Casa Vitae at dusk

Casa Vitae at dusk

Casa Vitae at dusk A junior suite Casa Vitae was created from an early 17th-century mansion A superior room Well-appointed bathrooms Casa Vitae The entrance Breakfast in the courtyard A standard room A junior suite Casa Vitae at night The reception area The courtyard The mural in the entrance area Some rooms have four-poster beds

Casa Vitae

CreteThe Rethymnon Area › Rethymnon

A charming boutique hotel created from a restored manor house in Rethymnon's Old Town, within walking distance of the town's harbour, historical sights and sandy beach

Situated in Rethymnon's picturesque old town, this delightful boutique hotel is just the shortest of strolls from the town's archaeological museum and the bustling Venetian harbour with its enticing tavernas and cafes and atmospheric bars. Whilst slightly further, the long and sandy town beach can also easily be reached on foot, and there are numerous interesting shops and boutiques in the surrounding streets, all of which makes this an ideal location for those not wishing to have to hire a car for their holiday. At the same time, Casa Vitae's location in a quiet side street means that this convenience does not have to come at the expense of a good night's sleep.

Casa Vitae's main building is believed to have been built towards the end of the Venetian era, in the late 16th or early 17th century, as a nobleman's residence, with some speculating that it may even have been the home of the Venetian governor of the time. It was expanded during the Ottoman occupation of Crete, and today bears witness to both eras; in the beautiful courtyard for instance, three Venetian pillars stand alongside a distinctive Ottoman octagonal fountain, and remnants of the old hammam (Turkish bath) can be seen in what is now the hotel's reception area.

In the main building, there are eight Superior Rooms and Junior Suites, all expertly restored and individually furnished in a style that combines modern requirements for comfort with respect for the building's historic fabric. All are equipped with air-conditioning, 32" LCD TVs with satellite reception (limited English-language channels), mini-bars, telephones and free WiFi or cabled internet access. Each has either access to a small patio or a Juliet-balcony, and all have bathrooms with either a hydro-massage shower or Jacuzzi bathtub, stocked with toiletries and provided with fluffy bathrobes. In addition, there are three Standard Rooms in a small annex building just across the road. Whilst also attractively furnished they are a little smaller, have smaller TV sets and do not come with bathrobes or internet access, although guests may of course use the WiFi in the public areas of the main building.

Lovely though the interiors are, one of the hotel's most attractive features in the well-designed courtyard, where - weather permitting - breakfast is served in the summer. The hotel does not have a restaurant for evening meals, but with so many different dinners venues within easy walking distance, tasting your way through all the different options is surely one of the joys of staying in Rethymnon.

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