After reading so many excellent reviews, we’ve been excited to finally get there.. From the very first moments at Madonna Studios, we did realize that all those reviews are accurate.. the building itself is so charming with its Venetian look and all the beautiful flowers, that you feel like being back in the 13th century, when it had been built.. The neighborhood and the street are also delightful, within the old city of Chania, very close to everything – the old Venetian harbor, the lighthouse, the best shopping and dining places, the bus station, several minimarkets, a free public parking lot (2-3 minutes walk), and the Neo Chora Beach (10-15 min walk). Despite being so close to the everything, it’s extremely quiet and secluded.. All the works that have been done to the building and to its lovely patio add to their built in charm.. the furniture, the hardware floors, the entire decor are all so lovely (all that is of exquisite quality as well), with a Greek traditional feel, that we couldn’t help to admire them and to enjoy living there, even for a short while.. some of the decorations are made by the lovely host, Thomais, who is a wonderful person who loves people and enjoy being there for them no matter what their needs or wishes are.. her daughter Avrilia is equally great.. (Siba, the little black dog, is also very friendly ;) .. they are also exceptionally creative in so many ways that one feels overwhelmed, in a good way though ;).. Moreover, both of them are people that enrich other people’s life, by “exposing” them to their endless warmness and constant friendliness and kind support.. so staying at Madonna’s is more than an accommodation, it is a true cultural experience that changes people, mainly by making them more open to others.. in fact, this is true for most of the people of Chania, who are so truly friendly and welcoming (almost everybody speaks very good English, but other languages are spoken fluently as well), that one feels enchanted with the warmness of this lovely community (it’s worth mentioning that about 85% of the souvenirs are genuine Cretan folk art, they even make high quality silk :).. the neighbors are also very friendly and they will start say hello to you after 2-3 days of being there.. learning few words and expressions in Greek is very welcome ;) .. don’t be surprised to see people coming back at restaurants or shops and hugging and kissing with the owners and the staff.. even the most reserved people cannot resist to the allure of Chania and its people and they continue to come back again and again (there are people coming back at Madonna’s for more than 20 years:).. What is even more interesting: after going back home people send “thank you” cards, there is a bookshelf full of them in the lobby.. and more, throughout the building, in the lobby, but also in the studios, there are a lot of books (travel, literature etc.) left behind by their owners, and that increases the homely feeling..
There are 5 studios at Madonna’s, we had Studio 4 for 9 nights and Studio 2 for 2 nights (yes, we extended our stay ;) – they both are lovely and the others are too (we’ve had the chance take a look during our stay).. Studio 4 has a lovely balcony overlooking the patio, which is in the shadow for the most part of the day.. in fact the only studios without a balcony are 1 and 2, but there are chairs and tables available in the patio for both of them.. the Studio 5 that is on the second floor has also a roof terrace.. the balconies and the terrace are shadowed by big umbrellas.. AC and safe are also available in all the studios.. Studio 4 is very roomy, it has a bedroom (with a lot of closet space, hairdryer, iron and ironing board), a bathroom (with shower, sink, WC, and amenities), a nice living room (with a TV, a table, and a lot of sitting space) along with a well equipped kitchenette (a sink and some good quality appliances - a coffee filter, an electric kettle, a refrigerator, a stove, and many other useful kitchenware). Free WiFi worked well. Everything is spotlessly clean, they clean thoroughly each and every day.. the linen, the towels, the bead spread etc. are so white that almost hurt one’s eyes.. beach towels are provided as well..
Thomais and Avrilia will give you very helpful hints about places to dine or shop at.. we have tried them, some more than once (Moutopaki – excellent bream and sword fish, the friendliest staff, authentic décor, 5 minutes from Madonna), Akrogiali – excellent fresh sea food and bread, friendly staff, sea view, at the Neo Chora beach), L'artigiano, (ice cream with the best healthiest ingredients “hunted down” by the owners throughout, 5 minutes from Madonna).. there are some more of their recommendations to be tested, hopefully during our next visit :).. We have also dined at To Stachi (twice, lovely vegetarian bio comfort food cooked with love, friendly service), to Xani (good traditional food, poor service though), Manos (stay away from, poor food and service alike), and to Kalderimi (Thomais recommended it as well, good sword fish and stuffed vegetables). The cost for 2 persons (2 main courses, 2 glasses of wine) with tip included is about 25 EUR (30 EUR at to Xani). The portions are more than enough, and complimentary desserts and ouzo or raki are provided everywhere.
We felt sorry to leave and we hope to be there again soon as Chania has become, along with Budapest, our favorite vacation destination both because it has a lot to offer (from the charm of the old town and of the harbor to the clean colorful seawater and the spectacular views), to lovely and affordable places to dine and shop and mostly, due to both the very friendly people who embody the human hospitality at its highest and to the vibrant yet relaxing atmosphere.. Chania is the quintessence of a place to enjoy and rest at the same time.. one can even travel around to see the wonders of Western Crete (the Samaria gorge, the Minoan ruins, the wonderful picturesque beaches, the oldest olive tree in the world, the beach where Zorba’s been filmed etc.).
Thomais and Avrilia are THE dream hosts ever and the Madonna Studios is the perfect place for them to enchant people to come back again and again.. That’s way we’ve enjoyed every minute of being there and, equally significant, of getting to know them, and we can’t wait to be there again (and again :) and to enjoy this lovely town and its warm people who make you feel at home..
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- Also Known As:
- Madonna Studios Hotel Chania Town
- Madonna Studios Crete/Chania