has been operating the Altana properties, loyal to the property’s link with its extraordinary past.
Altana, a marvelous complex of buildings and cave houses, dating back over three centuries, from the early 1700s was once the family home of a prominent family of captains and ship owners. They had expanded the size, shape and use of this complex of buildings with structural additions up until 1883, to accommodate their growing operations but also their growing family.
The property was discovered and bought by Kostas and Sonya Bekiaris in the late 1970’s.
The disastrous volcanic earthquakes of 1956 had rendered the mansion inhabitable. With parts of it collapsing, the family abandoned the property at a time that coincided with their relocation in part to Alexandria-Egypt and in part to Piraeus for commercial reasons.
The property, a prime example of the local architectural style and one of the renowned former mansions in the area had initially inspired the new owners to create a summer home for family and friends. Soon after acquiring the mansion though, they became engrossed in a restoration project that forever linked them and the following generation to Santorini in the most profound way.
In 1979 extensive building works began with a sole aim to rebuild and restore the property exactly upon the original structure. The existing layout became the blueprint for the project, while extensive research within the local community, artwork, photographs and other archives reinforced the venture and the connection with the property’s past. A simple idea of a private summer home had just become something greater, a project of historical significance!
A vast amount of remarkable objects (with a story to tell) were found during the works, the majority of which were also restored and remain within the property while many were donated to local and national museums and historical collections. The restoration was completed to its greater part by 1982 with complimentary works fully concluding by 1983 at which point Altana was established as the first hotel in Imerovigli and among the first on the whole of the Santorinian Caldera, a pioneering concept at the time that set the standard for hospitality on the island for the following decades.
The labour of love and passion that fuelled the restoration of Altana was soon commended by the local and national community and Altana has since been registered, alongside the emblematic church of ‘Anastasi’ situated adjacent to the property, by the historical and archaeological societies of Greece as an important landmark.
Altana was also soon recognized to great acclaim by the international press as a destination in itself, being awarded by Conde’ Nast in the nineties as ‘The Best Hotel location’ and ‘Best View in the World’.
By 1991 a neighbouring complex of wine cellars and cave houses was also successfully restored and revived by Kostas and Sonya Bekiaris. With the same enthusiasm and unique sensitivity to detail, a second Altana Hotel called ‘Uranos’ (which in Greek stands for “sky”) was launched in Imerovigli. Since 2012, this property has evolved into the Altana Cliffside Villas, our collection of standalone villas and suites.
Altana today, still represents that same passion for originality, roots, tradition and a personal hospitality philosophy that aspires to surprise visitors with a uniquely fresh experience through a journey to the legacy of a splendid past!