Review: Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel, Serenissima, Crete

serenissima 1 sitting room copy.JPG

I visited the gorgeous Serenissima at the end of September which was such a treat as the weather in London had already started to get colder.  This felt like the perfect time to get away and you really do completely switch off to another world in the pastel pink town of Chania.  I was there for 2 nights but I would suggest going for at least 3 as the plane is three and a half hours and I left feeling like I wanted to see so much more.

 Serenissima is in Chania which is the second biggest city in Crete and is only 25 minutes from the little airport in a car and then a 5 minute walk into the town to the hotel.  From the minute we arrived we felt a wonderful sense of calm and tranquility in the reception and we met one of the managers called Irini who showed us to the junior suite.  You walk through a small courtyard with a large stone staircase to get to the rooms and you are constantly surrounded by tones of dusty pink.  I felt that these colours really added to the experience and made the layout appear all the more inviting and cosy.  Later I discovered that these hues are a signature look of Chania.  The suite was flooded with gentle sunlight and the bedroom was simple whites with a little exposed stone in places.  The bathroom was finished in a smooth cream stone with an enormous bath which made for the perfect dip after a seriously early flight.  The old town was coming to the end of the busy season but I loved the way that there was still a gentle bustle from the street outside our window and you could watch the neighbours opposite on their balcony and further a field a few terracotta rooftops were visible.  We were in heaven!

Serenissima is in Chania which is the second biggest city in Crete and is only 25 minutes from the little airport in a car and then a 5 minute walk into the town to the hotel.  From the minute we arrived we felt a wonderful sense of calm and tranquility in the reception and we met one of the managers called Irini who showed us to the junior suite.  You walk through a small courtyard with a large stone staircase to get to the rooms and you are constantly surrounded by tones of dusty pink.  I felt that these colours really added to the experience and made the layout appear all the more inviting and cosy.  Later I discovered that these hues are a signature look of Chania.  The suite was flooded with gentle sunlight and the bedroom was simple whites with a little exposed stone in places.  The bathroom was finished in a smooth cream stone with an enormous bath which made for the perfect dip after a seriously early flight.  The old town was coming to the end of the busy season but I loved the way that there was still a gentle bustle from the street outside our window and you could watch the neighbours opposite on their balcony and further a field a few terracotta rooftops were visible.  We were in heaven!

 Serenissima is 2 minutes walk from the stunning 16th century Venetian-style port and we stopped off for a quick late lunch at Tamam that is also round the corner.  A great sharing plates eatery with homemade dakos (everywhere pretty much makes their own bread) with chopped salad, fig tapenade and a classic Greek salad.  The port has the usual tourist traps scattered about but Irini at reception had advised us where to go.  Serenissima is located in the old town of Chania so the buildings are full of character with some particularly rustic structures not to mention a heavy mix of Venetian, Ottoman and Neoclassic constructions.  One of my favourites which hugs one side of the harbour is the delicate rose coloured Turkish Mosque built in 1649.   This is now used to display artwork and behind this building is a medley of more elegant individual structures and a few old blue fishing boats selling jewellery boxes covered with pearly white shells.  Walking around the town in golden hour is delightful and you even stumble across a few completely dilapidated buildings which add even more personality to the cityscape.

Serenissima is 2 minutes walk from the stunning 16th century Venetian-style port and we stopped off for a quick late lunch at Tamam that is also round the corner.  A great sharing plates eatery with homemade dakos (everywhere pretty much makes their own bread) with chopped salad, fig tapenade and a classic Greek salad.  The port has the usual tourist traps scattered about but Irini at reception had advised us where to go.  Serenissima is located in the old town of Chania so the buildings are full of character with some particularly rustic structures not to mention a heavy mix of Venetian, Ottoman and Neoclassic constructions.  One of my favourites which hugs one side of the harbour is the delicate rose coloured Turkish Mosque built in 1649.   This is now used to display artwork and behind this building is a medley of more elegant individual structures and a few old blue fishing boats selling jewellery boxes covered with pearly white shells.  Walking around the town in golden hour is delightful and you even stumble across a few completely dilapidated buildings which add even more personality to the cityscape.

 Dinner was at the hotel restaurant on the Friday night and you can sit in a grand looking stone dinning room or there were a few tables outside which we snapped up still wanting to soak up the busy Chanian ambiance.  We had a lovely girl called Cleopatra who served us and they had one of my favourite rosés called Whispering Angel which is totally delicious.  Quite fitting as it was yet another delicate blush!  Sadly the food was not what I had expected and we didn’t enjoy it as much as the rosé.  I was hoping for more of the local produce and classic dishes and a less fussy type of cuisine, but the setting was picturesque!

