“Honey, would you like to go to Santorini?”

“Ooh yeah! Those gorgeous Cycladic sunsets from the hillside!”

“Um, something like that…”

“And those beautiful old windmills and those blue-domed churches surrounded by bougainvillea!”

“Yes, about those churches…”

“Bouzouki music, fresh-from-the-sea squid, that lovely, relaxed family life that Greek islanders live!”


“(sighs) You’re talking about Abu Dhabi again, aren’t you?”

This is unlikely to be a conversation currently taking place in homes around the world, following last month’s news that high-end hotel chain Anantara will open a branch in Santorini before the end of the year, but not the will open in Santorini.

Instead, the new complex will land in Ghantoot. (What do you mean you’ve never…? It’s that lovely little plot of arid Abu Dhabi dust next to the NOMAC Gulf coal-fired power plant and the 132 KV Dewa Hassyan substation, like any fool with access to Google Maps (although apparently not, Anantara planning experts know this.) The Anantara Santorini Abu Dhabi Retreat has been designed to replicate the island of the same name in every way, its owners say, offering as examples its low-walled buildings whites, Greek food in their restaurant and (perhaps scraping the bottom of the ouzo barrel a little) “an indoor cinema with private screenings on request.”