Kapsaliana Village Hotel

Kapsaliana, Crete, Greece Book from Book from £83 per night

A gorgeous rural hideaway created out of a 17th-century Cretan hamlet, with stunning sea views
Once, Kapsaliana’s sole purpose was to produce olive oil for a peaceful Cretan monastery - now it provides a haven for those who seek peace. The village’s idyllic hilltop setting hasn’t changed, nor its cobblestone streets and terracotta roofs, but the Greek architect-owner has transformed the crumbling buildings into 19 boutique rooms and suites. Rundown millers' cottages are now rustic-chic bedrooms with creamy stone walls, hefty wood furniture and turquoise tiled showers. The olive mill itself, complete with original stone wheels and huge earthen pots, houses a large superior suite and the hotel’s characterful lounge. Sun-drenched terraces look across myrtle trees to the ocean; the air is fragrant with lemon and lavender.

Curious children can look for lizards in the village’s nooks and crannies, while couples like to laze by the pool and drink in the intoxicating view. No one has to go far for food - the organic restaurant serves up delicious Cretan dishes using vegetables from the garden. The surrounding mountain trails invite invigorating walks and sandy beaches are a short drive away. We love this beautiful blend of past and present - and can’t wait to stay at Kapsaliana in the future.


  • The peaceful hillside location in Crete's rural north: tucked amongst olive groves with far-reaching views
  • Well priced for somewhere utterly unique - the Greek government cites Kapsaliana as a hotel of ‘significant cultural importance’
  • The chef hosts regular talks about olive oil production, with samples to savour
  • Helpful staff will drive guests to the historic Arkadi Monastery and provide packed breakfasts for early flyers
  • Spoiling touches: all rooms have Satellite TV, bathrobes and slippers, and a DVD player on request


  • The ground-level rooms without terraces are a bit dark with not-so-private outdoor spaces
  • There are a couple of nearby tavernas but most restaurants are a drive away
  • The lack of on-site activities, especially at night, may make it a bit too tranquil for some - but perfect for others
  • You'll need to hire a car to go off exploring but it's only a 10-minute drive to the nearest sandy beach

Best time to go

Spring is a particularly lovely time to visit: wildflowers bring the landscape to life and Easter celebrations give an insight into local traditions. Warm, uncrowded autumn days are the time for local harvests of grapes, raki and olive oil. Summer offers plenty of hot sunshine, ideal for lounging by the pool. Winter - aside from the lively Carnival - is a tranquil time for cosy nights by the lounge fireplace. Kapsaliana usually closes for a month in November-December.

Our top tips

Rent a hotel mountain bike and cycle down to the sea or explore neighbouring villages. A 30-minute drive away, the village of Margarites has a long tradition of ceramic arts. Try to visit late in the afternoon when the tour buses have left and you'll be able to meander unhurried through its narrow streets lined with Byzantine buildings and pottery studios.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 19
  • Restaurant and bar open daily
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 6 Nov 2018 - 7 Dec 2018
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Bicycles Available
  • Laundry Service
  • Daily housekeeping
Room: Pegasus


Named after constellations, rooms at Kapsaliana are a starry lot. All of them are full of original character with features such as stone arches, thick wooden beams and open fireplaces. Classic Doubles Izar and Altair have terraces and can be booked together as a family unit. There’s also a single room, Cygnus, which would suit a teenager. For those with small children, the Pleiades Suite has an enclosed ground-floor patio providing extra space. In the same garden enclave, three Superior Doubles Libra, Hydra and Berenices look out across the verdant valley.

If it's views you're after, Orion, Pegasus and the Exclusive Suite, Aquarius, all have panoramic terraces overlooking the olive grove and the sea beyond. Andromeda has a charming mezzanine bedroom, while Perseus comes complete with its very own Cretan oven. We particularly like the look of the hotel's grandest suite, the Olive Mill, with a unique lead-glass floor built over the original brickwork of the olive oil factory. Bathrooms throughout are smart affairs, with showers, robes and Apivita toiletries.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Mosquito net
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi


The buffet breakfast is first-rate at Kapsaliana: an abundant spread of fresh fruit, home-baked bread, deli meats like apaki (smoked pork) and Cretan ricotta cheese. It’s served in the restaurant – a pretty room hung with tapestries - until a very civilised 11am.

A light lunch can be eaten by the pool or at the restaurant - order salads and gourmet snacks from the bar phone and they’ll be brought to your lounger. There's a well-stocked honesty bar for drinks and ice-creams to keep you cool throughout the day; in summer the pool bar is staffed 5-7pm for essential sundowner cocktails.

All the food is organic and vegetables are grown in the garden. There’s a choice of up to 5 dishes at dinner, with a range of good Greek wines. We like the sound of slow-roasted lamb with lemon and fish roe, or octopus cooked with aged vinegar and Koroneiki olive oil. A tasting menu of Cretan dishes is offered on Thursday nights, while Mondays in summer are Fish Night, accompanied by live music.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
Eating: Restaurant


  • Explore the village - stroll to the charming local church or the artefact-filled museum in the 250-year-old olive mill
  • Rent a mountain bike from the hotel and cycle through Crete's quiet (if hilly) countryside
  • Ask staff to drop you at 14th-century Arkadi Monastery - a symbol of Crete's independence from the Ottoman Empire with a fascinating past - then walk the 4km back to the hotel
  • Trek along the wooded Platania Gorge to the cave church of St Anthony or through the rocky maze of waterfalls in the magnificent Patsos Gorge
  • Walk the flower-filled Amari Valley or perhaps join a guided botanical or bird-spotting tour
  • Kayak the coast – paddle by the coves of the south coast (single or tandem kayaks) and finish with lunch in a taverna by the sea
  • Head to Rethymnon (25-minute drive), a well-preserved Venetian town with a colourful harbour, broad sandy beaches and a hilltop fortress
  • Visit the Museum of Ancient Eleutherna (10km), for an insight into Greek society from 3000 BC
  • Back at the hotel, enjoy olive oil tasting at the hotel or try a cold process soap-making course with olive oil

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Olive oil tasting
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Trekking
  • Well being
  • Wine tasting
  • Yoga


Children of all ages are welcome and the rooms are well set up to accommodate families. There's plenty of outdoor space and a pool, though nothing specific in the way of children's facilities and teenagers might find it a little quiet.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Izar and Altair (Classic Doubles) can be booked together to form a family suite (both can be twinned). Classic Single room, Cygnus, would suit a teenager or grandparent. The Pleiades Suite is ideal for families with young children because of the outdoor enclosed space. All rooms can fit a baby cot.

Families Should Know:

The restaurant is open daily for breakfast and dinner, and snack lunches are available to order by the pool.


  • Airport: 79km (Heraklion)
  • Beach: 5km (Stavromenos and Geropotamos)
  • Hospital: 18km (Rethymnon)
Kid Friendly:

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