A Conversation on Bucket Lists …

... is no conversation at all without this place

By The Editors
September 3, 2015 9:00 am


Remember those three letters.

Add them to whatever list of conquests-yet-to-be-had you keep in your head or on the faded back pages of a Moleskine somewhere.

And then rearrange that list so that that word — Oia — lies at or near the very top.

The hotels in Oia are like nothing you’ve ever seen. Not built up, on foundations of steel and reinforced concrete, but rather in: into alabaster caverns that jut and undulate along the perimeter of Santorini, the largest and southernmost island of a circular archipelago some 300km southeast of Athens.

See for yourself:

And when you stand on the balconies of these hotels and look out over the Aegean Sea as the sun is setting and the waters gently lap toward the horizon, and the sailboats bob and list on their buoys, you see this:

And that is why you should consider this place. This Oia.

Our founder was in Oia last month. We’re pretty sure he returned with a fuller head of hair and fewer wrinkles.

It’s like that.

But we’d attribute that as much to his experience as the setting — an experience facilitated by the fact that he’s an American Express Platinum Card member.

First off: exclusive bookings and benefits from global hotel catalogue Fine Hotels & Resorts, which landed him at the jaw-dropping Mystique Santorini. Says the man: “Insane views of the Caldera; all pressure immediately melts away — as does your willpower. A leisure day gazing at the ridiculous views and lounging in pools was in immediate order.”

During his stay, the hotel answered the old “What can we do for you?” by arranging a special sailing cruise around the island (“stopping by volcanic hot springs and colored sand beaches”) and two lavish seaside dinners:

The first at the white-tablecloth and red-brick 1800 Restaurant, famed for its lush sunset views from the rooftop dining garden. The second took him to a choose-your-own-super-fresh-fish joint in the old port: Ammoudi, a casual tavern you have to descend some 300 ancient steps to get to (“worth the hike”).

As a Platinum Card member, he also enjoyed a late checkout, complimentary breakfasts and $75 off at the onsite spa during his stay at Mystique.

When he made it back to Athens, he used American Express’s Platinum Concierge service to secure a table at the fabulous Island Club & Restaurant.

Another thing they did when he got back to the mainland? Replaced his card — which he had lost somewhere in the isles — in 48 hours. “Arrived like clockwork from the European office so I’d have it for the rest of my trip.”

Moral of the story in these Aesopian climes: pays to know a guy.

Pays to be an American Express Platinum member.

Worth the price of admission, trust.


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.