Those of you who’ve been concentrating will by now be fully up to speed with the system à la Smith: we pack suitably qualified experts off to do a secret hotel review, so you get the low-down, the up high and everything in between. And no one knows luxury like a true fashionista – step forward, Ruth Crilly.
Ruth spent years gracing the covers of glossies such as Vogue, Elle and Cosmopolitan with her gorgeous gap-toothed smile and swishy model hair (some gals get all the luck). Now she’s proving herself a true babe of the digital age with her website/ezine A Model Recommends, source du jour of all the tips you need to recreate the pouty cover girl panache that inspires awe and jealousy in WHSmith. Basically, Ruth sorts the style wheat from the chaff, so you don’t have to. She writes, she blogs, she cooks, she tweets – and now she’s reviewed the Avaton Resort & Spa in Santorini for Mr & Mrs Smith. We’re going to give you a quick snippet of her reviewing prowess here, but first, here’s a bit more about Ruth…
After 10 years as an international fashion model, Ruth Crilly is thoroughly spoilt when it comes to luxury travel. Now a beauty writer and the founder of A Model Recommends, she travels the world appreciating the finer things in life, and condemning the not-so-fine. Hard to please and a stickler for detail, she’s likely to throw a supermodel-sized diva fit when expectations aren’t met, but luckily she has a laid-back Mr Smith to keep her check. She lives with her husband, a fashion photographer, in East London.
Let’s talk about the word ‘resort’: if playing the word-association game, I’d follow it with ‘all-inclusive wristband’ or ‘karaoke night’. Before Avaton, it conjured images of Mr Smith queuing for an omelette at the breakfast buffet, and me slowly banging my head against the table. Thank goodness, my ‘resort’ fears were very, very wrong.
Perched on the peaceful, caldera-side of Santorini, the sheer cliffs drop so dramatically into the water that a daily stream of camera-clutchers pass to capture the view. Although Imerovigli is close by and Oia a mere few minutes’ drive away, Avaton feels secluded. The only sounds you are likely to hear? A splash as someone plunges into the glittering pool; a request for tanning lotion; a sigh of contentment as someone lowers themselves onto on of the geometric loungers.
In short, it’s as far removed as can be from my less flattering idea of traditional holiday resorts. Utterly exclusive and stylish, Avaton is a bijoux cluster of nine rooms around a perfect turquoise infinity pool. After the postcard-perfect arches and smooth, curved white stone of the traditional luxury hotels on Santorini, Avaton’s sleek dark concrete and designer furnishings are beyond cool.
Copy compiled by Alicia Queiro