Splanzia Hotel

Chania, Crete, Greece Book from

A wonderfully welcoming, family-run hotel with Eastern-chic décor, in the heart of Chania’s atmospheric Turkish quarter
If location is all, then this hotel in the heart of Chania's historic Splanzia district scores high. Overshadowed by a Turkish minaret that was tacked onto the neighbouring church in 1630, the hotel is just 10 minutes' walk from the city’s fishing harbour, yet away from tourist bustle. Step inside and you’ll find the stone walls of an ancient Venetian stronghold jazzed up with a charcoal- and cherry-toned décor signed by the Bentley award-winning designer Yiannis Yiannakakis.

With its sleek floors, black leather sofas and Madame Recamier loungers, the lobby is in striking contrast to the tangled alleys outside. A spiral staircase winds from here like a silver thread up to 8 rooms equipped with Balinese four-posters and luxurious drapes. Cross into the shady interior courtyard, with its mosaic tiles and deep stone well, and you’re plunged back to Ottoman times. Or head up to the sunset-facing terrace and collapse in the giant hammock with a drink and a view of the city's rooftops - magically romantic at night.

Highs

  • Relaxing with a book in the courtyard listening to Mass from the church next door - and doves cooing in the trees overhead
  • Breakfast is exceptional, we loved the creamy Greek yoghurt drizzled with local honey and home-baked traditional Cretan pastries
  • Exploring Chania's cobbled streets and covered market, all within walking distance of the hotel
  • Brothers Yiannis and Nikos are incredibly welcoming and go out of their way to help
  • Some of the rooms have a mezzanine level with a single bed - great for families

Lows

  • Bathrooms are a little cramped and we've had reports that some look a little dated
  • Noise from the street can filter through the shutters (especially in summer) - light sleepers should request courtyard-facing rooms
  • It can be difficult to park; Yiannis promises - cross-his-heart-hope-to-die - that he’ll find you space near the hotel
  • The hotel often gets book up a long way in advance

Best time to go

Splanzia hotel is open all year and it’s wonderful to be here for Greek Easter, when Chania celebrates with fireworks and bonfires. If you’re keen on exploring this area without the crowds, May-June and September-October are the best months. Fans of Greek-style throbbing nightlife will want to be here in July and August, but will need to book well in advance, especially in August which is the hotel’s busiest month

Our top tips

Enjoy live Cretan folk music over dinner at many of the tavernas; browse through the souvenir shops for leather goods, jewellery, penknives; or stock up on cheese, herbs, infusions ('mountain tea' for digestion, 'dittany' for bruises), oil and olives from the covered market, just 5 minutes' walk away.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 8
  • Breakfast only (walk to restaurants)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

From the cool, dark lobby, a spiral staircase loops up to 8 capacious rooms - 4 with double beds and 4 with a double and a single - set square above each other over 2 floors.

Basted in tones of beige and chocolate and bathed in a gentle refracted light cast by individually designed mosaic glass lampshades, these high ceilinged quarters are decked with heavy window drapes and flower-sprigged cushions. Balinese-style four-posters or black leather double beds float in a sea of lacy voile at the centre of each of these cocoons.

Bathrooms are cramped but functional enough, with plenty of hot water (but no overhead shower head attachment), so if you like to wallow as you wash, choose # 13, which has a small bath.

If you hanker after peace, make sure you pick #13 or #14 giving onto the interior courtyard - these are also the best rooms if you like to pad straight from your room to breakfast without having to pass reception.

Parents with intrepid older kids will want to book #22 and #24, which have ladders leading to single bed mezzanine sleeperies tucked high up beneath the honey-toned wooden rafters.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Splanzia is owned by a local family, so the copious breakfast, served by son Nikos, is spiced up with mum's home-baked melomakarona (spiced honey biscuits) and kalitsounia (crispy filo pastry pies oozing with mithizra goats cheese). You can eat in the lobby when the weather’s bad, but the peaceful shaded courtyard is the best place in sunny weather. Bring a book and you can linger all morning, listening to mass chanted in the church next door and sipping excellent coffee.

There’s no restaurant in the hotel, but a plethora of eateries nearby means that you will be spoilt for dining choices. If you’re seeking something typical, duck out of the rear of the hotel and, in a cobbled square clustered around the minaret, half a dozen ouzeries serve a succulent selection of mezedes (tapas-style nibbles) with drinks.

For more ample nourishment check out The Well of the Turk, a historic building converted to an atmospheric restaurant, serving confit of lamb, cheescake with rosewater and other interesting takes on Mediterranean and Middle Eastern specialties. Down near the harbour, you’ll find plenty of buzzing tavernas.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Explore the bustling town of Chania on your doorstep: its picturesque fishing harbour, its arsenali now converted into a gallery space, its lovely little archaeological museum with finds from Minoan, Roman & Hellenistic times, and its maritime museum where model ships sit side by side with a medley of objects dredged up from the sea
  • Visit the Byzantine monasteries of Ayia Triada (beautiful Italianate architecture) and Gouvernetou (nearby hermit's chapel), both of them about 30 minutes' drive away; from Gouvernetou, a path leads down to the rocky shore - a perfect spot for secluded bathing
  • Take a day trip to Knossos (about 2 hours drive each way), seat of the Minoan palace culture and legendary home of the labyrinth and Minotaur; stop off for a bite in one of Heraklion's excellent restaurants, and a tour of its imposing Venetian sea walls
  • Trek through the world-famous Samaria gorge (along with the crowds; open May-Oct) or the Ayia Irini gorge (fewer crowds; open all year); both are a full day’s hike, catching a boat and/or a bus back
  • Sunbathe and swim from the sandy beach west of town; or, for truly idyllic beaches, drive 2 hours southwest to Elafonisi (try and get there before the afternoon crowds), or 1 hour west to Falassarna and Balos (the latter requires a short hike, or a boat from Kastelli)
  • Crete is an incredibly diverse island, with lots to see and do. For more of our favourites, check out our destination guide

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures

Kids

Four of the rooms have a double and a single bed, and are fine for small families. Two of these have their single bed on a mezzanine level, so are great for those with older children (for younger kids these high-perched sleeperies are a definite no-no). Cramped bathrooms and lack of lay down space could be a problem for parents with young babies who require frequent nappy changes. Children are free if sharing their parents' bed.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years)

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

{{ review.firstName }}{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},
Feedback is only from guests who have booked and stayed through i-escape

Rates for Splanzia Hotel