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“Top Marks (Almost)!”
Review of La Strada Suites

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La Strada Suites
Ranked #130 of 175 Hotels in Rethymnon
Reviewed 29 June 2012

I think that I am the first solo traveller to review Avli so I feel the weight of some responsibility following so many positive and glowing reviews. I would firstly stress that I had done my research well before travelling and was well aware that Avli attracts mainly couples and families. I was bowled over by the website and the reviews on here so I was not really concerned about this aspect. I arrived very late on a Saturday night. Thanassis (Manager) had organised a taxi from the airport (Thank you Illias - very nice chap), and on arrival, Thanassis was waiting to greet me personally, together with Yanis, his understudy. I was offered food and refreshments and Thanassis then personally escorted me to my suite. I certainly felt welcome.

The suite I chose was in the new La Strada lounge apartments, My suite was Florentia, or 'the cup cake' suite. These suites are the latest addition to Avli. They are in the building next to the Avli restaurant and my room overlooked the street on which the tables are set out. My first thought was that I did not recognise the room from any of the photos on the website. The style was similar, exposed venetian stone work and colourful blinds and cushions etc, but the bathroom was very small with a shower as opposed to a jacuzzi bath as mentioned on the website. I am not a bath person so I didn't really care about the lack of one but I was expecting a larger bathroom. The website does convey that these suites are smaller than the established lounge suites and this is certainly reflected in the price so I am not complaining about the size of the bedroom but I did feel that it would have been very cramped if I had been sharing. The bed takes up most of the room space and there is just enough room for the chaise longue and two bedside tables. The room has built in wardrobes and drawers (lots of hangers). The TV was high up on a shelf (small portable type), it took me a while to get used to the viewing angle and all Greek channels which may bother English speaking TV enthusiasts. My main problem was that there was no mirror in the bedroom. There was a mirror over the sink in the bathroom but because the bathroom was so small and the door was in the way it was impossible to stand back from the mirror to get a proper view. I did mention this to Thanassis the following morning and he did agree that La Strada is still a work in progress as they only began refurbishing the property a month or two before I arrived. There was also a problem with the Wi Fi in the room which was a bit hit and miss. Thanassis confirmed that this was a problem for all of the La Strada suites and was in the process of having it resolved although the problem persisted for the whole period of my stay (13 nights). I am sure that these matters will all be addressed and that La Strada will reach the same excellent standards of the Avli lounge suites in due course.

Breakfast was served al a carte in the charming garden of the restaurant between 9am and 12 noon. The breakfast is excellent and sets you up for the day, plenty of choice and the Cretan style omelette is delicious. I have to say that the atmosphere is very relaxing although I do feel that the staff were a little bemused by this lone woman in their midst! Thanassis however was very charming and did try valiantly to make me feel at home. He is an exceptional manager with impeccable manners, a rare quality to find in most establishments these days.

I ate in the restaurant on three occasions in the evening and thoroughly enjoyed it each time, although again I felt that the staff were slightly uncomfortable with my singleness and seemed more content dealing with the couples and family groups. I would emphasise that the staff are very pleasant and well trained and were certainly never rude but just a little aloof perhaps. The food was excellent. The house speciality - a goat dish - was delicious! I have read on here that the restaurant is expensive but I would counter that the food prices are quite reasonable for the quality on offer but it is actually the wine that is expensive which is par for the course in any good restaurant in the UK.

Avli is located in the heart of the old town and you can get lost in the little streets (as I generally did for the first few days!) surrounding it but it is only a ten minute walk down to the harbour and another ten minutes to the beach. I did not actually use the serviced beach as it was quite crowded with rows of sun loungers, and sand that has been levelled by machine. I preferred to use the small beach back near the inner harbour that the locals use although there are no sun loungers so you need to bring your complimentary Avli beach towel. The bus station is only a 10 minute walk from Avli and I took several trips to other places such as Chania, Plakias, Preveli and Ponormas.

The Avli shop 'Raw Materials' is located on an adjacent street to the Avli restaurant next door to the Avli lounge suites. The roof terrace is on the top of this building complete with jacuzzi and seating area. I found this a very pleasant area to relax and read although it is a little far from the restaurant if you want to have something to eat or drink. The staff will of course bring refreshments to the terrace if you request it but it would be useful perhaps to have a telephone on the terrace connected to the restaurant?

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Avli. It is obvious that the owner, Katherine, and Thanassis and his team are trying to create something unique and authentic and I would certainly return. But perhaps not on my own as I did end up feeling a little uncomfortable and a bit of a nuisance, especially when Thanassis used to worry if I did not turn up for breakfast, which happened a couple of times when I went off exploring on the bus.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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6  Thank Hawthorn65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 8 of 18 reviews

Reviewed 28 July 2011

this hotel has great reviews on the internet. it's not that that bad, but it's not at all as described. worst thing is that terrible odor in the room, a combination of mud and a toilet air refresher. shower curtains are not clean, sofas are not clean, bath amenities(shampoo, shower gel) were half- full (obviously had been used by a previous guest and were not changed) , decoration is cheap ( napkins and decoration pearls on furniture )rather than lovely, low quality breakfast. great owners though!

