Once upon a time, there was one lucky lady who was taken far far away to Crete for her birthday celebrations.
She didn’t live in a castle, but it was very close. She lived in Rimondi Boutique Hotel. Long enough to make her a lifelong convert to boutique hotels.
Rimondi is a five-star resort in the heart of old town Rethymno, and even despite the crazy traffic, narrow roads, and literally almost no parking spaces, it was well worth the drive and few heart attacks on the way there.
I had to applaud my other half, not just for his refined taste in women, but also for his taste in hotels. Booked as a birthday surprise, we arrived later in the afternoon, welcomed by a lovely receptionist who immediately transferred us to the pool area (to the joy of my Instagram account) and served a champagne cocktail.
The thought of getting older suddenly became very bearable.
I’ve seen many hotel pools but I have to say this one was special.
So much attention to detail, the lush vegetation and the unique character are just proof that you don’t need an Olympic size swimming pool to make something truly impressive.
This was the same area where we were served delicious breakfast, all sourced from local farms and using organic ingredients – as you would expect!
The staff was absolutely lovely, happy to explain the origins of all the ingredients to the smallest details, book you a table in the best restaurant in town and arrange a taxi within minutes notice.
The whole hotel is divided into two sections or building. The place where we stayed was the Rimondi Estate and across the road, you could see the Rimondi Palazzo, more impressive and undoubtedly expensive part of the hotel. The building belongs to a rich Venetian family who used to live there and the Estate was once also an olive oil factory, which is probably quite evident from the layout of the suites, with the most comfortable beds that make you feel like you’re sleeping on clouds.
Not so great if you’re on holiday and don’t want to spend half day in bed!
The toilet and shower were in separate corners of the room, with only glass dividing them from the main bedroom. On that note, if this is your first holiday as a couple, maybe opt for a bit more privacy and pick one of the other suites.
The hot tub was of course the highlight of the room, and we were sure to spend as much time in it as possible. Luckily, even though its on a ground floor, there is plenty of privacy thanks to the covered terrace area. We cracked the wine open and debated the prospects of getting older, while sipping and soaking in bubbles. Best antidepressant ever.
Rethymno was an absolute surprise for me and I didn’t expect to fall in love with it as much as I did. The small cobbled streets full of cute authentic restaurants, Venetian charm and history of the area and the feeling that you’re not actually in Greece at all, but in Italy. If I had known this earlier, I would happily spend all of our 4 precious days here, instead of moving to Heraklion later on.
From what we’ve seen, I highly recommend taking a stroll in the Fortezza of Rethymno followed by a short drive to Arkadi Monastery, one of the most beautiful place I’ve seen.
There are plenty of lovely restaurants around the hotel, one of the first ones we visited was Avli recommended by Lonely Planet, which was just average for me. The hotel booked us a table in a fantastic seafood restaurant just a couple of minutes drive away, which I will highly recommend once I remember the name of it!
Before we took off from Rethymno, we took a little stroll in the small park close to the hotel, to say goodbye to this beautiful place and farewell to our adventures in Rethymno.
Next up: Heraklion and my first earthquake experience (check the blog start of next week for update)
PS: We even got a beautiful gift from the hotel (see below)!
PS2: This is not a sponsored post. On the other hand, if the beautiful people at Rimondi Boutique Hotel would like to invite me for a stay, I would happily oblige.