A historic retreat in the heart of the old town of Chania

      In the neighbourhood of “Platia Rouga”, in Splantzia – part of the

historic district of Chania in Crete – stands the hotel known today as

‘Ionas Boutique Hotel’. Being itself a fine example of a reconstructed

architectural treasure, it is located next to the historic church of Agia

Irini and close to the monastery of Santa Maria della Misericordia.

    The Venetian stone features, such as the archway in the entrance of

the hotel, have been repaired and restored, while at the base of the

core building there still remain the original walls since 1538. The

wooden facade of the original building was recreated based on the

traces found and is an example of its Ottoman architecture features.

Despite the fact that parts of the house were destroyed by the German

bombardments during World War II, its occupants kept on living in the

main part of the house, which has remained in the family’s hands until

the present time.

    The historic building that now houses ‘Ionas Boutique Hotel’ came

into the current owner’s family in 1929. This is when his great-

grandparent returned to Crete from Asia Minor, during the exchange of

populations between Greece and Turkey, after the Greco-Turkish War

of 1919-1922. The family though has actually been residing in Crete

since 1400, something confirmed by ancestors’ church paintings – like

those created by G. Provatopoulos, who happens to be related to

Domenikos Theotokopoulos’ (El Greco) mother – preserved until today

in the district of eastern Selino and more specifically in the Agios

Georgios church, in Koustogerako.

    Several years ago, inspired by the idea to preserve a small piece of

personal family history, as well as part of the greater whole of the

area’s past, the building’s owner decided to restore the home and

open it to the public as a top class hotel. The philosophy behind the

painstaking reconstruction was to preserve the original features using

traditional building techniques, while keeping modern needs and

comforts in mind. The project was fortunate enough to be based on

original historical documents and family records that have been kept for

almost a century.