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Now open: the Radisson Zaffron Resort in Santorini

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Back in December, we told you that Radisson Blu was opening a luxury resort in Santorini this year.

The good news is that the property – Radisson Blu Zaffron Resort – has just opened. It looks, frankly, totally unlike any other Radisson I have ever seen – in a very good way.

You can book here.

Radisson Blu Zaffron Resort Santorini

The PR spiel says:

“With its characterized architecture and luxurious style, the Radisson Blu Zaffron Resort, Santorini will feature 102 spacious rooms, suites or exclusive villas. Guests will be thrilled to explore the hotel´s all-day dining restaurant, pool bar and a glorious outdoor swimming pool. The property will also offer a wellness center with a fully equipped gym to revitalize the body, mind and soul. A 134sqm meeting room will be perfect for any social gathering or business function.

Located in Kamari village, the property is only 150 meters away from the beach and seafront promenade. The seaside village is also an ideal starting point for exploring the Mésa Vounó mountain and it´s archaeological site of Ancient Thera, a landmark of Santorini with historical temples and public institutions.”

This could be a good Radisson Rewards redemption option in peak season. For now, however, rates are very soft (under €200) and it isn’t worth using 75,000 points.

Radisson Rewards is, in my opinion, one of the most valuable American Express Membership Rewards transfer partners. The rate is 1:3 and I value a Radisson Rewards point at 0.33p, so it is equivalent to 1p per Amex point. Unfortunately, transfers are currently suspended due to IT issues caused by the split of Radisson Rewards and Radisson Rewards Americas a few weeks ago.

Remember that you can get Gold status in Radisson Rewards by taking out The Platinum Card from American Express. Amex Platinum currently comes with a huge 60,000 Amex points bonus which would convert into 180,000 Radisson Rewards points.


How to earn Radisson Rewards points and status from UK credit cards (September 2021)

Radisson Rewards does not have a dedicated UK credit card. However, you can earn Radisson Rewards points by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.  These include:

  • American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 90,000 Radisson Rewards points. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with two free airport lounge passes. 30,000 points is a special offer which runs to 9th November 2021.

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:3 into Radisson Rewards points which is a very attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 3 Radisson Rewards points.

Even better, holders of The Platinum Card receive free Radisson Rewards Gold status for as long as they hold the card.  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Marriott Bonvoy Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (25)

  • John says:

    Are there no afternoon or evening flights? Why close so early?

    • Blair says:

      There are plenty but both T1lounges have chosen to close at lunchtime. Or rather, dinnertime if you’re from Manchester.

  • Dubious says:

    Raddision Blu –
    is anyone able to log in to their Radisson Rewards accounts? I was trying to register for their promotions which sometime it allows me to do, but it doesn’t recognise my details when I try to log in; althought it does recognise me when I reset my password or ‘activate’ my account.

    Am I alone in this or are other’s affected to?

  • Patrycja says:

    Eventually! We’re flying out of Edinburgh on Monday so the reopening of Aspire is well timed

  • Britbronco says:

    Rob, have you been able to get any Intel on when transfers will be fixed? Its been over a month now!

    • Rob says:

      No, not heard anything. Shouldn’t be that tricky on paper even if they had to do it manually like Avios / Nectar ….

  • B P says:

    The option for BA passengers @ MAN T1 is indeed the Escape Lounge. Not terrible, but small and fairly crowded this past Tuesday. They have a dedicated room at the back for people flying BA, with old BOAC posters and some well-worn, rather filthy furniture. The food buffet is self-service and there is a tended bar. No windows or natural light though, which doesn’t help the ambiance.

    • Anna says:

      We used the Escape lounge a few weeks ago and it was frankly awful (though at least we didn’t have to wear masks while seated at our table, which was a plus). The food was barely edible and the only sweet items were mini blueberry muffins which I thought was very poor indeed when there were quite a few children there.
      Drinks from the bar seemed pretty much free flowing, though, and the coffee and hot chocolate were ok but I wouldn’t pay to use it again. It will be interesting to see what BA customers make of it as the old BA lounge was a quiet oasis in comparison!

      • Blair says:

        I was shunted in there by Emirates in lieu of their lounge. Was amongst a handful of horrified looking passengers with Enirates First bag tags shunted towards tables neighbouring the drinking as a vocation crowd.

    • Anna says:

      MAN security followed by the Escape lounge is going to make for a truly premium travel experience! Andy Burnham clearly doesn’t use either very much.

  • Frankie says:

    I’m going Greek island hopping next month for two weeks and doing four days in Santorini. Have never been to the Greek islands before, and this trip is our alternative to Phoenix/Palm Springs/Vegas as we’ve given up on that happening. Having read this article I’d now love to stay in the Radisson Zaffron Resort Santorini. But everyone has told us we should stay in Oia. Do folk think staying in Kamari is a bad choice of location for a first time visit to Santorini? If so any tips on hotels (no more than £200 a night) in Oia if that indeed IS the place to stay would be greatly appreciated? Thanks in advance for any replies and guidance.