Dinner was at the hotel restaurant on the Friday night and you can sit in a grand looking stone dinning room or there were a few tables outside which we snapped up still wanting to soak up the busy Chanian ambiance.  We had a lovely girl called Cleopatra who served us and they had one of my favourite rosés called Whispering Angel which is totally delicious.  Quite fitting as it was yet another delicate blush!  Sadly the food was not what I had expected and we didn’t enjoy it as much as the rosé.  I was hoping for more of the local produce and classic dishes and a less fussy type of cuisine, but the setting was picturesque!

 After a relaxing sleep, having picked a pillow from the novelty pillow menu it was on to breakfast!  It is served in the outside courtyard and you can order as much as you like off the menu.  It was right up my street, filled with classic frappés, eggs any style, homemade bread, local honey, fresh Greek yogurt, fruit salad from the nearby farmer and some mini biscuits for the coffee.    It was simple and delicious.  After munching our way through the buffet we went to explore the nearby beach (Marathi) which was 25 minutes away in a taxi for about 27 euros.  There are two good beach bars which are worth checking out called Loukoulos and Patrelantonis which serve local specialities and an appetising angel hair pastry dessert from Loukoulos with honey, cinnamon, almonds and yoghurt.  The two beaches in this area have clear turquoise waters for swimming and it really feels like a Cretan local hotspot.  If you ended up renting a car and you were here for 3 days I would highly recommend travelling to either Balos (1 hour drive) or Elafonisi (1 hour 30 min drive) beach, which are famous for oyster shells that have ground together to make the sand a beautiful soft pink. 

After a relaxing sleep, having picked a pillow from the novelty pillow menu it was on to breakfast!  It is served in the outside courtyard and you can order as much as you like off the menu.  It was right up my street, filled with classic frappés, eggs any style, homemade bread, local honey, fresh Greek yogurt, fruit salad from the nearby farmer and some mini biscuits for the coffee.    It was simple and delicious.  After munching our way through the buffet we went to explore the nearby beach (Marathi) which was 25 minutes away in a taxi for about 27 euros.  There are two good beach bars which are worth checking out called Loukoulos and Patrelantonis which serve local specialities and an appetising angel hair pastry dessert from Loukoulos with honey, cinnamon, almonds and yoghurt.  The two beaches in this area have clear turquoise waters for swimming and it really feels like a Cretan local hotspot.  If you ended up renting a car and you were here for 3 days I would highly recommend travelling to either Balos (1 hour drive) or Elafonisi (1 hour 30 min drive) beach, which are famous for oyster shells that have ground together to make the sand a beautiful soft pink. 

P9233512.JPG
 Before dinner on the second night we wandered around towards the Jewish quarter and continued exploring the shops.  A walk all the way to the lighthouse is a must and we managed to try out the charming Cretan hideaway Chrisostomos which was recommended by one of the managers.  It wasn’t fancy but it had some nice local dishes of spiced rice balls wrapped in courgette flowers and lemon boiled potatoes which were inspiring.  Reception were always at the ready to help with any requests and they were efficient and helpful.  This was especially important for me because I ended up going to the beach everyday and it made everything effortless and relaxing.  I will look back fondly at my stay and without a doubt it is the best place to stay when visiting Chania.  It offers quality interior design, friendly staff and if you appreciate architecture and local Greek taverns then Chania offers this in abundance.  It truly does have it’s own special feel with the colour scheme and if you have a little more time then I would hit up some of those well-known oyster beaches.

Before dinner on the second night we wandered around towards the Jewish quarter and continued exploring the shops.  A walk all the way to the lighthouse is a must and we managed to try out the charming Cretan hideaway Chrisostomos which was recommended by one of the managers.  It wasn’t fancy but it had some nice local dishes of spiced rice balls wrapped in courgette flowers and lemon boiled potatoes which were inspiring.  Reception were always at the ready to help with any requests and they were efficient and helpful.  This was especially important for me because I ended up going to the beach everyday and it made everything effortless and relaxing.  I will look back fondly at my stay and without a doubt it is the best place to stay when visiting Chania.  It offers quality interior design, friendly staff and if you appreciate architecture and local Greek taverns then Chania offers this in abundance.  It truly does have it’s own special feel with the colour scheme and if you have a little more time then I would hit up some of those well-known oyster beaches.

 Skoufon 4, Chania 731 31, Greece   +30 2821 086386    Serenissima

Skoufon 4, Chania 731 31, Greece

+30 2821 086386

Serenissima

Nina ParkerComment