One of southern Crete’s most enchanting stays, Koutsounari Traditional Cottages was just named a 2021 Traveler’s Choice Award winner. The small hamlet of cottages overlooking the Libyan Sea and Ierapetra is also among the highest-rated hospitality offers in all of Greece with a five-star Tripadvisor rating from over 190 reviewers.
The history of Koutsounari Traditional Cottages gives us a window into how such a hidden gem becomes a perennial favorite. The legendary hospitality figure Eleni Nakou was a pioneer in the early 1960s, who became famous for her Elounda Beach hotel efforts during the period. The recreation of the abandoned settlement of Koutsounari, the restoration of abandoned buildings, and its conversion to the tourist resort Koutsounari Traditional Cottages is a model development several have tried to emulate since. We’ve profiled her amazing efforts before in an interview with Ioanna Madala, the visionary who carries on the mission of traditional Cretan hospitality. We asked her about what this latest Traveler’s Choice Award means for her team:
“I am proud, humbled, and honored that our guests are so loyal and that they all become friends. Our small team is also touched that our guests appreciate the hard work and effort we put in. Our guests are the reason we strive for perfection. They are, as Cretan tradition (Filoxenia) says, the reason for going above and beyond to exceed their expectations.”
Koutsounari Traditional Cottages began back in 1974 with the help of renowned architects V. Zerva-Vozineki and T. Zervas. Today, these authentic Cretan cottages afford guests a perfect combination of modern comfort and tradition, in creatively recreated facilities and living spaces set in paradise.
The cottages, winners of the “Europa Nostra” Diploma for the restoration of abandoned buildings into a tourist resort, each has its own private entrance, a secluded terrace, modern kitchenettes, set in a small Eden at the center of an olive grove on the Libyan Sea and a short walk to a magic Blue Flag beach.
Ioanna Madala and her staff have undergone training and meet or exceed compliance with all health safety protocols from the National Public Health Organization (E.O.D.Y.) and the National Health Ministry, as well as additional government and European organizations that are required for our operation. The staff carry out precautions like high-temperature linen sanitation, social distancing protocols, contactless check-in and checkout, an available doctor 24/7, regular staff temperature checks, and even paid stay-at-home program for staff who exhibit symptoms, to name of few of the extra procedures.
Nearby there is a world of hidden wonders to explore. Whether you seek your own private stretch of sea and sand solitude, as above at Agia Fotia, or countless explorations in unparalleled nature, this part of Crete is just magic. Rent a car and drive to the Minoan Palace at Zakros for a day trip. Discover the Waterfall of Milona and a dozen wonderful gorges in East Crete. Visit the Minoan water tanks, the church of the Virgin of the Kales, the Venetian fortress, or the Selekano Forest on a day trip. There’s no end to the attractions you’ll find with Koutsounari Traditional Cottages as your basecamp.
Within walking distance of Koutsounari Traditional Cottages, guests will find some of the finest traditional taverns in all Crete. Taverna Psaropoula is a top-rated Tripadvisor spot, a typical Cretan fish tavern. Alatsi (Αλάτσι) is situated in an idyllic setting and serves impeccable traditional fare. Of course, there are dozens of others nearby, and you really cannot lose on Crete. Here, finding a bad restaurant is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. Go where the locals go, and you cannot miss. Crete has many Traveler’s Choice winners across hospitality and tourism categories.
The property is also pet-friendly, which is super important for us. Check their liberal pet policy to make sure it suits you. For more information and for the best rates please call +30 697 680 7565. Readers can either book online at www.traditionalcottages.gr, or send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org for the best rates and info.