Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in western Crete, including both luxury and inexpensive hotels in Chania, Rethymnon, and Paleochora.
One of the absolute best places to stay in Chania is the Casa Delfino, a 17th century former palace, built around a fabulous, big Venetian-style courtyard. It has studio rooms, ordinary rooms and suites, all of which are bright and cheerful and superbly fitted-out with old photos on the walls. All 20 have air-conditioning, mini-bar, satellite TVs, and marble Jacuzzi baths. There's a large bar, breakfast room, roof terrace, and a guest lounge.
Though about a 20-minute walk east of Chania’s Venetian Harbour and town centre, the inexpensive Hotel Doma provides a memorable stay, in a converted century-old mansion. The historical feel is kept in the general décor, including the rooms, although all rooms are ensuite with air-conditioning and TV. The 3rd-floor dining room has great views towards the town, and front rooms have views out to sea.
Perfectly situated on an almost traffic-free street in the old town of Chania, just a minute’s walk from the harbour, the El Greco is a family-run hotel with just 23 rooms. They are all a good size and well-appointed, some being suites with extra living space. There’s a relaxing bar downstairs and a terrific roof garden with wonderful views over the roofs of the old town to the sea.
This delightful small hotel is on a quiet street in the old town of Chania. The Elia Palazzo was once a mansion and the 11 rooms, named after Greek Gods and heroes, are full of wood-panelling and old-fashioned touches, though with modern bathrooms, TVs, fridges, and phones. The generous breakfast is one reason to stay here, others being the friendly service and ideal location: use the public car park west of the harbour if driving.
The Hotel Fortezza has been built in traditional style, echoing the Venetian feel of the old town around. It is in one of the quieter areas of Rethymnon, mostly pedestrianised, and close to the Venetian fort that gives it its name. The best rooms overlook the small swimming pool, so try to book one of these, and booking is recommended even in low season as it is justifiably popular.
The Galaxy Rooms is one of the most pleasant of the many 'rooms to rent' options in Paleochora, above the Galaxy Fish Restaurant. Front rooms have large balconies overlooking the town's pebble beach and the sea. The ensuite rooms are a good size and surprisingly well-equipped with TV, fridge, phone and washing lines. They are also clean and well-maintained, and though no breakfast is served, there are several nearby options. The owner also has more rooms across town near the sandy beach.
Although a deluxe standard hotel, prices are reasonable given the quality and the location, right by the beach. The Grecotel Creta Palace is about 3 km (1.9 miles) east of Rethymnon centre, beyond the wonderful town beach. The rooms are simple but bright and clean, and the hotel has all the facilities you might expect including three swimming pools (one indoors), restaurants, bars, gym, tennis courts and watersports.
The Hotel Ideon is in a wonderful location overlooking the harbour, but set back from the main road and with a public car park (vital in Rethymnon) directly opposite. The Ideon has 100 rooms, all with balconies, overlooking either the sea or the private swimming pool. The rooms are modern and simple, with phone, radio, safe, air-conditioning, and bathroom. The slightly pricier suites have fridge and TV too.
Ifigenia Rooms and Studios isn’t one hotel but several places close together near Chania’s Venetian harbour. All are owned by the same enterprising young man and all have the same flair when it comes to the decoration. Some of the rooms are stunningly designed with stone arches, four-poster beds, galleried areas and with open-plan baths adding to the striking look. As well as the Ifigenia I, II and III there is the Ifigenia Studios, Pension Orio, and Hotel Captain Vassilis.