A fully renovated, stonebuilt compound built on top of three ancient greek grottos. It used to be a Venetian olive press factory. Now it's a contemporary holiday home with two pools (indoor and outdoor) and an organic vegetable and local fruit garden
STILL FREE: 12-19 APRIL, 9-22 MAY, 14 JUNE-13 JULY, 24 AUG-
UNIQUE LISTING AWARD WINNER
FIRST AIRBNB OPEN 2014
GrottoHomes is a traditional stonebuilt compound constructed in several phases, starting around 1500, on top of three ancient greek hellenistic grottos. It used to be an olive press factory, originally built by the Venetians, who occupied Crete at that time, with later additions for housing both the miller and his elder son. It has been restored with patience, respect and knowledge by its current owner who, being an architect, turned it to a contemporary holiday home, maintaining reverently every architectural detail of the past. It is furnished with many unique, antique pieces and it's decorated with a lot of traditional, rural cretan household equipment. This villa is ideal for writers, artists or nature lovers who like walking, hiking or swimming in a pool carved in an ancient grotto or just relaxing in an unbelivably quiet place. The organic vegetable, local fruit tree and aromatic plants gardens can provide them with the freshest ingredients for cooking their meals. Since March 2014 has been added a new openair pool to the compound, built by the citrus trees garden, which is opperating in addition to the indoor one, giving the guests one more area of relaxation.
The villa is situated 800m away of the ruins of a Hellenistic city, in a small and peaceful village called Goulediana, famouse for its restaurand specialized in Cretan cousine. It's a 1h drive away from both international airports of Crete, Chania and Heraklion, a 5 min drive from Armeni, the main village of the area, where one can find supermarkets a pharmacy shop and an ATM and 20 min drive from the town of Rethymno famous for its lively night life, full of restaurants, bars, clubs etc Both crowded north coast and quiet south coast beaches are just a 20min drive away.
When staying in GrottoHomes you can relax completely, surrounded by the unique cretan nature and feel part of its centuries long history using, at the same time, any modern facility and equipment one might need. At least that's what I do when the villa has no guests...
The visitors have access either to the entire compound or only to the main house (the rest will be empty) depending on the size of their party and in any case to the whole garden, and both the indoor and the outdoor pools. Access to the office of the owner will be given only uppon request.
The owner of the house will meet the visitors uppon arival, to welcome them, show them around the house and hand them the keys. He also has to visit the house every two days, at a time convenient to both parties, to water the plants and clean the pools. The owner will be reachable at any time on his cell phone or his profile on the famouse Zuckerberg's site for any questions / tips / advice / help the visitors might need.
GrottoHomes is a fully renovated 500 year old compound, furnished with both modern and antique pieces, decorated with paintings of high sentimental value made by the owner and members of his family and many rural traditional household equipment that go along with all modern facilities and equipment one might need nowadays. So the first thing that someone expects from its guests is to appreciate and respect the history of the house and its equipment.
The gardens are full of organic local fruit trees, organic vegetables and aromatic plants. The visitors are free to collect as many of the vegetables which are ripe during the period of their stay, or pieces of any aromatic plant they need for preparing their meals. But at the same time they have to take care not to ruin the future production of the plants which is to be used by the owner or next coming visitors of the house. The fruits are collected by the owner of the house who makes marmelades and sweets out of them (you'll be able to taste some). The plants have to be watered and the pool filters cleaned, every second day. So the owner has to visit the house every second day after agreeing with the guests the time that is more convenient for both of them.
There is a special place in the garden (under the lemon trees) where organic remainders are disposed for producing compost for the plants. The guests are asked to collect all recyclable packages and either carry them to the special bins in Armeni village or keep them at home to be carried by the owner after their departure.
I love nature and living close to it but at the same time I often travel to big cities to enjoy the cultural events and spaces one can find there. I love food of good quality and I enjoy cooking it. I love seeing but also creating art.
One of my listings was awarded with the Unique Listing award (one of the two globally) in the first Airbnb Open in San Francisco US, in 2014. I was a Host Educator in the second Airbnb Open in Paris, France, in 2015 and I've been an Airbnb super host for almost two years now.