Santorini Dreaming – a dream comes true…

This is a happy story… a romantic story… a story of dreams and hope. It’s about daring to dream and giving yourself a chance to have your dream come true. It’s about “putting yourself in the running” for life’s delicious twists of fate. It’s about backing yourself to win the big prize… it’s about stepping up and believing in yourself. In Australian parlance it’s about “you will never know… if you don’t have a go”.

Some time last year a guy… who happens to live in a cave in Oia, had an idea. Why not give someone out there a chance to “live their dream”. Not just to visit Santorini… but to stay in the best possible hotels and to experience a once-in-a-lifetime holiday on this mesmerising island. So he announced a contest asking people to write about their own dream holiday on Santorini…the way they imagine it…the way they dream of spending time on Santorini if money was no object.

The people responded in numbers.

One girl had a dream… so she wrote an essay, an essay which she planned meticulously … an essay which she took very seriously because she believed it could result in an incredible life experience for herself and her husband.

The girl send her essay to the guy in the cave… and he liked it. The girl’s short essay won the “Santorini Dreaming” prize.

This past week, the girl –  named Christa – was on the island with her husband Tom… and they got to live their dream. They got to live it in style, staying at what I believe are the best two hotels on the island (Andronis Luxury Suites in Oia & Volcano View Villas in Fira). They got to enjoy romantic time alone, as well as time doing the things they had dreamed about. They also got to enjoy some grilled octopus and a glass (or three) of ouzo with the caveman… as promised.

Here is just a glimpse of Tom & Christa’s Santorini Dream holiday:

For their first night we had arranged for them to have a romantic dinner at the Andronis exquisite cliff-top dining area…

(Andronis Luxury Suites)

The photo above has Oia in the background…but just in case you have forgotten what the Andronis cliff-top dining area looks like… here are a couple of reminders…

(Andronis Luxury Suites)

there aren’t many people that sit at this spot and not pinch themselves…
to make sure they are not dreaming ! (Andronis Luxury Suites)

let’s face it …no Santorini dream holiday is complete without cocktails
in a cliff-top infinity pool (Andronis Luxury Suites)

or some quiet time gazing at the deep blue caldera… (Andronis Luxury Suites)

Following their time at the Andronis hotel in Oia… Tom and Christa moved to another hotel (Volcano View VIP Villas) just outside Fira. This time they didn’t just have a suite in a luxury hotel… they had their very own luxury villa, with it’s very own swimming pool and its very own villa manager to look after them. My old friend Niko made sure that the happy couple had the best of everything and they got to enjoy three nights of dreamy luxury on the cliff top of Santorini.

there is no place like the Volcano View villas anywhere else on the island. This is the private domain
of movie stars…Arab sheiks…heads of state and of course (ahem…) Christa & Tom !

somehow I think even Christa’s wildest dreams didn’t have anything like this
in the script…

one can only imagine what Tom (from Buffalo NY) was writing
to his family and friends back home…  (Volcano View VIP Villas)

as he always does…Niko made sure that Christa & Tom would remember this…
for a looooooooooooooooong time to come !
(Volcano View VIP Villas)

But despite all the luxury and the surprises, the organising and the excitement… this is really a very simple story. It was about dreaming… daring to allow yourself the pleasure to dream. Giving yourself a chance to make your dream come true. That, to me, was the very essence behind my original idea for the competition… to make someone’s Santorini dream come true.

From the hundreds of photos taken…I think the following image captures beautifully what the whole thing was about…

just a girl… and her dream !

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I would like to express my gratitude to Andronis Luxury Suites and Volcano View VIP Villas for their generosity and their endeavours to capture the spirit of this contest. My thanks go to Milto Andronis, as well his manager John  and all staff, for making sure that the couple had a very memorable stay at their hotel. I would also like to thank Niko at Volcano View Villas. He is already a legend with his VIP guests so we don’t to further inflate his ego… however there is nobody on this island that can look after guests better than him. If you are looking for the most romantic luxury hotels on Santorini you will not find better !

