Q&A with Ethos Santorini’s Artemis Sorotou: ‘Our Ultimate Goal is to Attract Non-Vegans to Our Hotel’

7 Mins Read

There’s a new luxury vegan hotel in Santorini, with biodegradable toiletries, bamboo slippers, and, of course, a plant-based breakfast. Co-owner Artemis Sorotou spills the beans on the Ethos Vegan Retreat.

While the world of ethical and sustainable hospitality is booming, some have been doing it for years. Ethos Santorini, the family-run company championing veganism and eco-friendly living, is one of them.

In 2021, it opened the Ethos Vegan Suites in Fira, the capital of one of the most popular islands in Greece. The five-room hotel was built with natural materials on Santorinian architectural principles, and provided a blueprint for cruelty-free hospitality offerings.

In the years since, it has gained a cult following (and exemplary ratings), which led to its owners – the wife-husband duo of Artemis Sorotou and Coskun Piskin – opening a second location this month. Situated in the village of Imerovigli, the Ethos Vegan Retreat builds upon the brand’s sustainability credentials, with four private villas exuding luxury and slow living with climate-friendly food and amenities.

ethos vegan suites
Courtesy: Ethos Santorini

With bookings available from May to September, guests are treated to a breakfast platter that veganises local Greek dishes and international classics, as well as three-course meals traversing various cuisines, and vegan alcohol options. The sustainability aspect extends to all parts of the property, from the zero-waste slippers and biodegradable toiletries to glass water bottles and pottery containers.

Each villa has two bedrooms and bathrooms, with large indoor and outdoor spaces that encourage a tranquil environment. All the residences have a heated pool too, extending Ethos’s ethos of unwinding and rejuvenating in Santorini’s stunning landscapes.

We spoke to Sorotou about the decision to open the new property, its vegan and sustainable offerings, and her plans for the future.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and concision.

Green Queen: What made you decide to open a second location? Why open it only seasonally?

Artemis Sorotou: With the resounding success of Ethos Suites in Fira, we were inspired to dream bigger. After two years of operation and an outpouring of love and positive feedback from our guests, we knew we had something special. This success, coupled with the unwavering support of my family – who stepped in to invest in the land – has paved the way for our new location to become a reality. 

At Ethos Retreat Imerovigli, we are excited to offer a unique and more laidback style of vacation. From cooking classes to retreats, we are committed to sharing more with our guests. However, due to weather conditions, we have decided to operate the residences seasonally to ensure we can maintain the high level of experience we strive to offer. Certain things, like keeping the pools warm and clean, just aren’t possible year-round.

ethos vegan suites santorini
Courtesy: Ethos Santorini

GQ: Who is your target customer?

AS: Our commitment to veganism and nature is at the core of our brand. We have created a safe environment for vegans, where they can relax, knowing everything is made with respect to animals and nature. However, our ultimate goal is to attract more non-vegan guests and show them that they can enjoy life and vacations without any animal abuse and with a deep respect for nature. 

After three years, we can proudly say that our success extends beyond the vegan community. Many of our guests aren’t vegan but return with glowing feedback. This achievement signifies our ability to cater to a diverse clientele, making them realise that a vegan lifestyle can be delicious, luxurious, and cruelty-free.

GQ: How would you differentiate your first property from your second for customers looking to choose between the two?

AS: Both properties are distinct and luxurious in their own unique way. Ethos Suites in Fira caters to those who prefer to be in the city centre. The location allows them to be in the midst of the action, explore easily, and use public transportation conveniently. However, they can still retreat to a cosy and stylish space with all the amenities and even a private hot tub. They can find a tranquil oasis when they step into Ethos.

Ethos Retreat in Imerovigli is ideal for laidback holidays, for families, friends, couples, or even solo travellers. This is an ideal escape for those who really want to relax and disconnect, and aren’t as interested in being in the middle of the action. Of course, with our assistance, they can still experience and explore the whole island.

ethos santorini
Courtesy: Ethos Santorini

GQ: What are some of the highlights from your breakfast and à la carte menus?

AS: We offer complimentary breakfast and a special experience dining menu (not a traditional à la carte menu), which includes Greek mezze platters, fruit platters, a three-course dinner or lunch, cooking classes, champagne service, and a sunset picnic. The three-course dinner or lunch is themed either Greek, Italian or Middle Eastern.

For breakfast, we offer a different selection daily consisting of one savoury and one sweet option, homemade jams, fresh juices, and more. A few special breakfast dishes that we offer include a veganised version of my grandma’s pancakes, called tiganitous; Kagiane, which is traditionally a dish made with scrambled eggs (I use tofu and spices), and crêpes with tahini and tart apples.

GQ: Do you plan to serve plant-based meats too, or have a whole-food approach? And what milks will you serve?

AS: We cook mostly whole-food plant-based, with many local ingredients. I’ve also veganised many traditional Greek recipes so guests can enjoy the cuisine without the cruelty. A few other traditional Greek dishes that we serve include moussaka, pastitsio, baklava, spinach pie, mushroom gyro, bougatsa, and more.

For plant-based milk, we use soy, almond and oat milk.

vegan hotels
Courtesy: Ethos Santorini

GQ: The retreat uses Nespresso pods – but coffee capsules are notoriously bad for the climate. How do you deal with the waste created?

AS: We chose Nespresso because it is the only company that allows us to collect the capsules and send them back with no extra cost for recycling. For coffee, we didn’t have many options. We also offer fresh herbal tea leaves produced in Greece, served in pottery made at the locally owned Earth and Water Studio.

GQ: How did you approach the design, in regards to sustainability and local heritage?

We worked with a Santorini-based architecture team called Kapsimalis Architects to blend sustainability with local design. The exterior design incorporates the island’s aesthetics – domes and straight lines, as well as colours and fabrics. Most of the furniture and tableware are made by local carpenters and pottery artists.

vegan resorts
Courtesy: Ethos Santorini

GQ: What other sustainability initiatives have you undertaken for the new property?

AS: We don’t use any plastic toiletries – we utilise biodegradable certified vegan pods for shampoo, conditioner and shower gel made by Biorama, a family-owned company based in Crete. We also provide bamboo amenities and slippers made from hotel towel waste.

We are trying to eliminate plastic by using glass bottles of water, providing tea and sugar in pottery, no plastic or paper bags, using biodegradable toilet paper that can be thrown inside the toilet, separating waste and recycling, and doing our own compost to manage food waste. 

Unfortunately, the location of Ethos in Imerovigli doesn’t provide us with a connection to the public water system (it’s not safe for human consumption), so we have to purchase glass bottles of water. However, at Ethos Suites in Fira, we have installed a water filter, so we’re able to provide guests with water in refillable glass bottles daily.

We also only use eco-friendly and vegan cleaning products throughout the property.

GQ: Where do you see the company in five years? Do you envision more locations in the future?

We hope to inspire more businesses to take a more sustainable approach to hospitality and, of course, help more people enjoy a vacation with less cruelty and less of an environmental impact.

If we say we don’t envision more locations, it would be a lie. But that’s still far away, as we are just a single family running this business. This requires considerable financial investment and constant work. I have a few more Ethos projects that I hope one day will come to fruition, but for now, they are dreams.


  • Anay Mridul

    Anay is Green Queen's resident news reporter. Originally from India, he worked as a vegan food writer and editor in London, and is now travelling and reporting from across Asia. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, food tech, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford comma.

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