“A boutique B&B with pretty suites for 2-4 and an inviting seafront café, in the laid-back resort village of Kala Nera”
Each suite has a double (kingsize) bedroom, a bathroom with shower, and a separate sitting room with 2 sofas which can be made up as single beds. They are prettily styled by Thomas' wife Aspasia, with a mix of rustic (exposed stone walls, wooden beams) and dainty (floral fabrics, cream curtains, beaded chandeliers). The palette is off-whites and warm greys with touches of pink or burgundy; oil paintings of naive nudes and lurid sunsets, by family friend Vasso Frangou, add further splashes of colour.
You get flatscreen TVs and air-con in the sitting room; dreamy Cocomat 4-layer mattresses and plenty of wardrobe space in the bedroom; hairdryers, robes and Apivita goodies in the bathroom. Stylish fireplaces - some set behind glass in the wall, others in eye-catching hanging stoves by Pharos - keep you snuggly in the surprisingly cool Pelion spring or autumn.
But it's the 2 sea-facing suites (Skari and Koralli) which stand out for their wonderful private patios, furnished with easy seating and vast parasols - a great space to while away an afternoon or several. Yes, they're above the café and they overlook the waterfront road, but we weren't troubled by noise, and the road is closed to traffic on summer evenings. By contrast, the 3 suites in the rear building lack their own outdoor space (apart from a shared courtyard, with its hot tub), and we thought that ground-floor Vallari, in particular, felt rather enclosed.
Breakfast at Minelska's seafront café is a wonderful start to the day. In the surprisingly urban-chic dining room, Irini lays out an astonishing spread of oven-warmed pastries (custard tartlets, spinach rolls, cheese triangles), tangy goats cheese and fleshy olives from a nearby farm, thick-set Greek yoghurt with a vast bowl of freshly sliced strawberries, melon, oranges, bananas and peaches. There are fried eggs and wholemeal breads too, squeezed juices and superb jams, so pile your plate high and take a sleek white seat by the water's edge (or a wicker sofa, if you prefer) and watch the first boats putter into life on a millpond sea.
You could easily spend most of the day here: Irini can bring all manner of coffees, juices, even wines and cocktails if it comes to it, plus a small selection of ice creams, cakes and savoury snacks. But other delights beckon - most vocally Paris' taverna and his seafront neighbours.
For a quieter dinner, escape to Rodia, a 5-minute walk through olive groves, for well-priced, home-cooked fare. My juicy lamb with aubergines, vast Greek salad and a half-litre jug of local white wine came to barely 10 euros. There are plenty of mini-markets in the village, if you fancy stocking up for a picnic.
Children of all ages are welcome at Minelska and we think it's a good option for families who want some hotel services (breakfast, daytime drinks and snacks) at what you might call a self-catering price point. All suites work for families as each has a sitting room with 2 single sofa beds. Note that they don't have kitchenettes, but there are shops and tavernas within a few minutes' walk.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
All suites have one bedroom with a double bed and living room with 2 sofa beds so can sleep 4, plus a baby cot can be added. The smaller suites are well set up for a couple with 1 or 2 well-behaved children but you'd need to keep your clutter organised (there's plenty of cupboard space). The suites with a garden view (Brinja and Lilija) are bigger and have a door separating the bedroom from the living room, these two suites can also take an extra bed.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
You need to cross the lane to reach the seafront café from the rooms - but it's closed to traffic on summer evenings. The pharmacy is next door to the hotel