    • Jen T says:

      Every place in Santorini is different. Kamari is generally a bit cheaper to stay in and has a more ‘standard’ holiday town feel than Oia or Thira, which both have hotels perched on the edge of the caldera, with the best ones enjoying great views, infinity pools etc. The old towns have narrow, winding alleyways and a more of the traditional Santorini Instagram look. If you have the money and desire, stay in Oia/Thira/etc – otherwise, enjoy the greater space and the money in your pocket in Kamari, hire a car and explore. Driving is easy and there are plenty of car parks to get you to beautiful restaurants and bars with those caldera views!

      • Yorkieflyer says:

        Car parking in Oia is a nightmare, endless traffic jams and ticket happy traffic cops. There is a pricey proper car park at the entrance to the town which I’d use.
        Oia is very glitzy sadly now but very instragramable. The day trippers from the rest of the island and cruise boats especially for sunset are a nightmare.
        There are a few decent restaurants and bars and if you get a caldera view room with plunge pool you will be in heaven, but not for less than a four figure sum per night

        • Anthony says:

          I got back from Santorini yesterday. We stayed in Perivolos for a week but had a hire car for day trips to Oia and Thira and actually preferred Thira than Oia. Parking was surprisingly easy in both in the free car parks. Maybe it’s quieter than normal? Seemed busy but not too bad. We loved the black sand beaches and also the bigger pool for the kids which the “other” side of the island allows, however you could total look at the Caldera view all day if you had it. Maybe would have preferred that pre- kids. Have fun!

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      Santorini had poor black gravel beaches, it’s volcanic! You don’t go for the beaches or the very forgettable bog standard resort towns such as Kamari

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      We were there early August this year, it was heaving, only Brits skulking at home, September will I would think be a tad quieter

    • The Lord says:

      If it’s your first time you want to be on the caldera. Rent a car and get out and about for day trips to the vineyards etc. Also lots of lovely and cheaper places to eat on the non caldera facing areas of the island

    • Princess says:

      We were in Santorini at the beginning of August and we managed one night in the Radisson Zaffron resort. Happy to share my opinion.
      Santorini: unfortunately I agree with people who suggested you stay in Oia. If you want to experience that magical romantic feeling you get from all the beautiful pictures you have seen then you need to stay in Oia. For sure every village has his own character (Pyrgos is really nice for example) but what makes Santorini different from the other Greek islands is the Caldera view and Oia has the prettiest setting. Ideally if you can afford it you want to stay in Oia in a room with Caldera view and small pool outside. Rent a car and visit the island from there. We stayed in Perivolos and Kamari and although they were nice I would not came back to stay there.
      Radisson Zaffron resort: we were lucky to be there just after the opening. The resort is completely new and the design takes inspiration from the traditional small house of the island but in a very contemporary way. The entrance has a zen feeling and the reception a minimalist approach. There are 2 big swimming pools… although both really big they are the same height throughout (145cm)
      The sunbeds are really comfy and wide but there is little space around the swimming pool to keep it a bit separate from some of the rooms.
      We were upgraded to the 2 floor villa (we were 2 adults and 2 kids) which was stunning. Ground floor has an open layout with a wide entrance leading to the living space and then outside. There is a sink in the open space and two separate areas for toilet and shower. Upstairs is a generous bedroom with beautiful glass wardrobe and similar bathroom set up. The Villa’s outside area has good space for a table with 4 reclining chairs, the lounge pool, and 2 sunbeds. The interiors were carefully designed even if maybe they will go back to add a few little things.
      Breakfast was delicious; you could order freshly made food and there was a small but good quality buffet. It was a little odd in that it was a served buffet while in the other places we stayed the breakfast buffet was as usual

      Overall the place is stunning…but it is in Kamari not Oia and not on the sea front (just a couple of minutes, but no sea view)
      @Rob I can send you some pictures if you want

      • Rob says:

        Great review, thanks. No need for pictures – I think you cover it well enough here.

      • DAJ says:

        Many thanks for posting this. We have just booked the Radisson for August 22 nabbing the last Presidential Suite (family of 4).

        I note with interest thoughts on locations – this will be our first visit to Santorini so will base ourselves at the Radisson and explore via hire car.

  • FlightDoctor says:

    Would Santorini be viable for a half term family holiday in late October….or is the weather too unpredictable by then?

    • Peggerz says:

      Personally, late October is a great time to go to the more southerly Greek Islands, though Rob may not totally agree after his Crete trip a couple of years ago.
      The weather is not as guaranteed as in August etc, and some places can be closing down.
      I head to Crete at this time, my booked flights last October – which EasyJet cancelled – were £36 each Edi-Her. And return from Ath -Edi was £42. Accommodation/bars/resto’s mainly open and average of 25 degrees daily.

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      I think it will be very quiet back end of October, Crete would be best Greek option but no way guaranteed weather

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