Originally a Turkish house built in the early 20th century, this two-bedroom residence has been completely renovated by charismatic owner Nikos (of Ammos Hotel fame) to welcome those who like their accommodation funky, modern and a bit quirky. It’s divided into two floors and has a lovely outside terrace on the upper floor, including a sunny wall-hung garden. But it’s the design that startles. The house is an open-plan series of contrasts where stone meets concrete, exposed brickwork, cement, mortar and wood. The postmodern aesthetic runs throughout, from the carefully curated artworks (local artist Antonis Houdalakis helped with the renovation) to the achingly stylish furniture and objets. Clean lines abound, bursts of colour pop; there’s always something to catch the eye.
Equally pleasing is the setting in Chania's Koum Kapi district. You're a short walk from the city's Venetian quarter, with its stunning harbour, pedestrian lanes and bustling shops and bars; and an even shorter walk the other way (2 mins) to the sheltered sandy beach. The town boasts some of the best food on the entire island (a crossing point of three continents – Europe, Africa and Asia) – and the cuisine reflects these Arabic, Venetian and Ottoman influences. We can't wait to try it all out!
- Great location – in a quiet residential street, but close enough to wander into the heart of the action (or to the beach); you could easily manage without a hire car
- The hanging garden on the rooftop terrace is beautifully designed and a great place to sunbathe or enjoy a sundowner
- It looks fantastic and is filled with artworks and pieces from the owner’s own private collection; a very different vibe to traditional Greek getaways
- Living areas and bedrooms are split between both floors, making this a great set up for couples holidaying together
- Charming local hosts Rea and Katerina are helpful with recommendations and arrangements; you're in good hands from the moment you arrive
- It’s at the pricier end of the accommodation spectrum around these parts, and there’s no swimming pool
- The roof terrace can get very hot in the daytime, plus there's no table to eat dinner al fresco
- The lower floor, while cool and comfortable, can also feel a little dark during the day; and the front door opens up to a road
- The prevalence of artworks means there’s a minimum age of 12+
Best time to go
Our top tips
Alternatively, if you're an experienced hiker head to the Aradaina gorge; the end of your 3-hour hike brings you to spectacular Marmara beach.
- Design Townhouse
- House for 2-5
- Self-catering; walk to restaurants
- Over 12s only
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car not necessary
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
There are two bedrooms in total and the house can sleep up to five. The main bedroom is on the first floor and boasts a kingsize bed and looks out onto the upper terrace, and has a small ensuite shower bathroom. The second bedroom, which can be a double or two single beds, is on the ground floor, which has an additional bathroom (note that the bedroom itself doesn’t have a door). Both have a loft-style feel with whitewashed walls and crisp white linens that set off the contemporary paintings and other artworks that dominate the spaces.
The ground floor includes a spacious dining and kitchen area with all mod cons, and has a day bed which can easily double as another sleeping option. There is also a library area full of old and new books. The living space is on the first floor between the main bedroom and roof terrace, and has a striking long green corner sofa.
The décor throughout is contemporary modern, with whitewashed walls and bare floorboards plus designer furniture. Note that the open stairs can be slippery if you're wearing socks.
- Tumble dryer
- Washing machine
The galley style kitchen is on the ground floor, and has an oven, hob, dishwasher and Nespresso machine plus all crockery and cutlery for 5 people. You'll find tea, coffee, tea towels, bin bags, sugar and milk awaiting you. You also get a welcome basket for booking through i-escape which includes bread, local fruits, cheese and a bottle of wine.
For food shopping there's a bakery, butcher and mini-market within 60 metres, while an organic shop and the Synka supermarket are 400-450 metres away. The big farmers market every Saturday is on Minoos street, about 600 metres away.
You may prefer to eat out. With over 300 species of greens and herbs grown on Crete, lack of variety is not a problem. Fish, especially seafood, features strongly, as do Mediterranean flavours, and aficionados of Greek food will love checking out the flatbreads, minced lamb, Kasseri cheese, sriracha aioli, pastitisio, Graviera cheese, and truffles from Agios (an island winemaking region). There’s also a surprising variety on offer in Chania’s restaurant scene, which sits mainly around the old harbour and its backstreets. Most places have vegetarian and vegan options, and there are also eateries specialising in Mexican, Italian and Japanese cuisine.
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Restaurants nearby
- Chania is a historical and cultural centre, with a 14th-century Venetian harbour and 16th-century lighthouse. There’s also the Nautical Museum, the Archaeological Museum housed within the former St. Francis monastery, and Firka fortress
- The backstreets throng with eclectic outlets selling everything from clothes and books to souvenirs and local produce (raki, cheeses, oils and wines). They also stay open late
- Foodies should book themselves onto one of the myriad food and wine tours that offer everything from vineyard trips to cooking classes and even street food samplings
- The nearest beaches – Koum Kapi (2 mins' walk), Agii Apostoli, Iguana and Nea Chora – are long, sandy and great for swimming; plus they're well-served with cafes
- Hire a car for a day or two and explore the rest of the island – Lasithi Plateau, the Cave of Zeus, the Palace of Knossos, Heraklion, and the beach of sweet waters in Sfakia
- Visit Manousos Chalkiadakis' ceramic studio (a 4000-year tradition on Crete); thereafter head to tiny Venetian village Maza, which has a great taverna and whose charming owner will show you the small chapel with magnificent 13th-century frescoes
- Explore the Akrotiri peninsula: the monastery of Agia Triada (open all day) and then stunning Seitan Limania beach or Marathi (a great small beach which is always calm), and eat at Patrelantonis fish tavern
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
There's a minimum age of 12 for all guests.
Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
The day bed in the living area can be made into an extra bed (80x200 cm); note there are no curtains so it gets a lot of daylight.
The Chania Design House is in the Koum Kapi district of Chania, just outside the old town. Chania is a large town on the western side of Crete, situated on the north coast.
Chania International Airport, 20 mins away on the Akrotiri peninsula, has some direct flights from the UK and other countries. Otherwise, Heraklion (2 hours away) has a wider choice.
From the Airport
You can either rent a car or, from Chania airport, take a bus or taxi to the Old Town (20-40 mins). If you're planning on just exploring Chania, you really don't need a car. If heading further afield a car is useful, but there is no private parking so you park on the nearby roads (easy by day but harder after 9pm); ideally, don't use the car in the evenings and just walk to the old town for dinner.
Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.
- Chania International Airport 13.0 km CHQ
- Beach 0.1 km
- Shops 0.0 km
- Restaurant 0.2 km