While traveling the islands a few months ago many locals urged us to get to Chania. Nobody could tell us why. (I kept asking, trust me :) ) Everyone just kept saying "trust me, it's special, get there."
The city is special. It's especially special because it's behind old city walls so cars cannot drive there... That means we could not see it when we first arrived BY CAR, and we were completely lost for I couldn't even tell you how long. It was my fiance and I in our little rent-a-car packed to the rafters with suitcases.
All we were circling through was a concrete city, no old city walls or water anywhere. And this part of Chania was bustling with people more than anywhere else (we had come from the small population islands). So much for a "special" place; this was a headache.
After realizing we had driven in circles more times than we could count, we were about to drive straight to the airport and go somewhere else, anywhere else.
I don't know and am frankly embarrassed to even think about how long it took us to finally swallow our pride and phone a local friend for help. We did, eventually, but were not optimistic we would find anywhere good to stay anyways. Fortunately, before we could think more about it, someone by the name of George with a hotel called Casa Veneta in Old Town Chania was calling us.
We answered and within minutes George (who turned out to be the owner's son) had figured out where we were, walked 15 minutes to meet us, knocked on our car window and introduced himself quick, then hopped into our car (packed to the rafters with suitcases remember), and guided us to a foreign parking lot, told us to park, and get out.
By that point we still saw nothing "special" here but seriously had nothing to lose, and figured we would just leave in the morning (George said that the hotel only had one night available anyways). For now, at least, we had a place to stay.
All the sudden we turn a corner with George, see the panoramic view of the harbor, pass through the old city walls, and end up in the most beautiful cobblestone side street for pedestrians only and lined with the most charming boutique hotels, shops, restaurants, and people.
We didn't even check-in or get to our room at Casa Veneta until hours after-wards--because we were talking in the lobby and drinking home-made Raki and wine with George and his father for literally hours. (And with our suitcases still with us no less.) They filled us with the best conversation and the stay was superb.
Best location, most charming boutique hotel, family owned by George's family forever, lots of history, and best service.
And, there is something about Chania Harbor. "Trust me, it's special, get there."
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tucked away in a narrow side street in the old quarter of Chania, Casa Veneta has plenty of olde worlde charm.It is a new, four storey building which we have sympathetically reconstructed from an old Venetian facade. For your convenience we have a television lounge on the ground floor. We have kept the atmosphere of the Grand Venetian period by using stripped polished wood for our interiors, and giving some studios a gallery bedroom.A friendly, most charming base in an excellent location from which to explore this historic and atmospheric town. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Casa Veneta Crete/Chania