Greek Islands

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Avli Lounge Apartments

Address: Xanthoudidou 22 (at Radamanthios)

Neighborhood:

City: Rethymno

Phone: 011-30-28310-58250

Website: www.avli.gr

Expert Review

Down a cobbled alley, in the preserved old town of Rethymno, visitors can find a place that's still somewhat of a secret: Along with a restaurant and wine bar, Avli provides as an exquisite family-run boutique hotel in a restored 15th-century building. Although Crete has a few modern resorts that hit all the expected luxury angles, nothing matches the homespun care and atmosphere at Avli. Each of the seven spacious suites is decorated with a mix of antiques, local folk art, and richly textured furniture, linens, and curtains (velvet, satin, suede, and leather abound). Such an assortment placed amid simple wooden floors, exposed-beam ceilings, and whitewashed stone walls results in a look at once eclectic and glamorous. While four suites have marble bathrooms with Jacuzzis, the other three provocatively present freestanding Jacuzzis in the bedrooms. Guests are greeted with fruit and sweet delicacies, and Avli's wine cellar, home to 460 labels, is one of the largest in Greece. Avli's restaurant, a destination in itself, serves a quirky blend of Crete's traditional cuisine (a surprisingly light take on Mediterranean tropes) as well as modern dashes of invention (rose petal pasta with chicken, arugula, and parmesan). Feast inside the property's courtyard garden amid palms, lemon trees, and bougainvillea, and at night, the glow of candlelight. 2009 Smart Luxury Award winner

Tags: moderate | smart splurge | smart luxury winner | views | all-suite

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