The Greek word “avra” means aura but also the cool breeze from the sea. As soon as my husband and I set foot in Avra Imperial Beach Resort and Spa located at about 25 km from Chania on the island of Crete, we could feel this unique aura of class and discrete luxury in an amazingly elegant environment. The minimal decor and colour white predominating all over the hotel won my heart.
Check-in took a minute and immediately afterwards, we were welcomed by Anna – the PR Officer – who showed us to one of the hotel’s imperial suites consisting of a large bedroom, a very comfortable living-room with an espresso machine(!) and a private outdoor swimming pool. We also greatly enjoyed the Jacuzzi opposite the bed, the fruit and wine in the living-room which was the courtesy of the management and, of course, the swimming-pool! The swimming-pool area is furnished with sunbeds, a couch and a coffee table – all you need to make your stay a memorable one. Considering the heat wave during our stay, we’d appreciate an umbrella!
Both my husband and I were thoroughly impressed with the excellent housekeeping services and the impeccable cleanliness in our suite. Bath towels and beach towels were changed twice a day. We also got espresso capsules daily. We hardly left our suite as we both looked forward to relaxing, swimming in our very own swimming-pool for a week and sunbathing for me. We did try the beach, though, and truly enjoyed the crystal-clear waters, but we didn’t really like the pebble beach. It was so hard to walk barefoot on the hot pebbles. You also need special shoes to go into the sea, which we didn’t have.
We were on half-board terms – breakfast and dinner. Both the breakfast and dinner buffets are an ode to the palate! The food is excellent! Quantity never outweighs quality. For just one week, I forgot all about dieting and didn’t worry too much since the Cretan Cuisine is based on olive-oil and a healthy eating pattern. However, the dinner buffet includes a wide variety of dishes from all over the world including cheeses and desserts which are impossible to resist! No wonder I put on weight! Breakfast consists of everything you should really indulge in to your heart’s content: live cooking (waffles, pancakes, fried eggs), a variety of delicatessen and cheeses, a wide range of fresh fruit, desserts, local pies, rolls, croissants, bread and freshly squeezed orange juice to mention only a few.
We also tried the hotel’s Italian restaurant Al Fresco. For starters, we recommend Carpaccio from veal fillet, rocket salad, parmesan and marinated mushrooms, homemade pizza italiana with prosciutto, tomatoes and mozzarella and for main course try their fresh pasta. We had fresh tortellini with spinach and cheese in wine sauce. Congratulations to Manolis – the Executive Chef.
We would also like to thank a million the General Manager Mr Costas Papachristoforou for doing his very best to make our holiday one of the best we’ve ever had, the F & B Manager Mr Elias Tsirmbas who was also very helpful, especially at lunch, the waitress Evangelia for being so helpful, friendly and polite, the waiter Yiannis and the head waiter Giorgos as well as the waitress at the bar whose name I forget. There are so many people we’d like to thank from the bottom of our hearts, like all the staff at the reception and the maids who did their best to keep our suite perfectly clean.
Last but not least, considering quality and services, the Avra Imperial Beach Resort and Spa is great value for money. We truly hope that we’ll go back soon.