Room Tip: keep your expectations lower than reviews
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank chicabianca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2011

Stayed in 'Ramona' room for 10 nights in late May/ early June 2011. Very clean and classy room, with a walk in closet, nice bathroom, fridge, safe, a/c, wireless internet, etc. All that just steps from all the restaurants, bars, shops, and in the heart of the old Rethymno town. Couldn't have asked for a better place to stay in Rethymno!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank VladanT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2010

Superb location in the heart of old town Rethymno, we stayed here for one night as part of a honeymoon and weren't disappointed. The hotel itself is a beautiful, 600-year old structure, with great stonework and recently renovated throughout. We stayed on the top floor in the Cristina suite, which was a huge room with a four-poster bed and french doors out onto a private balcony. The location cannot be beat.

The bathroom was sufficient, although you have to hold the shower head in your hand as there's no hook, but hey, there's always something small. The bed was sufficiently large, although the sheets/comforter were very thin (a common theme on this trip). The room itself was quite huge with great stone walls and 13' ceilings probably. There was a super loud party going on on the rooftop next door that night (on like a Tuesday!) until 2 AM so that made it difficult to sleep, but it wasn't the hotel's fault. The provided breakfast is actually quite huge, with tons of bread choices, coffee, hard boiled eggs, yogurt with honey, etc. There was also free wifi, but it didn't work in the room, so I had to go down to reception to get the signal.

In the end, La Strada was a good choice for a short stay as the location was superb and the historic nature of the building was quite cool. The service was also adequate and the room was huge - all for a reasonable price based on what I saw in the area.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank bluedog423
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2009

As this was our first time in Crete we decided to split our week between the old and new towns of Rethymnon. We had seen La Strada on these pages and chose the hotel partly based on the reports we had read. Our taxi transfer from the airport had a bit of trouble finding the place but it was well worth the wait. We were eventually guided to the hotel by a young boy (the son of the family who own the property) and he checked us in and took us to our room, the Cristina Suite, on the top floor. Our first impression was "fantastic". The room was dominated by a four poster bed, it had the original stone walls and high ceilings giving it real character, the sun shining through the blinds on the windows filled the suite with a golden light which was most relaxing, it was also furnished with a comfortable two seater settee. There was a small balcony overlooking the street at the side of the hotel. The bathroom was of a reasonable size though there was no bath, but an adequate shower. There was plenty of wardrobe and drawer space, a fridge that came in handy and free air conditioning. Breakfast consisted of boiled egg, pastries, meats, cheese, bread, preserves, cakes, a bowl of fruit and as much coffee as you could drink. Service was always with a smile and very pleasant. It was a really nice place to stay. The hotels selling point is its olde charm so don't be expecting to find swimming pools, spas or computers, what you will find is a comfortable, friendly, laid back place that is more than pleased to meet you.
The old town was a wonderful area with a laberynth of narrow streets filled with shops selling all sorts of souvineers, leather goods, clothes, shoes and jewellery. There was an abundant choice of bars and resaurants. Two I would recomend were the Lemon Tree Garden and the Melody Garden, both serving great food in really charming surroundings and again the service was brilliant. There was a lovely harbour surrounded with resaurants and a short stroll up the hill led to the fortress. There was a very friendly atmosphere around the whole place and we were made to feel more than welcome everywhere we went.
All in all we loved our holiday in Crete and I would have no hesitation in recommending the La Strada Suites and Rethymnon to anyone.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank IandMEastKilbride
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2009

We stayed at La Strada Suites for 6 nights and had a wonderful time. The location is very central in the old town so made a perfect base. Our room 'Cristina' on the top floor was spacious with high ceilings, well appointed and had a small balcony overlooking the rooftops of the old town towards the Venetian fort. At sunset we were treated with swallows circling in the sky above! I really was delighted with the room which was great value in comparison to other places I checked online. The staff are all very helpful friendly and low key. The breakfast was fine - standard continental (ham, cheese, pastries, boiled eggs, breads and jams, coffee etc), personally I would have preferred a simple greek yogurt, honey and fruit - but I like a light breakfast.
Recommendations for things to do. Hire a car and head off to some great beaches. Prevelli Beach (about 40 mins) on south of the island is well worth a visit. Great for swimming and very picturesque. Be prepared for the steep walk down and back up to the carpark!
Balos Beach (west tip of crete, about 1h.30m by car - not recommended for a nervous driver as there is a half hour drive on a very bumpy dirt track - or you can get a boat). Beach/lagoon is stunning but again be prepared for long walk down and back up.
Local restaurants in rythemnon. Fountain Taverna - great food, great value and very friendly staff - highly recommended. We had one of our best meals here and ended up chatting to the owner and drinking Raki until 3am!
Castelo - very pretty setting, good for a romantic meal in their garden area. Our best meal. We had fish of the day (seabream baked in the oven) and large prawns in creamy ouzo sauce - it was superb & presented beautifully.
Avli - a very well known restaurant (next door to la strada) with an inventive and delicious menu. I had a fava bean, caramalised beetroot and squid starter - it may sound strange but it was great!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Onawa31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2009

We loved La Strada. The location was great, right at the center of the old town, busy but not too noisy. Breakfast was minimal but very good, room was clean (they dont change your towls everyday, maybe you need to ask for that).
Very friendly staff, we didn't hear from them at all, only when we needed something.
Great places around to eat local food, within seconds walk.
Perfect for a romantic getaway. Great value for money.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank realgingit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Strada Suites

Address: Xanthoudidou 16, Rethymnon, Crete 741 00, Greece
Region: Greece > Crete > Rethymnon Prefecture > Rethymnon
Hotel Style:
#43 Luxury Hotel in Rethymnon
Hotel Class:4 star — La Strada Suites 4*
Number of rooms: 5
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Also Known As:
La Strada Hotel
La Strada Suites Crete/Rethymnon

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