Rethymon’s ancient Venetian port and atmospheric narrow cobbled streets are popular haunts for Cretans and visitors looking for some typical local hospitality in an area famed for its good wine, olive oil and delicious cuisine. Nothing unusual there.
However, Katerina Xekalou is a somewhat unusual hotelier, and has made the Avli one of the most sought after hotel/restaurants on Crete. Restaurant Avli was born first, within the walls of an old tannery in the heart of the old town. It was, without doubt, the product of her imagination and single minded drive that quickly made it the place to go to, home to extraordinary Cretan dishes that celebrate the local flavours and memories of her family recipes.
Expanding the Avli brand into a luxury boutique hotel wasn’t a giant leap, but it needed to be a little bit special. She wanted a hotel with a difference; a hotel where every room was a suite and each distinctly different from the other. So, with a former Venetian Lord’s home and a soap factory added to the property portfolio, Katerina set about building herself another slice of Cretan history.
Avli is today a hotel with a distinct personality. Inside those three different buildings, lies seven luxury suites reflecting the personality and ambition of its hands-on owner. Everything , from the Jacuzzi baths to the free mini bar drinks, from the highly individualised furnishings, to the welcoming bottles of wine and raki, is tailored towards exceptional personal service. It’s a hotel designed with personal love and attention to detail and it’s all thoroughly original. Even down to the romantic rooftop encounter looking out at Rethymnon’s gorgeous old fort lit up at night like a proud vestige from Crete’s glorious history.
Avli Lounge Apartments and restaurant, celebrate everything that‘s right about Cretan hospitality and individual entrepreneurism. You can discover Katerina for yourself, ever present and still making plans.
Just make sure you let her know it was all worth it