1989-1992 the start of the journey to what has today become Esperas Hotel was quite rocky, figuratively and literally.
Nature’s hidden treasures in Santorini make it impossible for heavy machinery to dig into the rock. As they say, Esperas Hotel was not built in a day.
Our story begins in 1989 when Oia in Santorini was still “primitive” and its virgin land untouched. A OBGYN doctor and his wife, a dentist, decided to purchase a plot in Oia. They both hailed from Greek islands and were accustomed to island life and its peculiarities. However, the steep hillsides found in the Caldera of Santorini are unique, a close local friend suggested the area which would later become The Esperas Hotel (est. 1992).
The plot boundaries were not clearly outlined, the access was non-existent and the two owners could only see a rocky slope. On top of everything they were told there might be a couple of caves in the area, but with no certainty.
At some point they returned to their property and started digging, only to discover 5 caves! The idea of a cave house for the family was abandoned and the dream of a small hotel in Santorini Island took over. The budget suddenly changed dramatically. The accommodation unit demanded a lot of hard work and a powerful workforce. Anything from rocks to tools was carried in and out of the construction site on bare hands. Use of heavy machinery is to this day out of the question due to the steepness of the slope and the geological features of the land.
Origins of the name
Esperas Hotel opened its doors for the first time in 1992. At the time it was one out of 3 hotels in Oia! The name Espera is an old Greek word meaning afternoon or evening. The hotel’s name was born after witnessing the captivating moment of the sunset spreading its colors throughout the Caldera.
Esperas Hotel today
Three years later, in 1995, the owners decided to expand their hotel by purchasing the property next door, only now the asking price for the other (smaller) property was double what they had paid for the original one!. Another 2 years went by and in 1997 the new part of the hotel was finished.
Esperas Hotel has changed from what the first visitors experienced in 1995, with additional cave houses, adjustments and additions and the beautiful swimming pool. Meanwhile, the doctors had a daughter, named Julia. Julia graduated from the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne and has been running the hotel since 1999.
Today the Esperas Hotel dominates the cliff that used to be solid rock and has become synonymous to Santorini, offering globally unique views of the sea and the sunset, relaxing days and peaceful nights to all its visitors.