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

PS: despite some initial trepidation… the Santorini Dreaming short essay contest was very enjoyable to arrange. I would like to thank all those that participated by sharing their dreams with all of us. I hope you all show your support to the sponsors of the contest and I look forward to perhaps arranging a similar contest later in the year… M

PPS: you can read Christa’s winning essay here...

14 responses to “Santorini Dreaming – a dream comes true…

  1. Well i just want to know how did i miss that contest ?? hehehe but its ok i come every year and so i am lucky to live a dream for a few weeks. even not staying in luxury hotels the magic in every corner of this beautiful place you just have to let your spirit go !

  2. Wow, thanks for sharing these amazing pictures. Am sure Christa and Tom will remember this for a long time.. how stunning do the cliffs look (in that picture of Tom writing)

    And of course much credit to you for organising such a wonderful contest and making someone’s dream come true :o)

  3. Oh how wonderful… i remember the contest, so nice to see Christa on her winning trip, well done M!!! Looks amazing!

  4. I have been waiting and waiting for this post. I knew it would probably be this month. Don’t they look beautiful, happy, and relaxed? Who wouldn’t be! So excited for them. You and your team of dreamweavers did a sensational job, Michael. But of course you did – you’re Greek!
    Great photos!

  5. aegean design

    what a wonderful thing you have done, such a special week for these two and so much work to make it happen….you still amaze me after 25 years….xx….and the prize could not have gone to a more lovely couple….xx

  6. Caro Michael,

    I was also waiting for this Dream-come-true- post. The happy couple must have had an adventure to last a lifetime.
    Enjoy Midsummer Night from one of the cliffs, Michael! Bacione, Ingrid in Umbria

  7. A dream come true seems hardly to scratch the surface of what I have experienced on Santorini. I am more thankful than anyone can imagine. As I was riding the bus from the beach back to Fira today, someone asked me what I was doing on the island. I told them I had been given a very special gift. It seemed the only thing that was appropriate. And as woman with generally no loss for words… that’s all I could say. Nothing could sum this experience more than that. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. ~ Christa, Tom and all my friends who were able to share this incredible experience with me

  8. Michael – Thank you for everything you did to arrange this incredible experience for Christa and I. For as great as the trip was, the best part was getting to meet and spend time with you and your wife. Maybe someday we will be able to host you for our “Niagara Falls Dreaming” contest…you are already the winner!

  9. paulette osborne

    i missed the contest also. but it looks like they are a lovely couple. and the photos are just gorgeous!!
    santorini dreaming…….

  10. Your images are just stunning. When I finally got to the photo of Tom on the balcony & cliffs in the background, my partner walked into the room to see me with tears in my eyes. All he had to do was look at which blog I was reading and see the photo’s to understand. We both loved Oia immensely and just looking at people enjoying the moment in photo’s provoke a fantastic warmth and memory of our time spent there.
    We WILL be back – one day :)

  11. Wow! What a fantastic idea and what a great heart! Having had the pleasure of spending 4 days on this beautiful island myself, I can absolutely feel what this lucky couple must’ve felt. And one day I hope to return….

  12. Michael,
    I love that you did this for them! What a wonderful idea and what a beautiful gesture on your part! Can’t wait to find out about the next one. Happy Summer to you, Michael!

  13. Dear Large Heart who inspires change and makes dreams come true for others. What a gift you have given this lovely couple. Stunning views and love offered so freely stir up a well of pride inside … for knowing you in this little way. You are a generous soul… for not only are you living your dream you wish for others to realize theirs. Your writing is excellent and moving dear Michael. Brava!!

  14. I’m sooooo happy for you guys. In this lifetime you got a chance to experience the beauty of Santorini. I hope one day we can meet there together and share a glass of wine under the most wonderful sunset anyone can experience in life. Thank you so much for sharing your story and for the amazing pictures!!!

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