During a visit to the surrounding area for business and family affaires, we stayed at the Arhontikon based on reviews and recommendations.
The building is totally renovated by turning the lower storage areas into bedrooms and then accessing the higher rooms with an internal staircase. The renovation effort was very good with truly accurate depiction of the traditional old Cretan Homes with actual old pictures on the walls but kitschy doilies on the furniture. Wooden floors and ceiling beams, working fireplace and fully equipped kitchen allow for a very comfortable homey feeling.
We were not aware that there was no breakfast and so we did not bring any coffee or tea with us for the morning after. Our room was a very large apartment - operative word - about 60-70 sq.m with only one bathroom downstairs forcing us to go up and down the steps (in our estimation a small WC just basin and bowl could ve been placed on the Lounge area upstairs for convenience.
Surprisingly the bed was big enough to hold my very tall husband, saw a small moldy area in the corner of the bathtub and heavy dust on top of the wardrobe looking down from the raised sleeping area.
As in most Greek places, there is no hook on the wall to place the "telephone" shower so you hold it as you shower (!) and there is no separation by either a cheap liner or more elaborate glass panel to stop the water from going everywhere while one showers... Bring amenities with you. There was nothing but promotional size soap. We needed to take a shower in the evening after a whole day on the road but there was no hot water. Next morning, I had to ask the mother of the owner who lives on site, to turn on the water heater (It should be mandatory by Law that hot water should be automatically provided and nobody has to ask for such a basic service. There was no cleaning service during the two days we stayed.
Do not look for directions on the website. Both the zoomed in and out maps are simply not helpful. The sign to make a left from the main road is visible but then you are lost! We literally toured Arhanes thus seeing the whole village before eventually finding the building. There is only street parking. The place is not suitable for handicapped or elderly access and if you have children with you, be prepared to sleep on a separate floor. Also if you want to walk to the center of the village be aware that the building is up on a very steep hill and returning back in the evening would not be an easy task!
If you want to explore the stunning beauty of the area, visit Knossos (only 5 miles away), explore the wineries and other archeological sites, and stay in Arhanes instead of the nondescript Heraklion and stay in Arhontikon if you want to feel that you stay in your own home.
Overall we are vey happy with our stayat Arhontkon and having the cats jump up on our laps and sunning ourselves in the internal courtyard with the blooming Rosemary bushes..
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- THE MANSION ARHONTIKO is 4-star traditional apartment Built in 1893, it is a fine example of 19th century inland Cretan architectureArhanes is a picturesque small town, built at an altitude of 380 meters [1280 ft] Arhanes is 14 kilometers away from the city of Heraklion and only 7 kilometers from the Palace of Knossos. The greater area of Arhanes is most significant for its numerous archaeological sites. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Arhontiko In Arhanes Archanes, Crete