There is nothing—nothing—that rivals the post-card-perfect scene of a Santorini sunset. Immaculate white buildings set against the shimmering Aegean Sea are what people most often associate with the Greek island, about an hour, or five, from Athens (depending on whether you’re arriving by plane or high-speed ferry). It’s one reason the destination has earned a top spot on must-visit lists of seemingly every type of traveler, from empty nesters to fashionistas to spring breakers to serious globetrotters. But for all of Santorini’s selling points—gorgeous beaches, mouthwatering Mediterranean fare, renowned local wines—it’s decidedly lacking in one key area: private, über-luxe accommodations. Most villa rentals in the region tend to be small with underwhelming service, and the handful of high-end hotels—primarily located in Oia, the island’s most popular village—are crammed together and completely exposed, making it impossible for prominent visitors accustomed to exclusivity and seclusion to escape the peering eyes of passersby. (See: the Kardashians, who, while visiting in 2013, couldn’t avoid the frenzied paparazzi, whether they were smashing plates or wandering the caldera.)

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