Before launching off into a review of this magnificent hotel-apartment property, the reader will certainly want some more tidbits about this marvelous old city. Chania, which sits on top of the old Minoan settlement of Kydonia (Κῠδωνία), has witnessed empires and cultures that mark humanity’s time in this part of the world. Of the Minoans, there is no way of condensing their impact on western civilization. Suffice it to say their culture paved the way (literally) for anything refined and civil you can name in our cultures. After their demise, successive empires and influences impacted Crete and Chania.
The Greeks, Romans, Venetians and the Ottoman Turks left indelible inscriptions on this “chosen” place in the Northwest of Crete. So today, Chania is a living and breathing oracle, so to speak, of what was and what is, blended into a pretty little town of 100 thousand or so inhabitants. Chania is at once classical and archaic, and somehow neo-modern when it comes to the Cretan way of life. In short, the city is one of those place you have to visit (or live in).
Porto Antico Hotel & Apartments is an elegant but unassuming property situated in the heart of old town Chania, right down the way from the iconic lighthouse, in a historic building on the Venetian harbor promenade. The recently remodeled hotel maintains its Venetian character, combining contemporary flair with traditional elements to create an elegant but simple atmosphere. The hotel is pure Chania for all intents and purposes. The reception, lounge and library, the sumptuous but unpretentious suites and apartments, put guests right at home.
Of course, free WiFi and other amenities bespeak of four and five-star digs, but what makes Porto Antico so special is not the expense of opulence, but rather the welcome hominess of worn solid wood, the wrought iron railings on the verandas, and the sights and sounds outside that whisper of Chania society. A step away from the hotel guests will find not simply a vacation photo-op, but the finest of Cretan life, food, Raki, and the effervescent Cretan Sea. Yes, you get your big screen TV, and in the exclusive apartments your own stove and fridge etc. World famous Cretan hospitality goes without saying, but what differentiates this hotel from others is the combination of proximity and indescribable personality.
The entrance to the hotel is on one of the narrow parallel alleyways to the promenade. For those who have not been to Crete, cities like Chania appear a bit run down. But this is just a reflection of the attitude of the people like I said – unpretentious. After all, what good is another coat of paint when a Raki and singing seagulls are a few feet away? In all seriousness, the produce stand and juice bar next door set a tone, one that is immediately transformed once you enter the hotel. Elegant somehow argues with busy commerce, unless you are in Istanbul! Trust me, you will have to go visit, no journalist can explain. Just take my word, you were never so relaxed and enthralled at the same moment. Remember to tear yourself away from the jewelry shop on the corner, and from the countless sidewalk cafes.
My recommendation is the Superior Apartment at Porto Antico, a classy but cozy 130 square meters with living room, kitchen, and a very spacious veranda overlooking the sea and the harbor. Free parking is included, which if you know Chania you’ll understand the value. The hotel gets generally 4.5-star ratings from TripAdviser and other guest feedback sources. Almost all of the 127 we found on TA were either excellent or very good.
Additional info: Room and apartment prices vary by the season and special discounts, but a week at either of the city view or sea view apartments goes for €1000 or less basically. For more prices, availability, and info about Porto Antico Hotel & Apartments, please contact the hotel directly via phone: +30 28210 02301 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org