Monastery Estate Venetian Harbor

Chania, Crete, Greece
Book from GBP Book from £125 per night

Monastery Estate Venetian Harbor

Chania, Crete, Greece

Luxury minimalism with a historic twist and a great restaurant, in the Old Town of Crete’s second-largest city

Luxury minimalism with a historic twist and a great restaurant, in the Old Town of Crete’s second-largest city

Set in the backstreets near the famous Venetian harbour in Chania, the Monastery Estate is a testament to the city's rich history. Originally a 16th-century mansion, this boutique hotel has undergone a startling restoration resulting in a marriage of elegant minimalism and historical authenticity. Crucially, the restoration has preserved the architectural treasures of old – the walled patio, stone-carved doors, arches, high ceilings, and the original Roman walls dating back to the 1st century, now housed under a stunning glass display. But the past has also given way to contemporary luxe – the 15 high-ceilinged suites are spacious and elegant with low cubic furniture, black metal tables, fulsome mattresses, and monogrammed towels and sheets.

The friendly staff float through the myriad terraces and porticos dispensing professional, unfussy service, whether it’s in the courtyard restaurant (once a harem) or around the enclosed pool. There’s even a small spa and traditional hammam plus a menu of in-room massage treatments. Beyond the ancient walls, Chania itself awaits – a maze of back alleys and boutique craft shops, cool bars and diverse eateries – before a short stroll down to the magnificent Venetian harbour (complete with lighthouse) for its spectacular sunset views over the Aegean.

Highs

  • The location is unbeatable. In the heart of the old town but still very quiet, everything is within walking distance including the harbour and beaches
  • The design is exceptional, especially in the way the ultra-modern rooms have been incorporated into the existing structure. We particularly love the closets carved into the walls
  • The excellent food, lovely atmosphere and great service at in-house restaurant Mon.Es
  • The hotel also produces its own products including extra virgin olive oil and a variety of jams (grape, fig, pomegranate and lemon)
  • The in-house concierge team can advise and arrange excursions, cruises, car hire and transfers

Lows

  • It may be a little too monastic for some. The walls are bare and there's not much furniture in the rooms
  • The spa pool is more of a plunge pool, the spa is very small (some say claustrophic)
  • Children of all ages are welcome (and cots are available) but it probably isn’t ideal for toddlers or young kids, a high for many!

Best time to go

Typical Mediterranean summer rules apply – July and August are the busiest months and can be ferociously hot with very little rainfall and sultry nights. June and September are less busy and more temperate, but the thermometer can still climb pretty high. Outside June-September the weather is also dry and sunny, and the crowds are thinner, but many activities and restaurants have yet to open their doors.

Our top tips

Although you are well-served by local beaches, for a true Instagram-ready beachscape, you shouldn’t miss the stunning pink sands and turquoise waters of Elafonisi, about 70km away. It’s genuinely unspoilt and stunning – and annually voted among the top ten best beaches in Europe. Well worth a day of your time.

Great for...

Beach
City Style
Foodie
Romantic
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 15 rooms
  • Restaurant & bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 16 November - 21 March
  • Plunge Pool
  • Spa
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Laundry Service
Room:

Rooms

Romantics will love the Honeymoon Suite with its walk-in shower and private terrace with sunbeds and dining furniture, hot tub, and views across Chania's old town.

The four Design Suites, situated on the first floor are, as their name suggests, the last word in monastic chic, with blonde wood flooring and furnishings and bare brushed concrete walls. Another four, found in the building opposite, also have Jacuzzi tubs, and all have walk-in showers.

The three Signature Suites are the most characterful. Again, sparsely furnished, they also feature antique exposed brickwork and original archways giving the feeling of a very well-appointed cloister – cloisters that also have a private patio and outdoor Jacuzzi.

The Penthouse Suites are the largest and also have their own private terrace and hot tub, and panoramic views across Chania and the Aegean.

All rooms feature queen-sized beds and are designed for an occupancy of two people – although a child can be accommodated on request. Note that a few of the smaller rooms have little natural light.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast is served in the walled courtyard and offers everything from typical fare (pastries, croissants, bacon etc) as well as traditional Cretan – goats cheese, olives, apaki pork, dakos (rusks) and assorted pies.

There is also a restaurant on site, with an indoor/outdoor seating set up. The Mon.Es offers Cretan cuisine and, although the menu is limited, it has been well-reviewed. Here you can feast on Cretan ntakos, octopus, cuttlefish ink linguini, sea bass tartare, lamb shank and pork belly.

Further afield, you’re spoiled for choice in Chania which is the crossing point for three continents (Europe, Asia and Africa), all of which have influenced the local cuisine. The sweeping harbour is the destination for most dinner goers who want to partake in everything: seafood, meats, flat breads, cheeses and truffles – usually served with local olive oil, lemons, capers and oregano. But take a wander around the backstreets too and discover the myriad authentic tavernas, most of which also offer vegetarian and vegan options.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee maker
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • In Chania's historical centre, there’s the Nautical Museum, the Archaeological Museum, the Firkas fortress as well as back lanes filled with eclectic shops selling everything from arts and crafts to local produce, such as wine and olive oil. The local market, the Dimotiki Agora, must not be missed
  • The Turkish, Venetian and Jewish quarters are fascinating, with sights such as the Mosque of the Janissaries, but ancient buildings abound including the Church of Agios Nikolaos and Chania Cathedral
  • For beach lovers, nearby Agii Apostoli, Iguana and Nea Chora beaches are long, sandy and great for swimming as well as being well-served with cafes. Snorkelling and paddleboarding are widely available; hire bikes locally to venture further
  • Day trips around the rest of Crete are highly recommended. From the windmills of Lasithi Plateau, to the Cave of Zeus, the Palace of Knossos and Heraklion. Or trek the 16km trail along the Samaria Gorge, a national park that's only open from May to October

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Cycling
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Shopping / markets
    • Snorkelling
    • SUP
    • Swimming

Kids

Children of all ages are made very welcome, and there are fun things to do in Chania for families, especially at the beaches, but the hotel's minimalist design (sharp edges and clean lines) isn't really child-friendly. Note that the pool is small although heated.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

An extra bed and a baby cot can be added to all room types. Families of four with kids older than a baby will need to book adjacent rooms. One Design Suite has a bathtub as well as a shower, one Signature Suite has only a bathtub.

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Families Should Know:

Both the Honeymoon and Penthouse Suites have stairs to roof terraces so aren't ideal for young ones.

Kid Friendly:

Location

Monastery Estate Venetian Harbor is located in a picturesque alley, in the heart of the Old Town of Chania, Crete’s second largest city, which is to the west of the island on its northern coast.

By Air:
The nearest airport is Chania International, just 14km away, which has some direct flights from the UK and other countries. Or fly to Heraklion (over 2 hours away) for a wider choice.

From the Airport
Car rental is widely available but you won’t need it to get around the city (although there is free parking nearby). You can also get a taxi from the airport for around EUR20. Buses are available but service is sporadic and unreliable.

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Chania International Airport Ioannis Daskalogiannis 14.0 km CHQ
  • Chania International Airport Ioannis Daskalogiannis 142.0 km HER

Other:

  • Beach 0.8 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Rates for Monastery Estate Venetian Harbor

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