We stayed at the Chryssana, during the first week of September 2013, for our honeymoon. It was the perfect antidote for the previous weeks of stress! The hotel is well looked after: the rooms are of a reasonable size (we had a standard double) with air-con, TV, fridge and telephone; the balcony has a sea-view and also overlooks the beautiful gardens; all the public places are clean and inviting with free sun loungers around the good-sized pool. Perhaps the only (small) complaint about the rooms is the lack of storage: there is a wardrobe, but then only two small bed-side drawers, and a small dressing-table drawer so we ended up keeping most of our 'smalls' in the suitcase. The mattresses are definitely firm, but this seems to be the norm for Crete anyway.
The dining area overlooks the garden, with the sea beyond. We stayed on a B&B basis. The breakfast is a self-service buffet with a wide variety of choice ranging from toast and cereal to bacon, sausage and egg. The food is tasty and you can choose as much or as little as you want. We are both over 50, and somewhat set in our ways so we ended up taking a couple of teabags with us (which we had brought from the UK) down to breakfast as the choice of tea and coffee was not to our taste (although to be fair, there was a choice of several different types of tea). We noticed that the hotel also offers evening meals - three courses plus wine or beer for 33 Euros per couple, which is extremely reasonable. I cannot comment on the food, as we ate out (at greater expense) every night.
Now a word of caution for families or people looking for a lively holiday. Kolymbari is a small, quiet fishing village. We visited in September so there were no older children around, making it very quiet indeed. However, even in the height of summer I cannot imagine the place being described as 'lively'. There are a handful of very good tavernas surrounding the working harbour, and a couple of souvenir shops, other than that the village is more geared to its residents than its visitors. In the centre of the village there is a large-ish supermarket, bank, post office, 2 schools and a few other shops and kafenions.
Like-wise, the Chryssana is a quiet and peaceful place. It has a spa centre where a variety of massages and treatments can be booked. It is in a garden setting, with various seating areas making it an ideal place to sit and read should you get tired of the sun loungers! The only noise is that of the sea, the watering systems in the surrounding fields, and occasionally for us was a noisy visitor to the neighbouring property. The hotel is located a good ten minutes walk from the village along the beach road, which has the pebbly beach on one side, and agricultural fields on the other. It is not particularly well lit so a torch would be useful on a night time. The beach is beautiful, but not particularly suitable for families because of the pebbles. Also there are no water sports or pedalos! However there are turtles who nest along the beach, and small shelters should you wish to change for swimming.
At the top of the road which runs alongside the hotel is a mini-market which seems to sell everything. There is an excellent bus service to Chania from here which takes about 30 minutes, so if you do get tired of the slow pace, you can easily and cheaply get into Chania with its city facilities and entertainment.
We travelled with Olympic Holidays which offered several excursions. One not to be missed is the Jeep Safari which visits orchards and mountains and small villages off the beaten track. Our guide was Michaelis, who was entertaining and well informed. We laughed for most of the 6 hours in his company! It is also worth noting that the people we met were all very friendly and helpful, whether they were staff at the hotel, staff in the tavernas, or even people in the street.
So in short, the Chryssana is ideal for a quiet, slow-paced holiday, with the option of bus trips into Chania. It would be a good base for exploring the west of the island, for those hiring a car. It was our first time in this part of Crete, and we were so enamoured that we have already booked for next September and this time for TWO weeks.
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- Also Known As:
- Chryssana Beach Hotel Crete/Kolymbari, Chania