I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in Chania. So allow me to give you some tips of how I’d spend my morning if I was holidaying at Domus Renier Boutique Hotel.
I would wake up around 7:30am, when Chania’s old Venetian harbour port is still sleepy and empty…
Waking up in Chania Harbour
I open my eyes. My body feels lithe, lightweight and comfortable. I slept so soundly, luxuriating in my Queen size bed with its comfy Simmons mattress. I wish my bed back at home was so good! I slip off the bed, and stand barefoot on the floor. I can feel the natural wood floor through the soles of my feet. It feels like the warmth of the wood is spreading up through my whole body. I smile. I am surrounded by what I love. History calls out to me from the walls, and luxury envelops anything I touch.
Morning in a Luxury Sea View Suite in Chania Harbour
I press a switch, and the blinds open like a great theatre curtain to reveal the world. I gaze out in wonder at the view of the sea and the Venetian harbour. Bright sunshine glimmers on the water and dances over the cobbles and roofs of the old town houses. For now, the harbour is quiet. I look forward to listening to the story Chania can tell me.
I get dressed and put on my trainers. I gently open the magnificent wooden door of my luxury suite. I smell the enticing aroma of freshly ground coffee and baked bread from the hotel breakfast room. I take a deep breath of expectation and my mouth starts to water. “Later!” I tell myself. I choose to exit via the hotel’s harbour entrance. I descend the stairs and walk through Zepos restaurant. We’re having lunch here later, and I already start to order my Kalitsounia (a local pie with spinach and goat cheese), and seafood dishes in my head.
Exploring Chania’s Venetian Harbour in the Sunshine
I step out from under the awning and into the sunshine. For a moment I feel a little dazed. Cretan sunlight is pure and unforgettable. I turn right, keeping the sea to my left. I run towards the majestic Venetian dockyards of Neorio Moro. I can’t get enough of this.
My eyes and ears take everything in – the buildings, the colours, and the hasty “Good mornings”. Bleary-eyed waiters yawn, and couples sit in tavernas drinking their first coffee of the day. The tourists who’ve just arrived simply can’t believe their eyes at the beauty of Chania harbour. I stop and stare too. The sea gently laps at the harbour. Chania’s iconic Egyptian lighthouse cuts through the horizon. I take a quick shot to upload to Instagram. Not like my usual photos from my morning jogs at home!
I leave the domes of the Yiali Tzamisi mosque behind me. It’s a reminder that there’s so much here – Venetian, Ottoman, Greek and Cretan histories all coming together. I walk past the entrance to the Centre of Mediterranean Architecture. It’s in the spectacular 16th century Grand Arsenal building that was renovated by the Varoudakis brothers. I’m lucky enough to have seen their work up close – it was they who designed the Domus Renier Hotel.
Back to My Chania Boutique Hotel
I head back towards the hotel. The harbour is beginning to wake up now. Tablecloths in the tavernas, menus out. Outside Zepos restaurant, I look up at the 17th century townhouse behind. It used to be the Venetian Renier family mansion. Now it has become my hotel. I pass through the big door to Domus Renier, and up the stairs. I slip back into my suite. With all the historic features it still feels like the Venetians are here. I gaze up at the beautiful painted ceiling and close my eyes. For a moment, I travel back in time 400 years. I open my eyes again. My partner has finally woken up. I wander into our ensuite bathroom and switch on the rain shower. I feel refreshed, relaxed, and ready for my holiday. Perhaps later today we’ll go for a boat cruise or bike ride around Chania. We leave our suite and go for our Cretan breakfast. This is how you wake up in paradise…