Hotel Porto Loutro I, right on the water's edge

Hotel Porto Loutro I, right on the water's edge

Hotel Porto Loutro I, right on the water's edge View from a balcony Your balcony is just a stone's throw from the shore The hotel's terrace is the perfect spot for people-watching Studio interior The Porto Loutro I's beachside garden

Hotel Porto Loutro I

CreteSouth-West Crete › Loutro

Set right on the water's edge in the centre of the Bay, this Loutro institution is perfect for those who wish to fully immerse themselves in the village's unique atmosphere.

Occupying the prime location in the centre of the bay, Hotel Porto Loutro I sits right on the water's edge, the embodiment of the Greek island idyll. Created two decades ago by an Anglo-Greek couple, Alison and Stavros Androulakaki, on Stavros' family land, the hotel has become almost addictive for the many guests who have been fortunate enough to discover it.

Alison, with her tales and observations on the absurdities of life in general and Loutro in particular, and her charming staff look after their guests in a warm and informal fashion making everyone feel like house guests. The garden by the beach and the upstairs bar are the perfects spots to enjoy a coffee, or something stronger, whilst indulging in Loutro's main activity, people watching.

The simple blue and white twin or double rooms have all been kept up to a standard that reflects the expectations of today's visitors with air-conditioning (doubling as heating in the cooler months), fridges and marble-tiled shower rooms. What they don't have are any superfluous frills as they would be entirely out of keeping with the surroundings. Each room has a balcony or patio with either full or side sea views and furnished with a table, chairs and umbrella.

Downstairs in the reception area money, books and local information are all exchanged and water taxis to the nearby beaches or to Hora Skafkion are arranged. Canoes are hired to those who enjoy a little exercise in the sheltered bay as are beach umbrellas to the more indolent sun-worshipper who prefers to just take the five steps to the beach.

Venturing a few steps further from the hotel you will find Loutro's handful of small shops and selection of waterfront tavernas, which between them supply all the necessities of life. There is certainly no need for guests to venture outside the enchanted semi-circle of Loutro for their entire holiday, the most appealing option for many of the regular visitors.

Porto Loutro is especially suitable for single travellers as they are made very welcome and are soon absorbed into the hotel's day to day life. Most importantly they certainly do not have second-class status and are never allocated a 'broom cupboard' without a view but one of the normal seafront rooms.

For guests who prefer a little more independence and simple self-catering facilities there are a selection of four studios and apartments surrounding the shady 16th century Venetian courtyard next to the hotel. They are all simply but stylishly decorated and of course are air-conditioned. Their double beds and atmospheric setting make them an ideal choice for a romantic getaway.

The kitchenettes each have a two ring hob and fridge, perfectly adequate for preparing breakfast or simple snacks but of course there is always the option of taking the lazy way out and just popping next door to the hotel and letting their staff do the work for you. In order to allow freedom of choice, breakfasts are not automatically included in the holiday price for those opting for the studios or apartments and are therefore payable locally.

Whichever of Loutro's accommodation you opt for you will be guaranteed a relaxed atmosphere without the intrusion of any of the pressures of a commercialised resort or of 21st century high speed living.

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