The traditional character of the settlement of Oia is replicated in Fanari Villas. The history is preserved by the present-day patron of the resort, Emmanouil (Manolis) Darzentas, descendant of two historical families: of the Darzentas’ and Barbarigos’ families.
The roots of the Darzentas’ family are to be found in a branch of the Byzantine Argyros’ family. It made its appearance in the mid-9th century AD and as history unfold itself, it finds the D’Argenta family ruling the Castle of St Nicholas of Apanomeria (contemporary Oia) and its surrounding areas. Since 1372, Nicholas III della Carceri, as Duke of the Archipelago, ceded it to the D’Argenta family. Members of the family also undertook positions as castellans in other regions of Santorini. They distinguished themselves in the nineteenth and twentieth century in the fields of arts, sciences and business.
The roots of the Barbarigos family start from Venice speaking about the Doge Marco Barbarigo (1483) and members of the family were to be found chiefly on Zakynthos and Santorini.
Manolis Darzentas studied architecture in the 70’s in Athens. After few years working in the capital of Greece and because of his love for Oia, he decided to return to his homeland. Still owning big part of his family’s property, he decided to create a resort on the cliff in the beginning of 90’s by restoring some of the remaining ruins of the tremendous earthquake of 1956 and adding few more premises. The outcome of his work and love is the present resort of Fanari Villas.
The origins of the name “Fanari” is the Greek translation of “lighthouse”. An extremely beautiful, stone and marble built lighthouse that was standing in this area and vanished after the earthquake in 1956.
Manolis gave life to whole area with respect to his legacy that is reflected through the one of the main landmarks, the family owned medieval, patriarchal, stavropegic church of 16th century, Ayia Ekaterina (St Catherine) which has remained “intact” down the ages… This church is located on the top of the complex and dominates the whole area.
Fanari Villas, established on 1991, is a traditionally-styled 4-star boutique hotel, with wonderful Cycladic features and a genuine ‘taste’ of Santorini Island. It is a multi-level complex with steps, as are most places in picturesque Oia. Its location at the northern part of the island offers views such as directly facing island of Thirasia, the dramatic armful of Caldera and its volcano on the left and the open air unobstructed sunset on the right.
The hotel is painted in shades of white and lime green to match the natural setting of Oia. The Santorini-style cave-like suites, with handcrafted wooden furniture, built-in stone-tiled beds and sofas create charming comfortable corners all around the resort. As the luxury suites are carved into the cliff, they provide natural climate control, keeping a pleasant temperature all year round.
The outdoor areas are characterized by curved rooftops, arches and charming terraces that offer a marvelous sea and sunset view. Part of the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool is carved into a whitewashed arched cavern. Along the stone-paved paths, there are touches of green and pink from the potted plants and bougainvillea flowers tucked away.
Romanticism is in the air at Fanari Villas; thousands of couples have selected the hotel for their accommodation in Santorini for their “holly”days or their special event like their honeymoon or even their wedding. Luxurious, yet simple the all-day sunny-washed and bright white suites offer from every corner an enchanting vista of the Aegean Sea. In the evening guests will be awarded with one of the most beautiful views in the world from the comfort of their suite: the incomparable Santorini sunset!
Throughout all these years Manolis and his family has “gained” friends who became members of Fanari and Darzentas family, as their major aim is to express their Philoxenia (Hospitality) by paying personal attention and offering high-quality service. The needs of their friends/guests are attended as immediately and efficiently as it can be, ensuring a most pleasant, relaxing and carefree stay.
This is the ideal formula for an unforgettable holiday!